Expert Tip 1. Shop and Meal Prep in Advance.
The first day on the diet you are so excited to get started, finally lose weight and keep it off. But before you hit go, it helps to do a little meal prep. It’s so much easier to succeed if you set yourself up in advance. The easiest way for Is to meal prep on Sunday. Only focus on making your Monday through Wednesday lunches and dinners, since breakfasts and snacks you can make the same day.
Expert Tip 2. Be Accountable, Sign Up With a Friend.
Most diets fail, we know, but by being held accountable to a partner or group can help you reach, and exceed, your goals. By being accountable to a partner or group, you raise the success of your diet and exercise program to over 95 percent. If no one is around as you embark on this healthy weight loss journey, join a community. The Beet’s The VegStart Diet group lets you check-in, compare successes or struggles, and get support. So join The VegStart Diet FB group and success is in the bag.
Expert Tip 3. Get Your Vitamin D3 and B12.
This meal plan will provide you with a sufficient amount of nutrients, both macros and micros, which is awesome! Still, most people would benefit from taking a vitamin D and vitamin B12, since those are harder to get from diet alone. I recommend picking up a Vitamin D3 (1000 to 2000 IU) + a B12 (500-to 1000 mcg). These are two nutrients that you will most often have to supplement on any plant-based diet.
Expert Tip 4. Plan “Fun” Days, But Keep It In Check.
We know that dieting is easier during the week and a little harder on weekends. That’s why we built in some wiggle room, so you can be stricter on yourself on weekdays and let out the leash a bit for social events like a Friday dinner, Saturday picnic or Sunday BBQ. But remember: Consistency wins. If every time there is a birthday or holiday or occasion you take it upon yourself to “go for it,” you can undo all the hard work you’ve already put in. A study in Obesity found that losing weight and keeping it off depends on changing the way you eat and sticking with it, daily, and not drastically losing weight quickly since it will make you want to cheat more. For long-term loss stay consistent and eat healthily day after day.
Expert Tip 5. Ditch the Screens During Meals.
We all have a tendency to stay glued to technology while eating. This leads to more focus on what’s happening on the screen rather than the food we are eating. Try to eat attentively during every meal to cut down on overeating or snacking. A study found that mindful eating influences how much you eat during and between meals. The more you are aware of your meals, the more you will enjoy every bite and feel satisfied after meals. Make your technology-free.
Expert Tip 6. De-Stress Any Chance You Get
For some people going for a walk in nature helps their stress levels, or taking a luxurious bubble bath. Others enjoy reality TV or reading a good book. Whatever makes you laugh, breathe deeply, and relax will lower your stress hormones and help your body let go of stubborn fat. The ancient fight-or-flight response means that stress signals the brain’s hormones to hold onto fat, in case you need fuel to fight for your own survival. Unwind this process by meditating, breathing deeply twice a day and focus on positive thoughts. Take a quiet moment to reassure yourself that you are safe: “Life is good, everything is going to be okay.”
Expert Tip 7. Limit the Processed Foods
Stay away from processed foods because they’re filled with sodium, sugar, hydrogenated fats and preservatives. They can also be loaded with chemicals such as food coloring, and have been engineered to make you eat more. A recent study found that participants who loaded up on processed foods ate an average of 500 more calories a day than those who stuck to whole foods, which will keep you fuller longer because they’re full of nutrients that fill you up, like protein and fiber.
Expert Tip 8. Have Fun With It
Share your photos of your meals with us, and with your community. Sign up and join the VegStart Diet page on The Beet’s Facebook account. Make it a party when you’re cooking. This doesn’t have to be gloomy and un-enjoyable process. Everyone wants to eat healthy, and sharing the recipes is a way of spreading the word about this new plan.. Tell your friends to try it. Hashtag #VegStartDiet and let others know how doable this diet is!
Expert Tip 9. Listen to Your Body.
When you practice mindful eating, before you reach for food, first assess if you are truly hungry or bored or stressed or upset over something. Ask yourself: What do I really want? A new job? A more loving relationship? It may have nothing to do with hunger. If you’re bored, go for a walk, or listen to a podcast. Can’t stay away from the fridge or snack cabinet? Prepare yourself a satisfying snack from the VegStart Diet for a little energy jolt. Look for a new activity. Soon you’ll get out of the habit of using food to prop up your mood.
Expert Tip 10. Add movement every day and try new ones.
I hope you’re already aiming for 10,000 steps a day. Taking an early morning walk or after-dinner stroll is a great way to destress and burn calories. But the fun thing about trying a new diet is to challenge yourself to reach a loftier goal, so why not add in trying a new type of movement too? Make it something you don’t do often or have never tried. Maybe that’s a HIIT workout (High-Intensity Interval Training) which burns an insane amount of calories, or starting a running program, which also burns fat fast. Trying something new and energizing is the name of the game.
Expert Tip 11. Write down your goals
A good way to help stay accountable is to keep a journal or log detailing your personal goals, and track your progress. It also serves as a nice reminder of how far you’ve come. A study on goal-setting showed that if you write down your goals you’re much more likely to achieve them. Check out the log in the back of this VegStart Diet book for a great way to start.
Expert Tip 12. Go to bed early.
Sleep is the unsung hero of your diet. When you sleep the hormones that regulate hunger—ghrelin and leptin—are impacted. Ghrelin is the gremlin, since it drives appetite up. Leptin is the hero, as an appetite queller, it calms hunger down. When you’re sleep-deprived, ghrelin spikes, while leptin levels dip, so you feel hungrier the next day. Move your bedtime to before midnight, even if it means waking up earlier for a few days as you reset your clock. You’ll have diet success and get your beauty sleep.
Expert Tip 13. Up your Omega-3
Omega 3 fatty acids, typically sourced from fish oil, can also be found in vegan sources such as walnuts and algae. Your body does not produce this fatty acid on its own, so find a vegan source of it that you like. In one study, researchers found evidence that Omega-3s helped to speed up the body’s own tendency to burn body fat. Now, go get those Omegas.
Expert Tip 14. Hydration is Key
You’ve probably heard the phrase a thousand times over, but drinking enough water is crucial if you’re looking to lose weight. It helps in three ways, by suppressing your appetite, increasing your body’s metabolic rate and increase your energy expenditure. To figure out how much water you should be drinking, multiply your weight in pounds by two-thirds or 67 percent. Then, take this number in ounces, and that’s how much water you should shoot to drink. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, multiply by two-thirds to get 94. So at 140, shoot to drink 94 ounces of water per day.
Expert Tip 15. Know your numbers:
No one likes to count calories, and in fact, you don’t need to when you’re doing the VegStart Diet. It’s much more productive to track things like fiber and protein, and just be sure you are in a calorie deficit for the day, which you will be if you eat according to the plan and get exercise every day.
Get More Fiber. The more fiber you add to your diet, the better. Studies show that 30 grams of fiber in your diet daily will help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. According to the USDA: Women should aim for a minimum of 25 grams of fiber and men should shoot for 38 grams of fiber per day.
Hit Your Proteins. A high-protein diet has been linked to weight loss. You burn more calories when digesting and metabolizing protein because it requires more work to do so. Protein also leaves you feeling full, helps curb your appetite and is the building block of muscle. Aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein each meal, which for most people is optimal.
Get Into a Calorie Deficit. Everyone hates counting calories and so do we but you should have a general idea of what you’re eating. The key is to choose nutrient-dense foods that are lower in calories per nutrient. The opposite, choose calorie-dense foods like sweets, should be avoided.
The VegStart Diet keeps your daily calorie intake to 1500 or so. Going below that can be counter-productive for long-term weight loss since you’ll slow your metabolism and make it harder to sustain weight loss longterm. If like most successful dieters, you’re burning calories as well as counting them, you can probably afford to take in 250 more for every hour of intense exercise or working out you do per day.