12 Types Of Vegan Diets To Lose Weight, Boost Wellness

12 Types Of Vegan Diets To Lose Weight, Boost Wellness

12 Types Of Vegan Diets To Lose Weight, Boost Wellness

It may be cliché and overused but it’s completely true: you are what you eat.

Science has proven time and time again that a well-structured plant-based diet provides a number of incredible benefits including:

  • Promotes weight loss
  • Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Lowers risk of lifestyle-based mortality

In particular, there are numerous types of vegan diets that are cost-effective and act as an ideal low-risk method to combat a number of ailments and illnesses.

Let’s take a look at 12 types of vegan diets that are great for weight and wellness but also packed with flavor.

We’ll start with the ones that are considered the “easiest” to follow and progress to diets that require more dedication and willpower.

12. Beginner’s Vegan Diet

We all need to start somewhere and the Beginner’s Vegan Diet is usually the beginning of the journey. Focused on making small changes, the Beginner’s Vegan Diet is more flexible and relaxed than a by-the-book type of vegan diet.

With beginners, the idea is to start cultivating a more “vegan friendly” attitude and lifestyle.

Quitting your current diet cold-turkey (no pun intended) could wind up being too stressful and result in a lack of motivation and effort to keep going as a vegan.

For this reason, beginners turn a blind eye to processed vegan items such as tofu-based burgers or vegan potato chips.

Again, the focus on this type of vegan diet is to start heading in the right direction.​

Here are some highlighted characteristics of the Beginner’s Vegan Diet:

  • Reduction in non-vegan friendly items such as sugar, gluten, and processed items
  • Increase in amount of vegetables, fruits, and vegan-friendly foods
  • Old dietary habits may sneak up from time to time and that’s okay
  • Processed vegan items are allowed but should be used sparingly
Baked eggplant parmesan dish on a plate

Beginner’s Vegan Diet Meal #1: Baked Eggplant Parmesan

  • Baked eggplant parmesan (available in frozen food section)
  • 1 cup of steamed broccoli
  • ½ cup cooked lentils
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (for broccoli and lentils)

Beginner’s Vegan Diet Meal #2: Vegan Tempeh Black Bean Burgers

  • Vegan tempeh black bean burgers (available in frozen food section)
  • ½ cup roasted artichokes
  • 1 cup mixed salad

Beginner’s Vegan Diet Meal #3: Loaded Vegetable Soup

  • Loaded vegetable soup (available in canned goods section)
  • 1 cup of quinoa and black bean mix
  • 1 cup mixed salad

11. Paleo-Vegan ("Pegan") Diet

Another great option for a beginner’s type of vegan diet is the Paleo-Vegan Diet.

While some of you may be wondering how this is possible, consider for a moment that these two dietary styles have quite a bit in common.

Both focus on eating whole foods while avoiding anything that is processed or unnatural. The great divide between the two is, of course, animal protein.

This latest trend of a Paleo-Vegan hybrid takes the benefits of both and throws them together.

The result is a diet that focuses the majority of its daily caloric intake on vegetables and fruits while allowing organic and grass-fed animal protein options.

Not a truly “vegan” diet, the Paleo-Vegan diet may be a great option for those individuals who want to stay dedicated to an organic lifestyle while responsibly consuming animal products.

Here are some highlighted characteristics of the Paleo-Vegan Diet:

  • 75% of your diet will be vegetables and fruits
  • 25% can come from animal proteins that are organic and/or grass-fed
  • No dairy, soy, gluten, or processed sugars
  • No processed foods (complete opposite of the Beginner Vegan Diet)

Paleo-Vegan Diet Meal #1: Paleo Egg Muffins

  • Whisk eggs and chopped vegetables together
  • Pour in a muffin tin
  • Bake for 20 minutes

Paleo-Vegan Diet Meal #2: Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

  • Using a vegetable slicer, thinly cut zucchini into a noodle shape
  • Sautee shrimp in olive oil, red pepper, and garlic
  • Add in the zucchini noodles

Paleo-Vegan Diet Meal #3: Lime and Avocado Tart

10. No Sugar Vegan Diet

Once you’ve mastered the first few steps in veganism, it’ll be time to start completely eliminating those things that are considered the most harmful to our health. Enemy number one: Sugar.

If you’re following one of the diets above, that’s great! Keep going but now you can start to eliminate all processed sugars.

Naturally occurring sugars such as the fruit sugar found in an apple is okay but eating processed sugars such as the ones you may find in those frozen food vegan meals is not allowed.

By following this particular diet, you’ll notice that you are forced to start making more responsible, vegan-friendly choices.​

For example, if you’re following that Beginner’s Vegan Diet mentioned above, you’ll realize that most of those frozen and processed vegan meals have processed sugars and you’ll need to trade those in for whole foods. One step closer to the ultimate goal: 100% vegan diet.

  • Focus the bulk of your diet on whole foods
  • Cooking is okay
  • ​Eliminate all processed sugars
  • Attempt to limit your intake of natural sugars as well (e.g. – eat more vegetables than fruits)

No Sugar Vegan Diet Meal #1: Baked Rhubarb Oatmeal

  • Place chopped rhubarb on the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil
  • Mix the oats, almonds, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt together
  • ​Pour the mixture on top of the rhubarbs and follow that with almond milk
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes

No Sugar Vegan Diet Meal #2: Super Vegan Salad

  • Combine cooked chickpeas, baby spinach, avocado, sprouted almonds, zucchini, and olive oil in a salad bowl
  • Top with lemon juice, tahini sauce, and salt and pepper to taste

No Sugar Vegan Diet Meal #3: Sugar Free Vegan Ice Cream

  • Recipe from the Sugar Free Vegan Diet
  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 7 tablespoons of agave
  • 6 tablespoons of nut butter
  • 4 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Blend all ingredients and place in an at-home ice cream maker for 30 minutes

9. Gluten Free Vegan Diet

Have you mastered cutting sugar out of your diet? If so, are you ready for the next step?

Or maybe you’re ready to eliminate something from your vegan diet but sugar isn’t it. Let’s talk about health enemy number two: Gluten.

Linked to irritable bowel syndrome and a host of inflammation-based diseases, gluten has recently been thrown in the spotlight as something to avoid.

For the individual striving toward true veganism, gluten has got to go.

The focus in this type of vegan diet centers around ditching gluten-based grains. Carbohydrates are okay (this isn’t the Atkins Diet) but anything that contains gluten is not allowed.

Again, by eliminating gluten, you’ll start to curtail your eating habits towards a more vegan-friendly lifestyle and diet.

Notable items that will have to be eliminated include many processed vegan food items, most store-bought breads, and most beers.

  • Continue with eating a diet that centers around whole foods
  • Start to check labels for gluten
  • ​Eliminate all products and foods that contain gluten
  • This may involve getting your carbohydrates from other sources

Gluten Free Vegan Diet Meal #1: Vegan Tacos

  • Bake a sweet potato while combining walnuts and chickpeas in a food processor
  • Place a spice mixture of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper on top
  • Combine all ingredients with the mashed sweet potato and place in a glute-free taco shell with vegetables

Gluten Free Vegan Diet Meal #2: Vegan Stir-fry

  • Place a gluten free condiment of your choice flavor and chili garlic sauce in a pan
  • Mix in tofu and green beans (you can use other vegetables as well)
  • Sautee for 10 to 15 minutes

Gluten Free Vegan Diet Meal #3: Coffee Cream Bars

8. Cut the Dairy Vegan Diet

Continuing with this idea of cutting out things one-at-a-time, let’s talk about health enemy number three: dairy.

The dairy industry in the United States and abroad is concerning, at best.

Cows being pumped full of hormones and anti-biotics provide the milk for things like cheese and protein supplements.

What’s more, most of the population can’t properly digest dairy as it is. With that said, the choice to move away from dairy, vegan or not, is a smart choice.

  • If using a diet mentioned above, continue as usual but eliminate all items with dairy
  • Common items to eliminate are coffee cream, supplements, and processed foods that may be made in a factory that also handles dairy
  • You can substitute almond milk and rice milk for dairy in recipes

Cut the Dairy Vegan Diet Meal #1: Slow Cooker Red Lentil Soup

  • Combine olive oil, carrots, celery, onion, salt, and vegan-friendly vegetable broth with lentils
  • Top with lemon juice, if desired
  • Leave in slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours

Cut the Dairy Vegan Diet Meal #2: Crunchy Vegan Salad

  • Combine zucchini, carrots, cabbage, peppers, onions, with basil, cilantro, and sprouts
  • Top with juice from a grapefruit and lime
  • You can also add a vegan-friendly dressing of your choice

Cut the Dairy Vegan Diet Meal #3: Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

  • Try this vegan-friendly dessert recipe from the Food Network

7. No S.O.S. Vegan Diet

Let’s bring this elimination style diet series to a close with the No S.O.S. Vegan Diet.

S.O.S. stands for Sugar, Oil, and Salt. If you’ve been working your way down this list, then you’ve already taken care of the sugar. Now it’s time to get rid of unhealthy oils, which provide unhealthy fats, and processed salt.

It’s important to understand that oil and salt can be good for you when you ingest the healthy types.

Healthy oils such as coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil are packed with omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. These healthy fats support everything from cellular repair to hormonal balance.

Pure salt, such as pink Himalayan salt is wonderful for you. It contains dozens of trace minerals that help to support your health.

The salt you get from processed goods or table salt has no nutritional value.

Just like the diets before this one, you want to focus on whole foods and that will be a lot easier when your goal is to avoid processed sugar, oil, and salt, which is found in nearly all boxed and canned goods. This push towards a wholefood-based diet will help you ease into a more strict vegan diet, if you choose to go down that path.

  • Eliminate all processed sugars (e.g. – candy, boxed snacks, processed juices)
  • Eliminate all unhealthy oils (e.g. – vegetable oil and canola oil)
  • Eliminate all processed salts (e.g. – canned goods, table salt, and “tv dinners”)

No S.O.S. Vegan Diet Meal #1: Vegan Quinoa Breakfast

  • Cook quinoa with almond milk over low heat
  • Add in coconut oil, cinnamon and strawberries
  • Consider adding nuts and seeds as well

No S.O.S. Vegan Diet Meal #2: Vegan Shepard’s Pie

  • Chop, mix, and cook onion, garlic, thyme, peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
  • Prepare lentils with quinoa and black beans
  • ​Mix all of the prepared ingredients together
  • Place mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes

No S.O.S. Vegan Diet Meal #3: Toffee Pecan Pudding

6. Carb-Happy Vegan

Ever notice that most of the best tasting foods are high in carbohydrates and/or fats?

Some experts promote high carbohydrate diets citing that when carbohydrates are consumed from complex sources such as rice and oats, subjects are more likely to see improvements in weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol levels.

A carbohydrate-focused vegan diet is going to follow a general rule of 80 / 10 / 10, which is 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 10% fats.

  • Whole food carbohydrate sources are the focus of this sect of veganism
  • Examples of whole food carbs include brown rice, whole oats, and lentils
  • Protein will be easy to get from vegetables and lentils alone
  • Fats should be healthy sources such as coconut oil

Carb-Happy Vegan Diet Meal #1: Vegan Fettuccini Alfredo

  • Cook egg-free fettuccini noodles
  • Blend soy cream cheese, soy/almond milk, almonds, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, salt and pepper
  • Cook the mixture on low heat with garlic then combine with noodles

Carb-Happy Vegan Diet Meal #2: Loaded Sweet Potato

  • Cut a baked sweet potato in half
  • Cut a baked sweet potato in half
  • Top with garlic-herb sauce

Carb-Happy Vegan Diet Meal #3: Lemon Pudding

5. Fruitarian Vegan Diet

Another subset of veganism, and consequently, another carb-friendly diet, is the Fruitarian Vegan Diet.

As the name implies, the majority of your caloric intake is going to come directly from fruits.

Just like the Carb-Happy Vegan Diet, you’ll be aiming for a ratio of 80 / 10 / 10 with 80% of your carbohydrate sources coming primarily from fruits.

The remaining 20% will come from protein and fats, which is may be tough since nuts and grains are a big no-no.

The Fruitarian Vegan Diet is considered by many experts as “extreme.” You MUST do your research before beginning this sect of veganism. We recommend consulting with a nutritionist to ensure you understand the principles and methods behind this diet.

  • To hit that 80% mark, you’ll be eating a lot of fruit
  • SOME raw vegetables are allowed but the focus is on fruit
  • To fulfill your protein requirements, you don’t need to do anything extra – Supposedly, by eating 80% fruit each day, you’ll hit that protein target
  • To get fat in your diet, you have high-fat options like avocados

Fruitarian Vegan Diet Meal #1: Morning Juice

  • Combine lemon, apple, and blueberries in a blender with ice and water
  • Drink up!

Fruitarian Vegan Diet Meal #2: Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Sauce

  • Shred zucchini into “noodles”
  • Blend a tomato with garlic, parsley, and oregano
  • Top the zucchini noodles with the tomato sauce

Fruitarian Vegan Diet Meal #3: Fruit Salad

  • Combine your favorite fruits together
  • Try to mix it up (e.g – Don’t just have three types of melon)
  • Enjoy!

4. High Protein Vegan Diet

You just need to spend a few minutes online to see the fierce debate about protein in a vegan diet. If you’re an athlete, weight lifter, or all-around active person who wants to maintain or support muscle building, this one is for you.

While it may seem impossible to eat a lot of protein on a vegan diet, you’d be surprised at how much protein is in plant-based foods.

Lentils, hemp powder, and pumpkin seeds are just a few examples of plant-foods that are very high in natural protein.

The focus on this diet is, of course, wholefoods but with an emphasis on items that have a high protein count. 

This might take some initial research but once you know the plants with the highest protein amount, you’ll never forget them.

High Protein Vegan Diet Meal #1: Protein Kale Salad

  • Season tempeh with coconut oil, onion, garlic, paprika, chili, lemon, and salt
  • Combine kale, carrots, and chickpeas with the tempeh
  • Top with vinegar dressing and ginger

High Protein Vegan Diet Meal #2: Protein Tacos

  • Bake a sweet potato
  • Combine, almonds, walnuts, and chickpeas in a food processor
  • ​Place a spice mixture of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper on top
  • Combine all ingredients with the mashed sweet potato and place in a glute-free taco shell with vegetables

High Protein Vegan Diet Meal #3: Protein Squares

3. Part Time Raw Vegan Diet

Eating raw foods is important but it can be challenging to have the totality of your diet consist only of raw foods.

That’s where the Part Time Raw Vegan diet can help.

Embracing the principles of the Raw Food Vegan Diet, which I’ll expand on below, the Part Time Raw Vegan sets a daily timeline for eating raw.

After that set time, cooked foods are acceptable.

  • Typical focus on a diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc
  • All dietary choices must be in raw form until a set time
  • Dinner is the typical choice for a deadline (e.g. – 5 p.m.)
  • After the deadline, cooked vegan meals are okay

Part Time Raw Vegan Diet Meal #1: Chickpea and Edamame Salad

  • Combine chickpeas, edamame, peppers, carrots, cranberries, and garlic
  • Top with an herbal dressing

Part Time Raw Vegan Diet Meal #2: Quinoa Bowl with Baked Tofu

  • Bake extra firm tofu in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Combine cooked quinoa with vegetables of your choice
  • Place the tofu on top of the quinoa and enjoy

Part Time Raw Vegan Diet Meal #3: Vegan Pistachio Chocolate Cheesecake

2. High Fat Raw Vegan Diet

If there’s a high carbohydrate and high protein vegan diet then there must be a high fat vegan diet, right?

Exactly.

This low-carb, high-fat approach to veganism gets plenty of support from the “pro-fat” health community.

The Ketogenic Diet, for example, is getting a lot of media attention right now because of its research-backed benefits.

Do these benefits cross over to the plant-based world? Of course.

Healthy, wholefood-based, high-fat diets have been shown to promote weight loss, improve cardiovascular risk factors, and support hormone health.

  • Focus on high-fat wholefood options
  • At least 80% of your meals should be raw
  • ​No processed foods
  • Don’t worry about protein or carbohydrates as you’ll get those from simply eating a standard wholefood diet

High Fat Raw Vegan Diet Meal #1: Tofu Scramble

  • Sautee a diced potato
  • Mash tofu with the diced potato, avocado, turmeric, basil, salt and pepper
  • ​Optional: Add a variety of vegetables to your liking
  • Enjoy

High Fat Raw Vegan Diet Meal #2: Fat-Focused Vegan Salad

  • Cook chickpeas in coconut oil
  • Combine cooked chickpeas with avocado, spinach, almonds, walnuts, zucchini, and extra virgin olive oil
  • Top with lemon juice, tahini sauce, and salt and pepper to taste

High Fat Raw Vegan Diet Meal #3: Chocolate Pudding

1. Raw Food Vegan Diet

If you have been doing this vegan thing for a while and you are ready to fully dedicate yourself to a vegan diet that takes the health benefits to a whole new level, then it’s time you tried the Raw Food Vegan diet.

This diet takes two dietary practices that have a lot in common, raw foodism and veganism, and mashes them together.

Unlike vegans, those who practice being a raw foodist do partake in eating animal products but it is quite limited.

In fact, traditionally, raw foodists have a diet that is at least 80% raw wholefoods, leaving the remaining 20% for grass-fed and organic animal products.

When you combine the two dietary philosophies, you get a completely raw vegan diet. The focus is on the following, all of which have to be raw:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • ​Nuts
  • ​Seeds
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Sprouts
  • Herbs
  • Super foods (e.g. goji berries)

One important fact to note is that dehydration of foods is acceptable in raw food veganism but cooking is not.

Raw Food Vegan Diet Meal #1: Mango Avocado Salad

  • Combine mango, avocado, lime juice, and scallions in a bowl
  • Top with parsley and cilantro
  • Enjoy

Raw Food Vegan Diet Meal #2: Cucumber Salad

  • Blend several cucumbers with garlic and turmeric
  • You can add ice if you want a cold soup

Raw Food Vegan Diet Meal #3: Raw Cupcakes

Final Thoughts

Are you someone who still thinks that a vegan diet means you’ll be eating nothing but celery?

Or are you a committed vegan who’s looking for a change in the weekly meal planner?

If it’s time to change up your diet to the healthier side of things, the 12 types of vegan diets above can help you get on your way.

Have you tried any of these types of vegan diets?

What were your results?

Let us know in the comments below!

Ashley Woodward
 

I'm currently 31 and based out of sunny Sacramento, CA. I’m a mother of 2 beautiful kids, a certified nutritionist and fitness buff that’s spent years dialing in the perfect diet. My goal here is to help as many people as possible learn about the benefits of eating vegan, and want to share my passion with other people who also have a love for cooking and trying new recipes.

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