Should I go vegan to lose weight?
In a word: no. There’s nothing magical about a plant-based diet that automatically leads to weight loss. If losing weight is your goal, you’ll need to be in a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than you burn each day), and there are many, many ways to do this. Being vegan doesn’t guarantee a calorie deficit.
Keep in mind that potato chips, Oreos, Twizzlers, and deep fried breadsticks are all vegan. Just because you’re vegan, doesn’t mean you’re eating an overall nutrient-dense diet. The aforementioned items are perfectly fine as part of a nutritious diet, but if they comprise most of the foods you eat, a calorie deficit would be extremely difficult to achieve (not to mention they’d be crowding out other, more nutrient-dense, food options)!
If you do focus on plant-based whole foods, rather than more processed options, they’re very nutrient-dense – but they’re typically not as calorie-dense as most animal products (which is good news if your goal is to lose weight).
However, calorie-dense vegan whole foods abound, including avocado, cashews, peanut butter, hemp hearts, and many more. If you’re working on losing weight, your overall calorie intake is what counts.
Going vegan is one of the best decisions you can make for your own health, our environment, and the animals on this planet. If you happen to put yourself into a calorie deficit after making the transition to a plant-based diet, you’re likely to lose weight. But don’t make weight loss your main goal for going vegan.