Monday, March 28, 2011

Veganism for weight loss?

People go vegan for a number of reasons but, in my experience, those who fully & successfully adopt it are those who educate themselves about how to do it properly. They also learn what the true health benefits are, what the actual cost is to the planet &, most especially, what the true cost is to other sentient beings.
What it is not, as many have come to believe through recent media coverage, is a fool proof way to lose weight. That is an added bonus for some people, when cutting out animal fat & processed foods. In truth, it's also easy to gain weight. My wife & I are living proof of that. In fairness, we quit Weight Watchers shortly after going vegan so our caloric intake went from greatly restricted, to zero restrictions.
However, we have greatly reduced our risk of countless diseases, & feel better physically & emotionally (colds have become rare & don't last as long as they once did. And it's done wonders for my chronic sinus problems), but calories are still calories & that's where the weight comes from.
I also LOVE to cook. I love it more than ever since going vegan. It's definitely made me more creative in the kitchen. Learning all over again how to bake & how to veganize dishes. Plus, discovering new ingredients & methods for using them has become invigorating. There truly is a vegan version of everything.
But I'm also a food addict. I can still eat cookies, cakes, donuts, ice cream, chips & dip, fries, pizza, burgers, "eggs," buttery (full fat) spreads.... All of them healthier than their omni versions, but too much of anything is going to put on weight. Going vegan is not a weight loss diet (it is also more than just food. It means refraining from all animal derived products, to the absolute best of your ability, from clothing to cleaning products. Diet alone, by definition, is a strict vegetarian).
Veganism is simply about peace & kindness. To the animals, the planet & your body. "Do no harm" is the single goal. In the world that we live in, it's not 100% achievable, but that doesn't mean to throw the baby out with the bath water. In reality, it's about compassion, which is more than just a sweet sentiment. Veganism = an ongoing act of compassion.
Absolutely, go vegan for the health benefits. Stay vegan for the benefit of everyone.


  1. Thank you for addressing this! I swear the media has gone nuts thinking that veganism is some new fun diet. It's easy to gain weight on a vegan diet, there's so much to eat! :)

  2. Thank you! I've been hearing the "go vegan, lose weight" slogans since I went vegan, but it seems to be picking up speed, especially with the growing popularity of Kathy Freston. I just sent a huge packet of info & recipes to my sister-in-law, who saw the Oprah episode and wants to try eating vegan as a way to loss weight. Knowing the truth (& living the truth), I fear that she, and others, will go vegan as a way to shed pounds & then become disillusioned when they either don't lose anything, it quickly comes back, or they actually gain. Mind you, I welcome every valid, initial reason for people to go vegan, but I believe that one based on pure bunk will not help anyone.

  3. Great first post! Anytime someone tells me they want to go vegan I like to ask their motivation first off b/c I'm always weary of them doing it for weight loss. I did lose weight when i became vegan but I know that everyone won't. I also love your point that veganism is more about ongoing compassion and doing no harm rather than just an eating style. I echo your bit about colds and whatnot. I had terrible colds 2-3 times every year and now they either don't come at all or don't come on as strong and last as long. Glad you've joined the blogosphere!