There’s a silent revolution going on all over the world. People everywhere are realizing the benefits of switching their protein-rich, processed food heavy diets with a vegan diet consisting wholly of plant based foods. A diet consisting entirely of veggies, fruits, grains, and pulses has been proven not only to be the best for weight loss but for mitigating (and even reversing) a range of other health issues. Vegan diets have been proven to lower cholesterol and chip away at the plaque in the arterial lining that leads to a range of cardiovascular problems including strokes, heart attacks, and angina. Studies have also shown that plant-based diets significantly reduce blood sugar, resulting in a reduced risk of diabetes.

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While the results of a vegan diet, combined with an effective exercise regime rival any of the top rated workout and diets, a lot of nascent vegans find themselves plateauing in their weight loss. They fail to understand that weight loss on a vegan diet means more than just cutting out meat and dairy, it also means ensuring good overall nutrition. Here are some areas in which some fall short of their goals on a plant-based diet.

Over-reliance on processed foods

It’s hard to go from a meat and dairy heavy diet to completely plant-based and the vegan foods industry has met this surge of demand for plant-based meat and dairy substitutes. Oat, soy and almond milk, as well as, soy-based meat substitutes and gluten-based ‘wheat meats’ like seitan are okay in moderation, but they should not take the place of whole vegetables and fruits.

Not getting enough protein

People whose diets used to include lots of meat and eggs probably didn’t experience many food cravings. This is because protein tends to keep us feeling fuller for longer. While plant-based diets can potentially give you more than enough protein to be fit and healthy, many new converts neglect the importance of this vital nutrient and find themselves experiencing cravings that cause them to reach for vegan junk food. Thus, it’s important to keep snacking on the foods that will help to keep cravings at bay. Almonds for example are rich in protein, fiber and fats so are perfect for healthy and protein-rich snacking.

Portion control

There’s an absurd myth that all fruits and vegetables are equally good for you and can be consumed freely without limits. While piling your plate with kale, spinach and bell peppers is infinitely healthier than piling it with ground beef, bacon and cheese, one still must keep one’s ideal caloric intake in mind as determined by their age, height, weight and degree of physical activity.

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We have a skewed attitude to diet. In the modern era, it has become fashionable to denigrate food groups and thereby imply that all foods other than these are healthy by association. From the protein witch hunts of the ‘40s to the low fat craze of the ‘70s to the low-carb phenomenon of the ‘00s popularized by the Atkins diet. But healthy eating is far more about what you eat than what you abstain from. A diet of nothing but potato chips, Oreo cookies and soda may be completely vegan, but nobody would argue that it’s a healthy diet. Therefore, it’s important to resist the urge to just assume that all foods that don’t contain animal products are healthy