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Vegan Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan – Beginners Guide

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Intermittent Fasting Basics | What is Vegan Intermittent Fasting | Vegan Intermittent Fasting Benefits | get started with Vegan Intermittent Fasting | Vegan Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan

Recently, two different approaches to health and wellness have caught the attention of those wanting a more sustainable and optimal way of eating: intermittent fasting and veganism. 

Both have gained popularity with everyone from celebrities to your neighbor trying at least one of these eating patterns. 

A vegan diet, or veganism involves the consumption of only plant-based foods. Whether practiced for its health benefits or for environmental reasons, careful planning is necessary with a vegan meal plan before starting a vegan lifestyle. 

Intermittent fasting isn’t a list of what you can and cannot eat, but rather a structured schedule of when to eat and when to fast. An intermittent fasting diet can look different for each individual, but whole foods and well-balanced meals are encouraged. It’s often used as a weight loss tool, but there are many other health benefits to fasting as well. 

Whether you already practice a vegan lifestyle or have been thinking of trying it out, you may be surprised how intermittent fasting can enhance certain benefits and even kickstart a weight loss plateau. 

But, how exactly does vegan intermittent fasting work? And how would someone even get started with vegan intermittent fasting? 

You’ve come to the right place, because in this beginner’s guide we will discuss the ins and outs of both intermittent fasting and veganism, their benefits, how to get started, and explore the delicious possibilities with a 3-day vegan intermittent fasting meal plan. With all the facts in hand, you can decide for yourself if vegan intermittent fasting is the right eating plan for you. 

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Intermittent Fasting Basics

Even though fasting has been practiced for centuries, intermittent fasting has risen in popularity in recent years. Like the name implies, intermittent fasting consists of certain hours where calories are consumed and then followed by fasting periods.

The length of the fasting period can vary from 12 hours to several days, but most choose to fast for at least 12 hours so the body can enter a fasted state. This is called your fasting window.  After 12 hours with little to no calorie intake, the body switches from burning glucose to burning fatty acid based ketones. This ultimately leads to burning more body fat without losing muscle mass when compared to a non- fasted state. 

Intermittent fasting is a type of calorie restriction in the sense that there is a limited number of hours that you can eat, called your eating window. By limiting calorie intake to these hours, you likely won’t be eating as many calories as you normally would. This method can really help those who want to change late-night snacking habits or want to cut back on calorie intake without actually keeping up with calories. 

One of the most appealing aspects of intermittent fasting is that there are so many types that can fit with many different work schedules and lifestyles. Oftentimes,the best way to set yourself up for success while following an intermittent fasting diet is choosing the right type of intermittent fasting for your lifestyle. Below are a few examples of different intermittent fasting types: 

16/8 intermittent fasting

This is the most popular method for intermittent fasting. It’s also an easy way to begin intermittent fasting if you have never tried it before. With this type, you have a 16 hour fasting window and an 8 hour eating window. Many people choose the hours of 10-6 or 12-8 as an eating window. This intermittent fasting plan generally matches the average person’s natural circadian rhythm. 

Alternate day fasting

Alternate day fasting focuses on fasting days rather than specific fasting hours during a 24-hour period. Someone following alternate day fasting would consume their normal amount of calories for one day and then the next day would eat about 25% of their normal calories.

It’s still a form of calorie restriction but some find that this method can be a great way to jumpstart their weight loss while reaping the benefits of intermittent fasting. 

5:2 intermittent fasting

Similar to alternate day fasting, the fasting windows and eating windows are measured by days. With 5:2, you would eat normally for 5 days out of the week and then consume around 25% of your normal calories for 2 days out of the week. 

Since intermittent fasting doesn’t have any specific requirements as to what you can eat, it makes intermittent fasting compatible with a variety of other diets. A healthy diet is still encouraged, even if you aren’t following another type of diet.

Check out this Intermittent Fasting food list for ideas on what to eat if you are just following intermittent fasting. 

Intermittent fasting can even enhance some of the health benefits that come with other diets. Some may already be following other diets such as the keto diet, paleo, Mediterranean, or even veganism which all can be combined with intermittent fasting. 

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What is Vegan Intermittent Fasting? 

Veganism is more of a way of life than a particular diet. Vegans avoid all animal products and animal by-products. A vegan diet consists of plant-based foods with an emphasis on whole foods, healthy fats (like olive oil), vegetables, fruit, and other high-fiber foods. It can be a strict eating plan for those first starting out, and it’s essential to monitor nutrition status to ensure all nutrient needs are met. 

Vegan intermittent fasting is simply combining intermittent fasting with a vegan diet. Since intermittent fasting is a schedule of when to eat, it doesn’t conflict with following a vegan lifestyle.

Vegans will follow periods of fasting and eating just like on a normal intermittent fasting schedule, however the foods eaten during the eating window will be plant-based. No calories are consumed during the fasting periods, but plenty of water, herbal tea, and black coffee can be consumed. Any type of intermittent fasting can be practiced as a vegan, and most choose the type that best fits with their schedule and lifestyle. 

For more information on vegan intermittent fasting, check out these 10 Tips to do Vegan Intermittent Fasting the right way

Benefits of Vegan Intermittent Fasting

There are quite a few benefits to intermittent fasting. Research shows that intermittent fasting not only helps with weight loss, but also improves risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, improves blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Certain studies also show that intermittent fasting is beneficial for brain function and can even improve certain neurological disorders. 

Similarly, practicing a vegan diet has been shown to have positive effects on overall health. By eliminating some sources of saturated fats that are found from animal products and consuming a wide range of nutrients through fruits and vegetables, a vegan diet can be a healthy lifestyle. 

Combining a vegan diet with an intermittent fasting diet can enhance the benefits listed above. In particular, there can be significant weight loss results between the calorie restriction from intermittent fasting and eating a whole food plant-based diet through veganism. While it may take some time to adjust to this new eating plan, many report feeling increased energy levels after trying vegan intermittent fasting. 

How to get started with Vegan Intermittent Fasting

The best way to get started with vegan intermittent fasting is to have a plan in place. With the right planning, you can avoid some common mistakes. One common pitfall that can happen is deficiencies in certain nutrients.

By eliminating animal products, certain vitamin deficiencies can occur such as vitamin B-12, iron, zinc, and calcium. To avoid a vitamin B-12 deficiency, it’s best to include plenty of fortified foods such as breakfast cereals or nutritional yeast. Another option is to take a vegan multivitamin.

Here are a few things you can to do get started on the right foot with vegan intermittent fasting

  • Step 1: Decide which type of intermittent fasting will work best with your schedule. 
  • Step 2: Plan your meals and snacks out, especially in the first week to include key food groups such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, and nuts/seeds for balanced meals. 
  • Step 3: Decide what times during your eating window you will be eating your meals to ensure adequate calories are consumed. 
  • Step 4: Monitor nutrition status to include regular blood work to look for any nutrient deficiency. 
Vegan Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan

Vegan Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan

Now that we have explored what vegan intermittent fasting is, let’s look at a 3-day vegan intermittent fasting meal plan. It’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider before starting a new diet, especially ones that are more restrictive such as vegan intermittent fasting. It’s beneficial to have an idea of your calorie needs to ensure that your calorie needs are being met through a new diet plan. 

The following meal plan is meant to be used as a guide to help you get started. It provides ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a snack. Feel free to substitute any ingredients or meals to your preferences. The meals and snacks are based on an average 1800 calorie goal and your individual calorie needs may be different and therefore food amounts and serving sizes may differ. 

This meal plan is also based on the 16/8 type of intermittent fasting with an eating window of 10-6 as an example of one possibility of vegan intermittent fasting. 

Day 1

  • Breakfast (10 am)– 1 cup oatmeal with 2 tbsp almond butter, hemp seeds, and berries + black coffee or herbal tea
  • Lunch (12pm)– Mediterranean wrap (whole grain wrap with spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, carrots, topped with olive oil + vinegar dressing) 
  • Snack (3pm)– Edamame and orange slices
  • Dinner (5pm)– Vegan chili (pinto beans, navy beans, onion, crushed tomatoes, seasoning) topped with vegan sour cream and avocado with whole grain crackers

Day 2

  • Breakfast (10am)– Avocado toast with seasoning of choice and mango + black coffee or herbal tea
  • Lunch (12pm)Stuffed sweet potato with black beans and coconut yogurt
  • Snack (3pm)– Rice cake with peanut butter and banana
  • Dinner (5pm)- Lentil tacos with brown rice and corn

Day 3

  • Breakfast (10am)Chocolate chia seed pudding with coconut milk topped with raspberries 
  • Lunch (12pm)– Chickpea curry salad on whole grain wrap 
  • Snack (3pm)– Kale chips and pistachios
  • Dinner (5pm)–  Vegan stir fry (mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, sugar snap peas, quinoa) 

Conclusion – Vegan Intermittent Fasting & Meal Plan

Vegan intermittent fasting can provide many benefits to your overall health. Although more restrictive than other diets, many try a vegan lifestyle for reasons other than weight loss alone. When combined with intermittent fasting, the benefits of veganism can be enhanced.

A great way to see results is to remember your reasons for trying vegan intermittent fasting and create a plan. Remember, there is not a one-size-fits all approach to nutrition and you have to do what is best for your body and health journey.

However, with the knowledge and inspiration from these meal plans, you can start off on the right foot with vegan intermittent fasting. 

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