How I Lost 21 lb on a Plant Based Diet

Have you been curious about plant-based diet weight loss? Today, I will share with you my story. By ditching animal products and eating only fruit, vegetables, legumes, ancient grains, nuts, and seeds, I was able to lose 21 lb in 2018. Weight loss on a plant-based diet is about consistency, thoughtful planning, and regular meal prepping.

Introduction

When we endure abuse and trauma, we often tend to binge-eat and become passive. Why? We binge-eat because abuse makes us feel helpless and powerless, so we seek to control at least something. Eating food in huge amounts makes us feel in control.

We can have certainty at least about something: that we can eat, whatever we want: whenever we want, wherever we want, and however much we want. This is comforting to our subconscious mind in the midst of abuse, trauma, and uncertainty. So, we binge-eat.

Why do we become passive? Because abuse and trauma lead us to experience helplessness, powerlessness, and depression. So, we stop working out because we don’t see a reason to care but also because we have no energy. It’s a vicious cycle. I was trapped in the vicious cycle of abuse for a while. I shared my story on this blog openly and in great detail.

READ: Narcissistic Relationship Abuse

I was severely depressed and suicidal while married to the narcissist. I ate massive amounts of food and, because I didn’t have any energy, I was passive. I gained so much weight, I felt sick physically.

Disclaimer here: I know looking at my before and after pictures, you may feel shocked because my size at my heaviest was four. In America, it’s considered healthy and skinny. I’m from Russia, and my size was always XS.

Being overweight is about being over your normal weight. I’m 5’10”. My normal weight has always been 116 lb. I know, I know, you don’t think I was ever overweight. But hey, your weight isn’t about what I think. Right? Your weight is about what you think. Likewise, my weight is about what I think.

To go from 116 lb to 136 lb was a massive weight gain. Growing from double-zero XS to size four was unbearable. It was too much for me. I felt not just depressed but disoriented in life overall.

READ: What Depression Feels Like

My husband admitted cheating on me. He betrayed me. He deceived me. He rejected me. He refused to have sex with me. After four months of marriage, he claimed to be completely disinterested in me.

READ: Narcissistic Abuse Examples

I felt ugly, worthless, and stupid. I didn’t care about my health because I didn’t even want to be here in my future. I wanted to die. I didn’t want to be alive in the world that was so cruel and traumatizing.

READ: My Suicide Story

Every day the only thing I had control over was food, and I binge-ate to feel at least some sense of certainty. In 2018, I realized what was going on with me. I wrote extensively about my narcissistic abuse recovery on this blog.

READ: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

I decided that I wanted to live. I decided that I wanted to live alive. I decided to stop eating dead animals’ flesh because consuming the flesh of dead animals who had lived a life of abuse, trapped, raped, and oppressed, couldn’t not make me feel depressed. That’s how my plant-based weight loss journey began.

Here’s what happened…

My Story of Weight Loss

Weight loss on a plant-based diet took a few hours to figure out. Once I threw away all my milk, cheese, meat, eggs, sour cream, yogurt, and butter, my fridge was empty, and I had nothing to eat.

So, I started learning about what to eat on a plant-based diet. And I wrote a detailed article about it to help you if you’re experiencing the same problem.

READ: What To Eat on a Plant-Based Diet

At first, I had severe cravings for cheese and beef. To get rid of them, I decided to fast on water for five days, and since then, I’ve taken water-fasting breaks regularly. It’s been really good to detox and renew my body.

WATCH: My Five-Day Long Water Fast

I lost weight, my skin became acne-free, and my energy increased. My insomnia disappeared, my stool improved in frequency and quality, and my sinus infections became the thing of the past.

Yet, plant based diet weight loss isn’t easy.

The challenges were not only what to eat and cravings from years of being addicted to the food ingredients that we aren’t even ever supposed to eat for safety reasons, but also the challenges were social.

At work, I didn’t fit in and felt left out sometimes. Honestly, every day everyone was making comments on what I ate and how different it was from “normal.” With friends, I found myself at a Christmas eve party where the hosts who invited me had absolutely nothing for me to eat. Going out became a challenge because many restaurants in Atlanta still have no vegan meal choices.

I did lose 21 lb anyway.

My Seven Plant-Based Diet Weight Loss Secrets

  1. Plan all your meals and snacks in advance
  2. Create a grocery-shopping list to match your meals plan
  3. Do your own grocery shopping
  4. Eat what you buy and nothing else
  5. Prep all your meals at home and carry food with you
  6. Be consistent and remember your why
  7. Stay motivated by watching plant-based documentaries

Plant-Based Diet Weight Loss Secrets

I want to encourage and empower you. If you’re interested in plant-based diet weight loss, you can do it, you can lose weight, gain energy, and stick to your new positive and healthy routine.

Let me share with you some details about each of my seven plant-based diet weight loss secrets. These are the same recommendations my Christian coaching clients get when they work with me one-on-one to accomplish their biggest dreams.

READ: Christian Coaching Client Testimonials

The most important thing to know is that plant-based diet weight loss has a lot to do with your ability to observe and manage your own thinking. I remember my coaching client was telling me how all her thoughts were productive and positive, only until she began actually observing her thinking.

It was shocking to her! She discovered how negative and destructive her thinking actually was, and she was glad to work with me on mastering the ITCEBO thinking model to renew her mind and submit every thought to the truth of Christ by taking it captive, as the Bible teaches us.

What thoughts can cause you to binge-eat crap?

NEGATIVE SELF-TALK

  • I deserve to do whatever I want because I worked hard today
  • This won’t matter because it’s only one time
  • No one cares about my health anyway and I’m comfortable
  • I can never change because I always fail
  • I’m not going to obsess about this, I only live once
  • I don’t want to be difficult so I’ll just fit in
  • Mom always told me I will never be skinny
  • I come from a big-boned family anyway
  • I can restart my routine tomorrow
  • I need some comfort and I deserve this food
  • I’m not a super-model, I’m ok just the way I am
  • Everyone binge-eats, it’s what people do when stressed
  • I am a foodie, my mom was a foodie, and this is what we do
  • I’m not radical, everything is good in moderation, even my discipline, so I need cheat-days
  • I don’t derve any better, this is who I am

My ITCEBO model shows you two thinking patterns: worldly and godly. It gives you scriptures for every decision, every choice you make, and it shows you the exact outcomes you can expect in life based on your decisions.

READ: The ITCEBO Model

Now that you have the most important tool – your thinking – figured out, let me give you a few other tools. But remember: if your thinking isn’t right and you keep submitting to the pattern of the world instead of renewing your mind every day, plant based diet weight loss won’t work.

Plan all your meals and snacks in advance

If you’re running around with your head cut off and grabbing whatever crap you can find, you are never in control of your eating. So, how do you fix this, especially since you’re so busy? You need to plan what you will eat, then buy stuff to make the meals you planned, and then eat the meals you prepped with the stuff you bought for the meals you planned.

You need to plan what you will eat, then buy stuff to make the meals you planned, and then eat the meals you prepped with the stuff you bought for the meals you planned.

Anna Szabo

I always bring my own lunch to work: it’s healthy and saves me money. I cook my own meals and prepare my own snacks. This year, I celebrated my 37th Birthday with a vegan feast. Who cooked? I did. Who planned my Birthday meal? I planned it. And of course, I wrote a blog about it to share with you my tips to encourage and empower you with some healthy and helpful planning tips.

READ: My Plant-Based Birthday Feast

I share my recipes for free on this blog. In fact, my entire ministry is dedicated to helping you create a joyful life by embracing God’s word. I create content about the six pillars of joyful living: faith, food, fitness, finances, felicity, and fortitude.

Food is essential to joy.

The Bible prohibits us from overeating and binge-eating (gluttony). It also teaches us to honor God with our bodies and not destroy them. The word of God shows us how Daniel ate (plant-based) and was the strongest and the wisest among his peers.

READ: What Does The Bible Say About Plant-Based Diet?

If you want to actually pursue plant-based diet weight loss, you must plan what you will eat and why. Why you eat something is based on the nutrients your body requires.

READ: The Six Things I Eat on a Plant-Based Diet

I eat six categories of food: ancient grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Of course, my food choices are endless! Legumes category offers me beans (pinto, black, lima, and more), lentils (green, yellow, red, and more), and chickpeas. Veggies category offers me tomatoes (roma, hillbilly, super-sweet, cherry, kumato, and more), and I can honestly spend all day going on about these six categories, which all give me endless food choices that are filling and healthy.

READ: Plant-Based Meals Ideas

So, the first secret to your weight loss on a plant-based diet is to plan your meals. But we often make plans and feel good as if we were actually accomplishing something. I can’t tell you how many people I know who make great plans and never take action based on what they planned. What’s the point? So, once you plan what you wanna eat, create a grocery-shopping list in accordance with your planned meals.

Create a grocery-shopping list to match your meals plan

What you plan to eat determines what you need to buy. Decide on your meals for the week. Examine your pantry and fridge: what do you have and what do you need? What you need goes straight on your grocery-shopping list. Your plant-based diet weight loss won’t happen if your fridge is empty and you rely on eating out to get you through the day.

Working with my Christian coaching clients, I help them create meal plans and grocery-shopping lists. Here’s one example to help you and to show you how it’s done.

Grocery-Shopping List Example Based on Meals Planned

>> Meals Planned

BREAKFAST 

There are 3 options to choose for breakfast. But before you eat, have a full glass of warm water with lemon every day please. If you don’t sleep 8 hours, it contributes to weight and bloating, so keep that in mind. 

OPTION 1: breakfast salad
Bananas
Apples
Oranges
Blueberries 
Strawberries 
Grapes
Don’t add anything else, just mix & enjoy! 

OPTION 2: breakfast smoothie
2 table spoons of chia seeds 
2 table spoons of hemp heart seeds 
2 table spoons of flex seeds 
1/2 tea spoon of Chlorella 
2 cups of Kale
1 cup of Spinach
Broccoli 
Lemon 
Green apple 
Banana 
Avocado 
3 stalks of Celery 
1 cup of Green Bell Pepper 
Ginger

OPTION 3: breakfast grains 
Buckwheat or quinoa with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cranberries, chia seeds, hemp heart seeds, any two types of grapes, and any apples. 


While eating breakfast, think about what’s in front of you, how much to eat, why you’re eating it, and what impact the food you’re consuming has on your body and mind.

LUNCH

Incredible lentils soup that will make your body strong, healthy, and productive.

Soup recipe: https://youtu.be/b0UINra_tlY

Make a large pot and take to work in a glass container or thermos. 
Eat soup with an avocado toast if you want. Please only eat good, healthy bread from a refrigerator section, not freezer or shelf section.

Nothing good and plant-based can have a long shelf life. Whatever bread is on the shelf at a store is not good for you. It’s filled with preservatives to give the bread its shelf life.

Good bread to buy: bread 1 and 2 on this list are delicious and I only feel great eating both https://www.eatthis.com/bread-store-bought/

DINNER

There are two options for your dinner. Whichever one you choose, please practice mindfulness while eating: sit down, think about what’s in front of you, how much you need to eat and why, as well as give blessings for the food and for its impact on your body and mind.

OPTION 1: dinner salad
Massage kale with lemon juice. 
Add sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Add diced almonds.
Add celery.
Add thinly sliced reddish.
Add carrots.
Add any olives.  
Add avocado.
Add sea salt.
Enjoy!

OPTION 2: dinner roast
Keep skin on for all veggies
Roast with a little bit of avocado oil:
Carrots
Beets
Broccoli 
Cauliflower 
Bell peppers 
Tomatoes
Eggplant 
Red onions
Asparagus 

SNACKS

Pack either one or a mix of the following snacks with you wherever you go:

Sliced apples
Sliced pineapple 
Sliced watermelon 
Sliced honeydew 
Sliced papaya 
Sliced oranges
Cherries
Grapes
Any nuts

>> Grocery Shopping List

Garlic
Any kale
Carrots
Beets
Broccoli 
Cauliflower 
Bell peppers 
Tomatoes
Eggplant 
Red onions
Asparagus 

Sliced apples
Sliced pineapple 
Sliced watermelon 
Sliced honeydew 
Sliced papaya 
Sliced oranges
Cherries
Grapes
Any nuts

Sunflower seeds 
Pumpkin seeds
Diced almonds
Celery
Reddish
Carrots
Any olives
Avocados 
Sea salt
+ whatever options you chose for the breakfast 

Ancient grains
Farro
Kamut
Buckwheat
Amaranth
Bulgur
Teff
Sorghum
Freekeh
Millet
Spelt
Pearl Barley
Brown Rice
Wheat Berries
Red Quinoa Grain
Tricolor Quinoa Grain
Organic Quinoa Grain

So, make your grocery-shopping list weekly if you want your plant-based diet weight loss to work for you. Now, here’s the truth, and I have to say it just because of my experience with people in real life: once you make your grocery-shopping list, actually do grocery shopping and actually stick to your list. There, I said it.

What’s up with people making lists only to leave them at home when going to the store? Also, two more tips for you: don’t go grocery shopping hungry and don’t look around. Go to the store after you have eaten and only buy what’s on your list. That’s it.

I know: it’s common sense. Yet, common sense is not very common. So, make your list based on your meals plan and actually buy what’s on your list. That’s the second secret to plant-based diet weight loss.

Next, go grocery shopping.

Do your own grocery shopping

Let me ask you this: will your Instacart grocery deliverer check all the produce for quality? No, honey, they won’t. That’s why you need to do your own grocery shopping. Go to the grocery store and choose ripe tomatoes, ripe avocados, ripe mango, ripe pears, and organic nuts.

If you use a grocery delivery service, you are likely to get the produce of such quality that will disappoint you. Then, you’ll be tempted to give up the whole weight loss on a plant-based diet thing!

Just go buy your own food. I recommend Sprouts.

That’s the third secret to the plant-based diet weight loss. And then, once you planned what to eat, made your grocery list, and bought what you need for those meals you planned, now it’s time for you to eat that stuff instead of just letting it sit in your fridge while you’re actually eating out crap.

Eat what you buy and nothing else

I know many people who feel really good about their plant-based diet weight loss since they have good food at home. The only issue is that they eat fat-filled animal junk-food. So, having healthy plant-based food in your fridge is not the goal. The goal is to have plant-based food, eat it, and avoid eating anything else.

Common sense? Not so common!

Now that you’re ready to eat your great food, make sure it’s cooked and prepped to your liking in a timely manner, so that when you’re hurrying up and running out the door, you can just grab it.

Prep all your meals at home and carry food with you

Prep your meals, such as breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and package them so that they are grab-and-go ready. Have a bag where you’ll drop your food, and make sure it will preserve the temperature.

Having your own food is highly-convenient.

You don’t have to commute to any restaurants and wait in line. Just eat what you have, and you know it’s made with clean hands from fresh ingredients, so that’s always a competitive advantage.

I have a drink mug that will preserve the temperature of my drink for up to 48 hours. I make a smoothie, pour it in that mug, and off I go. This is the fifth secret to plant-based diet weight loss.

Next, be consistent, though it’s tempting not to!

Be consistent and remember your why

Consistency is key, and that’s also where I failed, like many people do. I decided to fit in and go for turkey at Thanksgiving. My excuse? It’s only one time! That turned on all my cravings, the ones I did a water fast to stop… Stupid? Yes! Why would I share this with you? To warn you: humans have a hard time being consistent. If you want plant-based diet weight loss to work for you, you need to be consistent.

On this blog, I share very openly about my own human journey. I’m no stranger to addictions and all kinds of behavioral issues, so I know what it’s like to be steadfast, as the Bible teaches us, and I know what it’s like to go off the rails and then self-loathe from guilt and shame.

READ: My Sex Addiction Story

So, what’s the solution? Pray and invite Jesus to do this plant-based diet weight loss with you. If you want to honor God with your body and not destroy it, that is a great why, so remember your why.

All things are possible through Christ, even overcoming food addictions, emotional binge-eating, and intense cravings. My weight loss on a plant-based diet was possible with Christ, and it’s also possible for you. To stay motivated, learn from others. Don’t do this alone.

Stay motivated by watching plant-based documentaries

Right now, I’m getting back to being 100% plant-based. It’s not been a perfect journey, but I did it once and I can do it again. What helps me during this weight loss on a plant-based diet adventure is watching plant-based documentaries.

So, I want to give you a list of a few that I highly recommend. These documentaries help me stay focused on my why and be consistent.

Plant-Based Documentaries

  1. What The Health
  2. Forks Over Knives
  3. PlantPure Nation
  4. Eating You Alive
  5. H.O.P.E.
  6. The Game Changers
  7. Cowspiracy
  8. Live and Let Live
  9. The Ghosts In Our Machine
  10. Dominion
  11. Blackfish
  12. A Prayer for Compassion

I hope this chapter of my plant-based diet weight loss blog post inspired and empowered you. You can do it, and if you fail, forgive yourself and ask God for His divine grace. Pray for steadfastness and ask God to make you new. I’m not preaching to you. This is literally what I myself do every day.

I shared with you my plant-based diet weight loss secrets.

Now, let me share with you the benefits I experienced.

Get ready to be encouraged!

The Benefits of Weight Loss on a Plant-Based Diet

My weight loss on a plant-based diet was amazing, and I loved the result. Also, so many other things changed. The stronghold of my suicidal depression was destroyed. I was praying on my knees daily for steadfastness and perseverance. God renewed my mind daily. He drew me very close. He revealed Himself to me in a big way. My health, both physical and mental, improved significantly.

My weight loss on a plant-based diet finally freed my skin from acne. My stomach wasn’t bloated anymore. My sleep quality was superior. My stool also improved. My panic attacks became less frequent. I experienced more peace. My energy and mental clarity exceeded expectations. I felt a decade younger. Here’s a video to describe you my overall results in great detail.

I want you to know that you can do this. Weight loss on a plant-based diet is possible for you. All you need is to set your mind on your why and make plant-based not a part of your weight-loss program but your actual lifestyle.

Believe in yourself. Take every negative thought captive and submit it to the truth of Christ. He is the one who can make your path straight. So, pray for Jesus to join your weight loss on a plant-based adventure and your lifestyle transformation.

I believe in you!

Plant-Based Diet Weight Loss Before and After

We all get inspired by the before and after pictures. Here are mine. My weight loss on a plant-based diet resulted in overall slimming. As the inflammation in my body from the toxic animal food reduced, so did the size of my belly. The more I detoxed my gut with kale and flaxseeds, the more poop came out and the less was my weight and size.

That’s how weight loss on a plant-based diet works.

I’ve shared a lot with you in this blog post. Yet, I still have my most important secret to tell you. And it’s this: how you view yourself, I mean your identity, impacts your lifestyle, food choices, and health.

READ: Who Am I in Christ?

Your identity is the key to unlocking your self-talk and habits. If you don’t know who you really are, if you’re confused about your purpose, if you can’t see your future as exciting, you’re probably not going to go through all the troubles and struggles of renewing your mind daily and transforming how you think, live, and eat.

Your identity is the secret to your weight loss.

Summary

In this blog post, I shared with you a lot of what I know about plant-based diet weight loss. I gave you my seven tips and unpacked each of them in detail to help you get started and stick to your lifestyle transformation.

Also, I shared with you my story of weight loss.

I told you that my weight gain resulted from enduring abuse in my narcissistic marriage and experiencing suicidal depression. All that was the outcome of my identity crisis. You see, I saw myself with the eyes of my ex-husband. God drew me close and taught me who I really am.

READ: What Does God Say About Me?

Today, I help women see themselves the way God sees them. I’ve specifically been focusing on identity in Christ. From the Bible, I discovered 52 incredibly-positive things God says about us as His daughters. Those 52 precious discoveries turned into 52 Biblical affirmations I created to encourage and empower Christian women. 

To help share this life-changing information with you, I created an ebook called #52Devotionals. Download it now for free

My free ebook helps you understand who God says you are. Don’t be vulnerable to identity attacks from the mainstream media, relatives, coworkers, your boss, society, culture, and the voices in your head. 

Stand firm and know what God says about you.

Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

Last Updated on by

SHARE IF YOU CARE