There are many benefits to veganism, not least the fact that veganism for weight loss is a great diet choice. It may not be the easiest to follow (as are most diets) but if you can forego any and all animal products, veganism might be for you.
As we all know, our modern diets, filled with red meat, sugar and salt, aren’t the best for us. Saturated animal fats can lead to heart disease and too much sugar leads us to that rather sweet disease we hear about so often: diabetes.
To explain, we should know the difference between vegetarianism and veganism. Vegetarianism allows the consumption and use of animal by-products (such as gelatin, dairy products, lard, whey, rennet and shellac for example) but veganism is much more strict. And while both will lead to weight loss, we can all agree that if you aren’t allowed to eat chocolates and other such treats, as you would if you were a vegan, the chances are a lot higher that you will lose more weight.
There are two types of vegans: Ethical vegans and dietary vegans. Ethical vegans reject the use of all animal products by humans (this even extends to using silk, eating honey or even beeswax). Dietary vegans will allow themselves to use some animal products, such as those previously mentioned, but still will not eat anything of animal origin.
But the question we need to ask ourselves is: How well can veganism lead to weight loss? Over and above what seems to be logical thought (eating less dairy, meat, eggs and other fattening things will make you lose weight), studies have been done which bear this out. Not only does veganism lead to weight loss, it also lowers the risk of the associated lifestyle diseases.
No more clogged up arteries, no more sugary urine (yes, you did read that right – one of the symptoms of diabetes is sugary urine, but there are easier ways to diagnose diabetes – so don’t worry), veganism really can lead to a host of benefits. If we break it down into a list, the argument becomes even more compelling.
Number ONE: When you’re a vegan, you never have to suffer from that over-full feeling after a meal (unless you’re planning on eating a whole lot of fruit, or perhaps an entire watermelon).
Number TWO: You will definitely look better what with the weight loss. You might be hungry, craving a nice sugary drink and possibly a glass of milk, but you will be thin. All flippancy aside though, the lack of saturated fat and heavy meat in your diet will leave you looking a lot better. As long as you supplement your diet with the right vitamins and oils (non-animal of course), your skin and hair will look great.
Number THREE: Not only will you look better, you will feel better too. If you’ve ever tried a detox, which if you think about it is really quite close to going vegan, once your body has become acclimatised it feels great. More energy, more get-up-and-go. If you like a bit of a tipple, as long as you aren’t drinking any creamy liqueurs, or anything of animal origin, you can even have a glass of wine or two to go with your meal!
Number FOUR: You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that eating the vegan way may also help you if you take part in endurance sports. Many top athletes – marathon runners and cyclists have adopted vegan lifestyles and are reaping the benefits.
Number FIVE: The benefits to veganism also extend into your inner self. Many of us in the modern world feel like we should be doing more to ensure that the earth can survive the difficult times in which it finds itself. Veganism allows us to do that while enjoying the benefits of weight loss at the same time. Farming conditions in the modern world can be terrible and inhumane, with animals really suffering. If you refuse to buy and consume that meat, you can go to sleep at night knowing that you did not contribute to the suffering of any living animal. That’s a lot more than most of us can say.
Number SIX: Heart disease and heart attacks? What heart disease and heart attacks? Studies have shown that the risk for heart disease drops dramatically if you adopt a vegan lifestyle. In fact, Bill Clinton himself has followed a largely vegan lifestyle since a cardiac operation in 2010. Clinton’s daughter Chelsea, already a vegan, suggested the diet to him and not only has he reaped the benefits through weight loss, he’s also lowered his cholesterol, even if he does allow himself the luxury of a piece of fish or red meat now and then.
Number SEVEN: Incidences of diabetes are on the rise in Western society. Our diets, rich in meat, sugar and salt are leading us into a health crisis. But studies have shown that when people suffering from diabetes adopt a vegan diet, they lower their risk of contracting diabetes substantially. In fact, a study in 2006 found that in people with type 2 diabetes, adopting a vegan diet not only led to weight loss, it also led to a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. What was interesting was that this vegan diet fared even better in reducing weight and lowering cholesterol than the diet put forward by the American Diabetes Association.
Number EIGHT: If we are going to joke about it, being a vegan also allows you to tell people about it. Many of us have heard people proclaiming themselves to be vegan at length and explaining their reasons why. Why not spend some time talking about it?
Number NINE: There’s a ‘C’ word most of us might be a little embarrassed to mention, but that word is constipation. And if you’re following a vegan diet, naturally high in fibre, you will find yourself becoming much more regular. In fact, recent research has indicated that a diet high in fibre can also lead to a reduction in the chance of contracting bowel cancer. Another benefit other than just plain old weight loss!
Number TEN: And now the other ‘C’ word we aren’t too happy to talk about. Cancer. Point number 9 mentioned how fibre can lower the chances of contracting bowel cancer, but a vegan diet has been shown to possibly decrease the risks of a whole range of cancers, including: prostate cancer and breast cancer.
But enough of this serious talk. Even though a vegan lifestyle is a serious choice, it needn’t be out of fear for one’s future health. Being a vegan can be a rewarding and exciting lifestyle, and more and more vegan cookbooks are being printed every day, ensuring that you aren’t just eating plain-old Greek salads day after day. In fact, you can reap the benefits of weight loss through veganism while still cooking things like vegan cakes and even enjoying vegan-style burger patties!
As one last benefit – one to leave you, ahem, smelling of roses, please consider the following: a vegan lifestyle can also reduce body odour. Studies have shown that a diet high in meat and dairy can lead to some of those embarrassing body odours we have to endure in public from those who take cleanliness a little less seriously than most. So, if you choose to become vegan, not only will you lose weight, you’ll save money on deoderant too!