The plant-based diet includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. It
While it does have a lot of benefits, some people find that despite adhering to this diet, they make little or no progress when it comes to losing weight.
Here are some of the possible reasons you’re not losing weight on a plant-based diet.
Why You’re Not Losing Weight on A Plant-Based Diet
1. Your Food Preparation Method is Wrong
It is not just what you eat, how you prepare what you eat greatly influences your weight loss.
The foods you eat might be low in calories when they leave the soil, but very high in calories by the time they reach your mouth. This all has to do with preparation.
Take Irish potatoes for instance – on their own they are robust in good starch, vitamins, and fiber. Fry them and douse them in assorted sauces, and they will no longer be as healthy as they initially were.
Consider baking, steaming, boiling and air-frying over deep frying plant-based foods.
2. Your Portions Are Too Big
Too much of something is dangerous, even if that thing is as healthy as plant-based foods. Just because some plant-based foods are lower in calories than their animal-based counterparts, it does not give you the free pass to eat them in big portions.
Taking the example of potatoes again, there are 77 calories in 100g of potatoes, 143 in meat weighing the same.
If you eat 200g of potatoes for a meal and keep eating more throughout the day, you will have taken more calories than you would have by eating 100g of meat.
All this time you will be thinking that by avoiding meat, you are making some great progress in shedding weight.
3. You Stay Inactive
You cannot pass up on exercise and hope to make it up to your body by eating a plant-based diet.
Inactivity makes it much harder to maintain a significant calorie deficit. Therefore, start doing short home workouts and going for walks regularly.
4. You Are Not Mindful of The Calories
Did you know some plant-based foods could actually be higher in calories than some animal products? People fail to lose weight on a plant-based diet when they let their guard down on the number of total calories they are consuming at the end of the day.
If your diet is high in calories, your body might benefit from the many nutrients found in plants but nothing will be gained in the weight-loss sector.
5. Using Too Much Olive Oil
Granted, olive oil is one of the healthiest oils out there with its monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It features prominently in the widely-acclaimed Mediterranean and Blue Zone diets and is every dietician’s darling.
But did you know olive oil is high in calories and fats? It is mostly used to sauté vegetables and drizzle over salads. But because its healthy reputation precedes it, some people may take this as a cue to overuse it and end up making their plant-based diet more calorie-dense than intended.
6. Not Sleeping Enough
Sleep is not just an activity that has been slotted for nighttime that you can pass over to work or binge-watch your favorite show – but most people seem to be under this impression.
Weight gain and loss are majorly a hormone factor, and sleep helps in weight loss by keeping hormones associated with hunger such as insulin, ghrelin, and leptin in perfect balance.
If you pass on your sleep, your hormone will be unbalanced and you may feel hungry frequently. Besides, the more awake you are, the more likely you are to eat.
7. You Are Stressed
If you’re not losing weight on a plant-based diet, stress may be to blame. Stress will more often than not overpower your weight loss goals.
Your body has an interesting reaction to stress, which involves inducing hormones that make you gravitate towards comfort foods. That is where the term stress-eating comes from.
When stressed, you might end up eating high-calorie plant-based foods, again thwarting your weight loss gains.
Combining this kind of diet with practices such as meditation, sports, and taking nature walks makes for a better, relaxed environment to reap its benefits.
8. You’re Not Accounting for All Calorie Sources
Now, your plant-based diet might be as clean, low-calorie and healthy as they come. But do you factor in the calories you get from toppings, dressings, sauces, dips, and condiments like mayo, ketchup, and mustard?
Some of them are very high in sugar, so when you douse your food in them you end up eating hundreds of calories that you never accounted for.
The sodium in these foods may also make you retain more water and gain water weight, thus keeping your weight high.
9. You Are Drinking Calories
You must have forgotten that while your meals are healthy, your drinks are not up to standard, even if they too are plant-based.
Eating fruit in its whole form will result in much fewer calories than drinking it. It takes many more fruits to make juice which means more calories than you would have eaten had you just eaten the fruit.
You will also have to drink more to feel full. Even after it is made, there is always the temptation to further sweeten it. It’s better to eat whole fruits and vegetables as opposed to taking them in the form of juices and smoothies.
10. You Are Not Checking Your Alcohol Limits
A little wine goes a long way, it has antioxidants which are good for your heart and overall health.
The Mediterranean diet encourages a glass for women and two for men, which also depends on your activity levels and diet.
Most people tend to overindulge, making weight loss a very distant possibility.
11. You Are Eating Too Many Carbohydrates
A good number of plant-based foods come in the form of starch, and in your zeal to eat healthy you might forget that too many carbs trigger weight gain.
Bananas, corn, beans, peas, sweet potatoes, wheat products are all high in carbs and if you do not keep your eye on them, you might end up not losing weight on a plant-based diet.
12. Not Eating Enough Proteins
With animal products out of the picture, most people fail to incorporate plant-based protein alternatives.
Proteins speed up metabolism, induce satiety and help you build muscles. Soybeans and lentils are a good source of protein.
The Bottom Line
Weight loss demands a multi-faceted approach, you do not improve one area and ignore other areas.
If you’re not losing weight on a plant-based diet, look into other factors that affect weight loss such as exercise and cooking methods.
The good news is you don’t have to exercise in the gym for hours-on-end to lose weight. You can lose weight at a rapid rate using these 15-minute fat-blasting home workouts.