We applaud anyone who makes an effort to live a healthier lifestyle, whether that entails becoming a vegan or just cutting back on the calories.
While many people become vegans because they are opposed to the cruel treatment of animals, others make the dietary choice because of its health benefits.
However, a Perezcious reader is finding out that a vegan diet doesn't guarantee any weight loss, so they asked FitPerez dietician Lisa DeFazio for help, writing:
I have been vegan for about 7 months now. Originally, I did it to help prevent high cholesterol since both of my parents have very high cholesterol. Now it has also become about all around health and living a green cruelty free lifestyle. I was hoping to reap other benefits as well such as some weight loss and clearer skin (since too much dairy can often be the cause of breakouts).
I have not lost weight at all! I am not an unhealthy weight, but I am not where I want to be and my skin is still breaking out regularly. I am pretty active, I live in New York city so walking everywhere is how i get around, and I have been doing yoga a few times a week. I also eat very healthy and avoid all junk food and concentrate on getting protein from tofu, beans, and lots of quinoa (it is my favorite). I have avoided all refined carbohydrates and eat only whole wheat. I take a vitamin fortified with extra folic acid and iron every day and I take a B12 vitamin 3 times a week.
Nothing I do seems to help me shed the extra few pounds on my hips and legs and I am getting pretty discouraged. Any advice to help me lose some weight and maybe clear up my skin?
According to Lisa D:
First, I want to congratulate you for taking steps to improve your health! You are doing a great job with taking appropriate supplements for a vegan diet. Although the vegan diet is healthy for the heart, it does not guarantee weight loss, as you are realizing!
Start keeping a food journal and count your calories. In general, women should consume 1200 to 1500 calories per day for weight loss, men should have 1600 to 1800 calories per day for weight loss. A vegan diet is starchy since beans as a protein source have carbohydrates and fish or chicken as a protein source, does not have carbs. I recommend seeing a dermatologist to determine the reason for your breakouts. You may be having a reaction to something you are eating. Make sure to wash your face each night.
You should also increase the exercise. Yoga is good, but if you are not getting results, do something else. Get a home exercise bike, or join a gym. Ride the bike while watching television or while dinner is cooking-that is what I do! Do not get discouraged, you are half way there! But it does take work to stay in shape. Good luck.
Thanks for the awesome advice, Lisa! Whether you're eating meat or vegetables, calories still count!
For more great dietary advice, shoot Tips@FitPerez.com an email, then check back to see if Lisa answers your question!