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Should I go vegan to lose weight?

Ask an Expert: Karina Inkster

In a word: no. There’s nothing magical about a plant-based diet that automatically leads to weight loss. If losing weight is your goal, you’ll need to be in a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than you burn each day), and there are many, many ways to do this.

If you focus most of your diet on whole, plant-based foods, you might find you feel satiated on fewer calories than if you ate more calorie-dense and processed options. Keep in mind dark chocolate, Oreos, Twizzlers and fries are vegan! (Treats like these can be part of any healthy, long-term, well-rounded diet).

Going vegan is one of the best decisions you can make for your own health, our environment and the animals on this planet. If you happen to put yourself into a calorie deficit after making the transition to a plant-based diet, you’re likely to lose weight. But don’t make weight loss your main goal for going vegan.

Karina Inkster is a qathet region health and fitness coach, author of five books, and host of the No-B.S. Vegan podcast.

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