Sample meal plan:
eat one entire personal-size melon (watermelon or cantaloupe or honeydew). OR eat several bananas until you're not hungry. I usually eat about 3-5 bananas until I feel satisfied for breakfast.
Don't eat until you're stuffed! Eat until you're not hungry. Your stomach should not feel stretched at all. If your stomach feels stretched and you have even the slightest bit of discomfort, you ate too much!
If you can't eat an entire melon in one sitting for breakfast. Save the rest of it for lunch.
Finish your melon if you didn't eat it all for breakfast.
Have a large salad. Veggies only. No grains, no corn. You may add some beans if you would like.
Or you can eat veggie soup instead of salad with the same rules. Add beans to it if you'd like. Don't overdo the beans and add too many or you might spend the rest of the day farting and cramping. Learn what your tolerance level is for beans. Your tolerance level will increase over time as you eat beans more often. Farting isn't bad, but cramping sucks.
Eat more fruit or more veggies or both depending what you're hungry for. You can have potatoes too.
Never eat when you are not hungry.
Skip meals if you are not hungry and eat later.
If you cannot finish a food item like a melon or salad, don't stretch your stomach by forcing it in. Save it for later.
Drink lots of water throughout the day. If you don't pee clear, you are dehydrated.
Always sleep when you are tired. Sometimes that means 9-10 hours sleep instead of 8 hours. 8 hours is the MINIMUM amount of recommended sleep, not the maximum.
Eat slowly. Don't cram it in as fast as possible. Pay attention to your food. Don't be distracted by TV or books or phone.
Be careful with salt. No one requires extra salt and it does cause some inflammation in the body. All the salt you need is already naturally present in whole foods. You don't need to add any extra salt on top. And I find that salt can make me eat when I'm not hungry. For example, I'll put salt on my popcorn, but then I'll eat the popcorn like a fiend because I'm after the salt. The salt makes it impossible for me to know if I'm actually hungry for the popcorn, or if I'm just addicted to salt like a drug addict.
It's specifically salt that can make you eat when you're not hungry since it's addictive. Feel free to use pepper, garlic, basil, turmeric, paprika, and other spices to flavor your food if you want to.
When you are no longer trying to lose weight, you can eat corn, pasta, grains etc. If you're trying to lose weight as quickly as possible without calorie restricting, these foods are not as filling as rice/potatoes/bananas/melons. It takes a lot longer to feel full on bread/pasta/corn than it does rice/potatoes/bananas/melons.
Bananas/melons are the most filling since they have a huge water content. Potatoes/rice are the next most filling. After that, corn/bread/pasta/grains are the next most filling. You might be able to eat all of these foods and still lose weight really, really fast. Just be careful with the amount of bread/pasta you eat because they will never be as filling as the other stuff. If you want to eat heaps of pasta, spaghetti squash or noodles made from zucchini would be good.
My diet is essentially a modified RawTil4 diet since I don't like the taste of raw veggies and want to eat them cooked.
The answer is Caloric Density and eating foods that we were designed to eat. Notice how full the stomach is eating fruits, veggies, potatoes, rice, beans. It's impossible to overeat these foods. But put any oils, butter, meat, dairy on top of your rice or potatoes and BAM!!! you've added thousands of calories of pure-fat that your body will be happy to store and make you overweight. You can also see how processed sugar products [breads, bagels, dried fruits, breakfast cereal, fat-free crackers/chips/popcorn] also don't fill you up as much as whole foods. So you need to be careful with how much you eat of them. Same goes for the "healthy" fats like nuts and avocados. These foods do not fill you up and it's easy to overeat them.
I plugged in some of the high-carb foods I recommend and you can see the nutritional profile of them if you just did a mono-diet and ate one day of calories of them (2000cal average). Look how much fat and protein is in these high-carb foods. That's why you don't have to go out of your way to eat foods like (nuts/avocado/beans/tofu) because the high-carb foods you're eating already has the fat and protein you need for your body. You can *almost* mono-diet on these high-carb foods alone and live. Almost, but not quite. You do need to throw in some greens and beans occasionally for the few nutrients these foods are missing.
45 cups of watermelon is roughly TWO large full-size watermelon per day. vs 13 medium size potatoes per day. vs 20 bananas per day. This food is extremely filling.
Potatoes have a lot more protein than bananas, but bananas have a lot more vitamin A and healthy fats. Bananas are also 400cal lower per day aka its 20 bananas vs 13 potatoes per day! This is why bananas/melons etc are more filling than rice/potatoes and grains!
45 cups (aka two whole melons) of watermelon has a monstrous amount of vitamin A! Watermelon has a little more fat than the bananas and almost as much protein as the potatoes too!
Anyone suffering nutritional deficiencies on a vegan diet isn't eating enough. It means they are restricting their calories or trying to survive only on salads instead of high-carb foods!
P.S. If you choose to base your diet around rice/grains instead, they have plenty of protein and fat, but almost zero vitamin A, vitamin C, etc. So you will definitely have to include lots of fruits,veggies,potatoes etc to get those nutrients. Bananas/potatoes are dirt cheap, but rice/grains are even cheaper if you're determined to save as much money as possible. However, the fact that you will have to supplement your diet with more veggies/fruit to make up for the rice/grains lack of vitamin A, vitamin C, may mean the bananas/potatoes method is actually cheaper.
Any time some idiot threatens: "you will be deficient in so-and-so nutrient if you go vegan..", take out your phone and perform a google search for "plant foods that contain this nutrient" then read out the list of all the plant foods that contain it. That will shut them up real fast.
Here's a sample list of nutrients vegans are regularly accused of:
You should get plenty of Vitamin D from sunlight and some foods like tofu and mushrooms also have vitamin D. Plant-milks also have vitamin D and calcium. So go outside and sunbathe! Just come in before you start burning and you will have all of the Vitamin D you need.
If you want to get iodine without using "iodized salt", there are several types of seaweed you can eat.
B12 is the only thing you might need eventually. It takes like six years or even longer for pure and true whole foods vegans to become deficient in B12 since the body stores it so well for a looong time. Junk-food-vegans usually get their B12 from fortified-junk-food. Plenty of meat-eaters are also deficient in B12. So this isn't a vegan problem, it's a universal problem of modern society and how we sanitize our food. B12 comes from bacteria in the soil that plants are grown in, not animals. They often have to feed the animals B12 supplements now because we've depleted the nutrients of the soil so much with industrial farming! Even the animals are having trouble getting B12 from the soil when they are grazing!
To get my B12, I like to sprinkle nutritional yeast on my vegan pizzas, air-popped popcorn, spaghetti, etc. The reason I prefer to get my B12 from something like nutritional yeast is because a lot of the B12 supplements have nasty additives like gelatin and artificial sweeteners. So if you insist on taking a B12 supplement, research and find a good high-quality version without the additives.
I made a page dedicated to information about this here --> What if I have a food allergy or special medical condition?
In short, if you do your homework, you'll find there's absolutely no reason you cannot thrive on a whole foods HCLF vegan diet as well.
This is NOT most people, but if you're someone who struggles to gain weight or stop losing so much weight because you have a very fast metabolism (usually males), a small appetite (struggle to eat enough), or extremely active (8+ hours of physical activity), then you have two healthy options:
Some people are already binge-eaters before they try the HCLF vegan diet and sometimes this diet helps them recover
from the disorder. But sometimes it does not. Binge-Eating is a mental/emotional disorder, so just changing diet doesn't always solve all the problems "upstairs".
Also, some other people have perfectly normal appetites before HCLF vegan, but basically get too excited about the diet and start trying to stuff in as much food as possible, which trains their appetite to be greater. That's why I say people should NOT be on a mission to see how much food they can stuff in (unless they're losing weight too rapidly and need to increase calories). You do NOT want to increase your appetite unless you need to. If you are a binge-eater or someone who can easily eat 3000cal or more per day of potatoes/veggies/fruits/etc (and you're not a high performance athlete), then you will have to try to "reset" your appetite/satiation signals. The best way to do this is to monitor your portion sizes and reach for the lower cal stuff like veggies instead of potatoes/rice.
The bad news is binge-eaters and over-eaters will find any kind of diet a difficult thing because of their inability to find full satiation. The goods news is the HCLF vegan diet is still the best diet to be on for health reasons (cancer,diabetes,heart-disease,etc) AND its the best diet for trying to reset your appetite and find satiation using low-cal fruits/veggies with the occasional potato/rice/etc. As someone who personally struggles with satiation because of a large appetite, I can say this is the only diet that allows me to control my weight. All other diets create less satiation, store huge amounts of fat, and therefore require ridiculous levels of calorie-restriction in order to stay thin. Severe calorie-restriction just makes binge-eaters even worse. HCLF vegan foods are the foods with the greatest amount of VOLUME and the lowest amount of CALORIES. So it is the best way to attempt to cure (or control) any over-eating issues.
In conclusion, even if HCLF vegan does nothing to help you get control of your satiation signals, it is still the best diet to be on for all of the other health reasons (prevention of cancer,diabetes,heart-disease,etc). So start this diet knowing it will improve your health in all categories, and maybe, hopefully, it will also improve your overeating issues.
Let's establish some key facts about health when it comes to physical activity and muscles:
Our society is currently obsessed with protein. Everyone believes they aren't getting enough protein. When in actuality, most Americans are getting waaaaay too much protein on a daily basis. There are tons of studies that say the absolute maximum daily protein you should get is 30% of calories. But most people seem to think 30% is a minimum instead of a maximum. Not good! Too much protein is really, really bad for the body! Especially if its animal-based protein! Extra protein will not build more muscle nor build it faster. Only lifting weights will build more muscle. The recommended amount of protein for HCLF vegans is 10% (the absolute minimum to stay healthy is 5%). If you're an athlete, 15%-20% is acceptable if you don't feel good with 10%. Just please DO NOT go past 30%! You need complex high carb foods (not extra protein) to fuel your workouts and muscles! Think bananas, melons, rice, potatoes, grains, etc.
There's a lot of different vegan athlete methods on the internet. Just be wary of any plans that claim you need 30%+ protein or fat. Any reasonable vegan athlete plan should have 10%-25% for fat and 10%-25% for protein. That is the perfect range of how much fat and protein a body needs. Get too little and you risk malnutrition. Get too much and you risk gaining bodyfat, clogged arteries, kidney failure, and a host of diseases and ailments as your body struggles to cope with all of that extra protein and extra fat.
Other than being whole foods vegan and keeping the complex carbs high and the fat/protein low, vegan athletes can do all the same training stuff as a normal athlete (HIIT training, weight lifting, rest and recovery, etc).