Many people think that vegans eat nothing but salad and, therefore, must not struggle with weight gain. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to switch to a plant-based diet because they make the assumption it will naturally lead to weight loss. However, this is not necessarily the case. Vegan food can be so delicious and moreish; it’s surprisingly easy to overeat and gain weight on a vegan diet – especially if you fall prey to the ever-growing range of vegan junk food. However, you can make some easy food swaps for effortless weight loss on a vegan diet. Check them out below.
Swap full fat for reduced fat
There’s plenty of easy reduced fat or sugar products that are just as good as the standard versions. Swapping your usual choices for reduced-fat or sugar alternatives can help you significantly reduce your daily calorie intake without even noticing the change. Popular vegan-friendly products available in reduced fat or sugar options include:
- Dairy-free spread
- Fizzy drinks
- Salad dressings
- Coconut milk
- Vegan pesto
Swap potatoes for butternut squash
Although both white potatoes and sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients, they are higher in calories, carbohydrates and sugar than butternut squash. If you’re looking to lose weight, you will need to reduce your calorie intake. Swapping butternut squash for potatoes in some of your meals can help you do this. It’s great mashed, cubed, roasted or cut into chips to replace potatoes in many popular dishes.
Swap fries for butternut squash or celeriac fries
If you regularly eat fries or chips with your meals, consider replacing these with butternut squash or celeriac fries instead. You can easily make homemade celeriac fries and, while butternut squash is trickier to cut into fries (although not impossible), easy ready-made versions can be bought in most supermarkets. Sainsbury’s has butternut squash crinkle chips which are 100% butternut squash with no added ingredients like fat, salt or sugar.
Swap spaghetti for courgetti or noodles for boodles
To reduce your carb (and calorie) intake for weight loss, courgetti and boodles are a great alternative to pasta and noodles. Even if you still want to enjoy spaghetti and noodles in some of your dishes, you can lower the calorie count by swapping half the portion of pasta for these vegetable alternatives. You can either buy these ready-made or use a spiralizer to make your own at home – it’s super easy!
Don’t have a spiralizer? Get a great compact, budget-friendly one here.
Swap burger buns or bread for sandwich thins
Buns and bread can add significant calories to your meal. Consider swapping these for sandwich thins wherever possible. As well as being an excellent, lower-calorie alternative for sandwiches, thins also make excellent burger buns. Combine this swap with celeriac fries to enjoy a diet-friendly vegan burger and chips for dinner.
Swap rolls or bagels for bagel thins
Similarly, bagel thins are a lower calorie alternative to standard bagels or rolls. Products like these, and the sandwich thins mentioned above, make you feel like you are still enjoying the same meal, so you don’t feel deprived. Warburtons thin bagels are 130 calories, whereas the standard plain bagel from the same brand is 207 calories. Bagel thins are great toasted with a reduced-fat vegan spread for a simple breakfast.
Swap vegan deserts for fruit salad with Sweet Freedom chocolate sauce
There are so many tempting vegan sweets and treats these days; it’s no wonder more of us are piling on the pounds! While these are wonderful as an occasional treat, consuming them too often may lead to weight gain. Instead, swap your usual vegan dessert for a healthy fresh fruit salad with a drizzle of Sweet Freedom choc shot chocolate sauce. This will give you a sweet chocolate hit but for only 13 calories per teaspoon.
Swap takeaway for ‘fakeaway.’
An increasing number of restaurants are offering delicious vegan options these days, which makes it all the more tempting to skip cooking and order delivery. However, as generally the case with take away food, the calorie content can be high. Instead of ordering takeaway, get creative in the kitchen and make your own ‘fakeaway’. Some ideas include:
- Tortilla wrap pizza
- Vegan grilled burger in a sandwich thin with celeriac fries
- Vegetable curry
- Vegetable Chinese style stir fry
- Air fried crispy coated tofu and homemade fries
Swap fried for air fried
Air frying can reduce calories by up to 80% and significantly lower the fat content of your food. If you haven’t yet bought an air fryer, you’re missing a trick. Air fried food requires much less oil but without losing the lovely fried flavour and texture. You can cook so many things in this nifty little gadget, making it a must-have for any dieter.
This budget-friendly, family-sized air fryer is a popular choice.
These easy vegan food swaps for effortless weight loss are a great starting point. Do you have any vegan weight loss hacks of your own? Let us know in the comments.
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