Many people choose a vegan lifestyle for ethical, environmental, or health reasons. But if you're solely going meat-, dairy-, and egg-free because you think it will help you drop pounds, you may end up gaining rather than losing weight. Keep these points in mind to avoid plumping up on your vegan diet.
Chowing on Vegan Junk
Vegans may rejoice at the thought that french fries, potato chips, and Swedish Fish are all free of animal products. Even though they get the green light, they're also high in fat, sugar, and calories. As with all junk food, if you eat it regularly, the numbers on the scale are bound to go up. Just because some junk food is vegan doesn't mean it's healthier, so avoid these foods, and opt for healthier, lower-calorie vegan noshables.
Pass the Bread Basket, Please!
Many people don't know how to cook vegan meals, so when you head to a dinner party or out to a restaurant, get ready to eat some dinner rolls and spaghetti! There's nothing wrong with eating bread or pasta; it's just that they're high in calories. A dinner roll will run you over 200 calories, and although one cup of cooked pasta is a little over 200 calories, plates tend to be two or three times larger than an appropriate serving size. If bread and pasta are staples in your vegan diet, it's no wonder your pants are feeling a little snug.
But That Cupcake Is Vegan!
Made with butter, milk, and eggs, most cookies and cakes are off-limits, and missing out can be a little depressing. So when you stumble upon a vegan carrot cupcake with Tofutti cream cheese frosting, indulging is a must. Go ahead and enjoy vegan treats like dark chocolate and peanut butter brownies once in a while, but eat your sweets in moderation. Remember that not-so-healthy foods — even though they're animal-free — are not calorie-free.
Nuts For Protein
Snacking on handfuls of nuts, smearing peanut butter on your banana, and wondering why the scale numbers are increasing? Yes, nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats for vegans, but they're also high in calories — a two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter will run you 210 calories! If you'e concerned about protein, check out these protein-rich, low-calorie vegan meals, and include these vegan protein sources in your diet.
Ooh, This Ice Cream Is Dairy-Free!
It's amazing how much Daiya cheese and Soy Delicious nondairy frozen desserts taste just like the real thing. It can be really exciting to discover these foods after living without them for so long, but a vegan can't live on dairy-free ice cream alone. Try this vegan ice cream made with bananas that's about 150 calories per serving.