3. You’re not sticking to three meals a day
By switching to a vegan diet, you find yourself focusing on your food choices more than ever; after all, you need to ensure a good balanced diet despite eliminating a number of food groups.
With food a focus of your day, you may find yourself grazing throughout the day.
Based on the latest research, the idea of eating three meals a day plus two snacks is long gone and ideally snacks should be avoided with a weight loss goal in mind.
Why is this? Insulin is released each time we eat a meal and its role is to remove the sugars that are released into the blood once a meal has been digested and processed.
We only need sugars for energy, thus, if there are too many sugars released into the blood and these exceed the energy requirement, for example, as a result of a diet that is high in sugars and carbohydrates, then the sugars will be removed and stored as fat, mainly around the middle.
Each time food is eaten, this cycle repeats itself and including two snacks during the day encourages this insulin release.
If there is a higher energy requirement, then this higher intake of carbohydrates can be justified and the sugars released will be used for energy rather than stored.
However, the likelihood is that energy requirement is limited if you are sitting at a desk, in the car or on the couch.
Thus when insulin levels are high, it is more likely that the sugars will be stored as fat, resulting in weight gain.
How to avoid the snacks
Ensuring good protein and vegetables at meals means you stay fuller for longer and therefore avoid the need to snack.
Prioritise the protein in your meals, whether that’s nuts, nut butter, nut milks, tofu, quinoa, lentils, beans and even vegetables, which have a surprisingly notable protein content.