budget vegan meal plan

A vegan meal plan for weight loss on a budget

September 15. 2022

People turn to a vegan lifestyle for many different reasons – one of them being a wish to lose weight. We all see individuals reaping all the benefits of a vegan diet, such as increased energy, glowing skin, and to a certain extent, weight loss. However, gaining weight when going vegan is more common than you may think. Both beginners and experienced vegan dieters sometimes find it difficult to accomplish those goals due to several different reasons, including:

  • increased intake of high-calorie carbs
  • insufficient intake of proteins
  • uncontrolled portions
  • increased consumption of vegan junk food
  • not enough nutrients

Thankfully, avoiding these behaviors and losing weight on a vegan lifestyle is far from unachievable; all it takes is a little practice, a change in your mindset, and a proper vegan meal plan to keep you on track. In today’s article, our weight loss clinic in Chicago presents you with a budget-friendly vegan meal plan for weight loss:

Grocery shopping list for vegans on a weight loss journey

First things first – creating a grocery shopping list (and actually using it) is the most significant step towards creating a vegan meal plan on a budget. Now, we won’t go into details and measures but rather highlight all the essential food types you should get to balance all your nutrients on a plate. The beauty of having a wholefood plant-based diet lies within the endless possibilities, considering the fact that there are 300,000 edible plants surrounding us. Nevertheless, here’s a list of all the food items that should be included in your next grocery shopping list:

Veggies

Make sure to load up on some veggies, but try not to go overboard with the starchy ones such as white or sweet potatoes, corn, butternut squash, etc. Although they should be included, it’s best you consume them moderately when trying to lose weight and instead indulge in some green and leafy vegetables.

Legumes

Legumes are an excellent source of protein and an inevitable part of a healthy vegan meal plan. From chickpeas and black beans to different types of lentils – make sure to stock up on them since they’ll be a great addition to many soups, curries, and salads. Last but not least – don’t forget to add the soy products and include tofu, edamame, and soy yogurt to your list.

Fruits

Load up on your fruits as well, but don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new. Fruits – both fresh and frozen – can be an excellent base for many healthy breakfasts and snacks.

Grains

Grains are important sources of numerous nutrients, so make sure to get some rice, oats, and quinoa.

Healthy fats

Avocado, olive oil, chia seeds, nuts, and nut butter, as well as different seeds, should also be included in your grocery shopping list. These items provide your body with some heart-healthy fats and enrich a number of vegan meals to help keep you full for longer. Different nuts and dried fruits can be an excellent base for some tasty homemade protein bars, but make sure to learn more about how many protein bars a day is enough when you’re on a weight loss journey.

Herbs, spices, and vegetable broth

Herbs and spices can turn a dull Monday lunch into an exciting experience for your taste buds. Vegetable broth is an excellent base for soups and risottos, adding a certain level of flavor to many dishes.

Benefits of meal-prepping

Your next step toward a vegan meal plan on a budget should be some meal-prepping. There’s no need to stress about it – you don’t need a whole meal prep week to make this work. We suggest you plan your grocery shopping and meal prepping for some less busy days, such as during the weekend. By doing so, you’ll be able to devote some time to meal planning and truly organize your days, preventing yourself from turning to junk food when there’s nothing better on hand. Depending on the day and your schedule, you can choose between food prep vs. meal prep to be really efficient and save your time throughout the week. Get your meal prep containers and prep your way to a budget-friendly vegan meal plan.

Vegan meal plan (on a budget)

As mentioned earlier, one of the beauties of a plant-based diet lies within a virtually endless variety of ingredients you may have never tried before. With that in mind, we made sure to include many different meals in this vegan meal plan week but also left some room for leftover consumption, further saving your cooking time during busy days. You may also choose to switch between meals and days; just keep in mind to preserve a balance between your nutrient intake.

If you choose a breakfast higher in carbs, make sure your lunch and dinner contain enough proteins and some healthy fats. Lastly, you can choose to have an AM or a PM snack, depending on your preferences. When it comes to the portions, a good rule of thumb is to fill up your plates with fresh veggies, fruits, and salads whenever possible: for example, when preparing overnight oatmeal, you can fill half of your bowl with fresh or frozen berries.

Day 1

Breakfast: Half an avocado on a whole-wheat toast is an excellent and filling breakfast option.

Lunch: Vegan quinoa salad allows you to mix and match different ingredients to get a delicious meal on the go. Adding some roasted firm tofu is a good protein addition to this salad.

Dinner: Leftover vegan chickpea curry – to ensure you get a nutritious meal and no food ends up wasted.

Snack: One apple and 1 tbsp nut butter of your choice to serve as a dip is a perfect snack for your busy days.

Day 2

Breakfast: Overnight chia pudding is one of the most convenient and filling breakfast options – leave the chia seeds soaking in plant-based milk overnight, and top the pudding with some blueberries and almonds (or other toppings of your choice) before consumption.

Lunch: Vegan pesto pasta is a rich, vibrant meal packed with some healthy greens, aromatic basil, and heart-healthy walnuts.

Dinner: Leftover Vegan quinoa salad

Snack: Whole-wheat bread with 2 tbsp of hummus makes a delicious savory snack.

Day 3

Breakfast: Apple cinnamon oats make a warm, comforting breakfast. Sautee some apple slices in water, and add your oats and a sprinkle of cinnamon to wrap it up. You can also add some nuts to include a crunchy texture.

Lunch: The tofu poke bowl is an amazing vegan meal prep choice, as long as you include lots of fresh veggies and some mango, pineapple, or citrus fruit of your choice.

Dinner: Roasted sheet-pan veggies will add a lovely dash of color to your meal; chop a few of your favorite fruits of different colors, and roast them seasoned for a vibrant dinner.

Snack: 1/4 cup of hummus and 1/2 cup of sliced veggies of your choice

Day 4

Breakfast: A smoothie bowl can be packed with essential nutrients for an energized morning; blend some frozen fruits for a thicker texture, and top it with a dash of chia seeds, coconut flakes, or almonds.

Lunch: A falafel bowl – a rich, flavourful meal packed with protein, creamy dressings, and lots of fresh veggies.

Dinner: Baked sweet potato fries, lightly coated with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper

Snack: One serving of a high protein vegan dessert of your choice

Day 5

BreakfastAvocado smoothie for weight loss

Lunch: Tofu poke bowl

Dinner: Creamy vegan tomato soup makes a nice warming dinner, and it’s packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium.

Snack: Whole-wheat bread with 2 tbsp. of hummus

Day 6

Breakfast: Banana oatmeal cookies – Mixing some bananas, oats, and vegan chocolate chips are all it takes to get these delicious cookies.

Lunch: Roasted chickpea wraps – Roasting and seasoning your chickpeas is a fantastic base for some veggie-filled wraps, perfect for on the go.

Dinner: Leftover creamy vegan tomato soup

Snack: One serving of a high protein vegan dessert of your choice

Day 7

Breakfast: Savory polenta porridge with a subtle addition of flaxseed makes a precious source of fiber, boosting your gut health.

Lunch: Vegan chickpea curry made with coconut milk is now a staple vegan meal – for a good reason.

Dinner: Leftover banana oatmeal cookies

Snack: One apple and 1 tbsp. nut butter of your choice

Final thoughts

A vegan, budget-friendly meal plan for weight loss is more than attainable; when done correctly, it can help you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. However, it’s essential to accompany it with other healthy lifestyle habits such as sufficient water intake, regular physical activity, and a regular sleep schedule. When establishing your plan, make sure to listen to your body and find the patterns, such as the times when you crave more carbs or proteins, when you typically have hunger spikes, etc. If you notice your hunger levels increasing due to boredom or stress, try not to give in and instead move your attention to other activities. If you’d like to learn more about the subject, don’t hesitate to schedule a call with us.

Nurse Walton

Author

Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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