I am frequently asked, “Scott, what’s the best diet to lose weight?” And I often reply “Exercise.”. Exercising is the best way to lose weight, and cycling and running provide the best results for sustainable weight loss, increasing fitness levels as they both get the heart rate pumping and are both super accessible to the majority.
All running requires is a pair of trainers, all cycling requires is a bike, neither has to be the latest kit, as long as you are getting out and getting it done, results will follow. However it’s well known and scientifically proven, that a vegan diet provides an abundance of positive health benefits, from longer life expectancy, reduced risk of heart disease, and also, the elephant in the room, weight loss.
Following on from my answer, I introduce to them the idea of a vegan diet and the increase in energy it will give them to pursue more exercise, all whilst keeping the environment on its legs, the animals happy, and finally, leaving the future generations with what they need. That in itself, when it comes to the last 2 kilometres of the race you’ve been training 6 months for, will provide you with that miracle boost of adrenaline, and across the line faster then the goal you set out for.
Usually after this, people acknowledge the positive benefits of a vegan diet, but still choose to ignore it, I carry on with my life as a vegan, and they choose to carry on theirs not.
As a keen and avid runner and cyclist I’m always surrounded by athletes who are looking to improve their performance through any means possible, but at the same time, being naïve in their thinking. Lots of these athletes are very good at their sport, but fail to acknowledge their diet, and suffer the consequences for it.
Purchasing the latest running shoes, buying the lightest carbon bike frame, all of these are prioritised over what is the most important factor, the fuel that they are putting into their body. An athletes body goes through a large amount of exertion, our bodies are doing wonderful things to cope with the extreme pressures placed against it, so why do many people neglect it by not providing it with the correct fuel? After all you do not put diesel into a petrol car.
During exercise, especially whilst running and cycling, our body requires energy, we acquire this energy mainly through a food group known as “carbohydrates”, without carbs our bodies can not be supplied with energy in a sustainable way, it’s also crucial to stay hydrated- water, water, water.
So why is a vegan diet a good choice? A high carb low fat vegan diet provides the body with the essential nutrition it needs, whilst minimising the possibly negative impacts, such as an increase in weight or high cholesterol.
Fuelling the body before, during and after exercise ensures the muscles are not being neglected, allowing the athlete to perform their best and continue improving, which universally is every athletes goal. We can gain energy from the most magnificent creations on earth- plants.
Plants provide us with the most nutritionally valuable resources we can feed to our bodies, they have zero health implications and provide huge benefits, which no one can deny is a win-win situation. Eating fruit and veg is the best thing anyone, vegan and non-vegan can do for themselves on their journey to health and fitness.
Fuel your body right, and your body will thank you for it. So, for those of you wishing to lose weight and get fit, dig out those old trainers you bought for your New Years resolution to get fit, go out there, carb up and get it done. Oh and don’t forget, Go Vegan.
Scott Albiston – 17 year old vegan cyclist and runner, For the environment, for the animals, for yourself.