Why Vegans Can Eat Anything They Want
That’s right: vegans can eat anything they want. I eat all the food I feel like eating, if it’s vegan.
I never worry about eating too many calories or gaining weight. And it’s not just because I’m a guy, and I do care about keeping my abs. Many vegan women feel the same way about eating as much of anything vegan as they want.
I splurge on goodies all the time.
It’s 11:30pm and I ate a big dinner a few hours ago? No problem. I’ll go eat a couple cups of vegan ice cream!
I just ate a huge meal with double extra avocado or extra beans or Chipotle’s sofritas? Great, let’s go for some vegan dessert!
I eat how much I want whenever I want. And I love food. I eat a lot of it.
I also work at a desk and don’t do as much physical activity as I’d like to be doing. Of course, I could be doing more to stay active, but I know I’m not going to put on any weight with my vegan diet.
As most weight loss books will tell you now, losing weight is more a matter of what you eat rather than how much you eat. The amount of calories you eat is important, no doubt. But if the proportion of your calories coming from fat isn’t higher than what it needs to be (the ideal is less than about 25%), you won’t be on track to gaining weight.
The thing with a plant-based diet is that it provides you with just the right proportions of the macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) for great health. Take butter, for example. It is 100% fat—all of its calories come from fat. Whole cow’s milk will have about 64% of its calories from fat, and a hotdog 54%. On the other hand, for spinach it’s 14%, for peas it’s 5%, and for green beans it’s 3.5%. If you only eat a variety of plant-based foods, you might get somewhere around 15% of your calories from fat (Chinese people averaged about 14.5% of calories from fat in the China Study, while Americans averaged 36%).
In other words, the trick to maintaining healthy weight is to eat foods that don’t have too much of their calories deriving from fat. To me this has never been a problem. When I just became vegan, for the first few weeks I tracked everything I ate with the My Fitness Pal app. My only struggle at first (only for a couple weeks) was getting enough calories. I then realized that I don’t need the app to eat healthy on my vegan diet.
This all doesn’t mean it’s impossible for vegans to be overweight, and I’m sure some of us are. It does, however, take us a lot more work to get that extra unnecessary weight. It’s important to be eating a whole foods plant-based diet, not just processed and pre-packaged foods.
Now, I need to clarify one thing I said earlier. I said I eat a lot of food—as much as I want of anything if it’s vegan. But doesn’t the Bible say that overeating is a sin? Consider these examples from the Bible:
“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food” (Proverbs 23:1–3 ESV).
“If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it” (Proverbs 25:16).
“Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, ‘Can God spread a table in the wilderness?’” (Psalm 78:17–19).
“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:19).
And my favorite one: “Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags” (Proverbs 23:20–21).
So gluttony is not something the Bible advocates, to say the least. Note also how Proverbs 23:20 specifically calls out gluttonous “eaters of meat.” Interesting, huh?
If you’ve ever wished you could eat as much as you want at any time of the day, then a vegan diet may be right for you. Try it out, at least for two weeks, if you’re not already vegan. You’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel.
Now it’s your turn to join the conversation: Comment below what your favorite vegan desserts are. Or ask a question if you’re not sure how or why to take the next step toward a vegan lifestyle.