Plant-based diets and weight loss – fact or myth?

Freelee, the Banana girl, was THE vegan poster girl for almost a decade, until earlier this year, when she decided to terminate her vegan Youtube channel.  A website, known as the Plant-Based Cyclist, encourages readers to switch to a plant-based diet to shed the pounds AND maintain the weight loss better.

But is what these vegan and vegetarians espousing the best form of weight control?  Is what they promote healthy and, most importantly, is it sustainable for the masses?  In this entry, I’ll tackle this topic and, perhaps, risk angering the green eaters in the process 😛  Let’s begin.

THE GOOD

Almost all doctors, dieticians and nutritionists encourage everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables.  The benefits of this are irrevocable.  Plants contain a lot of water and consuming adequate amounts of them will keep our bodies properly hydrated throughout the day.

Veggies and fruit are chockful of Vitamin C, which is great for our systems and brings a glow to our skin.  They contain high levels of fibre, which bulk up our stools and facilitate healthy elimination (goodbye constipation!).  They also contain other trace vitamins, minerals and elements which help our bodies function better.

THE BAD

Whilst plant-based diets are certainly effective for losing weight, frequently, this is because people substitute them for junk food and get healthier in the process.  Their systems and metabolism are stimulated and start functioning better, so yes, they will begin shedding the pounds.

But plant-based diets frequently lack the variety that meat and dairy foods provide.  Sure, vegans and vegetarians can get their protein and fats from certain veggies and fruit alone, but many of us will find the meals incredibly dull, despite the fact that one can dress up these foods by adding tasty sauces and condiments.

Whilst there certainly are people who can eat plant-based foods in the long term, many can’t (myself included).  These diets aren’t sustainable for us in the long term and we shouldn’t blame ourselves for it.   Besides, we can eat meat, cheese and butter AND still remain a healthy weight.  Eating purely plants may be an effective way to shed the pounds, but it isn’t the only way.

THE DOWNRIGHT EVIL

Alright, I confess, this is hands down personal preference, but I don’t care.  Vegans and vegetarians (correctly) state that beans are a rich source of protein, so one needn’t turn to meat.  I.  HATE.  BEANS.  Sure, string beans, soy and green beans are fine and I love tofu, but kidney and black beans remind me of nostrils!!!

Yen Ling selects these yucky beans for her daily salads but I avoid them like the plague.  Before I can shove them into my mouth, my mind is filled with images of disgusting booger, ewwwwwwwwww!!!  For this reason alone, I’m quite happy to maintain my omnivore lifestyle, thanks very much!

IN A NUTSHELL

Plant-based diets and weight loss?  Fact.  They can be very healthy and it’s possible to eat balanced meals from veggies and fruit alone.  They’ve also proven to be effective when it comes to shedding the pounds and maintaining the weight loss.

But whether it’s a sustainable way of life is debatable and certainly not doable by everyone.  If it’s for you, go for it!  But it isn’t for me and never will be.

MOON

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