Macrobiotic And Plant-Based Diet Weight Loss Tips

 A Few More Macrobiotic Weight Loss Tips

In this post I share some of my top macrobiotic and plant-based diet weight loss tips.

A whole foods, plant-based / macrobiotic diet is an ideal diet for weight loss.  Higher fiber foods provide a sense of fullness, without packing on unnecessary calories.  It is a safer way to lose and keep off weight, allowing you to eat to satisfaction, rather than count calories, and feel deprived.  Virtually any whole plant food ~ for which there is an infinite variety of flavors, colors, and textures ~ can grace your table in an endless variety of meals.  Here is a post of several of my own recent macrobiotic meals for weight loss. 

Protein, Fat Distribution & Plant-Based Diet Weight Loss

  • You don't need to obsess over getting enough protein.  Eat enough to feel satisfied, and you will more than adequately meet your protein needs.  More is not always better.  How much you need depends upon your level of activity, and whether there is a lot of extra need for growth and repair, such as healing from an injury, or during pregnancy.  In fact, recent studies indicate that where body fat is stored makes a big difference, especially with respect to insulin resistance.  Fat stored subcutaneously is less likely to cause insulin resistance than body fat stored within the muscle cells, creating that marbling effect.   
In the video below, Dr. Greger sites one study that looked at 74 diabetics who were put on calorie restricted diets.  Participants were randomly assigned either an egg-free, vegetarian diet, limiting dairy to one serving of low-fat yogurt per day, and the others on a standard diabetic diet.  While both groups lost similar amounts of subcutaneous fat, only the vegetarian group lost fat that was lodged inside the muscles.

"Those eating strictly plant-based also had lower levels of fat stuck inside the individual muscle fibers themselves––what's called intramyocellular lips, which may help explain why vegans in particular are often found to have the lowest odds of diabetes.  And it's not just because they're slimmer."

What does this have to do with protein consumption, you ask?

Dr. Greger further explains, "And go on a high-protein diet, and you may undermine one of the principal benefits of weight loss: eliminating the weight-loss-induced improvement in insulin action, the improvement in insulin resistance."

Watch Dr. Greger's video to learn more.

  • Fill up on vegetables, cooked dark leafy greens, and high-fiber, lower calorie winter squashes, and fresh fruits.  
  • If having salads, fortify them with some whole cooked grains, lentils or beans, or potatoes.  
  • Soups aid digestion and provide liquid and volume.  Savory soups like Miso Soup prepare your stomach for digestion.  The volume will help prevent inadvertently over eating.
  • Beans are a great source of fiber and have been found in studies to help reduce total caloric intake, and aid weight loss.  Have some beans, bean soups, lentils, tofu, tempeh, or wheat meat type protein-rich foods as desired, whether a little daily, or several days per week.  
  • Those who really struggle with losing weight, or with getting motivated to exercise, cook, or create the space for better habits may want to include adjunct therapies, such as guided visualizations, health coaching, or other therapies to help overcome any mental blocks to achieving your goals.  For starters, you may like my book, The Strong Spirit 10-Step Plan, Your MAP to Overcome Obstacles, and Realize Your Dreams.
  • Eat ONLY until just barely feeling full.  Try to train yourself to be content when about 80-85% full.  Just have a light snack in a few hours if needed, until ready to eat another meal.
  • Try to get the bulk of your calories consumed earlier in the day, with a last meal no later than 3 hours ~ ideally at least 4 hours ~ before bed,  We consume all our meals between 8:30/9:00 am - 3:30/4:00 pm, most days.  The extended overnight fast gives your body more time for growth and repair.
  • It's okay to go to bed a little hungry!  I do try to stop eating by 5 or 6:00 at the latest, preferring to feel hungry upon awakening, and extending my overnight fast.
  • CHEW YOUR FOOD WELL!  ESPECIALLY WHOLE GRAINS LIKE BROWN RICE!!!  That is really one of the most important tips.  CHEW, CHEW, CHEW.  The more you chew, the more the salvia can mix with the foods, and make digestion, absorption and assimilation much more effective.  Chewing also brings out the natural sweetness in whole grains and complex carbs.
  • Chewing food well helps you remain mindful when eating.  Try to avoid eating in a rush, on the run, while stressed or in the middle of an argument.  Eat in a peaceful environment.  Have gratitude for all the sustenance being provided, and all whom helped turn those raw materials into a beautiful, healthy meal.
  • If up for it, do a longer over night fast.  For a few Sundays, we had our last meal around 3:00 Saturday, and waited to eat again until 3:00 Sunday.  It's like a reset for overcoming attachments to foods.  Food seems to taste especially good when you wait 24 hours to eat!  Alternatively, have a very light breakfast, and one main meal.  This is just to do on occasion as a sort of reset.  
  • Vary meals according to the seasons.  Enjoy more cooling raw fruits and salads during the summer.  Add more cooked foods and warming spices, like ginger and cinnamon, when it's cold outside.  This will help you maintain more balanced moods, body temperature, and strengthen your immunity against catching seasonal bugs.
  • Drink to thirst.  Don't push to try to drink multiple liters of water or tea just because it's touted as beneficial.  Whole grains, fruits and vegetables consumed on a macrobiotic / whole foods, plant-based diet already contain plenty of water, unlike meat, eggs, and cheese, which also have a higher caloric density, are higher in sodium, lower in water content, and devoid of fiber.

Tofu Vegetable Stir Fry with Brown Rice

Adjusting From One Meal A Day Diets

After years of inadvertently over eating at meals, my stomach seemed to expect a certain volume of food before the stretch receptors, and hunger regulating hormones would kick in to help me know when to stop eating.  It took me some time to re-regulate my appetite, and stretch receptors in my stomach.

If you have been eating one meal per day, or following diet tribes (like I did for too long!) that encourage eating as much as you desire, seemingly almost the more the better, then it may take time to retrain yourself to eat smaller quantities.  

Over eating any food ~ no matter how healthy ~ impairs digestion and assimilation, and is more likely to make you tired post meal.  

If eating only one meal per day works for you, have at it, however, I believe most people will do best consuming at least two main meals, possibly with one snack.

Marinated and Baked Barbecue Tempe with Sautéed Red Onion & Mushroom, Greens,
Chopped Beets & Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Tweaking Macros to Find Your Sweet Spot for Macrobiotic and Plant-Based Weight Loss

There is plenty of wiggle room for tweaking one's diet to help find your particular sweet spot, where you can eat to satisfaction, without inadvertently over eating.  Adding lots of vegetables, soups, and some fruit helps as these are lower calorie density foods that provide bulk and a sense of fullness.  A little more or less protein-rich foods, carbs, and whole plant fats can be added or minimized depending upon individual needs and habits.  A qualified macrobiotic counselor or health coach can help you determine what will work best for you.

Envision Yourself Having Manifested Your Ideal Weight 

Be sure to use the power of your imagination to envision a future you already having achieved your ideal body weight, or at least having achieved enough of a weight loss that the resistant, disbelieving parts of the mind can accept.  Enough that's a stretch, not too much to be too out of reach.  All this and more are outlined in my 10-Step Plan Book.

I am available for by phone / online coaching to help anyone needing personal support and accountability.

More Resources 

For recipes and more information, grab a copy of either or both of my FREE E-books:

Getting support to be held accountable can be very beneficial for having successful outcomes, no matter what your goal.

Contact Me to determine if one-on-one Macrobiotic Counseling or Intuitive / Holistic Health Coaching would be right for you.

Learn more about Macrobiotics


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