3 ways to lose weight when you've plateaud on a plant-based diet

Ever feel like you're doing everything right, by the book, but you're still not losing weight?

You're eating plant-based, feeling better (which is awesome), but the scale hasn't budged and you need it to.  You know you're on the right path but wonder "what am I doing wrong?"  

My friend Kathy feels this way and maybe you do too.  She had this to say commenting on Dr. Brie's interview from last week...

I’ve been eating plant-based for almost 7 months. A friend and I began together and it’s been a lot of fun sharing recipes and texting pics of what we ate that day. I feel great on this eating plan. I’m post menopausal and even though I’ve been following this diet for 7 months I can’t seem to lose weight. Help!
— Kathy, Take Control Tuesday friend

Even if you're not post menopausal it can be really frustrating knowing you're on the right path, but not getting the health results you want or expected.  And I've been there.  Multiple times and I know how to get through it.  

To help Kathy, today I'm sharing 3 ways to lose weight when you've plateaued on a plant-based diet whether you're post menopausal or not.

3 ways to lose weight when you've plateaued on a plant-based diet

1.  Make sure you're doing the diet right.  

There's many ways to do plant-based wrong or half-right.  Wrong or half-right won't get you the best results.  Here's an example of doing a plant-based diet wrong:  

Eating a junk-food vegan diet.  Tortilla chips (50%-ish fat), fries, vegan cookies etc. don't contain animal products, but that doesn't mean they're good for you.  Especially on a regular basis. At best, they're treats to be saved for special occasions.

Just because a diet is called plant-based or vegan doesn't mean it's good for you.

You must eat whole plant foods 90-100% of the time.  This includes fruits, veggies, whole-grains, legumes (beans, peas, lentils) and the optional nuts and seeds.  Refined foods (vegetable oils, white flour products and sugar) and animal products are not whole plant foods and should be avoided.  

Another example is eating high-fat plant food such as avocados, coconut, olives, nuts and seeds at every meal or as snacks.  Eating peanut butter out of the jar or peanut butter toast every morning instead of something more filling with less calories like oatmeal and fresh fruit can also prevent weight-loss (see point number two).  

Bottom line:  Learn how to do the diet right.  

Good news is, you're in the perfect place for that.  Sign-up for email updates above and you'll be the first to know when my free 'doing the diet right' crash course comes out in the next 2 weeks.  Or, learn from John McDougall, MD or Pam Popper, PhD, ND.  These are my top two teachers for doing the diet right.


2.  Eat high-fat plant foods as condiments or don't eat them at all.

People love avocados.  I do.  And that's partly because of the high amount of fat that's in them.

By design, fat tastes good so we'd eat it when we were hunter and gatherers.  At that time we needed the extra calories that fat provides because we never knew when we'd get more calories and needed any calories we could get to survive.  

The reason we need to be cautious of high-fat food is because fat has 5 extra calories per gram compared to a gram of carbohydrate or protein.  Carbohydrate and protein both have 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories per gram.  Same quantity, but more calories in fat.  

For example, nuts can be great for your health.  But, if you casually snack through just one cup of almonds throughout the day, that's 838 calories (1).  They're very calorie dense which means their small volume of food is packed with more calories.  Compare that to one cup of a baked sweet potato (same amount) which is only 184 calories (2).  Plus it's really filling so you're more likely to stop eating instead of continually snacking.    

Bottom line:  nuts and seeds should be used as condiments, not snacks to enjoy to their health benefits and flavor, without overdosing on calories.  Or, simply omit high-fat plant foods completely.  


3.  Increase the intensity, duration and frequency of your exercise and stick to it!

Most people I've worked with have more trouble sticking to a long-term and challenging exercise regiment than changing their diet.  Once you've hit a weight-loss plateau, it's time to ramp up your exercise.  

You need to continuously increase...

  • the intensity (how hard you're working),
  • the duration (how long you're exercising for) and or
  • the frequency (often you're working out)

for fitness to improve and weight loss to be encouraged.

The optimal goal is 5-6 days a week of exercising in your target heart rate for 45-60 minutes a day.

For post-menopausal women especially, hot yoga is a great way to reach that goal.  If you're in Columbia, SC, try Bikram Yoga or Yoga Masala.  I've been to them both.  Contact me if you want my opinion.

Now I'd love to hear from you.  Share your thoughts by clicking 'comment' below and answer...

Take Control Now Question

Which of these 3 tips do you need to implement the most and why?  

What's going to be the hardest part about getting started?

I can't wait to hear from you in the comments.

Love and Leafy Greens,