Eating well and feeding yourself properly are things that can be achieved either as a vegan or a non-vegan for that matter. It’s certainly true, yet not as obvious, that vegan junk food is a possibility too. Inferior eating habits can affect anyone, even if you’re trying to eat better, and, perhaps, hoped switching to being a vegan would improve this. Let’s look at how to stop being a junk food vegan, and get all of the health benefits a vegan diet can offer.
Honesty, the saying that wherever you are, your problems travel with you is true. Similarly, if you like fried foods over grilled or food prepared more healthily, then it’s easy to either transfer those habits over to veganism or to let things slide over the months.
What Is A Junk Food Vegan? [Definition]
Let’s face facts. A vegan burger can be put on the grill in the same way as a turkey burger patty can be. Even if you’re toasting a vegan bun and have ample vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, and more, it’s still a burger!
The same goes for healthier fries if they’re deep-dried. Even choosing high-quality oils to cook them in doesn’t change the fact that it’s a lot of saturated fat.
Therefore, while you may consume plenty of superfoods, enough grains, plus beans and veggies, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s prepared healthily.
Pre-produced vegan foods also might lean more towards junk food than not. Considerable sodium is included in many packaged vegan offerings.
Other additions might not be as healthy as if you made the item yourself. Some of the extra ingredients may help extend the shelf life of the food item, rather than added for taste.
Others sometimes are because certain ingredients are cheaper or more accessible for mass production in a food preparation facility.
Lastly, it’s possible to now get vegan food from fast-food joints. Most of the big names have jumped on the plant-based food bandwagon and are trying to exploit it.
Therefore, many past favorite junk food items are now available, helpfully, in vegan form.
Why You Don’t Want To Be a Junk Food Vegan
Eating plant-based is healthier than consuming animal meat. This is the case in many health studies. We intuitively know that what’s grown and comes out of the ground is generally going to be good for us.
Sure, there are the occasional questionable mushrooms or berries that are dangerous to eat, but most food that’s grown is safe.
Being a vegan, it’s all too easy to begin to feel superior.
To get a big head and think we’re smarter and eating better than non-vegan people. And sometimes that’s true! But when ordering a pizza from a favorite online pizza company, you’re still loading up with vegan cheese, saturated fats, sugars, and plenty of sodium too.
Portion sizes and the number of portions are also major issues. Too much of even good foods becomes a bad thing.
If you take a Domino’s Vegan Double Beef and Onion pizza, as an example, it’s available in various Domino pizza chains around the world. It’s approximately 162 calories per slice.
The pizza comes in 8 servings. How many will you consume? After all, you paid for it, and don’t want it to go to waste, and cold pizza isn’t as tasty.
A vegan sausage that’s fried in the pan is taking healthy vegan protein, converting it into a familiar animal-based food form factor, and then preparing it the same way.
The added saturated fat becomes a health issue because it will gradually line your arteries.
A higher fat diet eventually makes it harder and harder for blood to pump around your body until it causes a blockage.
These types of blockages lead to a stroke or cardiac arrest. Therefore, physicians recommend a lower fat diet, including less saturated fat, as a sound approach to healthier eating.
While eating vegan is improved from the standpoint of the food’s source, unhealthy cooking methods have major long-term health implications.
Even using an air fryer instead of a deep fryer with vegan ingredients reduces the amount of fat that’s ingested. Avoiding fried foods is even better.
Fast food, even faster-prepared vegan food, is costlier than doing it yourself. While we do pay for other people to get our food ready for us, there’s a financial cost and a health cost too.
Both act like a double edge sword where we’re cut either way.
The quicker the food is available, and the easier access you have to it, the costlier it usually is. Simply put, convenience costs extra. Restaurants and food delivery services turn a profit from your wanting fast food and now.
Top Tips To Avoid Being a Junk Food Vegan
If you’ve gotten yourself into a struggle over being a vegan and falling back into bad habits with junk food, then it needs to stop.
How to stop being a junk food vegan? Here are a few suggestions to try:
Plan Your Meals
Commuting home from work, if there’s no plan for your meal once you get home, it’s far more tempting to stop at the drive-thru. By planning your meals, you don’t get caught being hungry and not having a sound plan.
Being vegan requires more meal planning than most people are used to. Knowing what produce to buy, how long it’ll keep, and what meals can be prepared with what’s left in the refrigerator are skills picked up along the way.
It’s surely not easy in the first few weeks, which is often why we fall into the vegan junk food or fast-food trap.
Plan meals by using simple vegan recipes and ingredients you have confidence about how to cook. Build up from there. Use herbs and spices to add greater flavor to basic ingredients.
Avoid getting overly creative – you just need tasty, healthy foods – and build your abilities with time.
Track Your Nutrition
Keep track of what you eat. Keep a nutrition diary or something similar.
If you feel that you’re eating too much junky vegan food, then write down what you ate for each meal. Set an appointment in Google Calendar or a To-Do app on your phone to remind you to review the diary each weekend.
Set a goal of how many meals or days that you eat junk food in a week. Then if you cannot face slashing and burning on that number, gradually reduce it.
This can be done as you practice preparing a few meals and gain enough confidence to know you can reproduce them successfully.
Then you only must stop off to purchase the necessary ingredients if you’re running low, instead of hitting the drive-through.
Plan For ‘Cheat’ Days
If you’re needing discipline for your eating because you feel it’s totally out of control, then it’s necessary to use a different approach.
Plan for a solid 7 days of healthy eating but allow a cheat meal or a cheat day somewhere in there. The trick here is to not allow that one meal or one day to stretch into several.
Otherwise, you’re back on the junk food vegan eating plan again.
If you have a vegan friend who eats cleaner than you, then ask if they can be your accountability buddy for meals. Taking a photo of each meal is an effective way to not try to get creative if you slip up.
Ensure the photos are timestamped and clearly from your kitchen or dining table (i.e., you didn’t download a photo of someone else’s meal because you cheated).
Stay accountable and you’ll have an easier time staying on track.
How To Stop Being a Junk Food Vegan
Hopefully, now you’ll have learned the benefits of not being a junk food vegan, as well as learning some of our top tips for how to stop being a junk food vegan. What are some of your top healthy vegan tips? Share with the community in the comments below.