||1. Red Meat and Dairy are the absolute worst. Stay away from cheese, milk, beef, and pork. Unless you want cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
2. Chicken, Eggs, and Fish are just a tiny bit less dangerous than red meat, so don't eat it either. You'll end up with all the same diseases.
|Processed, high-fat veggie foods (plant oils and veggie burgers, etc.)||3.Anything high-fat is bad, even if it's veggie burgers or olive oil. Stay away from it unless you want to increase inflammation and become fat.
Studies have shown that processed soy proteins can cause just as much cancer as meat and dairy. In contrast, soy eaten in its natural state, such as tofu or edamame beans, has been eaten by the Japanese for thousands of years and causes no issues. Fake veggie meats can give you cancer just as much as real meat because it's processed frankenstein food! Whole-food-vegans don't get cancer, but junk-food-vegans certainly do! It's totally possible to cook up your own low-fat veggie burgers at home, such as homemade black bean burgers. Just don't buy the pre-made processed crap in the stores.
|Pesticides, Organic pesticides, GMOs, poor soil conditions (anything that decreases the nutrition of the plant itself)||4. It's really difficult to avoid pesticides, GMOs, and poor soil quality. And yes, your organic veggies are covered in organic pesticides, which are only slightly safer than normal pesticides. So it's a no-win situation here. Even if you grow your own food in your backyard, the ground soil might be contaminated OR simply be of poor quality. Poor soil means your veggies are less nutritionally-dense.
5. Because of poor soil and poor quality veggies, sometimes people use that as argument to take supplements. However, most supplements are untested as to whether they are actually absorbed by the body, or are even safe to consume. So this also can be a no-win situation.
My recommendation is always to try your hardest to avoid any kind of supplement and get all of your nutrients directly from food. Supplements are more likely to cause harm or do nothing at all. Rarely do they actually help, especially if you are already eating a healthy HCLF vegan diet. Supplements are used by people as a "band-aid" for their terrible, unhealthy diets and it doesn't work. They still end up fat and diseased.
|High-fat, unprocessed foods eaten too frequently (nuts, avocado should be eaten sparingly)||6. High fat, unprocessed foods like raw nuts and avocado are not inherently dangerous, but you still don't want too much fat in your diet, so they should be eaten sparingly. Even these "healthy" fats can clog your arteries if you base your diet around fats instead of carbs.|
|Processed, fat-free foods like popsicles and fruit juice||7. Processed, fat-free foods like popsicles are great because they lack fat. However, they are also unnatural and highly processed, so they provide nothing for you nutritionally. There are more nutritious foods you could be eating instead, such as fruit. Fruit juice is processed fruit and all of the fiber has been removed. It's like drinking a soda. Eat whole fruit instead. You are either fueling your body to create cancer or you are fueling your body to destroy cancer. Don't eat foods that lack nutrition!|
|Fat-free, but processed grains like bread and pasta||8. Fat-free, processed foods like 100% whole wheat bread and pasta are better than the popsicles and other empty calories, but they are still highly processed. These products are unnatural, unless you are hand-cooking them yourself at home, and it is easier to overeat these foods without meaning to because they are so processed. Unprocessed foods like rice and oats fill you up much faster.
9. Fresh, homemade bread and pasta rot quickly if left out. They have to be put in the freezer to keep for just a week. The fact that these products can sit on a store shelf for months shows how many chemicals are in them to preserve them at room temperature indefinitely. Buying frozen breads like Ezekiel bread is free of preservatives.
Look around you. If a food doesn't have the ability to rot, are you sure its fresh and free of chemicals? Only uncooked rice, grains, beans are shelf-stable for long periods of time! REAL food rots quickly! If it doesn't have the ability to rot, it's definitely not food! Same reason why frozen veggies/fruits are better than canned veggies/fruits if you don't want to buy fresh. Same reason why organic produce usually rots faster than normal produce. It's got less chemicals sprayed on it.
|Fat-free, unprocessed beans, potatoes, brown rice, bananas, corn, veggies, fruit, minimally-processed grains like oats and oatmeal.||10. Unprocessed, fat-free foods like beans, potatoes, brown rice, veggies, fruits are the absolute best foods for you. Eat them like crazy.|
11. All of the things listed above are doable, except for the pesticides and soil quality issue. There isn't a lot you can do about that. But if you avoid the red-warning items, you will deal with the orange-warning items a lot better. Even though the plants are poisoned, the animals are full of more poisons and hormones than the plants could ever have. The higher up on the food chain you eat, the more toxins you are exposed to.
This is a guide of how I eat vegan and keep weight off, because I hate cooking and want food preparation to take the least amount of time possible. I also hate exercising. AKA how to live a sedentary life but still be thin and healthy. (I have maintained my weight loss for 5+ years now. Most people who go on "fad diets" regain all of their weight within 1 year. The real test is not only losing weight for the first time, but keeping it off for the rest of your life.)
I've had blood tests. My blood pressure, cholesterol levels, all of it are off-the-charts awesome. If they gave me a fitness test, I'm sure I'd fail endurance very quick, but because my blood is clean and clear, I won't be dying of heart disease anytime soon. People don't die from lack of exercise, they die from the crappy substances they put into their mouth: bad food, smoking, drugs, alcohol.
I've been vegan myself for 5+ years now.
I wanted to lose weight after I graduated college and didn't have anything better to do. :P So I started researching how to lose weight...because clearly exercise and diet pills don't do anything. People always tell you to "eat less, exercise more", but it doesn't seem to work because I knew tons of heavy people who exercised their butt off all the time.....and took diet pills as well, but were still extremely heavy.
After researching, I quickly realized the only thing that makes people lose weight is changing the food, it isn't exercise. And I very quickly noticed animal products were high in calories and other nasty things like chemicals and cholesterol.
So I ended up going vegan very quickly because I saw it as a method of weight loss that actually yielded long-term healthy results, unlike dieting and exercising.
I also studied abroad in Japan for a few months in college and noticed almost all of Japanese society is thin and healthy compared to USA, where 70% or more of the population is overweight. Clearly, the Japanese were doing something right. And they live mainly on veggies & rice, not giant bloody steaks and burgers.
It only took me about 6 months to go vegan. Cheese was the last thing to go. Cheese took about 2-3 months. I was a cheesaholic. I used to eat an entire cheese pizza daily. I've been overweight my entire life because I ate processed foods all the time. But on a vegan diet, I lost 80lbs in just a year and I've kept the weight off.
Old menu: kraft cheese slices, lunch meat, club crackers, white bread, peanut butter, grape jelly, boxed kraft macaroni and cheese, frozen cheese pizza, fast food burgers, french fries, ice cream.
I think the only time I had veggies was when I went out to eat at restaurant buffet and ate their oil-soaked, buttered veggies on the buffet. Because dumping butter, oil, and animal fat onto veggies is something ALL restaurants do in general...because it's the only way to make it "taste good" to the average American.
I ate fruit when mom brought it to the house. I'm shocked I was only 80lbs overweight, given my habits. But my weight was slowly increasing each year, so I'm certain I would have been morbidly obese by the time I was 40 years old. Many adult friends I know are morbidly obese, but in pictures of their youth, they were gorgeously thin. Metabolism slows down as you age, so don't ever put off weight loss for "later".
New Menu: FRESH, WHOLE apples, oranges, bananas, kiwifruit, peaches, pears, plums. frozen mixed veggies, frozen broccoli, canned veggie soups, canned artichoke hearts, fresh asparagus, bagged baby carrots, salad bars at restaurants.
baked potatoes, baked oil-less french fries!! brown rice, spaghetti squash, whole-wheat pasta, canned tomato sauce.
Treats: fat-free popsicles or sorbet
I used to eat veggie burgers and other "fake foods", and I encourage those foods for "transition" to a veggie-lifestyle. But you probably don't want to eat those kinds of foods forever. I severely restricted calories for the first TWO years, but in the past year I couldn't take it anymore and started eating normal amounts again and stopped calorie-counting. So I gained back about 20lbs. However, I started look for something more maintainable and discovered HCLF-vegan aka Freelee the Banana Girl, High Carb Hannah, The Starch Solution, etc.
High-carb-low-fat (HCLF) vegan really does work. My weight is going back down very slowly, but I'm not starving, so I know this weight loss is maintainable without counting calories and using restriction all the time.
1. I never drink anything but water. No alcohol, tea, coffee, fruit juice. Japanese Green-tea and 100% fruit juice are ok-ish, but if you're someone like me who struggles to lose weight, I don't recommend drinking anything but water. Flavor the water with lemon/lime if needed. Coffee, alcohol, high caffeine teas are bad for you in general.. regardless of weight gain or loss.
2. WHOLE foods. Try to avoid cans, frozen is fine. I do eat canned soups because I'm lazy. But I try to have frozen or fresh as much as possible. Make sure you read the labels on canned and packaged stuff. They LOVE to slip milk, eggs, animal fats, and animal proteins into these products!
3. KEEP THE FAT AS LOW AS POSSIBLE!
That's why I say avoid veggie burgers and other "fake foods" because they are always high in fat....and they're extremely processed. If a product has 5g or higher fat, I don't buy it. Some of my canned soups have 2-3g fat because they've added plant oil. ugh...
Store-bought hummus also has a lot of fat in it because they've added oil. I did find a fat-free brand at a local health food store, but it's slightly more expensive. Either find a fat-free brand of hummus or make your own at home. As far as I can tell, they stick these oils in the food either to preserve the shelf life longer or to make it taste more addictive. It tastes just fine without oil. Recognize that whenever you go out to restaurants, they are for sure dumping a ton of oil or butter onto your food. And even if you argue with them, they aren't going to change it for you.... unless it's an extremely high-end restaurant where the chef actually cares about his customer's requests.
4. Eat potatoes, bananas, rice, and spaghetti squash to your heart's desire. Go easy on pasta and bread. I still eat them occasionally, but they are highly processed if you're buying them from a store/restaurant, and I don't lose weight as easily when eating bread/pasta. (I eat 100% whole wheat pasta/bread, but it's still highly processed, otherwise you wouldn't find it sitting on a shelf in a store.)
5. Don't go crazy and eat nothing but potatoes or bananas or a single high-carb food item. You need to have veggies in there too. The body craves nutrients, and you can eat an entire barrel of potatoes and still feel hungry because you're missing a nutrient you would have gotten from eating some veggies.
I've personally done both extremes. I've eaten a low-carb diet where I tried to survive on veggies alone (thinking it would accelerate weight loss). And although I had lots of nutrients in my system, I was tired all the time because I needed some carbs from potatoes, bananas, rice.
And when I brought the carbs back into my life, I went crazy eating potatoes, bananas, etc. And I would just eat and eat and never be satisfied because I was missing the nutrients from veggies. So don't try to survive on ONE food group alone. You need a complete set of food groups: veggies and high-carbs.
6. Protein: I generally don't worry about it. There's a ton of protein in potatoes and small amounts in fruits and veggies. If you're eating a variety of foods, then you're getting enough protein automatically. Occasionally, I will crave beans or peas. So I take that as a sign I need a little more protein and I eat the beans. Just pay attention to what you're craving and then go eat it. Your body knows what it needs. (obviously I am excluding unhealthy addiction cravings like potato chips, meat, cheese, pizza, coke, alcohol, caffeine, etc. Those are addictions, not a nutrient. The same way a smoker craves his cigarettes. These addictions will completely fade away given time.)
7. I eat ketchup, salt, real maple syrup, spices, seasonings. ABSOLUTELY no oils and no fats! And I don't care if a processed food is "fat-free", it's still highly processed, so just stay away from it.
8. I do try to avoid HFCS and eat products with real sugar instead. But the difference is minimal in my mind. If you're eating processed foods, then HFCS vs Sugar isn't the issue you should be worried about. Worry about the fact that you're eating processed foods. Since store-bought ketchup is the main processed food I buy, I just try to find HFCS-free ketchup. Walmart sells it.
I do recommend to STAY AWAY from artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Those fake sweeteners are much more dangerous than HFCS. So don't buy products that claim to be "sugar-free" because that means it is using an artificial sweetener. I like popsicles, so I make sure NOT to buy the "sugar-free" popsicles. I'd rather eat HFCS than aspartame. Of course, if you have the free time or strength of will, then make your own popsicles and avoid the problem altogether.
9. I do eat out at restaurants a lot. I try to go to places like indian, chinese, japanese, thai, mexican because ethnic food always has more veggie-based options. And of course, there's always the traditional salad bar at most restaurants. But salad bars get really freaking boring after a while. I do eat veggie burgers, french fries, and other high-fat items at restaurants since that's often the only choice on the menu. But I just try not to eat out too often. If you're struggling to lose weight, then stop eating out as frequently. It will help.
Even "vegan" restaurants are often high-fat because they love to use nuts like cashew sauces and avocado, so watch out! Fat tastes really good and even the vegan restaurants know that, so they will use it to their advantage to make things tasty for the meat-eating-visitors and other processed-food-vegans who aren't used to HCLF-vegan-diet.
10. RAW vs non-RAW vegan diets: eh, in my opinion, it doesn't really matter. I say eating a variety of raw and non-raw foods is best. If you want to eat raw, that's fine, but it will take a lot more work, and I'm not sure there's really any super-awesome-advantage in most cases.
There's research that shows some foods are best when eaten raw and also shows some other foods are better when cooked. So that's why I say the best option is a mixture of raw and non-raw foods.
I do believe Adam and Eve were eating RAW in the Garden of Eden, but I don't think we can return to that now. Sin and pollution has decayed nutrition too much. For example, we can't run around naked like Adam and Eve either. Extreme temperature changes, germs, and human lust put a stop to that.
Genesis 1:29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.
Isaiah 65:25 "The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither hunt nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD.
11. You're going to have to stop counting calories and restricting yourself all the time. But you've also got to commit to HCLF vegan fully, no fat-laden desserts or cheats on the side. (I was guilty of this.)
If you're counting calories like I was, you start mentally messing with your body's natural signals because instead of just listening to your signals without judgement, you're saying to yourself "oh my cal-count is low today, I need to eat more, even tho I'm not really hungry right now." or "oh I've already eaten too many calories today, I need to stop and restrict until tomorrow."
Just forget counting and start listening to hunger cues. As long as you truly eat 100% HCLF vegan and follow the rules I wrote above, you're not going to gain weight. You might gain a little weight in the beginning because of water-weight and food-weight, but it will go back down quickly.
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GAIN WEIGHT EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT COUNTING CALORIES:
12. You don't have to exercise. That's totally up to you. Exercise lessens depression and suppresses hunger, so psychologically-speaking I think it might help with weight loss, but it's not a strict requirement. You will lose weight regardless. The HCLF vegan diet is what makes you lose weight, not exercise. If you want muscles, you will have to exercise. I didn't exercise at all for my 80lb weight loss, so even tho I became thin, I had very little muscle mass. Without muscles, I look fine, but ask me to run several laps or do several pushups and you'll realize how weak I am. XD But I'm too lazy and geeky to care about being strong.
Update: After 4 years of being vegan and maintaining my weight without calorie-counting and zero exercise, I have returned to figure skating. So now I finally have a reason to stop being so lazy and build some muscle lol.