A woman smiling while holding and shopping for green vegan food.

It can be frustrating to figure out how to lose weight on an already restricted plant-based diet, but with the right strategy, you can achieve your goals.

There are various reasons why you may have chosen to be on a vegan diet, and you should not have to compromise your values for weight loss. This article will discuss practical tips for losing weight while on a vegan diet.

Is it Difficult to Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet?

Some studies suggest that a vegan diet can aid in weight loss. For example, a 2016 study found that people who followed a vegan diet decreased their consumption of saturated fats and lost more weight over six months than study participants who followed a vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, or omnivorous diet for the same amount of time.

Eating a vegetarian or vegan diet rich in vegetable fats may boost your metabolism. Improving your metabolic function can help you burn more calories while at rest, which can increase the effectiveness of your weight loss efforts.

If you eat a diet low in fat and low on glycemic index, you may be able to successfully lose weight on a vegan diet without counting calories.

What are Some Weight Loss Tips for Vegans?

In this section, we will share some techniques to help you lose weight while on a vegan diet.

Plan Simple Meals

Going for simple, homemade meals makes it easier to plan and prepare healthy meals while still using quality ingredients. One study has shown that people who do not plan their meals have a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who plan ahead.

Pay Attention to Portions and Food Groups

A plate and cups full of vegan food to help vegans lose weight.The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) My Plate states that the average person needs the following portions of each food group daily:

  • Grains such as cooked cereal, pasta, or rice: 6 servings for women and nine servings for men.
  • Vegetables such as raw leafy greens or vegetable juice: 3 or more servings for women and four or more servings for men.
  • Fruits such as whole fruit or no-sugar-added fruit juice: 2 servings for women and three servings for men.
  • Dairy alternatives such as non-dairy milk: 2-3 servings for both men and women.
  • Meat alternatives, nuts, and beans such as soy burgers, peanut butter, and cooked dry beans: 5 ounces for women and 6 ounces for men.
  • Fats/oils such as butter and avocado: 5-6 servings for women and 6-7 servings for men.

Typically, one serving of each food group consists of one item (such as one orange or one piece of bread), one to two tablespoons, or one-half to two cups of a particular food.

Eat enough Protein

Eating about 5.5 ounces of protein per day is recommended, which amounts to about 0.41 grams per pound of your current body weight. There are about four calories in each gram of protein.

How a Doctor can Help

registered dietitianA doctor can help you on your weight loss journey in several ways.

Referring You to a Dietician

A doctor can refer a registered dietician to help you create the right meal plan. In one study, participants who worked with a dietician to help them lose weight lost an average of 2.6 pounds, while those who did not enlist the help of a dietician gained 0.5 pounds.

Referring You to a Mental Health Care Professional

Your doctor can also refer you to a mental health care professional to help identify and modify behaviors contributing to weight gain. Some of the psychological blocks that can make it harder to lose weight include:

  • All-or-nothing thinking
  • Depression
  • Negative body image
  • Stress

In addition to getting professional help, there are some things you can do to overcome psychological blocks, such as:

  • Keeping a journal
  • Prioritizing sleep
  • Making small changes like taking a 15-minute walk each day
  • Challenging negative self-talk with positive mantras
  • Practicing relaxation techniques like guided imagery
  • Seeking help through face-to-face or virtual therapy to help you identify and combat mental barriers to your weight loss

Prescribing a Weight Loss Medication

Another way a doctor can help you lose weight is by prescribing a weight loss medication like Wegovy for you to use along with diet and exercise.

Wegovy is an FDA-approved injectable form of semaglutide, and it works by decreasing your appetite, which helps you to lose weight by reducing your food consumption.

You may be eligible if you are obese (you have a BMI of 30 or higher) with or without another health condition related to your weight or if you are overweight (you have a BMI between 27 and 29) and you have at least one health condition related to your weight, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

Wegovy has been found to lead to a weight loss percentage of 10.8 percent of a patient’s initial body weight.


Weight loss is a process, and finding sustainable habits that work for you is the best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Careful adjustments to your daily habits and avoiding extreme diets, plus seeking the support of healthcare professionals, can help vegans lose weight safely and effectively.