My Effortless Vegan Weightloss

A while back, I wrote a blog about my initial conversion to vegetarianism:

“In 2002 my mom had a heart attack, and I went to get my health checked. It wasn’t good. I was 22, and I already had a blood pressure of 140/88 and total cholesterol of 296 (below 150 is recommended, and anything over 240 is considered very high). And, of course, I was over 100 lbs. overweight. Heart disease and diabetes runs all over my family, and if I didn’t change something I was destined for problems… likely early in my life.

“After the 296 cholesterol reading, my doctor prescribed me a statin drug to lower the number. But I didn’t want to be drug-dependent for life, so I chose another path. I became a vegetarian (at that time still eating some fish).

“I had my cholesterol checked again after three months of being a veggie. It was down to 171! And my blood pressure had returned to a healthier 123/79. My doctor was floored.”

There was more. After I became a fish-eating vegetarian, I became a real vegetarian and then a vegan. But I still had weight to lose. My cholesterol was better, but not good enough, and my vegan diet wasn’t really helping with the wight loss. I was at a plateau.


A month ago I attended a nutritional seminar from Dr. McDougall. What I learned there resulted in changes to my diet. So far, one month in, I’m on schedule.

I’ve been eating this new way now for just over a month (about 32 days). I weighed 213.6 pounds (97kg) the day I started, and yesterday morning I cracked the 200 barrier, weighing in at 199.4 (90.6kg). So that’s 14 pounds (6.4kg) lost the first month. Yesterday I fit into a pair of pants that I’d been keeping in storage anticipating that one day I’d be able to wear them again.

The idea of the diet is very simple:

Eat only foods that are low in caloric density (and high in nutritional density).

That is, stick to foods that have relatively low caloric contents for their weight. In practice this means eating salad greens, green and yellow vegetables, fruits, whole grains (but not whole grain flour or bread), beans and lentils, and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Avoid adding oil to anything, avoid all meat, eggs, and dairy products (no problem for me because I was already a vegan), avoid nuts and avocados, and avoid “empty” carbs like soda and white flour.

Of the foods I eat, I eat as much of them as I want whenever I’m hungry.

Here’s a sample menu for a day, including the areas where I’ve been cheating a little bit. I like to cook, so I’ve been cooking some nicer meals a lot, but this menu will be what I would eat on my laziest day where I didn’t really want to cook at all.


  • Bowl of oatmeal (3/4 cup dry rolled oats) topped with berries and maybe a teaspoon of maple syrup, and
  • An apple and a mandarin orange, and
  • 2 cups of black coffee (I have a significant coffee habit that I’m going to improve, but not now.) You could have one cup or tea instead if you want to limit caffeine.


  • 1 or 2 fruits, and/or
  • snacking vegetables like carrots or snap peas


  • Salad greens with cherry tomatoes with low fat vegan dressing, and
  • Steamed vegetable (often frozen, sometimes fresh: string beans, peas, broccoli, asparagus, etc.), and
  • Stove-top potatoes or sweet potatoes/yams cooked in water (instead of oil), and
  • Large cup of juice spritzer (this is what I used to kick my once really bad soda habit) It’s one part fruit juice to about four parts seltzer water.

I cook up about 5 medium-sized potatoes and my wife, Elaine, and I eat them for lunch and then snack on them later in the afternoon until they’re gone. Sometimes I boil/mash them and add onion, garlic, jalapeno, etc. We eat the potatoes with seasoning… I like to sprinkle on a cajun spice blend I prepare. Elaine likes adobo.

Generally I fill half a large plate with salad, a quarter with the steamed veggies, and a quarter with the potatoes. I usually go back for seconds on the potatoes before the meal is over.


  • Leftover potatoes/whatever was lunch, and
  • fruit or snack vegetables, and
  • 1 cup of black coffee (told you I have a habit.. 3 cups a day is pretty standard) You could have tea instead.


  • Salad greens with cherry tomatoes, and
  • Steamed vegetables, and
  • Main dish (low fat vegan starch-based), and
  • Bottle of beer (stick with water or juice if you’re limiting or removing alcohol from your diet)

Example of dinner main dish:

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced or canned
  • spices (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, etc.)
  1. Stick this in a pot, stir it up, and cook it until the liquid reduces somewhat.
  2. Serve over brown rice.

Usually go back for seconds on the rice and beans too.

Ways I’ve cheated: I eat white rice instead of brown probably once or twice a week or so. I’ve had avocado a couple of times. The coffee and beer is my consistent cheating. I had one slice of cake and one order of fries during the month. I eat more fruit than I’m supposed to.. probably about 5 pieces a day and I’m supposed to limit to 3. I’m not going to sweat that.

So far the “cheating” I’ve done hasn’t stopped me from achieving my goals… so to that extent it’s really not cheating and is just living my life. The point is: a little cheating won’t undo the good. The more healthy foods you choose, the better.

For all my meals, the rule is that if I’m still hungry, I keep eating until I’m not hungry anymore. I usually cook at least double what I’d eat at a meal so about half my meals have been leftovers.

Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with this diet. I’m never hungry for long, I feel great, and the weight is just coming right off. I haven’t even added to my exercise routine yet. I plan to increase my exercise gradually as time progresses. Once I lose more weight I’d love to start playing soccer again.

74 Responses to My Effortless Vegan Weightloss

  1. Sincere congratulations! I’ve been following Esselstyn’s/McDougall’s recommendations for just over two years now, and it really works.

    I lost 10 to 15 lbs. the first month or so without additional exercise. Have maintained it for the most part the entire time (travel’s tough).

    An even better bonus: you’ve drastically reduced the chances of getting heart disease, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s by going the no added fat route.

    It works. Takes discipline, and it’s great to read about someone else experiencing the benefits directly. Thanks for sharing and your candor!

    Best regards, Mark

  2. Dearest Plump–

    Am I reading this aright that there is NO source of fat in your diet these days? Once upon a time (right after I returned home from Nijmegen), I was berated by a nutritionist because I had too little fat in my diet, not enough to support the fat-soluble vitamins. Is this the situation in your diet? What about the omega-3 fatty acids which are obligate? If this diet says no nuts, what does it say about seeds (e.g., flaxseed)?

  3. LOL, I’ll respond for Plump. There is no added fat. There are bits of fat present in plenty of plant foods. Here are some explanations about why oil (added fat) has been removed from the diet:

    That said, nuts and avocados are allowed (albeit in small amounts) in the regular McDougall plan; it’s the “Maximum Weight Loss” plan that omits them completely.

    And Plump did “cheat” a little with some avocado sushi once or twice, but it didn’t undo his progress.

  4. You still have to watch your intake on monounsaturated (good) fats, which are from nuts, seeds, advocados, olives…..You NEED these fats and unfortunately, in America, the word fat is a bad word, only because there are so many unhealthy options. I live by the McDougal plan except I eat advocados, nuts, and olives. I went to the doctor for a physical and she said I was detrimentally low on these fats and it can become a critical situation. I wanted to kick myself in the ass because I am vegan, and as a vegan I have to set a great example. All vegans know you have to watch for omega’s and I couldn’t believe I wasn’t. So, just some words of wisdom, don’t go too long without getting your monunsaturated (good) fats. If you eat small amounts (half an advocado, 4-6 olives, 10-12 almonds) it will not make you gain weight. Just stay away from oils and saute with water.

  5. PS – there’s an article about this in Huff Post:

  6. Vegan Mommy and LOL,
    Please read the McDougall link I provided above. And here’s another:

    The McDougall plan is low fat, period. McDougall does NOT recommend added fat for most people. Oil is out (for most people), period. “Natural fats” from avocados and nuts can be in or out, depending.
    He does, however, say this:

    “For healthy, trim people I have always said unprocessed, high-fat foods, like avocados, nuts, seeds and olives, can be a delicious addition to their diet—and may be important for those with high calories needs, such as athletes and active children.” [Not people like Plump who is not an athlete, and not an active child.]

    “Our requirements for essential fats are very small—no more than 0.5 gram daily. Only plants can synthesize essential fats—so eating plant-foods is the obvious source of these necessary nutrients. Because body fats (adipose tissue) store these essential fats efficiently, even if overweight people were placed on an artificially manufactured fat-free diet, they would have little risk of becoming deficient in essential fats over their entire lifetime. Note: a diet made of unprocessed plant foods, like the McDougall diet, naturally contains about 7% of its calories as fat—and about half the total fat found in plant foods is of the essential variety—the kind we need.”

    “People struggling to lose excess body weight will want to avoid all high fat foods and especially oils—the fat you eat is the fat you wear.”

  7. My 2 cents on fat “requirements”. I had been vegetarian but still consuming dairy, for about 20 years. I had long experienced a specific symptom of painful splits in the tips of my fingers right at the nail edge. Most usually on my thumbs. I found the problem was eliminated by taking flax seed or oil. Every time I forgot my Omega-3’s, the cracks returned. I was an evangelist for the idea that additional Omega-3’s were essential. Two and a half years ago I gave up dairy and took up McDougall’s recommendations, including the dropping of all supplements. I was sure the finger splitting would return within a few weeks but they have NOT returned in two and a half years. This taught me, the former Omega-3 advocate, that I was never deficient in Omega-3’s but was consuming an excess of other fats (diary and cooking oils) and those were over powering the omega-3’s. There is some information about required ratios of various fats, O3’s to O6’s, etc, but by simply following McDougall’s recommended whole plant food diet with NO added fats, the splits have never returned. And by the way, due to the ease with which I gain weight, I generally (not absolutely) exclude nuts, high fat seeds, and avocados. I believe the studies that support the need for added Omega-3’s were carried out upon a population consuming lots of extra fats. Under that condition, it “appears” that we have a need for additional sources of essential Omega-3 fats. However, if the same studies were done on populations who consumed a diet as recommended by McDougall, I believe they would not indicate a similar requirement for additional Omega-3’s. Bottom line, I think John McDougall is correct!

  8. As vegan mommy said , Even I think that we need some type of fat content in our body for overall nutrition balance.
    Reading brakfast, lunch dinner food list, Will respond after following it.
    Anyway , thank you for wonderful post.
    .-= GM Diet Plan´s last blog ..GM Weight Loss Diet, does it works =-.

  9. Thanks to all for this info!! I am new to all this. If anyone can add some advise I would really be thankful!
    About 7 weeks ago I watched the movie FOOD INC. That was it, I became a vegetarian. Then I read the book The Kind Diet and that was it I became a vegan. I also work out with the tredmill & incline 4 days a week and weights at the gym x2 /week. I go back & forth with the 3 or 4 lb weight loss. I didn’t change mainly for the weight loss however I really need it. It is very frustrating that I made so many changes with so little weight loss. I’m 46/136 lbs 5.3″. I’ve been doing pretty much as stated above. I have been eating about 1 advocado a week, and a small amount of nuts (walnuts & almonds) most days. I use olive oil in some meals. I have been taking 1tsp coconut oil most days because I read it is super good for you. I rarely eat any deserts and if I do it might be 1 or 2 Newmen Os. Sometimes I get a headache before I go to bed could that be not enough protein. Maybe I should cut the out fats for a bit?
    Thanks for any info!!Scrappy

  10. Hi Scrappy, have you heard that most of the time the cause of headaches is dehydration? Also could it be that you started working out recently, so you are losing fat but gaining muscle which is heavier than fat? In such a case your clothes would be a better indicator of weight loss than the scales. Perhaps you could alternate fats (avocado one day, coconut oil the next, walnuts the following, etc.) so the amounts are smaller. Are you following an entirely healthy diet without sugars or processed foods and plenty of fruit and veggies? Good luck!

  11. Addie,
    Thank you. I will try as you suggested and alternate the fats. That is a great idea! I think your right my cloths are fitting loose even though I am still around 134/135. I guess I didn’t think my body would change the way it is. I actually can see and feel my muscles :) I don’t eat any processed food unless I eat a Boca vegan burger (not sure if that is processed?) I eat lots of veggies even go the the farmers market and load up. I drink lots of water but with the increase in my work outs maybe I just need more.
    Again, thank you!

  12. I have never heard of Dr. McDougall but I will really will take a look at his stuff. I recently started the no meat diet and so far I being very good with the temptations. Also started to buy decaf coffee, and let me tell you I can not taste the difference at all. I can relate to your story a little bit, I started to see some family members getting high cholesterol and sugar and thats when I decided to do something about it for myself. Thanks for such of detail post about your vegan weightloss recommendations!
    .-= Resistance Bands Training´s last blog ..Resistance Chair =-.

  13. First before I forget. Boca Burgers are not really Vegan…. the product itself is vegan but the company isn’t. They support animal testing.
    *climbing off soap box*
    Anyway. I have been vegitarian since feburaury and recently turned Vegan after researching and educating myself on my real nutritional needs and after watching Food Inc too.(yuck!) I started off buying local meat and eggs and butter for my family but slowly cut back.
    Anyway, I too am having some issues loosing weight. Idk my starting weight because I tend to fixate on the numbers but I have been getting on the wii fit and using just the bmi scale which for some reason doesn’t bother me. It tells me my bmi and how many pounds I have lost but not my current weight. Anyway…. I have lost about 4 pounds in two weeks which I think is pretty sensible but I thought there would be more significant weight loss going completely vegan and begining to work out 3 days a week at least. I have read that I need to keep up with vitamin B12 so I started that this week too. What am I doing wrong?….
    Also I have so issues with water… I know I need to drink more water but I’m a little afraid of it for someweird reason. Could it be posible that I’m not eating enough and that is making my body hold on to weight? Also I am pretty tired a lot of the time. I know I’m doing something wrong but I’m not sure what. Help!

  14. Hello
    I watched the movie Earthlings August 20th adn that was the day I decided I would no longer consume Animal products. I also have about 50 lbs to loose so I am now exercising daily and I have given up coffee as I have heard the acid in the coffe can stop weighloss. I eat Sunshine burgers a few times a week on Ezikel Bread. I have been eating Oatmeal with Banana and unsweetend almond milk for breakfast and trying to eat lots of fruits and veggies and lots of Quinoa instead of rice. I try not to eat to much Tofu as I hear it can cause Breast Cancer and hormone realated problems. I am 46 soon to be 47 and have struggeld for years with weight loss as a child I was thin. I have been eating raw cashwes and almonds and avocado as I was told nuts and avocados are good fats. What is a good sourse of protein adn fat if not nuts and aocado? Also I like to Juice with Carrott, apple, Ginger and lemon about twice a week. I am drinking lots of water but have also been waking up and expierencing headaches throughout the day any suggestions? I love this new life and i hope I cna loose the wieght adn save some animals from the torture adn fear they suffer from. I urge all of you to watch Earthling it is graphic but so important.
    Thank you!!

  15. Some alcohol is filtered using animal derivatives (such as gelatin and casein) I hope that’s not the case with your beer considering you’re vegan.
    Right on regarding the eating habits and lowered cholesterol/weight/blood pressure.

  16. I am prediabetic and I am going to try your suggested menu for a month to see if it improves my blood glucose levels. Thanks for sharing!

  17. You are doing great!! I also eat a low fat vegan diet and have never felt better in my life. I began eating this way not only to lose weight, but also to improve some heart problems. Keep up the great work – I’m cheering for you!

  18. Hi, I am just starting your journey
    hope you are well.
    My numbers 190, 5’7″
    chol 170
    HDL 65
    LDL 137
    TG 175
    decided diet , not drugs
    weight loss 12 lb so far
    Have you seen the fatfree vegan kitchen?

  19. I like your inspirational story. I too went veg for health reasons. I lost 25 lbs, and have kept it off, as well as been able to get off my diabetes medicine which is a huge relief. It was not easy. One thing was to learn how good being veg can taste, because I was sick of eating just salad all day. I started going to a local vegan restaurant with a raw food menu and was amazed not only with the taste, but also the variety of thing you can make being veg. I encouraged me to experiement at home more with a plant based diet and things have been easier ever since!

    Have an incredible day!

  20. thanks for the reminder…i’ve been “floundering” pun intended with my vegan food plans for a while now. The McDougall food plan worked well for me, I have to get back into it. I’d also recommend Dr. Furhman’s Eat to Live program, lots of good recipes etc., but the starches worked well for me. I need to get back to this way of eating. — Michele

  21. “Eat only foods that are low in caloric density (and high in nutritional density)”

    This has to be the single most sensible and useful bit of dietary advice anyone can use. If people generally ate less bread, rice, pasta (the staples) and more varied fruits and vegetables so many health problems would be reduced. Sugar is really the biggest problem in our diet today (general western diet, not vegan diet). For too long government advice was to eat less fat, so everyone replaced far with sugar. Boom! Diabetes, more heart disease, strokes, obesity.

  22. I strongly encourage you to keep up the good work. Health is the base of all happiness.

    Your diet overall seems quite healthy but alcohol consumption, I must remind, causes fatty liver, which consequently blocks all your weight loss efforts. A bottle of bear followed by a clear 1-month period should be enough time to let your liver get rid of toxic effects of alcohol.

    Best wishes!

  23. Hey, just wanted to say you seem to be doing really well! Congrats on your loss and switch to a cruelty free/healthy lifestyle. :)

    I was veggie for just over a year before going vegan in November 2010. It’s going really well for me and in the last few months I’ve lost about 43 lbs. Have a lot more to go, but I think you’ve inspired me as to what my next blog topic will be about.


  24. I’m eating vegan 6 days per week to lose weight. On my cheat day I eat meat and other bad things. I eat basically the same thing for all meals Sunday-to-Friday: I make a vegetable soup with red beans, black beans, broccoli, onions, brown rice, carrots, and green peas. I flavor with accent and cayenne pepper. Since going to this way of eating, I have lost weight, and my diabetes induced kidney pain is GONE.

    MY cheat day is Saturday, and on that day I might eat some Fried Chicken, French Fries, and Taco Bell. I hope to make my cheat day cleaner and not so junk food heavy, and maybe eat a home made hamburger or homemade nachos.

    Anyway it goes, I’m losing weight, I’m never hungry, and I’m happy.

  25. Hi there, this is all really interesting. I decided to turn to a vegan diet just 2 weeks ago and am already feeling the benefits.
    I am very overweight and suffering from Fibromyalgia along with a host of other issues that are associated with obesity.
    Within just a couple of days of following a vegan diet, I was no longer feeling sick and my head stopped hurting. I was easily satisfied with my meals and snacks instead of fighting that hungry feeling all of the time (even just after eating)
    I have also lost 4kg or 9lb which is an excellent benefit that I was not expecting.
    The thought of never eating meat at the start of this change was daunting but after feeling so much better I am actually scared to go back, I don’t want to feel sick anymore.
    I have not been strict on calorie or fat intake at this stage because I feel it will be too hard to stick to. If I feel like some roasted nuts or avacado & olives on my salad, I’ll go right ahead and have them. Maybe once I have the vegan diet nailed properly I will look further into healthier eating options aswell but for now I am extremely happy with my changes and am only looking forward to further rewards.
    PS-did you know that it takes 20,000 litres of water to grow 1kg of beef?? Talk about an environmental disaster!!

  26. Hi,
    I’m glad you have chosen the best way to look after yourself, the planet and also treat the animals fairly. I think vegan life style is the way forward and it’s a shame that the government doesn’t promote veganism (too much money involved from the big meat and dairy industry). This could save so many lives and make a huge environmental impact.

    I’ve been vegan for 6 months only because I realised that animals are not products and we don’t have the rights to own their lives.
    I’m 1.67 and I was 60kilos when I stopped consuming animal products. I’ve lost so far 7 kilos. I love food and I have been eating a lot as I always did, but I don’t eat refined anymore. I love my brown bread, rice and pasta. I don’t use sugar, I eat a lot of grains, vegetables and nuts. Even eating all these caloric food, I have still managed to lose weight and I feel great. If you are thinking of going on a diet, you don’t need to go hungry to lose weight, you just need to eat healthy stuff. Your body will get used to it and you won’t crave sugary an fatty food anymore. All the best to all xxx

  27. Avoiding oils is one of the sure fire ways to kill a veggie diet! Poly and Mono fats have been shown to be extremely healthy. Humans need diets that have fats incorporated; dieters at risk of not getting enough fats are generally vegetarians, especially vegans or those who abstain from milk/cheese/eggs.

    Bad Advice, man. Just because it worked for you in the short term doesn’t mean its good for people in general. Those concerned about this issue should research (scholarly journals) plant-based diets. It makes for nice light reading during meals.

  28. veg4life, The jury is still out as to whether or not vegans need to actively seek out added oil and fat in their diets. I am of the opinion that overweight vegans do not need fat.
    Check out the fat section written by Ginny Messina, RD, one of the leading vegan nutrition experts:
    It says, “Fats: No minimum amount; you don’t have to include these foods in your diet”

    I think for skinny people or for children, then you may want to add fat. But for overweight people? No way!

  29. I have lost 20 lbs since Jan 27, 2011. I found out I had became Diabetic and had to do something. my new saying is “I want feet instead of meat” ! I love to take cabbage,baby carrots, red and green bell peppers, onion and any other veggie I have at the time chop them up toss them with a small amount of olive oil and stur fry . add a little veggie sauce while cooking . YUM, I could live on it! I eat a lot of bean burritos. to get my water in I add Wyler’s sugar free lemonaid mix to it . cost 1.00 for 10 at the dollar tree .

  30. Hello, I am at the point where I finally was under 150lbs for the first time sense the fifth grade! I was so excited in the eigth grade I was 5’2 and 213lbs:( Being 5’6 and 140 I looked and felt wonderful! it was a lot of work for me though I would workout for at least 2hours a day and watched what I ate. 7months ago I was in an accident that broke my wrist in two places and I went from very active to sedentary for 5months until the cast came off(the accident was in august and I didnt like to sweat with the cast all the way up to my armpit) My husband became the main cook in the house and he fed me all the time I put on 30lbs and now dont have a cast but work 2jobs now and have little time to workout. I have decided to start becomming vegetarian because like you I am in the boat of being unhealthy. Thank you for all of the information you have given me it really helps me start my weightloss.

  31. Great post full of good infomation for the vegetarians

  32. First off I want to clear up that a vegetarian that eats fish isn’t a vegetarian but a pescatarian and a vegetarian that eats birds is a poltatarian. Otherwise I’d like to say congrats to everyone who has made the change to veganism. Through veganism you will discover many benefits and I’m glad everyone is experiencing them. Finally I want to ask if anyone knows of a reference to a low carb low fat high protein food or vegan diet plan. As a vegan fighter I’ve always just stayed at the 185 weight class and I’m looking for foods to help give me protein so I can tone up and drop to 160. Given that when I was vegetarian training for fighting and was 215 I know there has to be something out there that has a higher protein content than carb and fats. Any dietary advice is appreciated. Thank you all.

  33. HI, I’M NEW TO THIS,

  34. Hi, I think that its hard enough being a new vegan without old school vegans confusing the issue. I think that people that start by adding healthier choices to their lives are more likely to gradually change their diets to healthier diets. We cant all be incredibly disciplined and the problem with a lot of vegans is that they are “vegans” to make themselves feel somehow superior to “regular” people. I am vegan, have been for years but I just want to weigh (ha HA) in here and tell all of you people trying to lose weight that you are all taking a vital step.
    Dont feel downhearted by long term ‘vegans’ who seem to like putting ‘newbies’ back in their places. We can all argue the rights and wrongs of certain types of fats, fatty fruits etc, but lets not cloud the issue here.
    We want to lose weight, Dr McDougall offers a way to do that. Its our choice if we go hard core McDougall or not. If we want to lose weight in a big way, go hard core, if you are a bit wary, try the regular McDougall weightloss program. If you are eating rubbish now, you can only get healthier and once you adapt to this way of eating, you can go a bit more radical with it all.
    Ignore everyone that starts spouting extremist viewpoints as they are entitled to their opinions, its just a pity that they seem to think that their opinions are the only way and they end up doing more harm than good.
    Start slowly or start quickly. Slowly you wont lose as much weight but you will gradually get healthier and it will be easier and easier to adapt to new and unfamiliar foods and lifestyle changes. If your a more adventurous person, jump in! It wont kill you, but the standard American/Western diet just might! Give it a go and remember, we all started somewhere and its your chance right now!
    Good luck everyone and remember, to just keep trying, even if you fall off the wagon, its not the end of everything. Each day is another day to get right back up there! :o)

  35. Howdy,
    I have been a Vegetarian for most of my Life and experienced a feeling of well-being. Here I Am in the 60’s of Life and suddenly being pushed from within toward all raw organic foods. I have come to a point where I need to put on some more weight.
    Another interesting fact that crossed my Dietary regime is to keep the diet more on the Alkaline side because disease will not thrive in a body that is more Alkaline than Acidic. Sugar and white flower, meat produce a body that is overly Acidic. Otto Warburg received a Nobel Prize in the 1930’s for his findings on cancer and the prevention of cancer through an Alkaline Diet. “Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine and Thy Medicine Be Thy Food” Hippocrates Step by Step We Grow Thank You For This Web Site! Jerome

  36. I totally agree with Narf7! “Don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything” as author and podcaster Coleen Patrick-Goudreau says :). I encourage both new and seasoned vegans to listen to her podcast “Food for Thought”, it truly changed my life! I have been vegan for a year now and my husband is also transitioning. Her wisdom and advice are truly inspirational!

    Congratulations to those of you who have transitioned to a vegan diet, I think it is truly physically and spiritually life changing! :)

  37. I really appreciate this sort of meat-and-potatoes approach to veganism. I’m a quinoa and sprouts kinda gal but my husband was raised in south Texas by a woman who was raised in the hills of Arkansas. I mean, he was raised on stews, potatoes, roasts, potatoes, steaks, and potatoes. He is very willing to be vegan and has been patient while I learn to adapt to his tastes but it has been a huge struggle making this work. Your menu, on the other hand, sounds just like him! Thank you!

  38. This board is great! Good to find a place where a bunch of omni’s dont come out of the wood work just to call people names! Iv been vegan for about a year now and love it. I have alwayse been around a vegetarian (wife) and didnt want to take the steps to give up bacon. Two days before I turned 25.. BOOM! Crushing belly pain. Looks like iv had crohns for years now and never knew it. I went in to get scoped and they found that I dont digest animal protien. I floundered about for a few days and ate all of the foods that I had to give up… Feel bad for all the pigs that died for my bacon habit now :( But i have stumbled across a fantastic book titled (Color me Vegan) It takes all of the colors and devides them into chapters. Each color represents what vits and protiens you get. Withen a few weeks I am still in pain but am feeling better! The book even outlines what meals are soy, wheat, oil and seed free! I love it. Peace and be good to our earth please. (our kids deserve it)

  39. Ethan and anyone else who would like a vegan high protein-low carb-low fat product I recommend checking out Sun Warrior brand of high protein powder made from brown rice. Their vegan protein powder can be mixed with water or blended with fruit and or greens into a shake. This supplemental source of protein is useful for athletes in training: long distance runners,weight lifters,and boxers, professional athletes etc. It can also be a great source of vegan protein for people with allergies. Find Sun Warrior’s website on line or on Amazon. Otherwise if powder from a box is “too processed” try adding a cup of kidney beans and half a cup of cooked brown rice to your meal plan or enjoy a hot mug of split pea soup and a slice of whole grain toast to add more low fat vegan protein.

  40. Hey, what do you guys do about getting enough b 12? it’s absolutely essential and mostly found in meat, some seafood and animal products.

    Do you take a supplement or get the injection or… what do you do?

  41. Nice blog. i have problem of blood pressure and i think your tips and suggestion will helpful for me. i am going to follow these tips. thank you.

  42. Thank you to all the contributors who posted more in the “spirit” than the “letter” of veganism. I am just beginning my journey, and those who outline strict and uncompromising guidelines, turn me off completely. Hooray for the compassionate of heart!!

  43. Hi, thank you for posting a day’s menu.

    I find that the most helpful, and would appreciate other McDougallers doing the same thing, because I get extremely hungry trying to eat McDougall so I need a plan to prevent that.

    Would you mind posting some additional day-long menus, and evening supper recipes, please?

    I have some of the McDougall books, but it is most helpful to see what someone eats over the course of one entire day, as you provided here.

    Thank you, and congrats on your healthy lifestyle!

  44. congrats!

    I became a vegetarian almost four years ago, I started somewhat like you did. I was 14, I had high cholesterol and an elevaated blood pressure. But the one thing that struck me the most was the fact that i had celulite(i know there other’s were worse) I also had stomach issues, I was developing ulcers. Basically I was getting old womens diseases.
    But, I didnt change because of that.
    I saw a video…enough said

    When I switched to vegetarian I still ate dairy, and shrimp. I saw a whole bunch of improvement, then i cut off shrimp that summer. I saw even more. I no longer had stomach pains and I was able to get off the stomach medicine. Then, I started to diet. Nothing worked. So, I quit dieting. I started to limit the fat.

    This was before I knew about McDougal.
    Then I took a nutrition course in high school, basically we watched Dr. McDougal’s seminars and some other doctor’s as well.

    I actually listened and took the advice. My coaches were thrilled with my results.

    My sophomore yr I lost 20 lbs
    My junior yr I lost 15 lbs
    My senior year I lost 30 lbs

    I went from being 220 lbs to 159…but then i took a break and gained 11 lbs.

    I’m getting back on track, I my goal is to weigh 148lbs by the end of this year.

    I try to stick to the plan, but sometimes I slip. And, latley, i’ve been slipping A LOT.

    your post motivated me, stay with it!!!

  45. I just started the exact same diet, and it reaaly is effortless. I started this morning, and I decided to search the web to see if anyone else was doing it. I’m not hungry at all, though i did have fish this morning before I set myself on this path. All that I’ve eaten since eleven is vegetables and fruit. I feel no hunger, I’m not lightheaded, I went for a walk and did not feel taxed. If I continue with this tomorrow, which I will, it will be the first diet I’ve been on that’s lasted more than a day.

  46. Thanks from me too. I appreciate all of the thoughts and information very much. I am newly vegan after joining the 21 Day Vegan plan. Today is day 40 and I have only lost about 3 or 4 pounds. I had pretty bad eating habits but have totally transformed. I am now cooking and eating things I couldn’t even pronounce, and loving every minute of it. Lots of fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit at least once or twice a day. I have made vegan cookies and vegan cupcakes – but only once each. I use whole wheat flour, and agave nectar in recipes. I have been using some olive oil for sauteing – could that be my problem? I just really thought I would have lost more weight from all I have read. I have not had a single taste of meat, egg or dairy. And I have almost eliminated processed foods completely (may have some chips and salsa while out) or something like that. I have had a little avocado – but it’s not a favorite food of mine at all. If I have rice, its brown rice, pasta is whole wheat. I am being really careful about this plant based diet. I am fairly active, but have about 60 pounds to lose. Any insight as to why my weight loss seems so slow in comparison? THANKS!

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  48. I found your article because I became vegan 3 months ago and I’ve lost about 7 pounds, I’m happy with that :) I became vegan/organic products because of the book skinny bitch. ANYWAYS why I’m writting this and maybe someone else has already asked this, but where are your proteins in your diet? and YOU DO need a healthy amount of GOOD fats in your diet, regardless of what some article mentions… ALL of your meals are lacking in COMPLETE proteins, thats NOT good no matter how you try to spin this weight loss… especially being vegan…beans, lentils, nuts, grains, legumes are ALL incomplete proteins… you should be getting 2 grams of protein per pound easy math to figure out how many grams per meal (weight in lbs divided by 2.2) divided by 3 = grams of protein per meal… you need your amino acids and proteins in order to create a complete protein, you have to learn to pair your foods in order to create a complete protein, all this weight your losing wont be healthy… sorry… pair your grains with your legumes, your nuts with your grains,legumes with nuts and so on… as a vegan this should be rule of thumb bud… good luck :)

  49. i will try to be a vegan too.:D

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  51. Hi all, I’m so glad I stumbled on this thread. My very slim, athletic (serious, competitive cyclist) was diagnosed with prostate cancer in Feb. I read McDougall because I’d heard his eating plan shows a strong link between slowing cancer growth and diet. My husband will be doing either radiation or surgery, jury still out on that, but meanwhile, I wanted to do all I could to slow the cancer growth at least.

    We aren’t big meat eaters anyway, but I was about 20 lbs overweight. We’re in our mid 50s. Reading McDougall, I knew the challenge would be to keep the weight ON my thin husband, while taking it off of me.

    I’m posting just to tell everyone, it’s working!!! I’m down 9 lbs since February. I sprinkle a tablespoon of walnuts on my oatmeal, but that’s really all the added fats I use with the exception of using cooking spray to brown things in cooking. For my husband, I’m working a lot of different nuts and avocados in, and also found some good vegan salad dressings that are not also low-fat (I don’t eat those though; too fattening for me).

    My husband loves cheese and that has been the only hard thing for him to give up. I did find some good-tasting vegan cheeses — the pepperjack flavor is really good — so a slice of that on a veggie burger works fine for him.

    I read a recent comment from Dr. McDougall that they only change he’d make to his original book (I have the old one, published I think in 1990?) is that the diet IS missing B-12, so he suggests taking a B-12 vitamin pill.

  52. Hi,
    I’ve been a vego for several years and have just started going vegan. I don’t seem to eat a lot of potatoes but i might start.

  53. So glad I found this site. Started vegan 3wks ago, only 2 day a week, will add more days as i go along. Not in a hurry, giving myself until the end of the year. Not having a problem. It’s a must for me for health reasons. Pre diabetic.. Grew up on a farm and grew our own meat but also grew many diff vegetables. So, love all kinds of veggies. Along the way with my new adventure into vegan life style hope to lose 30 pounds. Got some good info from you guys. Looks like I will be going to the library to check some of the books mentioned. If any fit my needs will the go out and buy them. Def a cookbook.

  54. Hi There,

    If you’re going about a vegetarian diet plan, one thing that you must be making sure to consider is that you’re consuming sufficient protein. Protein is the one macronutrient that so many vegetarians tend to miss out on due to the fact that the foods they typically eat just aren’t rich in this nutrient.

    If you really want to see the best results possible from your diet plan, then you must be making sure you’re not becoming deficient. Protein is essential to help prevent lean muscle mass loss, to help increase the metabolism and to help you feel satisfied on your fat loss diet program.

    If you would like FREE tips on healthy vegetarian meals for fast weight loss. Visit our page for more great weight loss resources.

  55. Thanks so much for this info! Although I am a vegan (2 years) who only eats organic food, I am haven’t lost any weight from my days of processed foods. I don’t drink or eat any vegan junk food or fast food or chocolate. I don’t even drink coffee. You would think that the weight would be pouring off. It’s not. I am so excited to try this diet!

  56. I’ve been on a vegan diet since mid September but I had cut back eating red meat several years ago due to high cholesterol (over 200). I dropped 16 pounds in the first week (probably fluid) and then another four to six pounds. I have read the following books and totally get the vegan diet: Several recent books by Neal Barnard; a recent book by Dr. Essylston (I’ve loaned these two books out and can’t remember their names); and The China Study, by Campbell and Campbell. The last one pulled it all together for me. I highly recommend these books. I was pre-diabetic two years ago and since I’ve been on this vegan diet, I am no longer pre-dietic and my cholesterol is down to 154 from 250ish. I became aware of preventing disease (without pills) in the past few years and since both parents had heart surgeries and stroke related deaths, I got hooked on prevention after reading Dr. Essylston’s book. Now that I’m comfortable with my cholerterol and glucose, I need to focus on weight loss. I think my portion sizes are out of line. After reading these responses, I’ve picked up a few tips. Thank you all for that. I have 120 pounds to go.

  57. hi i have been a vegetarian for more than a yr now. I was mostly vegan during my second pregnancy. on my first pregnancy i gained 60 lbs. On my second i gained 30 lbs. After my pregnancy i ended up weighing 197 lbs. The last time I checked I was weighing 166 lbs,this is before I started the starch solution diet. I am on my first week, I haven’t weighed myself in to see how much I weigh in after one week. Before this I was mostly vegan except for occasionally eating pastries.I like to eat sweets. I am supposed to be weighing about 140 to 163 lbs to be at a normal weight. I am crossing my fingers that this diet change will get me out of the plateau I am in. I will let u know how it works out for me after a month.

  58. If you’re eating a whole-food plant-based diet and getting enough calories to feel full, YOU’RE GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN. No need to “worry about getting enough protein.”

    How much protein do we need? The World Health Organization (WHO) puts it at 5% of calories. Some even say 2.5% If you’re eating a whole-food, plant based diet, you’ll typically get about 10% of your calories from protein. (Potatoes are 7% protein, and iceburg lettuce is 16% protein. Beans, of course, are much higher, per And no need to worry about properly “combining” plant proteins. Plants have all essential amino acids, and your body can do the combining quite nicely.

    Essential fatty acids (Omega 3s and 6s) aren’t an issue either, but if you’re concerned, have a tablespoon of ground flaxseed on your oatmeal. All the Omega 3s for the day you need.

    Plants are awesome! They have all we need to be optimally healthy!

  59. I don’t know about the protein thing. I eat lots of beans and lots of veggies, but when I had a protein test to donate plasma, I failed because my protein level was too low. Maybe it wouldn’t matter if I weren’t giving plasma, but I only give a few times a month (you’re allowed twice a week). I added some egg whites and greek yogurt back in for a few weeks and passed the protein test.

  60. Hi! I just read through your blog. Im a new vegan and Im loving it so far and have lost weight and gained confidence and happiness in the process… small feats with big results. However, I too, recognize the possibility of over doing it on the carbs — bad carbs or processsed foods (Yeahh Oreos are technically vegan but not the best thing in the world) — but im new at it and it is TOUGH reallly really TOUGH sometimes to go without things we grew up eating. But Im always up for learning new recipes… new dishes…new substitutes.

    Are you still blogging? I’d love to hear how your diet is coming along.

    Also if you have any other vegan friendly websites to suggest please do so:


  61. Fat is everywhere!! People think in simplistic terms about food. Beans have fat. Veggies have fat. Starches have fat.

    Also, we have years, decades of stored fat in our bodies!! People are so concerned about getting their fat intake, and ignore the years of fat around their middle and within their cells.

    Even muscle cells store fat in them.

    People have lived their lives eating rice and veggies, without a problem. Other cultures, potatoes. Other, sweet potatoes and veggies. Why? Because plant foods have fat, fiber, protein and many other beneficial ings built right into them.

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  64. This is a great post. I just started a true vegan diet after having lost 13 pounds on my pre-vegan diet. My decision was after reading about the overall health benefits of a vegan diet. I have another 90 pounds to go based upon what would be considered a normal BMI. I just got tired of being overweight and all the struggles that go with it.

  65. I wish I was having good results with Mcdougall diet. I eat no nuts or oils or flour or dairy or sugar or animal products, just whole grains, beans and potatoes and fruit and lots of veggies. I don’t enjoy this diet but feel it’s good for your health. I lowered my cholesterol. I have gained 4 pounds and 3 inches of belly fat which I can only believe comes from the stress of eating a diet I don’t like and the cortisol levels from the stress and maybe the carbs affect the insulin levels in your body. I don’t know. I find I’m always eating to feel satiated so I can easily eat a whole head of kale in a salad with 4 potatoes and still crave more. My breakfast alone is a large bowl of long cooking oats with berries and a half banana with soy or almond milk. Then 2 hours later I’m eating again all day long like this. No wonder I’m gaining weight but I keep eating to feel full. I’m always craving something. I have been eating like this 6 months. I do know I was thin with no tummy on my prior animal veggie and fruit diet with no beans or grains. That diet however gave me high cholesterol. Very frustrating. I exercise every day. Now I have deep visceral fat which I never had before. So unhappy with how this isn’t working and am so tempted to replace the grains and beans with animal protein again.


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