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8 Inspiring Vegan Weight-Loss Transformations

Written by PETA | July 7, 2015

Studies show that those who adhere to a vegan diet have a lower body mass index than that of their meat-eating counterparts. In addition, meat-eaters consume more calories and fewer vegetables, on average, than vegans do. This feature showcases eight people whose weight-loss success stories came about thanks in large part to their decision to choose an animal-free diet. Compassion and health go hand in hand—just ask these inspiring people:

1. Robert and Jessica

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After realizing that our food and exercise habits were affecting our children negatively, we arrived at the conclusion that they deserved more than to watch our health fall apart at a young age. We started very simply—Jess took up Zumba. Meanwhile, I began playing tennis, a former favorite pastime from my childhood, and once the rust chipped away from all the parts I hadn’t moved in years, I began to feel exhilarated. The effort and feeling of competitiveness were addictive.

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2. Alicia

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I went vegan as a stressed-out graduate student who cared about animals, the environment, and workers’ rights. At that time, my own health was the last thing on my mind—I was just trying to make it through all-night writing sessions by scarfing down French fries and Oreos, and I definitely didn’t think I had time to exercise.

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3. Kelly

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I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and I grew up on the standard meat- and dairy-based diet that most people eat today. By age 16, I had developed exercise-induced asthma, making it difficult to exercise; my vision got worse and I started wearing contacts; and I fell sick several times a year. By age 18, I was struggling with my weight and had become obsessed with calorie restriction. At this point in my life, I had limited nutritional knowledge and didn’t see the connection between my diet and my health. I would do restrictive dieting or run an hour a day for quick weight-loss results, then lose control and gain all the weight back.

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4. Victor

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If you’d asked me four years ago if I pictured myself where I am now, I would have told you, “NEVER!” I was at a stage in my life in which I battled depression, being overweight, and having suicidal thoughts. Deep down inside, I always knew since a child that eating animals was not the kind thing to do, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I decided to make the changes necessary to help remedy the situation. So I went vegan. Then came the exercise.

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5. Eric

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Before my transformation, I weighed in at 280 pounds and had a 50-inch waist. I was 51 at the time, and my doctor told me that unless I made immediate changes, I would probably live less than five years because of my poor health, which included type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. My medications cost more than $1,000 per month.

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6. Stephane

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At the age of 45, I was struggling with many health issues: I had high blood pressure and borderline diabetes, my knees were hurting, and even though I was a vegetarian, I weighed 280 pounds. I was eating a lot of dairy products. Soon, I became frightened because walking was difficult, and I couldn’t even imagine running. But I started to read about going vegan and the horrible dairy industry. It really opened my eyes, and as soon as I cut dairy products out of my diet, the weight started to come off. I joined a gym. The stares, the giggles—I endured them all. But I went every day. I did my first “boot camp” classes at 255 pounds.

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7. Eve

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I stepped onto the scale, and I was dumbfounded. The number 340 registered on the digital reading. At 24 years young, I exhibited the onset of kidney dysfunction, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and an irregular heartbeat. I was told that my next step would be gastric-bypass surgery. My future would be filled with prescription drugs, hospital visits, and disability if I didn’t make a change.

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Feeling inspired? Order a Free Vegan Starter kit and check out PETA’s vegan recipes.

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