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Q&A: "Can I do FAT LOSS LIFESTYLE SCHOOL if I'm Plant-Based? Vegetarian? Vegan? Pescatarian?"

We get these questions a lot before every FAT LOSS LIFESTYLE SCHOOL (FLLS)! Let’s dive into each of these diets so you know which ones are (and aren't) compatible with our 6-week online fat loss program!

 

Q: Is FLLS a good choice for me if I’m plant-based?


A: This term is interesting, because it can mean so many things to different people. FLLS is already largely plant-based; our FLLS TEMPLATE™ includes vegetables and/or fruit with every meal! A fat loss diet is high in protein, fiber, and water content. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes are all carbohydrates and they provide the fiber and water content in our meals. That means plants will cover most of your plate at every meal in our program. Veggies are a key part of this lifestyle as they provide essential nutrients, fiber, water, and volume to meals. Because they're very low in calories, prioritizing veggies at every meal is one of the best ways to fill up your plate and get great fat loss results!


So yes, if you want to eat meals that are high in plant/vegetable content, FLLS will be a great fit for you because a fat loss diet IS a plant-based diet.


Q: Is FLLS a good choice for me if I’m vegan?


A: In short, no.


Eating for fat loss requires two things:


1 . A calorie deficit. (This varies by individual and is based on your weight and activity level.)

2. A high-protein diet, with a low to moderate amounts of carbs and fat. The protein prevents muscle loss when in a calorie deficit, stabilizes blood sugar, and keeps hunger levels low.

Most vegan so-called protein sources are very high in carbs and/or fat and don't contain adequate protein. This makes it harder to build fat loss meals that are simultaneously low in calories and high in protein. A well-formulated vegan diet requires a skilled, individualized approach, in addition to careful supplementation. Current research indicates that both vegetarians and vegans may risk vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc and calcium deficiency, as these micronutrients can mostly be found in animal foods or have a lower bioavailability in plant foods [SOURCE}. Additionally, the intake of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are mainly found in fish and seafood, has been shown to be inadequate in both vegetarians and vegans {SOURCE. SOURCE.} It is for these reasons that we cannot recommend or coach individuals who choose to follow a vegan diet.


Q: Is FLLS a good choice for me if I’m vegetarian?


A: Yes, FLLS can work with a vegetarian diet. However, please understand up front that a limited diet (due to food allergies or by choice) will have limited options. Here’s what we mean: If you do not eat protein from meat, poultry, or fish, you’ll have a limited amount of protein sources. The best way to lose fat and preserve muscle mass while in a calorie deficit, is to eat a high-protein diet, about 1 g. of protein per 1 g. of your ideal body weight. For example, if your ideal weight is somewhere between 145-150 pounds, that puts your daily protein target around 145-150 g. of protein.


Without meat, your protein options will be limited to foods like eggs/egg whites, low-fat dairy, tofu, and supplements like protein powder. There's really no way around this.


Many vegetarians eat a diet very high in carbs and fat (think: plates filled with pasta, grains, cheese, nuts, seeds, beans, bread, etc.) so making the switch to a high-protein diet with low to moderate amounts of carbs and fat can prove to be challenging. However, we've have had many successful vegetarian clients in FAT LOSS LIFESTYLE SCHOOL. The vegetarian clients who have the most success at fat loss are those who get creative with their limited protein options (meaning: they have good cooking skills) and increase their intake of actual vegetables.


So to summarize, it is possible with a little creativity and the understanding that a high-protein vegetarian fat loss diet will be challenging.


Q: Is FLLS a good choice for me if I’m pescatarian?


Yes, however, much like the vegetarian diet above, you’ll also want to understand the limitations of this diet. Unfortunately, many people who label themselves pescatarian are primarily "carbo-tarians" who occasionally eat fish. Similar to vegetarians, they tend to over-eat foods that contain some protein, but are mainly starchy carbohydrates like beans or dietary fats like nuts. Another popular option for non-meat eaters is relying on highly-processed “plant-based” products that are low in protein and very high in fat and/or carbs. As we've said, a fat loss diet is high in protein and low to moderate of starchy carbs and fats.

As a pescatarian in FLLS, you’ll need to get creative with your meals and understand that a self-limited diet will have limited protein options. The good news is there are many varieties of lean fish and seafood, as well as eggs, yogurt, protein supplements etc. that are all great sources of complete protein. If you are a pescatarian who enjoys eating a variety of fish and other seafood (i.e. shrimp, scallops, mussels, etc.), you’ll do very well in our program. We have had many successful pescatarian clients!

 

Q: "So what IS your fat loss nutrition philosophy in FLLS?" At REAL FITNESS TRAINING, first and foremost, we are proponents of eating REAL FOOD. When it comes to protein, we eat primarily lean animal proteins - turkey, chicken, eggs, fish, lean beef, wild game, low-fat dairy, etc. - to meet our daily protein requirements. Animal-based protein sources have complete protein profiles (meaning: they contain all 9 essential amino acids) and are the easiest, most efficient way to maintain a high-protein, low-calorie diet for fat loss. We understand that some individuals choose to limit their consumption of animal-based protein or avoid it altogether, and that others have limited protein options due to allergies (i.e. dairy allergies). If you are a plant-based, vegetarian, or pescatarian eater, we are happy to work with you and help you reach your fat loss and lifestyle change goals! We also want to be transparent with how our program works and what we believe, so you can make the best choice for you. Not every program is the right fit for everyone!


Our goal in FAT LOSS LIFESTYLE SCHOOL is to help busy women simplify food and fitness for sustainable fat loss and lifestyle change. If you want to learn a sustainable way of eating and training for fat loss, our next FLLS begins soon! Click the button below to join our email list and learn more:


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