Hi all. I have just gone vegan and need some help to lose weight. Any advice would be really good.
I'm not worried about too much fat it's all the hidden sugar I worry about. My dad is diabetic and I don't want to go down the same road........

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Hello Ickle! It's great that you've turned vegan. =)

Weight loss is always difficult, so I'll share some tips that has worked quite well for me in getting toned. ;)

o I cut off the different imitation meat products, like the chicken nuggets, burger patties, etc. It's easier as the varieties and prices in South Africa compared to the ones in the States totally turned them into luxury goods. Restaurants rarely offer them either, so definitely a good thing. They are convenient, but unfortunately they contains so much artificial additive and salts, which caused me to have water retention problem in addition to artificial-ingredient sensitivities.

o I stopped eating the different desserts that offered outside, unless it's sliced fruits. There is only a handful places I know, which sells vegan desserts/ sweets and so to avoid mistakenly eat any dairy or egg, I just skip them, but I do take photos of the dessert and if possible, the ingredients and recreate them at home vegan style. (<- Sweet teeth is really hard to conquer.)

o I pick a day and cook from scratch for my whole week and a little bit more. I then divide them up and pack them into meal-worth sizes in my glass containers. It makes the food so wholesome and so delicious. The ingredients I use are all fresh produce and fruits, basic spices (I don't use any pre-mix ones as they usually contain MSG and that causes over-binging, water retention, hair loss, and other problems that you really can do without.)

o I do gentle cardio training and rotate them, so for example an hour of treadmill on Monday, cycling on Tuesday, stairs on Wednesday and so on. If you don't have gym membership, that is totally fine, you can incorporate some DVD aerobic exercises within each day. Just make sure to drink plenty of water and eat a little bit of protein right after exercising. It helps with the muscle building and reduces muscle soreness. If you don't like cardio, you can always do weight. Either way force the body to burn the fat to rebuild the muscles.

o The first thing after waking up is drinking a good glass of fresh lemon water. I prefer mine room temperature as that is the least stressful for my body. The lemon water helps hydrate (as your body actually get really parched at night), detox and get your body going in the morning.

Good luck on your weight loss journey. ;)

Thank you. Fresh lemon water sounds good. I may have to make some.
I don't eat out much as it's too expensive in the UK for a family of 4.
my son is a vegetarian so I'm cooking loads of food from scratch.
I know I need to step up my exercise regime, trouble is it's more a time issue for me. I know I need to stop making excuses.
Thanks for your reply. It's nice to 'chat' to another vegan
xxxx

I can understand. =) Being a mom is a full-time job with plenty of overtime but seeing children grow up is so rewarding. Sometimes it can get really pricy to purchase good quality food for the family, but my brother and I always say that it's cheaper and less painful than treating chronicle illnesses caused by bad lifestyle.

There is actually a variety of exercises that is popular in Asia where you can incorporate in your daily activities, so the extra time to workout is minimal. Some of the exercises you can try are:

(1) When you sit down on a chair, just sit the front 1/3 portion, so your legs will look more like upside-down Ls, right? Then take a piece of paper or magazine between your legs and clamp it using your knee. Hold the position for as long as you can then remove the paper and repeat. (Some people also prefer to lift their legs a little without holding onto the chair for a more challenging workout. Don't forget straight back.)

(2) When you are sweeping or mopping the floor, raise your heels a little bit and make little bounces but not allowing your heels touch the floor while pushing the broom or mop along.

(3) Take a book between your hands and make your hands into prayer position, except there's a book in the middle. Make sure that your shoulders are relax. No bunching up to the neck. Push hard with both hands into the book and then swivel your upper body slowly as far to the left as possible, then swivel to the right. Repeat.

(4) Return to the prayer position with the book in the middle and lift it over your head toward your back until your elbows are above your shoulder position. Gentle push the book further backward towards your back and hold. Repeat.

Hopefully that helps you getting more exercise in each day. Since each one of these actually target multiple muscles in one go, so the time used is far more compressed. You can decide how many reps you want and can build them up. =D

First of all, congratulations on making the plunge!  I became a vegan a little over a year ago, and I lost 10 pounds in my first month.  The interesting thing about that is that I was not trying to lose weight...it just happened.  The big reason was taking dairy out of my diet - every day, I used to have cream in my coffee, milk in my breakfast cereal, and some sort of cheese for lunch or dinner.  I also started walking every day - not a lot, just about 2 miles, which only takes half an hour at a brisk pace, or 45 minutes at a standard pace.  And I found a great resource for recipes: www.vegangela.com.  Angela is a Canadian who now lives in Australia, and she has the most amazing recipes.  She also responds to inquiries and is just a really nice person.  I made 1-2 of her recipes every week when I first changed my diet.  Also, it is very easy for us to eat too much fruit, since it is not only natural and vegan, but also healthy.  But resist the temptation to have too much (lots of sugar), and make sure that the majority of your diet comes from fresh vegetables.  You will definitely lose weight that way.  And if you drink soda, stop that bad habit and drink more water.  As Anne says, lemon water is a great way to start your day - I am fortunate to have a lemon tree in my back yard :)  Not sure if any of that helps, but it has worked for me.  Good luck!

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