Yo-Yo Dieting is Emotionally Exhausting

If you’re like me, going vegan or plant based was motivated by a desire to stop yo-yo dieting. I’ve had a lifelong struggle with weight from early childhood.  If you’ve ever been overweight, you can probably pinpoint the exact moment you realized fat people are treated differently than thin people. Putting down fat people is the last accepted form of bullying. Under the guise of caring for a person’s health, family, friends and even complete strangers feel they are helping by pointing out the secret to a magically better you. “You need to lose weight.” In other words, thin people are happy and fat people are sad.

The average person will try 126 different diets in their lifetime. Often times these “crash diets” promise quick weight loss which is difficult, if not impossible to maintain. Granted these results can be exciting, but it causes an emotionally painful cycle of losing and regaining the weight over and over again.

I went on my first diet when I was 8 years old and lost and gained the same 80 pounds at least five times since then. Namely, the Atkins diet, the military diet, juice fasting, high protein, low fat, just eggs, and I developed disordered eating habits. I moved to Korea and shortly after I started a plant-based diet and as a result the weight began to fall off.

Plant Based Diet is the Easiest Path to Weight Loss 

If you’re already vegan and can’t lose weight, you’re probably frustrated. You’ve given up so much and still the scale won’t budge. And if you’re not vegan, you’re on the right path to the greatest health you could possibly imagine. Veganism or abstaining from all animal products is not enough for lasting weight loss and health. But if you fully dedicate yourself to a whole food plant-based diet you’ll see the pounds melt off and without counting calories.

Let’s look at what the plant-based doctors have to say about weekly rate of weight loss on a plant-based diet.

Dr. John McDougall

Dr. John McDougall aka The King of Weight Loss

Dr. John McDougall is the author of The Starch Solution and owner of the McDougall Health & Medical Center in Santa Rosa, California. I often refer to him as my North star because through his expertise I taught myself how to eat for weight loss and ultimate health. 

The Starch Solution

Dr. McDougall has two versions of his popular McDougall diet. The Starch Solution based primarily around complex carbohydrates for people looking to lose weight or maintain their current weight. The Starch Solution diet consists of approximately 70% starch, 20% vegetables, and 10% fruits. He’s known for his love for potatoes and any diet that encourages me to eat my favorite carbohydrate is worth sticking to. Dr. McDougall collected weight loss data from participants of his in-house program and the average person lost half a pound a day – 3.5 pounds a week – 14 pounds a month! And participants continued to lose weight until they reached their goal weight.

Maximum Weight Loss Program

The McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Program follows the same guidelines as above with two additional protocols.  

1. Eliminate whole grain flour products like breads and cereals. 

2. Find one starch you love and make it the focus of every meal. Add yellow and green vegetables in addition to your starch. Starches keep you fuller longer, so please don’t fill up on light veggies or you’ll be ravenously hungry before your next meal. 

People who follow the Maximum Weight Loss Program lost an additional pound per week or 52 pounds per year on a plant-based diet. For this reason consider starting strict and introducing more foods over time. Not too shabby for the little bit of extra effort.

Forks over Knives

Forks Over Knives 

The popular documentary Forks Over Knives  was the catalyst for many to adopt a whole food plant-based diet. The two featured doctors; T. Colin Campbell of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease Program are both well into their 80’s and the epitome of plant-based health. When someone asks me my about this way of eating it’s still my go-to recommendation as an accessible resource. The Forks Over Knives diet consists of loading up on:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Tubers & starchy vegetables 
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes

The Forks Over Knives book doesn’t give a specified rate of weight loss per week but under the news feed there are hundreds of testimonials. There are people who have lost upwards of 120 pounds and others who only had 30 pounds to lose. Follow the diet protocols and the average weight loss is whatever you’re looking to lose, it’s that simple! 

Dr. Michael Gregor M.D.

Dr. Michael Gregor M.D.

Dr. Gregor is the author of How Not to Die, a New York Times Bestseller and creator of the informative NutritionFacts.org. The cornerstone of his diet is the Daily Dozen Challenge based on years of scientific research keeping humans alive, healthy and thriving. The Daily Dozen is straight forward and there’s even an app to make following along with the check list easy:

  • 3 servings of beans
  • 3 servings of fruit
  • 2 servings of greens
  • 1 serving of flaxseed
  • 3 servings of grains
  • 1 serving of berries
  • 1 serving of cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower)
  • 2 servings of vegetables
  • 1 serving of nuts
  • Spices such as turmeric and cumin
  • 5 servings of water
  • 90 minutes of daily exercise (walking) or 45 minutes vigorous activity (boxing)

In addition to the daily dozen, Dr. Gregor wants people to remove fat from their diet and sneak in more vegetables. To begin with, lunch and dinner start every meal with a vegetable like a green salad with balsamic vinegar or a serving of broccoli.  Subsequently people who did this on average reduce their meal portions of starch-based foods by 20%.  In one study women who added spinach powder into their diet received a boost of appetite suppressing hormones and a decreased urge for sweets and chocolate yielding higher weight loss results. 

On this diet one group of individuals lost 17 pounds in 3 weeks! That’s just over 5.5 pounds in a single week. It’s nothing short of miraculous and completely accessible.

Dr. Alan Goldhamer, DC

Alan Goldhamer, DC

Dr. Goldhamer creator of the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa California is a pioneer not only for his strict plant-based diet but also for the practice of water fasting.  An advocate of water fasting to cure a variety of ailments including cancer, heart disease and diabetes his work is peer reviewed and serviced more than 20,000 people. 

In addition to a fully whole foods plant-based diet, Dr. Goldhamer advocates for zero additional oil, salt and sugar but the rewards for this tradeoff are nothing short of awe inspiring.  Alongside adequate sleep and physical activity weekly weight loss on a plant-based diet averages 1.5-2 pounds per week for women and 2-3 pounds per week for men. Above all these results are without water fasting. In conjunction with a water fast, Dr. Goldhamer promises lifelong benefits including weight maintenance, freedom from substance addiction and autoimmune disorders. 

Average Weekly Weight Loss on a Plant Based Diet Roundup

With a whole food plant-based diet it’s impossible not to lose weigh. The rate of loss is determined by how strict you want to be and what fits with your lifestyle.

Dr. John McDougall
3.5-4 pounds per week
Buy the book The Starch Solution

Forks Over Knives                  
Individuals have lost 300+ lbs
Buy the book The Forks Over Knives Plan

Dr. Michael Gregor                 
Up to 5.5 pounds per week
Buy the book How Not to Diet

Alan Goldhamer, DC
1.5-3 pounds per week
Buy the book The Health-Promoting Cookbook: Simple, Guilt-Free, Vegetarian Recipes

It’s important to note you should always check with a physician before starting any weight loss program. Please consider a Plant-based doctor to fully encourage you during your transition.

Pin this post.