By Nicole Bourn

The mantra that we hear most often is we should “eat less and move more.” But if this caused sustainable weight loss we would never struggle while being on restrictive diets and already be thin by now. The truth is we need to eat enough food to get through the day. Most people are surprised to learn that I lost 92 lbs as a result of eating more \ (of the right food). Here's how you can eat a lot and still lose weight?

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The best strategy to losing weight is to add foods that are low in calorie density.

WHAT IS CALORIE DENSITY?

Calorie density is simply a measure of the concentration of calories in a food. The higher the calorie density, the higher the concentration of calories packed into the food bite for bite. This is an excellent indicator of how easy it is to overeat on a food, because the more calories that are packed into a food per bite, the more likely we are to overeat on that food.

Foods that are low in calorie density, like fruits and vegetables, don’t pack a lot of calories per bite. They are stuffed not with calories, but with water and fiber, making them bulky (and therefore more filling), which allows us to lose weight without going hungry.

On the other hand, foods that are high in calorie density, like cake or burgers, are stuffed with lots of calories per bite, with very little bulk (making them less filling), which can lead to overeating and too many calories.

THE 4 CATEGORIES OF CALORIE DENSITY

1. LOW CALORIE DENSITY
All unprocessed or minimally processed fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, berries, kale, zucchini, and bell peppers. You can eat freely of these foods.

2. MODERATE CALORIE DENSITY
All unprocessed or minimally processed starchy vegetables like peas and corn, intact whole grains like brown rice and oats, and legumes like beans and lentils. You can eat a relatively large portion of these foods.

3. HIGH CALORIE DENSITY
More processed plant-based foods like bagels, dry cereal, bread, tortillas, and dried fruit. Limit the consumption of these foods.

4. VERY HIGH CALORIE DENSITY
Nuts and seeds, oils and fats, chocolate, and junk foods. Greatly limit or avoid the consumption of these foods.

The first 2 groups (low and moderate in calorie density) should make up the majority of your calorie intake. But the ratio of vegetables or fruits to starches can also be an important factor.

We all know that eating a large bowl of lettuce might fill up your stomach, but it will keep you hungry at the same. So make sure to combine your low calorie dense foods with some starches from the second category in order to feel satisfied and have enough energy.

You might have recognized that there are no animal-based foods in our 4 categories. This is because you need to remember that these should not be seen as food, since they are very harmful to your overall health and our planet. If you want to eat some chocolate or a burger, then choose the plant-based version like Vegan Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Nibs or Black Bean Burgers, and Beyond Meat Burgers, and you will be just fine.
TIPS FOR APPLYING THESE PRINCIPLES

1. Hunger
Whenever you are hungry, eat until you are comfortably full of food lower in calorie density. Don’t starve or stuff yourself, and don’t eat when you’re not hungry.
2. Sequence Meals
Start all meals with a salad, soup, or fruit. By starting with these foods that are lowest in calorie density, you begin to fill up on fewer calories.
3. Don’t drink your calories
Liquid calories like soft drinks or fruit juice have little if any satiety, so they don’t fill you up as much as solid foods with the same amount of calories.
4. Keep the categories in mind
Non-starchy vegetables are the lowest in calorie density and fat or oil are the highest. Therefore, adding non-starchy vegetables to any dish will always lower the overall calorie density of a meal. Consequently, adding fat or oil to any dish will always raise the overall calorie density of a meal.
5. Limit High Calorie Dense Food
If you use flour products or fats, integrate them into meals that are made of low calorie dense foods and think of them as condiments. For example, add a few walnuts or raisins to a bowl of oatmeal with fruit.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
This basically means weight-loss and maintenance can be in your control. Meaning you don't have to under eat, starve, kill yourself in the gym or miss out on the fun and excitement of food. You can enjoy food, actually eat more and watch the weight melt away just as I did. In 9 months following the calorie density method I was able to lose 92lbs. So can you!

Would you try the low calorie density method to lose weight and be healthier? 

Nicole Bourn, is the founder of Vegan Mom Lifestyle, a lifestyle blog geared towards removing the fear and confusion from beginning a vegan or plant-based lifestyle. She began her journey simply for her own lifestyle purposes, into a healthier her and along the way has helped countless woman and men begin their vegan lifestyle. She is a native of Washington DC, a single mother of four daughters and an inspiration to many. During her journey as a Vegan she loss 92lbs, completely healed herself from both anemia and asthma. Follow Nicole, or Vegan Mom as some might call her, on Instagram, or nicolebourn.com

By Nicole Bourn

Whether you know it or not there are some pretty amazing reasons to become a vegan. Becoming vegan is not only great for your personal health but the health of the world. I believe that we all have a moral obligation to be our best. That best in my opinion is making a conscious decision to eat wiser and live better. Here are 14 amazing reasons to become vegan!

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1. Treat or reverse other current health conditions
Our health is our most valuable asset in life. Any chance to decrease our risk for disease and instead support our body’s healing mechanisms should be taken seriously. So many aspects of our health lie in our own hands! A plant-based diet is often times even more effective than medication and surgery when it comes to these diseases!

2. Get and stay slim effortlessly
Vegans are the only group of people who average a normal and healthy BMI – the more animal products people eat, the higher their BMI. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the fact that animal products do not contain any carbs and are, instead, higher in fat. Dietary fat has more calories and is a lot easier converted into body fat than calories from carbohydrates.

3. Showing kindness and compassion to sentient beings
Even though for some people, the ethical argument for veganism isn’t as strong – it can never hurt to be kind. Sparing someone’s life is always the right thing to do, especially if that someone is completely innocent.

4. Resources and world hunger
We’re not just thinking about the farm animals. Humans all over the world have to suffer because of the huge demand for animal products. How? As of today, we would have enough food to feed 10 billion people, while only 7 billion are in this world. But as it turns out, 50% of grains worldwide are being eaten by animals in the industries… while 82% of children living next to livestock are starving.

5. Animal products are dirty
Every time you sit down to a meal containing meat, eggs, or dairy products, you’re dining on known bacteria, antibiotics, hormones, dioxins, and a host of other toxins that can cause serious health problems in humans. An extremely high percentage of all the flesh butchered every year in the U.S. is contaminated with E. coli, campylobacter, listeria, or other dangerous bacteria that live in the intestinal tracts, flesh, and feces of animals.

6. We have no need for animal products
The killing of farmed animals is unnecessary, and therefore a cruel act. We simply do it for pleasure of eating and out of tradition. There is no proof, what so ever, that human beings must eat meat, dairy or eggs, in order to be healthy and thriving.

7. Save the environment and stop climate change
Around 18-51 percent of man-made pollution comes from the meat industry, putting factory farming ahead of transportation in contributing to the greenhouse effect.

8. Try amazing new dishes
Have you ever had a Buddha bowl? How about a delicious quinoa salad or black bean burgers? There are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world, of which somewhere between 150 and 200 have been domesticated and farmed.

9. Improve your fitness
Most people fear a loss of energy or muscle mass when abstaining from animal products – but quite the opposite is true. Meat and dairy are especially hard to digest, taking much of your energy and leaving you tired. Adopting a vegan diet does in no way hinder you from reaching your fitness goals and might likely give you a nice boost of added energy and strength.

10. Better skin and digestion
For most people with acne-prone skin, dairy is one of the worst offenders. Unfortunately, many doctors are unaware of this issue and tend to prescribe medication and harsh chemicals in order to improve skin health.

11. Boost your mood
We’ve known that people eating plant-based tend to have healthier mood states—less tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, and fatigue. This is due to the higher level of antioxidants in plant-based foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.

12. Save lots of money
Vegan diets can be extremely economical. When you center your diet around grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and seasonal fruits and veggies, you might be cutting your monthly food expense in half. Many of these foods can be bought in bulk and stored for a long time.
There are a lot of great options for eating vegan on a budget

13. It’s never been so easy
You might not be aware of this but many supermarket foods are already vegan, including dark chocolate, Oreos, Twizzlers, Kraft Taco Bell Taco Dinner, as well as many sauces and mixes. There are also lots of different plant-based milk options, coconut ice creams, mock meats, and more!

Are you vegan or would you consider it?

Nicole Bourn, is the founder of Vegan Mom Lifestyle, a lifestyle blog geared towards removing the fear and confusion from beginning a vegan or plant-based lifestyle. She began her journey simply for her own lifestyle purposes, into a healthier her and along the way has helped countless woman and men begin their vegan lifestyle. She is a native of Washington DC, a single mother of four daughters and an inspiration to many. During her journey as a Vegan she loss 92lbs, completely healed herself from both anemia and asthma. Follow Nicole, or Vegan Mom as some might call her, on Instagram, or nicolebourn.com
Via Nicolebourn.com
By  Nicole Bourn
Carefully choosing what to buy is something almost everyone has been through at some stage of their life. We all need to find a way of eating healthy and vegan on a budget until we have enough money to not care as much.
There's a very common misunderstanding of healthy, plant-based food being exceptionally expensive. This might stem from the idea that we have to buy expensive supplements, powders, superfoods or vegan meat and dairy substitutes in order to sustain this lifestyle.
These things can be nice to have but aren't really necessary to thrive and be healthy. If you strip it down to the basics, you will find that the whole food plant based lifestyle can actually be dirt cheap and easily affordable for anyone. With a little bit of knowledge, a healthy diet bursting with taste and nutrients will fit your budget even if you have to count every penny. The following 14 tips will get you the most bang for your buck!

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