by Dena Dodd Perry


Hoping to lose weight on a plant-based diet? Health coach Dena Dodd Perry shares what you need to know.

What are the secrets to losing weight while eating a plant-based diet?

Only 10 to 20 percent of individuals are able to maintain a 5% percent loss of their initial body weight. Every so often, I'll get a complaint on social media about how plant-based nutrition doesn't help people lose weight. Contrary to common experiences, nine out of 10 of my health clients usually lose 8-10 pounds on my 10-day plant-based plan. Here are my secrets to losing a few pounds for your next reunion, summer soiree, beach vacation, or other special event:

1. Recognize your past eating patterns and timing.

Are you eating breakfast? Are you eating before going to bed? According to, notable nutrition researchers believe you can help your body metabolize food better by simply eating a full breakfast between 6-8am, then lunch, and going for dinner with a hard stop by 7pm. Support no snacking after then because time-based eating is showing some real results with most people. This subtle lifestyle change allows you to burn fat more efficiently. Avoid eating out late at night. In other words, if you have an urgent weight loss goal, maybe save the indulgent date nights for next month. Splendid Spoon can help you stick to that goal by offering ready-made smoothies, soups, and grain bowls delivered directly to your door. No extra work required!

2. Eat more beans and legumes.

My personal faves include soups with chickpeas, black eyed peas or lentils, and marinated spicy tofu of any kind. Use coconut liquid aminos as your salt substitute at home. Limit your intake of dairy, particularly cheese on pastas and pizzas. Cheese has a high hidden salt content, lending itself to unnecessary water weight gain for the body. Check out Splendid Spoon for a hearty selection of plant-based soups.

3. Improve your digestion.

Reset by adding highly potent probiotics and/or apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your diet. Prebiotics and probiotics both support the body in building and maintaining a healthy colony of bacteria and other microorganisms, which supports the gut and aids digestion. These food components help promote beneficial bacteria by providing food and creating an environment where microorganisms can flourish. ACV is great for reducing water weight gains.

4. Always have healthy snacks.

Apples and nut butter or organic hummus with your favorite vegetables make for great, healthy snacks. Vegetables to consider dipping back into your diet are celery, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and gently cooked greens of all types like spinach or collard greens. I tend to grab Splendid Spoon’s ready-made smoothies as a pre- or post-workout snack or meal when I’m on the go.

5. Use a small amount of oil to help limit your intake of heavy meats.

All oils, including coconut oil, have a high fat content level. Fat tends to be considered “bad” because it is associated with weight gain and high cholesterol. According to Cleveland Clinic, you should limit your intake to less than 200 mg per day. However, certain types of fat give protective benefits to the heart if appropriate portions are consumed. The key is understanding how to choose the right amount of each type of fat. Avoid some of the fatty red meats like beef brisket and fatty bacon. Opt for oils from more plant-based fat or fish sources, like olives, avocado, sunflower, flaxseed, and chia seeds.

6. Limit your intake of complex carbs of any kind.

Low-carb diets greatly reduce your blood levels of insulin, a hormone that brings the glucose from carbs, into the cells. One of the functions of insulin is to store fat. Many experts believe that the reason low-carb diets work so well is that they reduce your levels of these hormones. So stick to carbs from Mother Nature: fruits and vegetables.

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Dena Dodd Perry is a health coach, yoga instructor and former market research engineer. Curious about learning how to take more steps towards happier and healthier living with plant-based foods? Try reading her triad soul-food inspired, mindfulness-food-yoga book, Detox Delicious©, which is available through Amazon.