FTC Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I may receive a small commission on the transaction. Clicking these links doesn't cost any more to you, and it does help me with my small business so I thank you so much for any support you want to give!

How to Lose Belly Fat as a Vegan

by Monique
(New York)


I'd like to lose weight mostly because my stomach area is too big, and I'd like to reduce breast size. I am way too big for my body size and I am uncomfortable. I hear that losing weight can help that, and although I look relatively thin, those areas are not, and I wonder if there is a way to lose weight. I am not a total vegetarian; I eat fish, dairy and eggs. Sometimes I feel better eating some animal protein, even though I am philosophically opposed to eating it.


Hi Monique,

I totally empathize with you and understand where you're coming from. I think most women worry a bit about our stomachs and belly fat, and it can be a tough area to target and tighten.

I personally ate just like you, and then when I went vegan, I gave up fish and eggs immediately, and I also tossed most dairy products pretty quickly. What I struggled with most was cheese because I absolutely loved it. I don't think I necessarily ate a ton of it, but I did have pieces of cheese as snacks, ate it on pasta and soup, and added it to every sandwich. And, I truly loved cheese, so giving it up was very difficult for me.

I initially felt better after cutting out most dairy products, but I didn't truly feel amazing until I quit cheese completely. And, when I did that, I lost about 5-10 pounds, and it all seemed to come off my stomach and thighs. It was like the dairy was plastered to the inside of my body, and when I decided not to add any more into my mouth, it shed itself off my stomach.

So, I can personally attest that cutting the remaining animal products out of your diet is a good way to get rid of the stubborn extra 5 or 10 that follow you around everywhere.

I also have to add that it's incredibly easy nowadays to go from eating a junk food non-vegan diet to eating a junk food vegan diet, and that's not going to help your body. If you're looking to lose weight, I recommend staying away from the vegan ice cream, vegan cheese, vegan desserts, and all those fun chips and cookies that are dairy-free.

If you pack your meals with a variety of vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, and beans, and use nuts and seeds as snacks, you will be able to lose belly fat as a vegan. I also think if you're eating a well-balanced vegan diet like this, you will feel better than when you ate animal protein in the past.

As for your stomach... The increased fiber from vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and beans helps to push out the stores of fat that might be blocking you from having a toned, flat stomach. When you increase fiber in your diet, you should also increase your water intake to help push the fiber through your digestive system-- aim for 8-10 glasses each day.

You can also read more about my struggle to quit cheese and what I did to overcome it in my ebook, Cut the Cheese.

Comments for How to Lose Belly Fat as a Vegan

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Miserable about my pot belly!
by: Anonymous

I agree with the others about not being able to trim the stomach on the vegan diet. I have lost the weight everywhere else but my stomach.
And now because I've lost so much weight but in my stomach I look pregnant by 8 months! I hate it! 😭🤧
Although I am happy to have found a wonderful vegan way of life, I am miserable with my body! I must be one out of ###? women, who cannot loose stomache belly fat. 😭
Well, I did find out recently that I am pregnant now. I still shouldn't look 8 months pregnant!🤰🏻
I wish I could do some serious exercises to help tone my mid section. I cannot because of the baby. I have hope and faith that after the baby comes I can really start a new vigorous exercise and vegan diet to help tone my abdomen.
And thank God for LIPO!!!! 🤗

All Diets Require Thought and Effort
by: Anonymous

It's irritating to see people blaming a vegan diet for becoming 'flabby' and 'deteriorating' in bodily condition... With any diet, you still need to exercise & actually move your body; it's not an instant fix for everything.
Equally, you still need to pay attention to your nutrition (protein/fat/carbs & vitamins/minerals). If you regularly take in too many calories (more than you use up) you will put on weight - regardless of the diet you're following to source those calories are (i.e. exclusively vegan, omnivorous, whatever...).
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, and don't work out (effectively), you will 'deteriorate in condition'. Unfit & inactive just = unfit & inactive.
The thousands of vegan athletes and bodybuilders prove that a _well planned_ vegan diet is extremely healthy. (And shouldn't all healthy, nutritious diets be well planned?)
Additionally, different people will respond differently to dietary compositions. I have no problem with grains or legumes (incl. beans) - I feel much better for eating them. Others may not find this to be the case, so... Eat what works for you, given your individual make-up!

I have loose fat.
by: Anonymous

I am a non-dairy pescatarian and my diet is very healthy. I eat seafood only rarely. I exercize regularly and am very active on my job. I cannot lose the loose flab around my tummy area. I believe I am not getting enough protein to burn this fat. Its horrible. I otherwise am very thin and healthy, but I do not have that schooled look. I have been trying various forms of protein in different ratios to no avail. I guess it all depends on your genes.

I have the same problem
by: sonia

I'm vegetarian I will like to be vegan but cheese is my big thing, I have problem with my belly too I'm 58 and maybe is the age but I believe is the food. I eat green veggie quinoa any kind of grains but when I eat grains I always feel bloated any one can give me a perfect way to eat to feel wonderful and healthy?

Gaining Weight on Veganism?
by: AudraBlue

If you're gaining belly fat on a vegan diet, you should cut out grains and legumes. I find that my body can't digest them properly and they are a huge irritant on my gut lining. Increase you good fats and eat lots of veggies from the whole colour spectrum and you should be good. Also, drink lots of water because you'll need it to help digest all the fibre you're eating. And stay away from processed foods (sugar, wheat etc) and also the "fake" vegan foods like TVP and anything soy like vegan ice creams and vegan cheese

by: Anonymous

All of you that complained of having problems with vegan diet. Read the 80/10/10 book by Dr. Graham. Most of you that wrote down what you eat is too much protein and too much fat. As adults we only need 10% of daily calories from protein and fats.

If you think you're not convinced that read Shred It! by Robert Cheeke who is a vegan bodybuilder and even he doesn't take more than 15% of protein and fat a day.

I believe plant based diet is the best we can do for ourselves but it does take some time and efforts to figure out what best suits us individually.

I personally have three rules: fruits, water and sleep. Lots of fruits and water and going to bed early on most nights.
And yeah one more don't eat after 6pm. Eat enough during the day to allow your body to have a lot of time to digest everything and give it time to focus on regeneration during the night not stressing it with digesting late night dinners.

Good luck everyone

stop eating plant based
by: Anonymous

I read these comments below and ditto for me. A whole foods vegan and plant based diet of beans and grains and fruits and veggies WILL flab up your tummy and change the fat composition on your body. We were not designed to eat grains and beans. That came with agriculture. Our poor tummies and getting so messed up with this grains and beans. Stop eating them like I did and cut out sugars and anything refined and you'll be well again. Some healthy animal protein, not much. Calculate your protein needs by multiplying your weight in kilo by 0.8. Lots of veggies and healthy fats, like tahini, nut butters, seeds unsalted and unfrosted, avocado. Just STAY AWAY FROM THE GRAINS AND BEANS.

fat gain and more
by: Anonymous

I have been eating plant based vegan for 2 years and am unhappy at the physical deterioration I see on myself. My belly has become flabby as has the rest of my body. I was always thin and wiry. My thinking is slower, my mood is more depressed. Food never satisfies me no matter how many beans, quinoa, veggies, fruit I eat. Keep limited amounts of nuts and seeds. I have come to the conclusion at least for this way of eating that it's not compatable with my body. It will take a long time to recover from this experiment but I gave it my all. I will report back if cutting out the beans and whole grains and eating fish chicken eggs and veggies and fruit will return my former good health back to me. I had my last whole grain forks over knives pancake breakfast recipe with fresh berries and a dollop of fresh coconut milk whipped cream and then threw out all the carbs in my house. I had become incredibly addicted to them and the huge amount of fiber on this diet wrecked havoc with my digestion. I was stubborn and still believed in the virtues of this lifestyle. I studied it in every venue and became the plant based expert. The proof was not in the pudding. I look at myself today, 2 years later and don't like what I see. I HOPE I will prove to myself that getting off all these grains and beans will be my ticket back to vibrant health. I think this plant based craze is a fancy plant coated way of saying another food disorder. Anyone else have non thriving health?

Vegans and carbs
by: LettuceLady

I went to my doctor for a checkup and told her I had been vegan for a year and was trying to lose weight but it was hard and my stomach was not looking flat. She said my liver enzymes were slightly elevated and that could be because I eat TOO MANY beans. She said that beans have sugar (carbs) and sugar is changed to fat and stored in the liver the same way that animal fat and other sugars are. I cut back on beans and used more SPROUTED soy (not TVP) and lost some but still my middle is not flat…probably because I do get into chips and crackers a lot…need to watch the humus, too! Does anyone know about the weight watchers vegan diet?

I have the same problem!!
by: Vanja dance

I have been vegetarian for 7 years and turned vegan 8 months ago.
I started noticing a huge inverse in my belly... Which is very bothersome. I used to model bikinies and I am actually quite embarrassed to take my short off nowadays.
I wish someone could help me with what I should do...
For breakfast I eat steel cut oats with strawberries and blueberries; lunch is quinoa or lentils with sautéed veggies- same for dinner. Snacks are almonds, apples, etc. I have drastically reduced fruits high in sugar.
I exceed use 6 days/week of worthy frisking and about 2 days/ week of jogging.
I use raw protein shake, amino acids, glutamine, dim, vitamin c and magnesium.
I also drink about half a gallon of water per day
What should I do?!

gained more belly fat on a plant based diet
by: Anonymous

I have been eating only beans, whole grains, lots of greens and veggies, fruits and small amount of nuts and seeds for healthy fats. I don't add any oilsfor a year now. My belly is fatter than ever although I have not gained any weight. I am thinking of adding back in animal proteins and removing the whole grains and nuts and beans and hope to get my flatter tummy back I had before. I even took the plant based nutrition course at Cornell University after seeing Forks over Knives and reading the China study. Unfortunately, for me the proof was not in the pudding. Some do not thrive on whole grains or beans or nuts.

by: LyNel

Hi all, I never had an extra pound when I was younger & ate anything & everything. So I thought. Now that I have this belly I have been thinking back. I never had enough time for me to eat any meal. I was a single Mom with 3 kids & worked all the time. Two of them were sick. They ate I did not. What I did do was put wheat germ & brewers yeast along with Linoleaic (spelling?) acid, Safflower Oil & Sunflower Oil in V-8 juice. I used a tablespoon of each oil & 1/2 cup of the wheat germ & brewers yeast. I was the absolute picture of health & only had this drink once a day. It was a big one though. Tupperware's tallest glass & to the brim. Walla, NO BELLY no fat & no hunger ever. I think I was mostly vegan & didn't even know it.

Give up cheese?
by: Anonymous

Cheese was the hardest thing for me to give up!
It can be done when you think about all the fat and sodium it contains...not to mention all the other nasty bits. But there is no substitute for cheese! Don't waste your money like I did trying to find a worthy replacement because they don't exist! The vegan cheeses I tried were made out of oil. Yuck! I'll just have to do without.
There are worse things in life.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Vegan Diets.

Follow Me on Pinterest

FREE Vegan Ezine! 2011 Subscribe to
Vegan Bytes
and get a FREE 5-page guide to weight loss!

Email Address
First Name

Your email address is completely secure. I will only use it to send our newsletter.

Site Reviews   |   Advertising Policy   |   Privacy Policy   |   Meet Me   |   Search this Site   |   Site Map

by Cathleen Woods   |   © Copyright 2008-2021  |   Vegan-Nutritionista.com

Disclaimer: Everything in this website is based upon information collected by Cathleen Woods, from a variety of sources. It is my opinion and is not intended as medical advice. We do not sell personal information.
It is recommended that you consult with a qualified health care professional before making a diet change.

As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.