Vegan Diet: Complete Beginner's Guide With an Easy-to-follow Meal Plan Sample, Foods You Can Eat, Benefits, Lifestyle and Risks of Going Vegan

Vegan Diet

Veganism: an easy-to-follow starter's guide to veganism, including a simple meal plan and information on foods you can eat.

You are wondering, what is a vegan nutrition plan and why do individuals make the switch?

People choose a vegan lifestyle for a variety of reasons. For many the choice is made on ethical grounds based on their respect for the lives of animals, they will avoid all foods derived from animals (including dairy products and fish, and even honey for some die-hards) and shun anything that is made from animals due to them being killed or testing on, such as clothes and drugs.


The Plant-based Diet, Veganism

Vegans therefore exist on plant-based foods only (as opposed to vegetarians, who will eat dairy products and some even eat fish).

But being a vegan is a strict discipline and the purest form of lifestyle regarding respecting all living creatures on the planet – although it is arguable that plants are also “living”, and yet it is plant-based foods that vegans live off to survive (but maybe that is a debate for another time.)

One thing that cannot be debated and that is the health aspects of a vegan plan.

♥ In other words, anyone adopting a vegan eating plan is going to be one of the healthiest people around (if the diet is followed properly) which is another reason people adopt veganism as a way of life.

The Guide

Veganism Plan Guide

This 1200 calorie vegan plan is designed to help you jumpstart your weight loss. This menu is not appropriate for every person, and many people need more than 1200 calories a day to lose weight safely. Use this meal plan as a simple guide to learn basic meal-prep, planning and healthy vegan recipes. If you have any health concerns about starting a low-calorie diet, please consult with a physician.

1200 is the lowest intake of calories that you can eat and meet your nutrient needs through food when planned appropriately. Supplementation may be a good choice to ensure you are reaching all your nutrient needs.

Going vegan can be a healthy approach to eating. Research has found that cutting back on animal products and eating more beans, whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds is associated with a decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Sample Plan

Vegan Meal Plan Sample

Here is a sample vegan weight loss meal plan.

  Protein Fats Carb Calories
Breakfast: Cereal: POST Raisin Bran 21.12 8.12 64.2 378.13

1.50 cups (367.5 grams) -- Soy milk, fluid

1 cup (1 NLEA serving) (59 grams) -- Cereals ready-to-eat; KRAFT, POST Raisin Bran Cereal

Lunch: Burger: Veggie 16.61 4.13 28.78 208.13


1 roll (43 grams) -- Rolls, hamburger or hotdog, reduced-calorie

2 tsp or 1 packet (10 grams) -- Mustard, prepared, yellow

Snack: Oranges: raw 1.73 0.22 21.62 172.96

2 large (3-1/16" dia.) (184 grams) -- Oranges, raw, all commercial varieties

Dinner: Sesame Beans 23.1 10.82 45.38 365.42

2 tbsp (18 grams) -- Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried.

0.25 100 grams (25 grams) -- Cheese food, imitation.

1 tsp (4.9 grams) -- Alcoholic beverages, wine, cooking.

1 tbsp (18 grams) -- Soy sauce made from soy and wheat, low sodium.

1 cup (256 grams) -- Beans, kidney, all types, mature seeds, canned.

Preparation Instruction:

Add kidney beans, onion, soy sauce and wine in a medium saucepan. Gently mix the contents. Cover, and then simmer for 5 minutes or until all the moisture is absorbed. Sprinkle cheese and toasted sesame seed on top and serve hot.

PM Snack: Carrots, baby, raw 0.48 0.1 6.18 78.75

15 large (75 grams) -- Carrots, baby, raw

TOTAL 63.04 23.39 166.16 1203.39

The Benefits

Benefits of A Veganism Plan, Weight Loss?

For one thing, anyone adopting veganism is likely to lose weight (if they don’t live on candy bars and skittles). That’s simply because most of the foods that cause weight gain and obesity are, by nature of a vegan way of life, eliminated from the daily diet.

Gone are the fatty foods, processed foods, junk foods, and the overkill of sodium (salt) that usually accompanies such foods. The elimination of these elements from anyone’s diet can only be good for general health and is a basis of any good weight-loss program.

♥ It has been proven that vegetarians are 10% leaner than omnivores (people who eat anything) and vegans are even thinner than that on average. But this comes as no surprise, really, when you think about it, because a good vegan plan consists of fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses and grains – and very little high calorie processed junk.

Cancer and Heart Disease

The Veganism for Cancer and Heart Disease

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), women should be considering increasing their intake of fruit and vegetables in the fight against breast cancer.

The NCI also recommends a more veggie-based diet because heart disease is the number one killer of women.

But high cholesterol, the biggest factor involved in heart disease, doesn't figure in a vegan menu, which is surely good food for thought?

♥ Those on a vegan plan will also enjoy lower blood pressure, as well as reduced risk of diabetes and some cancers.

For instance, research conducted by the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto found that a vegan plan led to lower LDL (or “bad” cholesterol) by almost as much as the drug Lovastatin, which can cause liver rot.

The Cons

The Cons of Going Vegan

Having said that, being a vegan does leave you prone to missing out on some very important nutrients, minerals and vitamins, as well as protein (although protein intake can be maintained via nuts and beans).

However, research has shown that anyone adopting a vegan plan would be advised to take various vitamin supplements to maximize their health as the diet is deficient in B12, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids (usually found in fish).

♥ Vitamin B12 is important for creating red blood cells which helps keep the brain and nervous system healthy. It is also needed to absorb folic acid, and it helps to release energy.

♥ Trouble is, B12 is mainly found in meat, fish and dairy products, and can take up to 4 years for the deficiency to be realized. Hence the need for vitamin B12 supplements for vegans.

♥ Vitamin D is also a very important vitamin as it helps the body absorb calcium, which is vital for good bone growth, development and general well-being. Anyone deficient in vitamin D runs the risk of contracting bone diseases such as osteoporosis or rickets. Again, vitamin D is found principally in the liver, egg yolk, saltwater, fish and milk.


Veganism Recommendations

However, anyone looking to embark on the healthiest eating and lifestyle plan can easily avoid the comparatively minor drawbacks by supplementing their vegan menu with vitamins in several safe and ethical ways.

Yet advice should always be sought when looking to make such lifestyle and diet changes, which is why consulting a team of experts such as those found at is a wise move.

Here you can find both diet and exercise professionals ready to answer your questions, give advice, and even help you formulate a healthy vegan plan and exercise regimen to suit your weight-loss or general well-being.

If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits and pitfalls of a vegan menu, then check out for more details.

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