With 2018’s ‘Veganuary’ underway, it is estimated this year will hit new records, with over 150,000 participants choosing to give the vegan lifestyle a chance for January and potentially throughout the rest of the year. Known as the lifestyle where nothing you eat, use or consume comes from animals or is a by product of animals, veganism has certainly grown in popularity with the introduction of Veganuary, in fact – almost 14 million animals were spared in 2017 as a direct result of Veganuary.
However, aside from promoting the love for animal welfare, health improvement is actually considered the second biggest reason for people deciding to go vegan, as it can be used to lead a healthier lifestyle and even promote weight loss. Last year, 97% of those who participated in Veganuary said they felt healthier, while 87% also claimed to have lost weight, indicating veganism can significantly improve your overall wellbeing.
Considering the Christmas period has just finished, many of us will be in desperate need of a health kick to push away the pounds we put on throughout December; meaning adopting a vegan diet could be the perfect solution. Remember though, like any diet, it is easy to become a junk food vegan. Going vegan doesn’t automatically mean you’ll become healthier and start to lose weight – it’s all about eating the right meals. With this in mind, we have teamed up with Discount Supplements to provide some tips on how you can ensure your vegan diet stays healthy to promote weight loss, whilst learning some interesting facts about veganism along the way.
Cook Your Own Meals:
Although cooking isn’t the easiest thing to allocate time for if you have a busy schedule, preparing your own meals is one of the healthiest and cost-effective ways to stick to a vegan diet. Surprisingly, it’s rather simple once you become familiar with some quintessential vegan favourites, such as:
Quinoa: Fantastic in salad, casserole or as a simple side dish. Its nutty taste and starchy texture makes it a tasty addition for almost every meal
Tofu: Whilst it can take some practice to master, tofu has endless opportunities for dishes, such as stir fry, tacos and scrambled tofu for breakfast
Beans: The majority of beans are protein powerhouses and are a crucial ingredient for vegan chilli. They contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are sometimes difficult to find for those on plant-based diets. If you’re struggling to pack your food full of protein, then a vegan protein powder is also an option.
Lentils: Another versatile ingredient, lentils can be used in soups, salads and curries. As they are low in calories and fat, they are great for people on a diet
Dairy substitutes: Look into a dairy substitute, such as almonds, cashews and walnut milk. You can even make vegan cheese with nuts!
Connect with a Community:
Going veganism alone can be extremely challenging. Thankfully, there are a variety of supportive online vegan communities than can help you connect with those sharing similar beliefs to you.
Ditch Sugary & Salty Vegan Snacks:
It’s easy to assume being vegan automatically equates to weight loss, when actually it couldn’t be further from the truth. Several products fall into the category of “accidentally vegan” – you’ll find plenty of chocolates, crisps and sugary snacks designed for vegans; meaning you can find yourself eating more junk food.
Avoiding sugar can be challenging, but reading food labels is a sure way to spot unwanted ingredients. Check labels for hidden sugars, such as:
High-fructose corn syrup
Avoid snacks with these ingredients on a regular basis, for these sorts of “accidentally vegan” products are rarely healthy. Your body will thank you; cutting excess salt and sugar will improve your autoimmune system and improve your general health.
Allow the Occasional Treat:
Yes, the above point states you should avoid sugary and salty snacks, but this doesn’t have to be done permanently. Everything is about balance, and it’s okay to have treats. Attempt to follow the 80:20 rule – healthy 80% of the time. You can break this down by day or meal, but remember the struggle won’t last forever.
Click on the infographic below from Discount Supplements for some fascinating facts and figures about vegan lifestyles including the top 3 places to live for Vegans.