Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Forget Gimmicks Or Fad Diets - Lose Weight With A Vegan, High Fiber Diet!

Shed pounds the right way!

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Losing Those Holiday Pounds
It was fun wasn’t it? - big holiday dinners, drinks with family and friends, gift boxes of chocolates, watching movies instead of going to the gym. But all that fun probably added some unwanted pounds. And the alcohol, rich food and inactivity has probably left you feeling tired and maybe even a bit depressed. No problem, we can turn that around with a delicious, natural diet and some exercise. 

Although a raw food cleanse  is also a good way to lose weight, this "winter friendly" cleansing diet will focus on a balanced combination of raw and cooked vegan recipes. Why vegan? Because the key to healthy weight loss is eating lots of high fiber foods. Meat and dairy have zero fiber. 

Foods that are high in fiber can make you feel full longer, stabilize your blood sugar and naturally curb your appetite. Dietary fiber also protects against colorectal cancer and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
Drinking lots of fluid along with eating foods high in fiber allows food to quickly move through your digestive tract which is very cleansing and detoxifying for your body. So besides losing weight, you will feel a lot better. 

Depending on your level of activity and how much you presently weigh, you should be able to easily shed 2 pounds a week. For example, someone weighing 150 pounds who consumes a high fiber, 1500 calorie per day diet and burns 500 calories exercising will lose 2.5 pounds in one week. 

High Fiber Vegan Diet - 7 Steps to Weight Loss

#1 - Things to avoid

* Avoid refined carbohydrates like sugar, agave, high fructose corn syrup, white flour, white pasta, white rice, and sugary drinks. These all tend to spike your blood sugar and do not easily satisfy your hunger. 
But don't worry - this isn't a carb-free diet. You'll be eating plenty of healthy and satisfying complex carbohydrates!

* Avoid alcohol. Sorry about that. Although a nice glass of wine certainly can have its place in a healthy diet, our goal here is to lose weight and detox a bit. Alcohol contains lots of empty calories, stresses the liver and can cause us to make bad food decisions. That piece of chocolate cake might be harder to pass up after you've had a drink or two. I know it is for me.

* Avoid eating out. Cooking at home makes it a lot easier to control what you are eating. It's impossible to gauge the amount of processed food, salt, fiber, calories and fat when you are eating in a restaurant. 

* Avoid meat and dairy. To detox our bodies and maximize fiber consumption, it's best to focus on eating protein with cleansing properties such as beans and lentils. If you are a meat eater, you can certainly reintroduce those foods back into your diet once you reach your goal weight but hopefully at a lesser amount than before.
(While on a vegan diet, supplement with vitamin B12, vitamin D and EPA & DHA essential fatty acids).  

#2 - What to eat

*  Consume 35 to 40 grams of fiber per day - Limit Calories to 1200 to 1500 per day.
Enjoy high fiber fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Eat a good balance of raw and cooked foods. 
Here are some of the highest fiber foods.
(You may want to work yourself up to this amount of fiber, especially if you presently eat a very low fiber diet. Too much fiber too soon can cause gastric distress). 

* Enjoy a cup of berries such as: 
    Raspberries (8 g fiber/ 64 calories),
    Blackberries (7.6 g fiber/ 62 calories),
    Blueberries (3.6 g fiber/84 calories), or
    Strawberries (3.3 g fiber/ 53 calories). 
* A fuyu persimmon has 6 g of fiber and 118 calories.
* A medium pear has 5.5 g of fiber and 103 calories.
* An apple with its skin has 4.4 g of fiber and 95 calories.
* One orange has 3.1 g of fiber and 62 calories.
* A medium banana has 3.1 g of fiber and 105 calories.
* One half a cup on pomegranate seeds has 3.5 g of fiber and 72 calories.
* 1/2 of an avocado has 4.6 g of fiber and 118 calories

Blackberries are low in calories and high in fiber and contain plant chemicals that protect against cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease.

* 1 medium artichoke (my favorite veggie) has 10.3 g of fiber and 64 calories.
* 1 cup of cooked green peas has 8.8 g of fiber and 134 calories.
* 1 cup of sliced jicama is 5.9 g of fiber and 46 calories.
* 1 cup cooked broccoli has 5.2 g of fiber and 55 calories.
* 1 cup of raw broccoli has 2.4 g of fiber and 31 calories.
* 1 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts has 4 g of fiber and 56 calories.
* 1 large ear of yellow corn has 3.9 g of fiber and 123 calories.
* 1 medium sweet potato has 3.8 g fiber and 103 calories. 
* 1 cup shredded, raw cabbage has 1.5 g of fiber and only 22 calories.
* 1 cup of cooked turnip greens has 5.1 g of fiber and 57 calories.
* 1 large raw carrot has 2 g of fiber and 29 calories.
* 8 stalks of raw asparagus has 2.4 g of fiber and 26 calories.

Steamed or stuffed, artichokes are packed with healthy fiber!

Whole Grains
* 1/2 cup serving of Nature's path smart bran cereal has 13 grams of fiber and 80 calories.
* 2 Weetabix cereal biscuits has 4 g of fiber and 120 calories.
* 1 cup cooked instant oatmeal has 4 g of fiber and 159 calories.
* 2 ounces of whole grain pasta has 5 g of fiber and 200 calories. 
* 2 ounces or corn/quinoa gluten free pasta has 4 g of fiber and 205 calories.
* 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 5.2 g of fiber and 222 calories.
* 1 Oroweat double fiber English muffin has 8 g of fiber and 120 calories. 
* 1 cup of brown rice has 3.5 g fiber and 218 calories.
* 1 cup of cooked pearl barley has 6 g of fiber and 193 calories and is very filling.
* 3 cups air-popped popcorn has 3.6 g of fiber and only 93 calories.

"Not meat sauce" on whole wheat past provides over 15 g of fiber.

Legumes, Nuts and Seeds* 1 cup of cooked split peas has 16.3 g of fiber and 227 calories.
* 1 cup of cooked lentils has 15.6 g of fiber and 230 calories.
* 1 cup of cooked black beans has 15 g of fiber and 227 calories.
* 1 cup of pinto beans has 15.4 g of fiber and 245 calories.
* 1 cup of vegetarian refried beans has 11.4 g of fiber and 201 calories.
* 1/4 cup of almonds has 4.4 g of fiber and 206 calories.
* 1/4 cup of shelled pistachio nuts has 3.2 g of fiber and 171 calories.
* 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds has 2.2 g of fiber and 29 calories.
* 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds has 1.9 g of fiber and 37 calories. 

Split pea soup weighs in at nearly 23 g of fiber! 

# 3 - What to Drink

When you eat a lot of fiber, it's very important to stay hydrated.
* Drink 8 glasses of water a day (or more if you are outside in the heat or exercising a lot).
* Herbal tea, green or black tea and black coffee is fine (in addition to the 8 glasses of water).
* Unsweetened non-dairy milk is also fine (in addition to the 8 glasses of water) - almond milk being the best because it is lowest in calories. 

#4 Get Moving!

A good diet is just half of the equation. It takes 3,500 calories to make or lose a pound. So, for example,  if you eat 500 less calories a day, you will lose 1 pound a week. But if you eat 500 calories less and day and burn an extra 500 calories a day, you will lose 2 pounds a week! 
Exercise also gets your metabolism going so even when you are not moving, you are burning calories at a higher rate than usual.

* Pick activities that are fun and do them for at least 30 minutes a day. You don't have to do them all at once. Three sessions of 10 minutes each still gives you some benefits.
CalorieLab has a good interactive site that helps you calculate how many calories you burned with different physical activities. From running, bicycling to having sex (seriously, they even help you calculate that but, sadly, it didn't burn very much), it takes your weight and activity and provides you with your total calorie burn. 

* Buy a pedometer and track your steps. Shoot for 7,500 to 10,000 steps per day. I just got a Fitbit for Christmas and I love it! It connects via Bluetooth and provides me with a graphic display of my activities.

Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker
Fitbit.com provides you with a summary of your achievements

* Add weight training to your exercise regimen to tone and build muscle.

* Get a partner. According to FitDay , there are 5 reasons why a partner will help you achieve your goals:
     1- The time goes by faster when working out together.
     2- You won't cancel a workout when you've made a commitment to a partner.
     3- You can coordinate busy schedules (share a babysitter, take turns cooking, etc.)
     4- You'll be bolstered by outside perspective as a partner can objectively remind you of your progress where you may not notice it.
     5- You can celebrate your success together!

# 5 - Write Down Everything You Eat, Drink or Burn

It may seem like a bother, but food journaling works! When you have to write something down, you are more careful about what you eat or drink. Use a tiny notebook you can keep in your pocket or purse or find an Ap for this. Doing this also teaches you what foods are good and which ones are not.

* Set a goal for 1200 to 1500 calories and 35 to 40 grams of fiber per day.
* Write down what you eat for each meal and snack.
* Include the amount of calories and the fiber content. SELF NutrtitionData is an excellent resource for this data. I use it 50 times a day while doing my nutritional research. 
* Keep a tally and make sure you stay in your goal. 

#6 - Get Enough Sleep

There is growing evidence that lack of sleep is linked to obesity. Nutritionist Teri Glassman claims that a person getting less than 8 hours of sleep may make poor food choices which can result in them eating 300 more calories the next day. She states that:
* sleeping only 6 hours a night increases your risk of obesity by 23%
* 5 hours increases it by 50%
* 4 hours of sleep increases your risk as much as 73%

# 7 - Make a commitment

This may seem silly but write something down on a piece of paper with your intentions. 
I intend to follow this high fiber, vegan diet the week of ______.
My goal is to lose 2 pounds this week.
My objective is to walk 70,000 steps this week and do strength training for a total of 2 hours.
My goal is to eat 1400 calories and 35 grams of fiber each day.
I will get to bed earlier and sleep 8 hours a night.
Signed and dated: xxxxxxxx

So if you want to get started, follow the above 7 steps and stay tuned to Foods For Long Life for high fiber, vegan recipes and menus to support your weight loss goals!
In the meantime, check out my existing High Fiber Recipes.


Bobbi Jo Nichols said...

Great post! I totally agree with all you said. I eat a mostly vegan diet myself with juicing at least once a day.
I got a Fitbit for Christmas too and I too absolutely love it! Having so much fun trying to top my record everyday. Keep up the great work. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Thanks for your comment Bobbi Jo.
I just got back from a walk trying to get my fitbit up to 10,000 today!
Happy New Year!

Carolanne said...

Hooray! Questions: After all the Xmas bad stuff (which my body is craving--boo), will I feel enough energy? How to do the cereals w/o dairy. Must get Fitbit asap. I'm sure I'll think of more questions. CA

Carolanne said...

This my third try at posting..my questions are getting shorter and shorter!
1) How do you sustain energy? I'm not a meat-eater but am trying to fashion meals from the selections and am not feeling very creative. Are there recipes somewhere to help me get into the grove?

2) What do you eat with the cereal--no milk or other dairy..

Hope this goes through

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Hi Carolanne,
Let me try and answer your questions:
You will feel more energetic when you detox a bit from eating a pure diet of non-processed food. You may feel worse before you feel better but eventually you will have lots of energy. Especially once you get that fitbit and start exercising.
Instead of dairy milk on your cereal, use an unsweetened non-dairy milk like almond milk or milk made from soy, rice or coconut. Delicious!
There are over 300 healthy recipes on this blog that can help you get into the grove. Check them out! I'll be adding more in the next few weeks to support this weight loss program.
Good luck Carolanne,

Carolanne said...

Thx for the quick response..I need to do my homework to prep for The New Life! CA