Counting calories is not the point of a healthy diet, but it does help to know generally how much you're eating every day. Even more important than calories is to try to hit your fiber and protein numbers for the day, and it's much more fun to add up good nutrients than to worry about how many calories you're taking in. Here are the guidelines to which numbers you should be paying attention to as you lose weight naturally on the VegStart plan.

Get More Fiber. The more fiber you add to your diet, the better. Studies show that 30 grams of fiber in your diet daily will help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. According to the USDA: Women should aim for a minimum of 25 grams of fiber and men should shoot for 38 grams of fiber per day.

Hit Your Proteins. A high-protein diet has been linked to weight loss. You burn more calories when digesting and metabolizing protein because it requires more work to do so. Protein also leaves you feeling full, helps curb your appetite and is the building block of muscle. Aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein each meal, which for most people is optimal.

Get Into a Calorie Deficit. Everyone hates counting calories and so do we but you should have a general idea of what you're eating. The key is to choose nutrient-dense foods that are lower in calories per nutrient. The opposite, choose calorie-dense foods like sweets, should be avoided.

The VegStart Diet keeps your daily calorie intake to 1500 or so. Going below that can be counter-productive for long-term weight loss since you’ll slow your metabolism and make it harder to sustain weight loss longterm. If like most successful dieters, you’re burning calories as well as counting them, you can probably afford to take in 250 more for every hour of intense exercise or working out you do per day.

For more on protein and fiber on a plant0based diet, check out:

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