So, you’ve ditched the meat and dairy in hopes to lose weight on a plant-based diet. First off, congrats! You’ve made a sound decision in switching to a plant-based diet, and science supports this move. In fact, one 2016 study cited veganism as the most effective weight loss diet . Meanwhile, another study conducted by Oxford University found that while meat-eaters had the highest BMIs, vegans had the lowest (with vegetarians falling in the middle) .
Still… I have news for you. Adopting a plant-based diet doesn’t guarantee that you’ll lose weight. If that’s your goal, cutting out animal products isn’t always enough.
But don’t fret, Beauties! In this guide, I breakdown foolproof tips to help you successfully lose weight on a plant-based diet. This includes the best sources of plant-based protein, batch cooking, spices for weight loss, and more!
How to Lose Weight on a Plant-Based Diet
Tip #1: Avoid Processed Foods
We all know it’s a good idea to stay away from processed meats and cheeses to lose weight on a plant-based diet. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is forgetting that this applies to plant-based snacks as well. Veggie chips and frozen veggie meals may sound like healthy choices. But actually, these foods are often chock full of preservatives, artificial ingredients, sodium, sugar, and “bad” fat.
Ever look at the nutrition facts on those products? The ingredients lists are mile-long. Your body doesn’t know what to do with most of that stuff. By the way — one 2010 study published in the journal Food & Nutrition Research found that consuming processed foods can decrease post-meal calorie burning by a whopping 50 percent compared to whole foods . So while it may be tempting to reach for vegetarian or vegan convenience foods, always opt for whole foods whenever you can.
If you want to get on track but you’re too busy to slave in the kitchen, I have a complete program filled easy to make plant-based recipes. Check out my 30 Day Roadmap for Healthy Weight Loss!
Tip #2: Include Protein
You probably know that protein plays an important role in your feeling satiated after a meal. It’s also crucial for building and maintaining muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more revved up your metabolism is. It’s totally possible to meet your daily needs for protein on a plant-based diet. You just need to be aware of which foods to prioritize.
Legumes (beans and lentils) are hands down one of the best sources of plant protein. For example, lentils pack an impressive 18 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml). As an added bonus, they also contain roughly half of your recommended daily fiber intake. And the type of fiber they offer supports a healthy gut. Lentils are surprisingly versatile — try them in a soup, like my Spinach, Veggie & Red Lentil Stew or my ‘Cheesy’ Popped Lentil & Broccoli Salad.
Chickpeas and beans are also excellent sources of protein (with around 15 grams per cooked cup) as well as fiber, iron, folate, and potassium. Did I mention that research has shown a diet rich in “pulses” (beans and legumes) can actually reduce fat around your waistline ? Another study published in, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that eating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils led to a weight loss of over half a pound over the course of six weeks .
If you want to lose weight on a plant-based diet, you definitely want to embrace seeds! Chia, hemp, quinoa — all of these contain significant amounts of essential amino acids. They are also some of the best vegan sources of omega-3s (and other essential fatty acids), and full of important minerals like selenium, iron, and magnesium.
Hemp seeds feature a staggering 10 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons! Pretty impressive for such a small serving. Sprinkle some in a smoothie, on raw rolled oat cereal, or in my Raw Tabouli Salad.
I’m a big fan of Chia seeds as well because they’re super versatile. Since they turn into a gel-like substance when they absorb water, you can use them to make a tasty pudding when you’re craving something sweet. Or, try my Power Protein Smoothie for the ultimate protein-packed snack!
Embrace Yeast & Spirulina
Nutritional yeast is ultra popular with vegetarians and vegans, and with good reason. Not only does it lend a cheese-like flavor to any dish, but also it’s a complete source of plant protein. In fact, it contains 14 grams of protein per ounce (along with 7 grams of fiber as well).
And while we’re on the subject of protein powerhouses, spirulina (blue-green algae) offers 8 grams of complete protein (plus a ton of minerals and essential fatty acids) in just two tablespoons.
Embrace Leafy Greens & Other Vegetables
While all vegetables contain protein, the reality is that it’s typically in small amounts. However, some provide more than others. For example, broccoli, brussels sprouts, artichokes, spinach, and sweet potatoes all have between 4-5 grams of protein per cooked cup. Check out my Glowing Green Smoothie, which is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, high quality amino acids so you look and feel amazing!
Between summer and fall, it’s common to feel overly stressed and get constipated and bloated. You can beat the bloat and instantly start to feel your best with my Feel Good Detoxy+. This detoxifying, anti-aging formula is a safe and effective way to eliminate toxins from your digestive tract and organs.
Tip #3: Always Start with a Salad (or Make it the Main!)
One of my top tips to lose weight on a plant-based diet is to always eat a salad before lunch and dinner. There are several reasons for this.
First of all, it ensures that you’re always getting at least one serving of vegetables at every meal. Meaning, you’re more likely to get your daily recommended value of vitamins, minerals, etc. And, it’s also a clever weight-loss tactic. Try my Healthy Glow Kale Salad recipe, which will help improve your skin too!
Remember: salads don’t have to be boring — switch up your greens and incorporate other seasonal ingredients to keep things interesting.
Tip #4: Spice Things Up
A flavorful meal is a satiating meal. Don’t settle for bland dishes, Beauties. You’re far more likely to feel satisfied (and therefore, stop when you’re full) if you incorporate herbs and spices into your cooking. Oh, and did I mention that many of these recipe additions can actually help you to burn fat? I’ll let the research speak for itself.
Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin. This has been shown to act as an appetite suppressant while also reducing belly fat. In fact, a 2012 study published in Chemical Senses showed that men who ate spicy appetizers ate 200 fewer calories at their next meals than those who didn’t 
Black pepper, meanwhile, contains a substance called piperine — and research has revealed that piperine can help the body burn more calories through the process of thermogenesis . To boot, it’s believed to block new fat cells from forming .
If you love a meal with a kick, I have good news for you: according to 2013 research, the active compound in cayenne pepper increases the rate at which you burn fat if you consume it three times a day .
Another excellent choice to lose weight on a plant-based diet is to use ginger. A 2008 study actually demonstrated that it can speed up the rate at which the stomach empties out food .
One of my favorites, though, is turmeric. Not only is this spice known for lowering inflammation (one of the core causes of weight gain) but it’s also been shown by Tufts University research to prevent fat tissue from growing . So add in some spices to lose weight on a plant-based diet!
Tip #5: Try Batch Cooking
It’s a lot easier to make healthy choices when it’s convenient. That’s why I highly recommend embracing batch cooking — in other words, cooking meals in larger quantities at a time so that you know you’ll have leftovers throughout the week. This method saves you time and money (and minimizes wasted food).
And it’s a smart strategy to prevent you from giving in to the temptation of grabbing takeout or a frozen dinner when you’re tired and don’t feel like cooking.
The key is to make batch cooking a ritual you’ll look forward to. So pick an afternoon or evening when you know you’ll have a couple hours to prep your meals, turn on some music, whip up a GGS and get ready to churn out some tasty meals, powering you through your journey to lose weight on a plant-based diet.
I know what you’re thinking: But how am I supposed to plan out my eating every week? That’s precisely why I created the 30-Day Roadmap. This comprehensive program includes weekly shopping lists and daily meal plans.
So you can lose weight on a plant-based diet without any of the stress. Essentially, it’s the closest you can get to having me act as your personal nutritionist. If you want to see results but not feel overwhelmed plotting out every meal, let me do it for you!
That’s all I have for you today, Beauties! I hope you enjoyed my 5 tips to help you lose weight on a plant-based diet.
Sending you lots of love!
Thank you for this article.
Thanks so much Tiana and lots of love! 😉
Thank you!! I have been drinking GGS’s for a few years now and I did the 30 day roadmap in February. Since then have been creating my own meals using your guidelines. I get complements on my skin and questions about my diet all the time.Your tips inspire me to stay on track! : )
That’s great news Shara! Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience and for giving the Roadmap a try. Your review is incredibly helpful for all of my Beauties out there who are wanting to improve their overall health and wellness. Keep up the amazing work you’re doing and sending you lots of love! 😉
Love this! I have several of your books and need to order your new one. I was drinking your GGS everyday but have found through tests that I’m highly sensitive to banana, pineapples, ginger, and almonds and rice.. I’m vegan already. Is it okay to leave those items out and is there a substitute for any of those? Thanks Denise
Hi Denise – thanks for checking out this post and for sharing your personal experience with your GGS, so proud of you. With the GGS, I like to keep it simple and easy for our body to digest, so you may want to check out my other blogs about the Glowing Green Smoothies and the Do’s and Don’t’s. Do the best you can with what your body can handle and let us know how you do. Sending you lots of love and support! 😉
I love your book an suggestions.
I live in Canada and can not find nutritional yeast any where
Do you have suggestions item to replace .
I really want to try it .
Thanks for the love, Beauty! Have you tried ordering it online? You should be able to get it from Amazon!
Hi there u can find nutritional yeast everywhere.. where do you live. I’m in Ontario and all grocery stores carry it in the natural food sections. Whole Foods of course carries. Plus goodness me. So yes. Fortinos and the list goes on.