Articles on low protein diet

High Protein Diet Might Be as Bad as Smoking

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Protein is an important macro nutrient and plays a major role in various physiological conditions. The requirement of protein depends on the body and other factors such as size, age and gender. Low protein diet may lead to diseases such as protein energy malnutrition, so an individual who does not follow an intense exercise routine should only consume moderate amounts of protein, which is 15 to 20% of total calories according to the ideal body weight.Middle aged people with high protein content in their diet are more likely to die from cancer than those who eat less protein, found a study. However, for people older than 65, a moderate protein intake may actually be beneficial, and protect against frailty, the researchers said."Popular diets in many cases have high protein and low sugar content. They may make you lose weight, but that's not a good diet to increase life span," said study researcher Valter Longo, professor of biology at the University of Southern California (USC) and director of the USC Longevity Institute.The risks of a high-protein diet are even comparable to smoking, the researchers said. People who smoke are four times more likely to die of cancer compared with non-smokers, Longo said. The reason behind a high protein diet’s link to cancer is because protein controls the growth hormone IGF-I (insulin growth hormone), which helps our bodies grow but has been linked to cancer susceptibility. IGF-1 exerts powerful effects on each of the key stages of cancer development and behavior: Levels of IGF-I drop off dramatically after age 65, leading to potential frailty and muscle loss. The study shows that while high protein intake during middle age is very harmful, it is protective for older adults: those over 65 who ate a moderate to high-protein diet were less susceptible to disease.Although, plant based proteins do not seem to have the same mortality effects as animal proteins. So, “a low-protein diet in middle ages is useful for preventing cancer and overall mortality, through a process that involves regulating IGF-I and possibly insulin levels," said co-author Eileen Crimmins, the AARP Chair in Gerontology at USC.

Is High Protein Diet Good for Health?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
High protein diets are one of the most popular and most followed diets for weight loss all around the world. Bodybuilders and nutritionists recommend a high protein diet for muscle building and in increased athletic activity. But dieters often get confused and relate this with low carb-high protein diets which is the basis of most of the fad diets like Atkins diet and South Beach diet.While adequate protein intake is required for muscle building, muscle strength and toning, increased protein intake coupled with restricted intake of other nutrients (carbohydrates & fats) can be harmful for the body. Diets with up to 30% protein are considered reasonable by experts, whereas diets with over 50% protein and restricted nutrients are high protein diets.Are High Protein Diets Safe?High protein diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Protein is important for the body but so are carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Eliminating whole grains, fruits and vegetables can increase your risk of Vitamin B and Vitamin E deficiency. Also restricting required daily intake of fat can lead to poor skin, hair and absorption disorders.Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy to the body. If restricted, body is forced to derive energy from fat and protein. This in turn leads to production of harmful bi-product named ketone bodies. When excessive levels of ketones get accumulated in the system, it can lead to multiple organ failure and can be fatal. Even if restricted diet is followed for a short term and the level of ketones does not reach dangerous levels, it can be damaging to body organs particularly kidneys.High protein diets require your body to process more calcium. Protein diets low on dairy products can be harmful for bones. Research shows that women who eat high protein diets based on meat have a higher rate of bone density loss than those who don't. Women who eat meat lose an average of 35% of their bone density by age 65, while women who don't eat meat lose an average of 18%. In the long run, bone density loss leads to osteoporosis.Not all protein is created equal. Some high protein diets promote foods such as red meat and full fat dairy products, which can lead to increased cholesterol levels and may increase your risk of heart disease.One should always aim for a healthy and gradual weight loss. As it is a very personal and individual process, a health expert can help you design a diet that works best with your lifestyle, includes food that you enjoy and has the right combination of nutrients required by your body. Choose smart carbs such as whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as chicken breast, eggs, low fat milk and milk products, fish etc. and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, healthy oils to achieve your ideal weight the right way.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Protein is one of the important macronutrients of the human body. 16 percent of our total body weight is protein. Muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissues are mainly made up of protein. However, protein plays a major role in all of the cells and most of the fluids in our bodies. In addition, many of our body’s important chemicals -- enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and even our DNA -- are at least partially made up of protein. Although our bodies are good at “recycling” protein, we use up protein constantly, so it is important to continually replace it. Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. Our bodies can manufacture most of the needed amino acids, but nine of them come from natural food sources. Animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and dairy products have all the amino acids, and many plants have some of them.Our protein needs depend on our age, size, and activity level. The standard method used by nutritionists to estimate our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply the body weight in kilograms by 0.8. This is the number of grams of protein that should be the daily minimum. According to this method, a male weighing 67kgs, should eat 54 grams of protein per day.Athlete: - People who are engaged in endurance exercise (such as long distance running) or heavy resistive exercise (such as body building) can benefit from additional protein in their diets. The current recommendation is for these athletes to consume 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per day for each kilogram of body weight.Pregnant woman: - The minimum protein consumption for pregnant women is about 15 grams per day more than the usual recommended amount, though this is not as crucial in the first half of the pregnancy.In case of a medical condition, the intake of protein varies. For example, in case of kidney disease, the intake of protein is 0.5 grams per kilogram.Unlike fat and glucose, our body has little capacity to store protein. If we were to stop eating protein, our body would start to break down muscle for its needs within a day or so.This is an important question for people on diets that are higher in protein than usual, as low-carb diets tend to be. In a review of the research, the National Academy of Sciences reported that the only known danger from high-protein diets is for individuals with kidney disease. After careful study, they recommend that 10 percent to 35 percent of daily calories come from protein. They point out that increased protein could be helpful in treating obesity. There is also accumulating evidence that extra protein may help prevent osteoporosis.Extra protein can be broken down into glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. In low-carb diets, this happens continually. One benefit of obtaining glucose from protein is that it is absorbed into the bloodstream very slowly, so it doesn’t cause a rapid blood sugar increase.

Can’t Follow Diets and Still Want to Lose Weight?

Dr. Sandeep Jassal, General Physician
You are a busy mom or a working professional or just lazy to do something to loose weight and still keen to be in shape..and have many excuses like...I Have No Time to Cook For MyselfI Keep Candy and Chips Around for My Kids and Can't Help Eating ThemI Can't Survive Without Something SweetI'm a Total Carb Junkie...can't stay without chapati and rice.I understand you want to, but can't follow diets so I am going to help you with some easy to follow simple things which will help you to shed those extra kilos.Tips to lose weight naturally:Drink green tea. It has been shown in many studies that the green-tea drinkers burn more calories than those who don’t take green tea. This difference is caused by metabolism-enhancing antioxidants known as catechins, which are found in green tea.Avoid calories in a glass. Monitor your intake of juice, soda, coffee and even low-calorie drinks. These sugar laden drinks may suppress the metabolism of fat, making it tougher for you to burn those calories.Buy a set of light weights. Believe me….it's a one time investment you'll never regret. You might not have time to hit the gym, so this seems a better option. Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories at work or even at rest and thus it can turn you into an energy-burning machine. The more lean muscle you have, the faster you'll slim down.Avoid salt.Salt has sodium which contributes to water retention, making you look and feel bloated.. So keep an eye on your sodium intake, and that may mean not adding salt to salads or fruits and raitas and also ditching the saltshaker. Hidden sources of sodium include soups, canned foods, and drinks, salty snacks such as chips and biscuits and many prepackaged foods.Spice up your food.Eating spicy peppers can boost a person's basal metabolism because Capsaicin, a compound found in spicy foods like cayenne peppers, may increase your body's release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can speed up your metabolism and your ability to burn calories. What's more, eating chillies and hot  peppers may reduce your appetite and helping to curb your cravings. So spice up your stir-fried veggies, eat low-calorie chillies or salsa with hot peppers and and watch the weight come off faster.Get adequate sleep.Sleep deprivation may make you fat and not just because you're susceptible to cases of the late-night munching on biscuits or chips while watching TV or reading a book. Women who get less than four hours of sleep per night have a slower metabolism than those who snooze for a full eight hours. So don't lose your sleep time and you'll be rewarded with an extra edge when it comes to shedding kilos quickly.Go for an evening walk. Exercising at any time is good for you. But evening activity may be surely beneficial because many people's metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it high for another two or three hours, even after you've stopped moving. Thus, dinner calories have less of a chance to take up permanent residence in your body.Eat every meal. Skipping meals will not make you lose weight faster. This strategy backfires because your body thinks food is in short supply, so it slows your metabolism in order to conserve energy. Over time, the result is that when you do eat even if you consume the same food as always your body will be slower to use the calories as fuel, thus creating a backlog of unwanted kilos. If a very hectic and busy day makes a sit-down meal impossible, munch almonds or a piece of fruit or anything that will keep you from going hungry.Add atleast 20 minutes of exercise per day. If you're on a weight loss diet, you're probably already working out a couple of times a week. But whether you exercise or not, you can get a add up on all those other weight-loss efforts by doing a little something extra each day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the bus, train, or all the way to the office and ladies… window-shop with your friend rather than sit over coffee. Twenty minutes of moderate exercise a day means you'll burn approximately 700 calories.Water..Water..WaterDrinking enough water daily is one of the easiest ways to speed up weight loss. Your body needs water in order to efficiently metabolize stored fat. When you reduce your supply, you're likely to slow down that process, meaning it's more difficult for you to burn calories. Atleast eight glasses a day (at least!!) will keep your system running smoothly.

Low Carbs Food for Diet

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
health conscious or health enthusiasts prefer to stick to a low carb diet which basically means cutting out fruits, cereals, grains and sugar from the diet.A low-carb diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. It is high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables. There are many different types of low-carb diets, and studies show that they can cause weight loss and improve health.Sources of Low carb diet:Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, chicken and others. Grass-fed is best.Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock and many others. Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and many others.Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil and cod fish liver oil.ALMOND FLOURMade from finely ground almonds, paleo-worthy almond flour  can be suitable for your six-pack.almond flour also has higher amounts of protein, heart-friendly monounsaturated fat, and the supercharged antioxidant vitamin E than grain-based flours do.AMARANTHGrains are never going to be the lowest-carbohydrate option  Like quinoa, amaranth is also a source of the necessary essential amino acids to help show your muscles some love. Amaranth becomes viscous once cooked in water, as it releases its starch. Try it as a stellar alternative to oats for your breakfast porridge.This gluten-free grain supplies significant amounts of manganese, a mineral required for proper metabolism.DairyTOFUTofu isn't only for vegetarians! It also offers an inexpensive low-carb protein option for carnivores who want a night off from meat. Compounds in soy called isoflavones, which are used to make tofu, may have blood-pressure-lowering powers.Alone it doesn't taste like much, but when you add tofu to sauces or other foods, it soaks up flavors brilliantly. Try it as a cheap protein in stir-fry, or marinate it like you would steak and slap it on the grill.PUMPKIN SEEDSThese are a surprising source of whole-food protein, with about 7 grams in a crunchy serving. Of note, none of their carbohydrates are sugar, making them an even better way to elevate protein content in salads, oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese. You can turn to pumpkin seeds for a source of testosterone-boosting zinc. CATFISHcatfish is an inexpensive way to load up your muscles with pure high-quality protein. Fillets are great steamed, grilled, oven-roasted, or pan-seared.PINK SALMON Pink salmon is an economical option with lower levels of toxins such as mercury than what's found in most canned tuna. Canned salmon have plenty of the omega-3 fats that have been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness and stimulate muscle protein synthesis.CHICKENChicken have richer flavor and their juicy meat is less prone to drying out during cooking. Leave the skin on during cooking for even more flavor, but if you're concerned about the extra fat calories it delivers, strip it off before eating.TURKEYTurkey is an easy way to infuse your meals with carb-free protein. Use it for burgers and meat sauces. To trim fat calories, look for packages made with ground white meat.  turkey contains a full arsenal of the essential amino acids that can pump up your muscles.

Importance of High Fiber Foods in Your Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Fiber is a substance found in plant and the dietary fiber that you eat is found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It’s very important part of a healthy diet. Eat more fiber to get maximum benefits. High fiber foods can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease other than its main function of bowel stability and strength.There are broadly two categories of fiber and we need to eat both in our daily diets for a better health and functioning of our body. Soluble fiber – Includes pectins, gums and mucilage, which are found mainly in plant cells. One of its major roles is to lower blood cholesterol levels. Good sources of soluble fiber include fruits, vegetables, oat bran, barley, seed husks, flax-seed, psyllium, dried beans, lentils, peas, soy milk and soy products. Soluble fiber can also help with constipation.Insoluble fiber – Includes cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, which make up the structural parts of plant cell walls. A major role of insoluble fiber is to add bulk to faeces and to prevent constipation and associated problems such as haemorrhoids. Good sources include wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran, the skins of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried beans and wholegrain foods. Most plant-based foods, such as oatmeal and beans, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. However, the amount of each type varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods. Health Benefits of high fiber foods.Aids in achieving healthy weight: High fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.Lowers cholesterol levels : High fiber foods like soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flax-seed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipo-protein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that fiber may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation. Helps control blood sugar levels: In people with diabetes, fiber particularly soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetesNormalizes bowel movements: Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool. Fiber and ageing : Fiber is even more important for older people. The digestive system slows down with age, so a high fiber foods becomes even more important.High-fiber foods are good for your health. But adding too much fiber too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change.Also, drink plenty of water. Fiber works best when it absorbs water, making your stool soft and bulky.So bulk up your daily diet with high fiber foods for satiety, wholesome meal experience and a route to a healthy you!

Is Too Much Protein Good or Bad for You

Ms. Silky Mahajan, Dietitian/Nutritionist
I receive a lot of queries around Protein like how much is too much, whether Protein consumption will impact our health etc.Proteins are considered as building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.You must have heard that:Too much protein will destroy your kidneys.A lot of protein makes your bones weaker.Only professional bodybuilders need that much protein.The fact is: The truth about Protein is misunderstood. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a huge role in helping to keep you healthy and is essential to building muscle mass. Protein actually plays a role in strengthening bones. And there is no evidence that a healthy person will get kidney damage from a typical high-protein diet.Why getting enough protein is so important:Protein builds muscle massAdequate protein is needed for post-workout recoveryProtein in the diet supports fat lossProtein is important for a healthy immune system and connective tissueInsufficient protein skews body compositionLet's talk about the myths about Protein:Myth 1# Too much protein will destroy your kidneys.Your kidneys are incredibly efficient at filtering unneeded substances from your body. Consuming a high protein diet doesn't increase the strain on your kidneys. The kidneys are built to handle exactly this sort of stress!I always recommend increasing your water intake when you're consuming a higher quantity of protein because your body produces more urine as a means to eliminate the byproducts of protein breakdown. Extra fluid is needed to replace what is lost via urine. But you should be drinking plenty of water anyways.Think about people who have donated a kidney. That one kidney left over suddenly has to handle more protein. If higher levels of protein damaged healthy kidneys, we would see it in donors. But we don’t. That one kidney just adapts and donors have no increased risk for kidney disease.Myth 2# Too much protein weakens your bones.The idea of protein leading to weaker bones comes from the fact that protein increases the acidity of the body, and that this causes calcium to leach from the bones to counteract it. As per research, excess acidity has been found to lead to bone weakness, but protein is not the culprit.As a matter of fact, protein in the diet has the opposite effect: it strengthens bones.So How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?Now that we know Protein is a really essential nutrient for all of us so, how much is needed?  FDA recommends 50 grams of protein per day for both men and women. This is a very general recommendation and isn’t accurate for people who are really active.The amount of protein you need in your diet will depend on your overall calorie needs. The daily recommended intake of protein for healthy adults is 10% to 35% of your total calorie needs. For example, a person on a 2000 calorie diet could eat 100 grams of protein, which would supply 20% of their total daily calories.For people who work out, for athletes and trainers, more protein is necessary to build muscle and aid in recovery. It means that who is moderate to extremely active, 2 to 3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is a good general guideline.However, it is recommended to take advice from Nutritionist before changing Protein intake, because it is very crucial to understand body fat percentage, daily activity level, and appropriate caloric ratio specific to their daily activity needs for protein, carbohydrates, and fat.In case of any query or to book an appointment with Dt. Silky Mahajan please send us a mail at OR call us at 080 6741 7780 (Dial Extension: 778)

Types of Weight Loss Diets: Find Your Pick

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
There are various fad diets for weight loss. Atkins diet, banana diet, GM diet to name a few and each of these diets have different approach to reduce weight. They work well on the calorie intake but are they providing you with enough nutrition for healthy functioning of the body. Lets understand a few diets and see how much beneficial are they as a weight loss diet.High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets have been widely promoted in recent years as an effective approach to losing weight. High protein diets typically contain 1g of protein per 1 pound of body weight. Some high protein diets will recommend a percentage of total calorie intake (such as 30% or more).Drawbacks of High Protein Diet: Excessive protein consumption, particularly animal protein, can result in heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones- It is difficult to eat 6 small meals through the day especially when you are working or travelling- Too high protein can leads to renal (kidney) failure or stress.- Bone loss is also seen with high protein intake as it creates an acidic medium and calcium carbonate from bone will be leached out to balance the ph level of blood.- Consumption of protein more than the daily dietary requirement of the body results in protein being stored as fat in the body.GM Diet and health program was developed for employees and dependents of General Motors, Inc. GM Diet’s target is to loss 10-17 lbs per week ( put this in kgs) . It will also improve dieter’s attitudes and emotions because of its cleansing systematic effects. The effectiveness of this seven day plan is that the food eaten burns more calories than they give to the body in caloric value.Drawbacks of GM diet: Too many restrictions on food so makes GM diet a difficult diet to follow.- GM Diet cannot be continued in the long run.- GM diet, by default, cuts out many valuable nutrientsThe GM Diet is a short term route to weight loss, which may or may not be healthy. Especially if practiced in the long term. Losing such drastic weight is not healthy, as it puts a lot of stress on your health.A Gluten diet is popularly being used as a fad diet to lose weight. A Gluten-Free Diet is a diet completely free of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in most grains (specifically those that include rye, barley, or wheat). Traditionally used to treat celiac disease, a disease that disrupts the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.Drawback of Gluten Free Diet: Gluten free diet needs special attention. Food products are not easily available in the market. Gluten free diet is not practical for most people.Balanced Diet: Rather than experimental diet which are not balanced with nutrition could be unhealthy for the body in long term resulting in deficiency of certain nutrients. A balanced diet is when your daily dietary intake is based on your individual body type and its requirement. It doesn't tell you to starve or or eat just a specific food but there is a variety of food spread across the day giving you complete daily nutrition.People from different regions and places have a different eating pattern and foods they like . Its difficult to sustain long term weight loss on diet plans that are not similar to your actual eating lifestyle. Therefore for best and long term results choose a weight loss diet program that understands your lifestyle and caters to it.

Side Effects of Unhealthy Fad Diets

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Any average person suffering from weight issue has at least once in their life have given a shot and tried these fad diets. Its natural for anyone to first indulge in self help before they fail, or their situation in some case worsens, that they seek out professional guidance. Take a minute and reflect on what might you have exposed your body to unintentionally.Balanced DietMost of the fad diets are popularly termed as “yo-yo” diets that give you a short term solution to quick weight loss but do not guarantee any long term sustenance of the weight loss. Besides it deprives body of nutrition resulting in low blood pressure, reduced energy and fatigue. If you continue to under nourish your body with an unbalanced diet your metabolism also starts to slow down over time.The latest trend amongst most diet is a low carbohydrate and high protein diet. The biggest drawback of this diet consuming a diet rich in protein deprives the body of calcium resulting in osteoporosis, especially women in their early to mid thirties. This diet also has a long term effect on regular functioning of the kidney.Another extremely interesting paradox that every fad diet follower suffers is from reduced metabolic rate due to the poor dietary intake. Being on a constant diet over a period of time slows down your metabolic rate. This is your body’s natural phenomenon of dealing with lack of enough nutrition and food. The body goes into the starvation mode where all the food that is consumed is stored in the body as fat thus increasing your tendency to put on weight even when you are on the fad diet.These diets have been around for decades and are extremely dated. They have gained popularity overtime is due to a few celebrities who have once in a while taken to extreme measures to lose weight for an upcoming movie. But then again have been criticized heavily in media for doing so. Their excuse is that they needed to do because they get paid for looking a certain way. Then why is it that most of us get carried away and follow them blindly even after knowing the side effects of such fad diets.These diets have been around for decades and are extremely dated. They have gained popularity overtime is due to a few celebrities who have once in a while taken to extreme measures to lose weight for an upcoming movie. But then again they have been criticized heavily in media for doing so. Their excuse is that they needed to do because they get paid for looking a certain way. Then why is it that most of us get carried away and follow them blindly even after knowing the side effects of such fad diets.There are no shortcuts to anything then how is being healthy any different. The best way to manage your weight is to strike a balance between a well-balanced diet and exercise. Especially since there are no generic way to solve everyone's weight issues the approach to manage it should be extremely personalized /customized to ensure long term solution.  To start with you should seek good professional help that offers a combination of good diet and exercise based on your life style and routine. The closer you work with your current situation and gradually incorporate lifestyle changed like healthy eating, effective exercise the easier and lasting will be the effects of  a good weight loss program.

Do Vegan Diets Help You Lose Weight?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
People think that choosing a vegan lifestyle will help you lose weight, but depending solely on vegan foods and avoiding animal foods like eggs, fish or chicken might lead to some micro nutrients deficiencies. For eg., Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Heme (iron), protein, etc. Also, to lose weight in a healthy way or just to be healthier, only a well balanced diet works.The following points should be kept in mind before shifting to a vegan diet:1. Avoid Vegan Junk Foods Vegan junks like French fries, biscuits, ice-cream crackers, etc are high in fats, calories and sugar. They are all considered empty calorie foods.2. Avoid processed foods Processed foods high in phosphorus and sodium increase acidity in blood which indirectly triggers the release of stress hormones. These stress hormones increase insulin secretion in the body. Increased level of sugar in the blood gets converted to fat and this gets stored in the adipose tissues throughout the body.3. Avoid refined plant foods Firstly, always choose to consume 100% whole wheat foods or preparations, as they are higher in fiber and contain complex carbohydrates. For eg., if you want to consume rice, then opt for steamed brown rice; and in case of pasta choose whole wheat pasta.4. Moderate the intake of nuts Though nuts are considered high in protein and are a source of good fats, they are high in calories too. A handful of nuts works as an ideal mid-meal snack or pre workout snack. Even peanut butter or almond butter with fruits of whole wheat bread makes a great snack. But, always make sure you maintain good portion control when eating nuts, to control calorie intake.5. Eating-out Ordering a vegan meal in restaurants doesn’t always mean that it will be healthy. Restaurant foods are overloaded with salt, sugar and oil. If you're trying to lose weight, be diligent about ordering healthy, oil-free fare such as steamed vegetables and rice or a salad with fresh lemon juice (instead of dressing).6. Check your portion size Controlling your meal portion size is key to weight control. Always be a smart selector while filling up your plate. Eat in small plates, chew slowly and stop eating once you feel full. Fill your plate with healthy options and select from the five essential food group. For e.g., make sure half the plate is filled with fresh fruits and veggies. If you feel like eating some rice, stick to half a cup instead of one cup.