Vegan Diet = Weight Loss? Famous Vegans Tell All

| July 18, 2012

Is Veganism the new Atkins? More and more people are jumping on the horse-free Vegan bandwagon for both overall health and some pretty serious weight loss – and it seems that celebrities are no exception. There are more famous Vegans than ever before and they all have one thing in common, an overwhelmingly positive experience with this more eco-friendly, animal-loving, green-heavy diet.

For many that choose to brave this particular lifestyle choice it is met with skepticism and wary faces not to mention the more outspoken opponents who ask the ever-present but never less annoying  ”so, like do you just eat grass?”. Naysayers beware, the Vegan movement is gaining momentum and is starting to get some big players behind it preaching the green message. So, could the Vegan diet be your answer for a new lifestyle and never-before achieved level of a weight loss? Hear what these famous Vegans have to say…

Olivia Wilde Vegan DietOlivia Wilde: PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian

Smoldering starlet Olivia Wilde (best known for her role on House) was a long time vegetarian – who occasionally added some fish into the mix – before choosing to take it to the next level and become a vegan. Having always stuck to a healthy lifestyle, Olivia says one of the main reasons behind her move to a non-animal product diet was so she could know where her food was coming from and not support industries that are doing wrong by our animal friends.

The star reveals on her personal website, “Often we forget the power of each of our purchases. We are the consumer, the demand, and the fuel for every industry we choose to support. Therefore, I try to mindful about where my dollar votes go, and this is a huge reason I have chosen to adopt a Vegan diet

Her lifestyle is not all about the politics though, Olivia has found that not eating meat definitely keeps her (AMAZING) body lean without counting calories. Olivia has said, “not eating meat [really keeps me trim]. It’s a lifestyle choice, but meat, and what’s usually served with it, is a big calorie packer.” 

In addition to a plant-based diet – a lot of which is grown in her own backyard at her home in California – Olivia keeps her mind clear with regular yoga. She added“do some yoga. I never feel more beautiful than after I’ve really spent some time breathing.” 

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Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi Vegan DietEllen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi: Vegan Power Couple

Talk show royalty and comedian Ellen Degeneres and gorgeous actress wife Portia have become the poster couple of Veganism in recent years. The animal-loving pair converted to a Vegan lifestyle in 2008 after reading the book Skinny Bitch and watching the documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix Earthlings. Moving out to a ranch in California also had a lot to do with their migration from a meat-eating diet after driving past animals every day and finding it harder to justify their eating choices. Ellen has said, “Someone mentioned ‘If you knew what chicken looked like or you knew how chicken was made, you’d never eat it again’. And something snapped.”

5 years on and the pair are still enjoying the benefits of the Vegan diet from weight loss to clearer skin. Ellen has found that her vegan diet has cured a lot of skin issues and given her heaps more energy. She explains, ”I started seeing like my skin change, I used to get facials all the time and I had rosacea and I just thought I had rosacea and after two weeks my rosacea went away and I started losing weight and I had more energy, slept better.”

Portia, who has opened up publicly about her struggles with anorexia and bulimia, has found that Veganism has helped her maintain a safe and healthy weight without even having to think about it. The star has shared, “I have to say too one of the best things about this is the weight loss. Because it’s really hard to gain weight eating like this and you never have to count calories.”

Ellen and Portia have been upfront about the difficulties involved in converting to a vegan diet, with Ellen saying, “It’s like anybody who’s trying to make a change, especially a habit like eating food every day. It’s hard to make a change.” However these two have not looked back and believe the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience – although they were in a position to hire a private vegan chef which definitely helped smooth the transition process!

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Alicia Silverstone Vegan DietAlicia Silverstone: Clueless No More

Actress, producer, animal rights activist and yummy mummy Alicia Silverstone is one of the most outspoken famous Vegans in Los Angeles. A vegetarian on and off since the age of 8, Alicia turned hardcore vegan way back in 1998 after attending an animal rights meeting and realizing that she could no longer stomach (literally) being an animal lover who eats animals. The star and her rocker husband live in an eco-home in LA complete with solar panels, a dining room table made from recycled bowling alley floor, organic veggie garden and of course their baby boy Bear – yes Bear – born in 2011.

Alicia credits her incredible body, her anti-aging face and her overall health to her Vegan lifestyle change.  Alicia once shared with US Weekly, “I haven’t been to a doctor in 13 years. I don’t have to worry about calories, I don’t have to worry about how I look because I know that what I do makes me look my best.”

After making the diet change she found she had more energy, slept better and people noticed the change in her hair, nails and even her eyes! She explained on Oprah, “I used to have all those white marks on my nails and they were very brittle, and now they’re so strong I cannot bend them,” she says. “My eyes got really white, and I feel like I look less puffy.”

To the many critics who question the protein levels of a plant-based diet, Alicia shared with Glamour magazine, “Eating this way is more sustainable. You feel more nourished and uplifted. Eating meat and dairy actually depletes your body of nutrients. You get so many nutrients from a plant-based diet–it makes a huge difference. I’m more worried about people who eat meat. We’re too protein-obsessed. We eat too much of it. I’ve been doing this for 11 years, and I get plenty of protein from lentil soup, hummus, beans”.

Keeping active is also an important page of Alicia’s life, in an excerpt from her best selling book The Kind Diet she shares her love of walking… “My husband and I try to walk with the dogs every night after dinner in the summer. Looking at nature is so much better than going to the gym, and it’s free — right outside your door!”

And as for baby Bear, he too is a living a Vegan lifestyle, which has caused some controversy in the media. Alicia spoke about her choice during the pregnancy saying, “he’ll be eating an organic plant-based diet. I intend to take great care of his precious new baby body so I’m committed to giving him nothing but the purest and most healthy food possible. We want to keep his immune system strong so that he’ll be super healthy — which is just one of the many reasons he’ll eat vegan.”

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Kristen Bell Vegan DietKristen Bell: Sloth-Friendly Diet

Teeny starlet Kristen Bell has never been shy about her love of animals – particularly those of the sloth variety – and that passion spurred her move from a vegetarian diet to a full Vegan lifestyle after watching the Fork Over Knivesdocumentary with her partner Dax Shepherd. Kristen shared with Womens Health Magazine, “It’s more about the healthy benefits than the ethics. But it’s compounded by the fact that I love animals and feel better not eating them.” 

With an intense love of cooking and all things food, Kristen has started her own organic garden at their home in LA and has proudly shared that they have achieved, “cilantro, sage, baby greens. Carrots, broccoli, kale, potatoes, cauliflower. There are strawberries. Romaine, butter lettuce, thyme… Oh, the spinach is coming up real nice.” 

That love of cooking also bubbles over to her delicious sounding multi-course Vegan dinners. She shared with Self magazine, “I’m a fan of multicourse dinners. Last night, I made Brussels sprouts baked with balsamic vinegar, grapes and walnuts; butternut squash ravioli; and a ‘garbage disposal’ salad, which is everything in the veggie and fruit drawers: Lentils, spinach, romaine, blueberries, cucumbers, raspberries, almonds, carrots and avocado. Literally anything. You don’t even need a dressing because there are so many tastes.”

Some of Kristen’s favourite foods in her Vegan diet are sweet potato, acorn squash, chipotle, homegrown tomatoes, kosher salt and to drink? Sparkling water and her Sodastream machine.

As for working out, Kristen Bell keeps her enviable body in perfect condition with a combination of her Vegan diet (duh), hiking, pilates and short strength workouts. In an interview with Self magazine she said, “I mostly go for hour-long hikes with friends, but sometimes, I’ll do pilates or 20 minutes of calisthenics, like push-ups and sit-ups. My goal isn’t to change my body; it’s to make my body happy.”

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Carrie Underwood Vegan DietCarrie Underwood: 95% Vegan

Country music star Carrie Underwood was a vegetarian for 7 years before recently turning what she calls “95% vegan” after seeing a friend who looked amazing and found out she’d made the switch to the plant-based diet. For Carrie it was mostly about knowing where her food came from as well as having the added benefit of making her food choices naturally more healthy. She shared with US Magazine, “It’s easier for me, actually, when I go out to eat because if I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m vegan. I can’t have that cheesy pasta.’”

Carrie tries to make her meals as rich in nutrients and low in sugar/carbs as possible. Her typical meal plan usually involves a vanilla smoothie for breakfast (“with pea protein powder, half a banana, a cup of berries, almond milk and ice”) followed by a vege-rich stirfry for lunch (usually with some “fake chicken, brown rice and Bragg Liquid Aminos”) and then a veggie burger and salad for dinner.

After winning American Idol back in 2005, Carrie shed 20 pounds and has managed to keep the weight off ever since with the help of her whole food diet and regular exercise. The star does all her own grocery shopping while on tour in order to avoid making poor (and fatty) food choices as well as helping her feel “normal” in her crazy on-the-road lifestyle.

Exercise has become a big part of Carrie’s post-Idol life with the star regularly enjoying cardio and performing strength training workouts with her trainer. She shares “If I can wake up and get a good cardio session in a class at a nearby gym or on the treadmill, I’m happier throughout the day”. And with regards to strength training she adds, “There’s just something sexy about feeling strong.” 

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So there you have it… Some of the most famous Vegan celebrities sharing their experience with the switch to the much talked about Vegan lifestyle. Only time will tell how many more of your favourite stars will join the likes of 6 above and many more including Woody Harrelson, Natalie Portman (pre-pregnancy), Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Jared Leto (among others).

To read up more about the Vegan lifestyle and what it can do for you, your body and your overall health please follow the recommend readings below. Each of these resources were mentioned by the celebrities above as having been important in their journey to Veganism.

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