With summer just around the corner, many people are worrying about fitting into that teeny bikini or going shirtless in swim trunks. According to a 2010 CDC study, over one-third of U.S. adults are obese. A recent Gallup poll notes that two-thirds of Americans think of themselves as over their target weight, regardless of their actual size.
The Gallup poll also mentioned that three in 10 Americans are currently trying to lose weight, and over 66% have made a serious dieting effort at some point in their lives.
However noble the efforts, not all diets are equal. While specialty diets, like juice detoxes and Atkins may seem appealing, they tend to have very low long-term success rates.
If you are thinking about losing weight, PETA suggests trying out a vegan diet. The Academy of Nutrition And Dietetics (previously the American Dietetic Association) says that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
Beyond your health, going meatless can also be beneficial to animal welfare and the environment. According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, the meat industry contributes to nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions accelerating climate change.
Take a look at the USDA’s tips for becoming a vegetarian, which include alternative ways to get nutrients and protein.
Check out this list below of PETA’s vegan diet books for bikini season. Have you gone vegan and improved your health? Tell us in the comments below!
21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart
Did you wait 'til the last minute to put down the brownies and pick up the weights? Not to worry. Author Dr. Neal D. Barnard has a plan that will improve your health in three weeks flat, helping you shed pounds and lower your cholesterol. His plant-based diet focuses on reducing your appetite and cholesterol levels and boosting your metabolism--all by choosing the right foods and tweaking your eating habits.
Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin don't mince words: "You are a total moron if you think the Atkins Diet will make you thin," they remark in a chapter of Skinny Bitch. Sharp-tongued and witty, these women take a rare approach to dieting: They make it fun. Burn calories while you laugh through their book, then put your weight-loss plans in action with their guidance, kicking off a new lifestyle that incorporates <a href="http://www.peta.org/issues/Animals-Used-for-Food/veganism-and-the-issue-of-protein.aspx" target="_hplink">whole grains, fruits, and veggies</a>. Psst ... for the man in your life, consider the pair's manly manifesto, <em><a href="http://www.peta.org/features/skinny-bastard-by-rory-freedman-and-kim-barnouin.aspx" target="_hplink">Skinny Bastard</a>.</em>
The Kind Diet
Blonde bombshell Alicia Silverstone may have played a dim-witted daddy's girl in Clueless, but the vegan actor and activist is no dummy. Advising dieters through personal anecdotes of swearing off meat and dairy products, Silverstone's book makes the perks of a plant-based diet--weight loss, clear skin, high energy, and smooth digestion--ring loud and clear. The Kind Diet makes cruelty-free cuisine a possibility for people at all levels of compassionate consumption, from flirting with veganism to becoming a cruelty-free superhero.
Vegans aren't born munching on vegan Boca burgers and gulping down soy strawberry yogurt--the lifestyle is a choice. For author Kathy Freston, that choice came in her 30s after three decades of chicken fried steaks, barbecue ribs, and vanilla milkshakes. Now she's living proof that anyone can make the switch to a cruelty-free diet. With a "baby-steps" approach to dieting, Freston makes slimming down through vegan eating easy. Her step-by-step guide will ease you into your weight-loss goal, nudging you across the finish line with exercise ideas, recipes, and real-life testimonials.
By Any Greens Necessary
Riffing off the famous words of Malcom X, this vegan guide for African-American women tells ladies how to look their best, ward off health problems, and slim down while keeping their curves. Eighty percent of African-American women are overweight, putting them at an increased risk for heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. With more than 40 recipes and menus to help you transition to a vegan lifestyle, author Tracye Lynn McQuirter shows the path to changing that statistic. Written for African-American women but applicable to women of all backgrounds, this book is a must-read for anyone transitioning away from an omnivorous diet.
Crazy Sexy Diet
Want a great ass? Kris Carr has you covered. Steering women away from negative body image, Carr's book focuses on renewal and repair through a balanced, plant-based diet. With the help of a slew of experts, Carr lays out a "crazy, sexy diet" plan of whole and raw foods, organic green drinks, and healthy smoothies. Replete with a 21-day cleanse guide and simple recipes, this ticket to slim is as empowering as it is insightful. Getting fit isn't just about slimming down--it's also about building muscle. For vegan eaters looking to tone glutes, quads, and triceps, try...
Vegan Bodybuilding And Fitness
A go-to guide for trainers, athletes, and anyone looking to build strength, Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness provides vegan meal guides, training regimens, and advice on where to find vegan services and equipment. Need someone to spot you at the gym? Share your copy with the guy in your life and make the switch to vegan living together. Bonus? Vegan men make better lovers. Just sayin'. Now that you have some thought for food, you're set to look hot for summer.
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