You’ve decided to go vegan and want to shed a few pounds quickly. Great choice – a balanced vegan diet full of nutritious plant-based foods is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight. The key is focusing on foods high in nutrients but low in calories and eating them in proper portion sizes. We’ve rounded up some of the best vegan food for weight loss to help you craft satisfying meals and slim down fast. Add these delicious and versatile staples to your diet and the pounds will melt away in no time.
Why Vegan Foods Are Great for Weight Loss
Vegan diets are naturally high in fiber and low in calories, which is the perfect combination for weight loss.
Vegan diets are chock-full of high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. All that fiber helps you feel full and satisfied, so you end up eating fewer calories. It also keeps food moving through your digestive tract, which aids weight loss. Some great options include:
- Beans and lentils: A single cup of cooked lentils provides a whopping 18 grams of fiber.
- Oatmeal: A bowl of oatmeal made with rolled oats or steel-cut oats provides 8 grams of fiber.
- Broccoli: Just one cup of chopped broccoli florets has 5 grams of fiber.
Low energy density
Vegan foods tend to be low in energy density, meaning they have few calories for their volume and weight. So you can eat larger portions while still cutting calories. Some excellent low-density options include soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries packed with veggies. Compared to high-density foods like cheese, meat, and fried foods, these options are more filling and satisfying.
A balanced vegan diet provides all the nutrients you need for good health and successful weight loss. Focus on eating a variety of whole plant foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These powerhouse foods are loaded with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to keep you energized while cutting calories.
So go ahead and eat up! A vegan diet can be extremely satisfying and slimming. Fill your plate with fiber- and nutrient-rich plant foods, watch your portion sizes, and the weight will come right off.
7 Vegan Food For Weight Loss
When it comes to losing weight on a vegan diet, some foods really stand out from the crowd. Focus on these plant-based powerhouses and you’ll be shedding pounds in no time.
1. Chickpeas for Protein
Chickpeas are a vegan’s best friend when it comes to weight loss. These little legumes pack a lot of nutrition in a small package.
Chickpeas contain 15 grams of protein per cooked cup, which helps keep you feeling full and reduces cravings. Their protein contains amino acids that stimulate the production of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone in your brain that can help improve your mood and reduce emotional eating.
Chickpeas are also high in fiber, with 15 grams per cup. Fiber fills you up and helps stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing the energy crashes that can lead to overeating. Because chickpeas expand in your stomach, they give you that comfortably full feeling for hours. Eating more chickpeas and other high-fiber foods is an easy way to cut calories without feeling deprived.
Nutrient-Dense and Versatile
Chickpeas contain manganese, folate, magnesium, iron and phosphorus—all important minerals for health, metabolism and weight management. They’re also budget-friendly, with a long shelf life when dried or canned.
Chickpeas can be prepared in many of the same ways as beans and lentils. Drain and rinse canned chickpeas and add them to salads, soups and stews. Puree cooked chickpeas with garlic and olive oil to make hummus or chickpea salad sandwiches. Toss chickpeas with vegetables and grains for a hearty Buddha bowl. Roast chickpeas with spices to make crunchy snacks or sprinkle on yogurt and oatmeal.
With so many ways to enjoy chickpeas, it’s easy to incorporate them into your diet for weight loss. Just one cup, 2-3 times a week can help boost your protein, fill you up, and satisfy your taste buds—all for under 300 calories. Add other high-protein, high-fiber vegan foods and you’ll be losing weight in no time.
2. Oats for Fiber
Oats are a nutritional powerhouse for vegans looking to shed some pounds. Packed with fiber and protein, oats will fill you up and keep you satisfied for hours.
Oatmeal for Breakfast
Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is one of the best ways to boost your fiber intake. A cup of cooked oats provides a whopping 8 grams of fiber, about 1/3 of your daily needs. Fiber expands in your stomach, making you feel full and reducing appetite. Have oatmeal for breakfast 3-4 times a week and you’ll start to notice you’re not as hungry before lunch.
To make your oatmeal weight loss-friendly, use water or plant-based milk instead of cow’s milk and top it with fresh or frozen fruit, nuts, and a little maple syrup. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract can add flavor without extra calories. Avoid packaged instant oatmeals which are often loaded with sugar. Old-fashioned or steel cut oats have more fiber and natural flavor.
Oats aren’t just for breakfast – you can enjoy their nutritional benefits all day long. Homemade oat bran muffins, oat flour pancakes, and oat bars or cookies made with little or no added sugar are great options. For a snack on the go, try:
- Oat bran – Mix with yogurt or a smoothie, sprinkle on salads
- Granola – Look for low-sugar varieties or make your own
- Oat crackers – Top with hummus, peanut butter or mashed avocado
Oat groats, oat flour, and oat bran can also be used in place of some wheat flour in many recipes. Use oat flour or oat bran for up to 1/3 of the total flour in pancakes, muffins, and breads.
Increasing your oat intake is an easy way to boost nutrition, feel full, and aid weight loss as part of a balanced vegan diet and active lifestyle. Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal, have an oat-based snack in the afternoon, and experiment by adding oats and oat flour to your favorite recipes.
3. Pistachios for Healthy Fat
Pistachios are a perfect snack for weight loss. They contain healthy fats that keep you feeling full and satisfied, along with protein to build muscle. Just 1 ounce of pistachios contains 49 nuts and has only 170 calories but packs 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat, most of which is the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind.
Pistachios are nutritional powerhouses. They contain potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins like thiamine and folate. The also have a good amount of vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Vitamin E helps protect your cells from damage and may help reduce inflammation in the body.
Eating pistachios in moderation can absolutely be part of a balanced weight loss plan. The key is portion control, as pistachios are easy to overeat. Stick to 1 ounce, about 49 nuts, for a snack. That may seem small, but pistachios contain healthy fats and protein that satisfy hunger and keep you feeling full.
Satisfying and Portable
Pistachios make a perfect on-the-go snack. Their shells naturally slow down how fast you can eat them, making them more satisfying. The slight hassle of shelling them may deter you from mindless overeating too. Their portability also makes them ideal for road trips, hiking, camping or anywhere you need a healthy snack.
How to Enjoy
Sprinkle pistachios on yogurt or add them to trail mix. Toss some in a salad for extra crunch or blend them into pesto for a nutty twist. If the shells bother you, look for shelled pistachios, but be warned — they may be easier to overeat without the shell! For the lowest calorie option, choose pistachios with no added salt. Sea salt pistachios, while tasty, tend to be higher in sodium.
In summary, pistachios should be part of any vegan weight loss plan. They satisfy hunger, provide nutrition and healthy fats, and their natural shell makes them a perfect mindful snack. Portion control is key, so stick to 1 ounce and enjoy pistachios as part of a balanced diet and exercise plan.
4. Quinoa for Vitamin B and Zinc
Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids our body needs. It’s also a great source of vitamin B and zinc, two nutrients important for weight loss.
The B vitamins, especially B6 and B12, help your body metabolize fat and protein. They’re important for breaking down carbohydrates into energy and fat into fatty acids that can be used for fuel. Eating quinoa regularly will provide a healthy dose of energizing B vitamins to keep your metabolism humming.
Zinc plays a role in fat metabolism and insulin production. Low zinc levels are linked to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Quinoa contains more zinc per serving than any other whole grain. Just one cup of cooked quinoa meets 30% of your daily zinc needs.
Quinoa is also high in fiber, containing 5 grams per half cup. Fiber helps keep you feeling full and reduces appetite, so you end up eating fewer calories. The fiber in quinoa may help support weight loss when consumed as part of a balanced diet and exercise plan.
Some ways to enjoy quinoa:
•Cook it in broth or vegetable stock for extra flavor. Season with chili powder, cumin, garlic and cilantro for a Mexican-inspired dish.
•Add cooked quinoa to salads for a boost of protein and whole grains. Mix it with leafy greens, beans, and a light vinaigrette.
•Stir in cooked quinoa to vegetable soups or stews in place of rice or noodles.
•Make quinoa porridge for breakfast by cooking quinoa in milk or nondairy milk. Top with fruit, nuts and honey.
•Add cooked quinoa to veggie burgers or meatballs to make them more filling.
•Make quinoa tabbouleh by mixing cooked quinoa with chopped parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice and veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers.
Quinoa is a versatile, nutritious whole grain that should be a staple in any weight loss diet. Eating it regularly will provide your body with essential nutrients to support fat burning and better health.
5. Kind Mini Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt Bar
The Kind Mini Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt Bar is a delicious vegan-friendly snack option for weight loss. At only 180 calories and 9 grams of sugar per bar, it satisfies your chocolate craving without sabotaging your diet.
Rich in nutrients
This snack bar provides 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber from ingredients like almonds, peanuts and cashews to keep you feeling full. It also contains healthy fats from these nuts as well as coconut oil and cocoa butter. Minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron offer nutritional benefits too. The sea salt enhances the flavor and provides sodium, an essential electrolyte for your body.
All natural, plant-based ingredients
The mini chocolate bar is made from simple, recognizable ingredients like nuts, cocoa, coconut sugar and sea salt. It contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The dark chocolate is dairy-free, using cocoa butter instead of milk fat. This snack option is suitable for vegans and those on a plant-based diet.
Satisfies your sweet tooth
At just 60 calories per mini bar, you can enjoy one or two without guilt. The rich dark chocolate and touch of sea salt create a delicious sweet and salty combination. When you have a chocolate craving, this bar will satisfy it in a healthy way. The small size also makes it easy to practice portion control.
Boosts mood and focus
Dark chocolate contains compounds like theobromine that can give your mood and mental focus a boost. Having one of these mini chocolate bars may provide the pick-me-up you need in the afternoon when your energy starts to flag. The nuts also contain vitamin B6, which helps produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
This delicious vegan snack bar is satisfying and nutritious, made from all natural ingredients. With options for portion control, it helps curb cravings in a healthy way while providing nutritional and mood benefits. Adding the Kind Mini Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt Bar to your diet can support your weight loss goals and fuel your body and mind.
6. Almonds for Protein, Healthy Fat and Antioxidants
Almonds are a perfect snack for vegans looking to lose weight. They are high in plant-based protein and healthy fats that keep you feeling full, while also providing antioxidants and other nutrients.
A one ounce serving of almonds contains 6 grams of protein, which is 12% of the Daily Value. This protein, along with the fiber in almonds, helps you feel satisfied and reduces cravings. The protein in almonds can also help maintain muscle mass as you lose weight.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of fat found in olive oil. These fats are good for your heart and may help with weight loss. Studies show people who eat nuts tend to weigh less and gain less weight over time. The healthy fats, protein and fiber in almonds work together to curb your appetite and prevent overeating.
Almonds are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin E that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. They also contain magnesium, which helps regulate blood sugar and is important for metabolism and energy production. The antioxidants and nutrients in just a one ounce serving of almonds provide many of the antioxidants you need in a day.
Tips for Weight Loss
To maximize the weight loss benefits of almonds:
•Measure out one ounce portions (about 23 almonds) and avoid overeating. While almonds are good for you, they are high in calories.
•Choose almond milk or almond butter as alternatives to dairy. They have fewer calories but provide many of the same nutrients.
•Add almonds to salads, yogurt or oatmeal for extra protein and healthy fats.
•Almonds make a perfect on-the-go snack. Keep single serve packs with you so you have a protein-packed snack available whenever hunger strikes.
Almonds should be a staple in any vegan weight loss plan. They keep you feeling full, reduce cravings and provide nutrition that supports your health and metabolism. Adding almonds to your diet can help with weight loss in a sustainable way.
7. Seaweed Snacks for Fiber and to Satisfy Salt Cravings
Seaweed snacks are a delicious way to boost your fiber intake and satisfy salty cravings on a vegan diet. Seaweed is naturally high in fiber but low in calories, so it fills you up without filling you out.
Nori seaweed sheets are best known for wrapping sushi rolls, but you can also snack on the sheets directly. Nori sheets come lightly salted and roasted, with a crisp, salty, and savory flavor. They contain protein, iodine, and various minerals along with fiber. Nori sheets break into small, cracker-like pieces that work well for dipping in hummus, nut butters, or avocado mash.
Dulse is a type of red seaweed that comes in flake or powder form. It has a spicy, smoky flavor and chewy, bacon-like texture when roasted. Dulse flakes or powder can be sprinkled on salads, rice and grain bowls, avocado toast, popcorn or chips as a savory seasoning. Just 1/4 cup of dulse provides a whopping 4 grams of fiber, along with protein and various minerals.
Seaweed Snack Packs
Pre-packaged seaweed snack packs offer single-serve portions of roasted seaweed strips in convenient tear-open packs. Flavors like sesame, wasabi and chili provide extra kick and protein from the additions of sesame seeds or pea protein. Although higher in sodium, these pre-made packs are very snackable and portable. Just watch your portion sizes, as most packs contain 2-3 servings.
Seaweed may seem like an unlikely snack, but its umami flavor and nutrition benefits make it a satisfying option for vegans and health-conscious eaters alike. Experiment with different types and flavors of seaweed to discover your favorites. Along with the weight loss and fiber benefits, seaweed provides a range of minerals that can be lacking in plant-based diets, like iodine, iron, and calcium. Satisfy your craving for something salty in a nutritious way with these sea veggies.
Frequently Asked Questions on Best Vegan Food For Weight Loss
So you’ve decided to go vegan to lose weight. That’s great! A balanced vegan diet can be very effective for weight loss and provide many other health benefits. However, it does require some extra planning to make sure you get all the nutrients you need. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you on your journey.
Do I need to take supplements?
It’s a good idea. Important nutrients like B12, iron, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids can be lacking in a vegan diet. Talk to your doctor about a vegan-friendly multi-vitamin or specific supplements you may need.
What are the best vegan sources of protein?
Excellent sources of vegan protein include:
- Tofu – Contains about 10 grams of protein per half cup. Tofu can be grilled, sautéed or blended into sauces and smoothies.
- Lentils – A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein. Lentils work well in curries, stews, salads and soups.
- Nut butters – Two tablespoons of peanut butter has 8 grams of protein. Almond and cashew butters also work great.
- Seitan – Made from wheat gluten, 3 ounces of seitan has 31 grams of protein. Seitan can be cooked in many of the same ways as meat.
- Plant-based protein powders – Powders made from pea protein, rice protein or hemp protein contain 20-30 grams of protein per scoop. Add to smoothies for a protein boost.
What about vegan snacks and treats?
There are lots of vegan snacks that are perfect for weight loss like:
- Fresh or dried fruit: Berries, bananas, raisins, etc.
- Rice cakes or veggie chips with hummus
- Dark chocolate – At least 70% cocoa, 1 ounce has about 2 grams of protein and healthy fats.
- Trail mix – Look for a mix with nuts, seeds and just a bit of chocolate or dried fruit. Limit to 1/4 cup.
- Smoothies – Blend fruits like bananas and berries with a plant-based milk and protein powder.
A balanced vegan diet with the right proteins and nutrients absolutely can lead to weight loss success. The key is focusing on whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and limiting processed vegan meats or cheeses. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. They can provide guidance for following a healthy vegan diet tailored to your needs.
So there you have it, some of the best vegan foods to add to your diet to boost your weight loss efforts. Packed with nutrients but low in calories, these plant-based options can help fill you up and fuel your body. The key is to focus on eating a balanced mix of protein, healthy fats, and fiber at each meal. Start by picking 2-3 of these foods to incorporate into your regular routine and build from there. Losing weight at a steady and sustainable pace is the goal. Don’t get discouraged if you slip up, just get back to making good choices the next day. You’ve got this! Stick with it and stay consistent, your waistline and health will thank you. Now go enjoy a delicious meal with foods from this list. You deserve it!