Considering the fact that many people choose to go vegan in order to lose weight, and since I would like to weigh less myself, I figured it would be worthwhile to compose a list of vegan weight loss resources.
Below are some vegan weight loss plans with a few details about each plan so if you’d like to shed a few pounds, you can choose the vegan program that suits you best.
Engine 2 Diet – This is the program that Whole Foods Markets are currently promoting. It’s a low-fat vegan diet, that has a proven track record for not just weight loss, but also improvements in cardiovascular health. It allows for some processed foods for convenience’s sake, but the plan “is based on a diet of whole foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, seeds and nuts.” The plan includes cooked foods as well as raw, to ensure a variety of options and complete nutrition. This plan follows on the heels of similar plans like Dr. McDougall‘s Program for Maximum Weight Loss, and the research of Dr. Dean Ornish, T. Colin Campbell, and others who promote low-fat (primarily) vegan whole foods diets.
Kathy Freston – She promotes a low-fat vegan sort of diet in her books Quantum Wellness and Veganist, with a gentle “lean into it” style but without the strong science and precise language used by the doctors listed above.
Crazy, Sexy Diet – Like Freston, Kris Carr suggests a “cleanse” as part of a weight loss program and transition to a vegan lifestyle. Carr promotes a low-fat vegan diet that includes plenty of raw foods (in the form of juices mostly) and a few other restrictions (like caffiene and sugar). Carr’s diet uses some sketchy PH pseudoscience, but otherwise her diet plan makes a lot of sense.
Thrive – Triathlete Brendan Brazier has developed a raw vegan eating plan designed to help people get fit or stay fit. “Thrive is more of a lifestyle than simply a diet. While technically what we eat is our diet, many people associate the word ‘diet’ with a restrictive way of eating. It doesn’t have to be. Thrive is one of inclusion, not exclusion. By simply adding more of the foods suggested, eventually there will be no room left for the less-healthy ones.” This program also does the wacky PH thing, but the eating principles are good nonetheless.
Weight Watchers – While the program is not specifically vegan or vegetarian, they do offer options for veg*ns. A direct quote: “Any type of vegetarian diet can be incorporated into the Weight Watchers plan. However, to ensure all nutritional needs are met, some specific guidelines are provided.” From my research and experience, I gather that the central components of the Weight Watchers plan are a solid threefold plan for weight loss that works for every body:
- Limit caloric intake – Weight Watchers does this through their points plan, but it’s essentially counting calories.
- Increase caloric expenditure – said another way, excercise! Get moving, one way or another.
- Accountability – At Weight Watchers you’re expected to weigh in every week and keep track of your progress towards your goals. The program generally includes weekly meetings where participants can learn more about maintinaing their weight and where they get support from other participants.
Skinny Bitch – The books and journals have reached tens of thousands of people. For many, Skinny Bitch and the desire for weight loss was their first introduction to veganism. While these books opened many people’s eyes to the horrors of modern industrial animal agriculture, they don’t offer great nutritional advice. It’s mainly just a primer that can help encourge readers to consume fewer animal products, which is often enough to create weight loss all on its own.
What’s missing? Well, you tell me! Please leave a comment below to rave about your favorite vegan weight loss plan. Thanks in advance for the help!