Do you follow a wholesome vegan diet and lifestyle (like the one you’re reading right…
Are you struggling with being hungry all the time after switching to a plant-based diet? it’s OK, it happens to some people, and it happened to me!
You hear it all the time: people feel great after switching to a plant-based diet, they’re filled with energy, they are sleeping better, everything is just absolutely fabulous and coming up roses, etc. But, what if that’s not the way it works for you?
Switching to Plant-based Eating is Usually Fantastic
When we made the switch we were already eating in a manner that most people in our culture would have considered being super healthy eating. We consumed a lot of whole foods, fresh vegetables, and fruits. Our meals were filled with lots of fiber, they were low oil, high carb, usually organic ingredients – generally real healthy stuff. So, that meant our switch wasn’t as dramatic as it can be for many people. However, even though the rest of the family was experiencing all positive results, I found myself being tired and hungry.
It really took me a while to figure it out.
Time To Rethink How I was Eating
After some thinking and discussing it what I realized is this: completely dropping high-calorie density foods like cheese, oily fish, butter, ice cream, and eggs meant that my calorie needs really weren’t being met properly. It took sitting down and tracking all the foods that I was eating for several days and comparing them to the recommended calorie intake for my height and weight and activity. Now, I don’t recommend getting lost down that rabbit hole of calorie tracking and obsessing about all the stuff that you’re eating because it can really cause some problems. (Lots of people struggle with that sort of thing, but that’s really another post.)
The key was realizing that I had dropped those foods without replacing them (or, rather, the calories) with anything. I was pretty active (running, lifting, rowing, etc) then, as I am now, so my calorie needs were different than the rest of the household. My compensation, before the switch, was the foods mentioned above and various snacks during the day. When I analyzed a few days of eating I found that I was often almost 1000 cal short! No wonder I was tired and hungry :-).
I realized it was probably an issue for lots of people when I first transitioned to veganism so I shared this short video on our YouTube channel:
3 excellent snack options to try
- Peanuts and raisins: a small bag of 1/4c peanuts and 1/4c raisins works really well. It’s compact and portable for those days “on the go” and it hits all the “snack spots”: sweet, salt, and fat but in a natural form.
- Dates: This may be an unexpected choice since dates aren’t in the markets in abundance. You may have seen the fairly common caramel brown, oblong dates that have a sort of dry consistency. These are called Deglet Noor. In some stores, you can also find bigger, dark dates that are softer and chewier. These are Medjools and they show up in a lot of vegan dessert recipes. But, in reality, there are many different varieties of dates. Our fav is the Khadrawy dates because they are soft, gooey, and oh-so-sweet. They are hard to find, but we have a “pro-tip” for you: the Bautista Family Date Ranch. They produce 7 varieties of THE most wonderful dates and you can order on their website! Here’s the link.
Now you may be thinking “but all that sugar!” – but it’s ok because this is natural sugar and it’s combined with nutrients and fiber. It’s all good!
- Avocado Toast: The classic that you can see all over vegan social media, in all sorts of combos. Two slices of toast topped with 1/2 an avocado is a hearty snack or even a complete meal! The nutrition info for this can be over a wide range because it depends on the size of the avocado and the bread you use so consider these numbers to be just an average.
How To Figure Out Your Calorie Intake
We know that it is very easy to get into trouble when focusing on how many calories you are eating every day. It’s important to remember that nutrition information on food packaging, and calorie information online, is an average or an estimate. So, it isn’t a situation where it is healthy to fret about 5 or 10 calories here and there. Rather, we encourage looking at the situation as a trend and in a general sense from day-to-day. There are many useful tools to determine the nutrition profile (including calories) of food and you may already have your go-to options. We have found that the tool at Fitness Volt is particularly easy to use and quite useful. You can find it here.
I hope that this short post has helped you with some ideas for healthy snacks and strategies for your changing way of eating. As always, thank you for checking out Full of Beans and reading this post! Please leave us a comment in the comment form at the bottom of this page—we’d love to hear from you!