The Program: Objectives of OWL
Ongoing Weight Loss for Vegans
f you’re a vegan—meaning you eat absolutely no animal products—you probably rely heavily on beans and other legumes, whole grains and nuts and seeds as protein sources. Because you don’t eat any dairy products, eggs, meat or fish, it’s not possible to satisfy your protein needs in Induction. By beginning in OWL, at a higher carb intake than vegetarians or omnivores, however, it’s possible to do a version of Atkins that’s free of all animal products.
Here’s how to do Atkins as a vegan:
- Start in OWL at 50 grams of Net Carbs, advancing by 5 grams of Net Carbs each week or every few weeks, as long as you continue to shed pounds, until you’re 10 pounds from your goal weight.
- You can eat Induction-acceptable vegetables, known as foundation vegetables and acceptable Phase 2 foods. These include most nuts and seeds and their butters, berries, and berries and a few other fruits plus legumes from the start. Add foods in the order listed on the Carb Ladder, although you may experiment with adding legumes sooner.
- Consume enough soy products and other meat analogues to meet your protein guidelines, being sure to have at least two different types of protein a day to get a good mix of essential amino acids. For a list of carb counts for vegetarian protein foods, see Carb Counts for Soy and Other Vegetarian Products. (Not all are suitable for vegans.)
- Be sure to add extra flaxseed, olive, walnut and other natural oils to salads and vegetables to make up for the minimal amount of fat in most of your protein sources.
It may take you longer to get into a primarily fat-burning mode, as your initial carb intake should be 50 grams of Net Carbs. This is more than twice Induction’s 20 grams of Net Carbs. You also need to be especially alert to cravings and unreasonable hunger at the higher level of carb intake. After a week at 50 grams of Net Carbs, assuming that you’re losing weight and not experiencing cravings, you can move up to 55 grams, and so forth, every week or several weeks until you are 10 pounds from your goal weight and should transition to Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance.
Also, see Atkins for Vegans