Friday, January 07, 2011

Lose Up To Four Pounds A Week On A Healthful Vegan Diet

120 lb
150 lb
180 lb
210 lb
1.2 pound loss per week
2.1 pound loss per week
3.0 pound loss per week
3.9 pound loss per week
0.6 pound loss per week
1.5 pound loss per week
2.4 pound loss per week
3.3 pound loss per week

The Holidays are Over!
It's that time again. The parties are a pleasant memory and now you are determined to lose those extra holiday pounds. If you've got more than just the holiday weight to lose, it's as good a time as ever to put a healthy eating plan in place. 
Losing Weight shouldn't be the Only Goal
I have friends and family who often ask me about popular diet plans, most of which revolve around packaged shakes and bars. I don't like to discourage anyone from trying to lose weight so I will often read the ingredients and inform them if the diet product contains anything harmful. But these diet plans are just a temporary fix. You may lose a few pounds but you are not changing your lifestyle on a long term basis. You are not eating foods that are going to help you rebuild your cells, prevent heart disease, diabetes or cancer and extend your life. Losing weight shouldn't be your only goal!
For more things you can do to improve your overall health, check out last year's post, Three things you can do to get healthier in 2010.
Be a Good Role Model
Childhood obesity is skyrocketing. There are many reasons why this is so but one of the main reasons is that children are taking on the same eating and lifestyle habits as their parents. If mom and dad are active and eat lots of whole grains and veggies, guess what? The kids do too! If mom and dad  call out for a four cheese pizza and eat dinner while sitting on the couch (where they will most likely spend the rest of the evening), the kids are going to develop poor eating habits and be sedentary. 
Although many parents complain that their kids don't like veggies, I have seen many a child gobble down salad and broccoli and other veggies because they've seen their parents eat and enjoy them. So besides trying to lose weight, take on a lifestyle of healthful eating and be a good role model for the kids. 
The Formula for Weight Loss
I have been using this weight loss formula for 40 years and it works. Here's an example:
* A person with average metabolism burns about 15 calories per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you will need 2,250 calories to maintain your body weight. 
* If you only consume 1500 calories per day, you would be eating 750 calories less than you need. The body would then have to burn stored fat to make up the difference. 
* If you did this every day for a week, your body would burn off an extra 5,250 calories. 
* There are 3,500 calories in each pound of fat so in one week you would lose 5,250 divided by 3,500 or 1.5 pounds. 
A Handy Chart
I put together the above chart to show you how much weight you could lose per week depending on how many calories you consume and how much you currently weigh. 
The table shows two examples of calorie restriction: one has a person consuming 1,200 calories per day and the other 1,500 calories a day. The examples show weights varying from 120 pounds to 210. The number of calories may sound like very little food, but you'll be surprised how many fruits, whole grains and legumes and veggies you can eat and still stay under the limit.
A Key to Success
The key to this working, whether you actually count every calorie or not, is to keep a small notebook and WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU EAT! I think it's a guilt thing. People hesitate to eat something bad when they know they have to write it down. 
To Get Even Better Results!
Calorie restriction will eventually plateau as your body thinks your are starving and gets more efficient. The best way to prevent this is to EXERCISE!  
The same formula works for exercise. You will lose an extra pound for every 3,500 calories you burn. So if you walk a few miles a day, you will lose a few extra pounds a month. You will get even better results if you do more rigorous exercise like biking, jogging or joining a Zumba or other dance class. 
Check with your Doctor
Before you enter into a program of vigorous exercise and calorie restriction, check it out with your doctor. 
This Really Works
I had gained some weight over the summer (writing a cookbook can take its toll) and wanted to get rid of it before year end. I started writing everything down, kept my calorie intake between 1200 and 1500 calories and jumped on my recumbent bike and elliptical for 30 minutes at a shot (4 times a week). Even though it was holiday season, I managed to drop 5 pounds and didn't feel like I was missing out at all!
* Eat lots of soup! The first thing I do when trying to lose weight without getting hungry is to make a huge pot of soup. I have lots of delicious low calorie soup recipes for you to choose from. 
* Eat small meals, eat often
You'll notice in my example menu below, I tend to eat 3 small meals a day with 3 small snacks. It will keep you from getting to that hunger point where all your good judgement flies out the window.
* Drink Water
Eating a pure, healthful diet can trigger a detox reaction (especially following a holiday filled with junk food) so drink plenty of fresh water to help rid the body of toxins. 
* Write Down Everything you Eat!
I can't stress this enough. Just keep a little notebook in your pocket or purse and jot down every bite.

Example 1200 Calorie Menu (Combination of raw and cooked vegan recipes)
Start the day with a simple breakfast salad with fruit and nuts
Drink a glass of fresh water 30 minutes before each meal and snack. This will keep you hydrated without diluting your digestive juices during the meal.
Start the day with a 5 minute breakfast salad with pear, banana, blueberries, raw walnuts and unsweetened shredded coconut. 
A cup of green tea or black coffee.
Morning Snack:
One rice cake with 1 tablespoon of almond butter (or other nut butter).
A serving of Garbanzo bean and raw kale salad.
A cup of Original So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk (only 70 calories and rich in probiotics).
Afternoon Snack:
A Tangerine
 Hearty vegan barley mushroom stew.
After Dinner Snack:
3 cups air popped popcorn with 1 tablespoon vegetarian formula nutritional yeast.
Garbanzo bean and raw kale salad for lunch
Hearty barley mushroom stew for a satisfying dinner
You can develop additional healthful vegan menus from the over 200 recipes on this blog. 
Raw Food Cleanse Option
Another way to easily drop weight is to go on a Raw Food Cleanse. I usually do this in the spring when there are more local raw food options, but this is also a great way to cleanse the holiday toxins out of your system and drop the pounds. 
You could also do a short, 1 week raw food cleanse and follow it with a longer program of both raw and cooked vegan foods with calorie restriction and exercise as mentioned in this post.
Whatever you do - good luck and may you have a happy and healthy 2011!


Debra said...

What a great Post! I love your sample day of eating. You should post some weekly plans for people~I think it would be very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Thanks! I will be forwarding this to many of my patients.

Christine Gallagher, PhD
Natural Health Care Provider