Many people who adopt a whole food, plant-based lifestyle find they automatically lose weight without actively counting calories.

I wanted to take a moment and explain one of the reasons this can happen.

Plant Based Diet

In this picture, I’ve compared how your stomach looks after eating 400 calories of beef VS. 400 calories of vegetables. The difference is pretty striking.

This all comes down to calorie density.

Caloric Density: A Simple Approach To Weight Loss 

Calorie density is simply a measure of how many calories are provided per unit measurement of food.

Calorie dense foods, (high in calorie density) such as beef, chicken, refined sugars, provide many calories in a small amount of food while providing less nutrients than whole plant foods.

Foods with low calorie density — fruits, vegetables — provide fewer total calories and greater nutrition in a larger volume of food.

Naturally, on a day-to-day basis, people generally eat a similar amount of food based on volume. This works to the advantage of people following a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle because they are no longer consuming extremely high caloric density foods including meat and oil.

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Instead, they are opting for more fruits and vegetables, which contain a lower calorie density. This allows them to consume their usual amount of food (or more) while still reducing their caloric intake. Meanwhile, because they are eating more plant-foods, they are also increasing their nutrient intake despite eating fewer calories.

Because these low calorie dense foods often contain more water and fiber, we often feel full and satisfied after eating them as well.

An easy comparison to make is having a massive salad instead of a candy bar for a snack, both of which would come in around 200 calories.

At some point into the salad, your stomach will be full and satisfied you might not even finish your serving. However, with the chocolate bar, you’re likely to eat the entire thing and still need more calories to feel full.

Bottom line: If you want to take a simple approach to losing weight, without counting calories, make an effort to eat more calorie dense foods!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to gain MUSCLE on a plant-based diet, check out this amazing ebook by V3 Bodybuilding: V3 Plant-Based Bodybuilding

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