Eat 30g of Vegan Protein to Lose Fat Fast

As a vegan physique competitor, sometimes I need to shred body fat.

And one of the most fundamental parts of my diet is eating 30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.

I learned this simple trick from Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body Book.

This book is about as comprehensive as you can get when as a vegan, you want to trigger weight loss, and all the advice is backed up by research and studies.

I learned so much from studying this book.

But probably the most important thing I learned was the scientific rule of vegan protein for weight loss.

One of the most fundamental parts of burning fat and building muscle is eating adequate protein.

Eating 30g protein per meal (especially at breakfast) decreases carb impulses and promotes negative fat balance.

However, for most people breakfast is the hardest meal to modify, as we’re a country of toast and cereal junkies.

But when you change your vegan breakfast to something more like a lunch meal, you’ll not only trigger weight loss, but you’ll also build more lean muscle.

How come?

If your breakfast calories account for at least 30% protein you’ll notice a decrease in water retention and a boost of your resting metabolic rate by about 20%.

Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is simply the rate at which your body burns calories just to keep you alive (usually 60% of your daily calorie needs!)

And the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn as muscle is very calorie hungry.

If you needed a reason to get off the cardio machines and into the weights section, let this be it.

So as a vegan, how do you make sure you’re getting enough protein at each meal?

Easy.

  1.  Supplement with The Protein Works powder shakes
  2.  Ensure you’re eating plenty of beans, lentils, legumes, nuts and tofu like the recipes in our FREE Vegan Meal Plans

Skipping breakfast is closely associated with overeating in the evening.  Don’t skip.

My favourite breakfast is 280g firm tofu scrambled with tamari and nutritional yeast served with lentils and spinach.

Have no appetite in the morning?  No problem.

Keep it small and protein-rich; 30g vegan protein powder blended with ice and water and a tablespoon of flax oil.

Be warned… skip breakfast or fail to eat 30g protein within at least 60 mins of waking up (whether you’re vegan or not) and you will not trigger fast weight loss.

Challenge:  Try eating 30g protein within 30/60 minutes of waking up for 14 days and measure your weight loss results.  Then write to me and share how you got on!  kim@thesculptedvegan.com

144 thoughts on “Eat 30g of Vegan Protein to Lose Fat Fast

  1. Angie says:

    I totally hear you and as a loyal follower have seen you post about this over and over. My challenge to totally accept this: 1. I am trying to stay raw in my diet at least until noon and up to 4pm and have heard that intermittent fasting is very good for your health (so the suggestion is to not eat before noon). Now some days I am not hungry first thing in the morning so yes I can do a protein powder but I have not found one that does not bloat me thus defeating the purpose. 2. I do feel less bloated in the morning if I don’t eat first thing so I do like that. However yes I do admit weight loss has not been as fast. So just a bit confused.

    • Kim Constable says:

      Hey Angie!

      Okay, so here’s the problem as I see it.

      1. When you sleep you are fasting and your metabolism slows down. In the morning, if you don’t break the fast, your metabolism STAYS slow. A fast metabolism is responsible for weight loss. The reason your weight loss is slow is because you’re not ramping up your metabolism first thing in the morning, so your body is not being boosted into fat burning mode.

      2. Intermittent can be great for the body, but not perhaps so great for fat loss. IF is actually designed to give the body a break from processing and digesting food. When your body isn’t digesting, it goes into deep cleaning mode. So for me, IF should not be a long term solution, but a short term diet to achieve better health. It is only truly effective for fat loss if you are eating sufficient calories on the ON days. If you’re not eating regularly (every 2/3 hours) on the days you’re not fasting, then your metabolism will slow dramatically to account for the reduced calories and preserve itself. Eating ramps up the metabolism, not fasting. If weight loss is your goal, then you either need to aim to pack in calories, eating consistently every 3 hours (you actually need to set a reminder to eat – you can’t miss a meal!) do to IF, or you need to eat more of the right foods.

      3. Bloating could be caused by a number of things, but probably your digestive system could benefit from a really good probiotic and also a digestive enzyme such as Similase BV (available on Amazon). Eating less will not cause less bloating, it will cause more! When you eat after fasting, your digestive system has to work hard to break down the food, which is what causes the gas. Also, eating raw until midday will cause bloating as your body has to ferment the raw food to break it down, thus releasing gas.

      4. I use protein powder by The Protein Works. It’s the ONLY one that doesn’t give me gas. Sun Warrior is especially bad because it is made from fermented sprouted rice. This causes me to fart like crazy! lol (Sorry if TMI). I try to steer clear of protein powders made from pea, hemp or rice as they tend to cause excess gas.

      Conclusion? If weight loss is your goal, I would consider going on a slow carb diet and ditch the IF.

      Here are the rules you follow for the slow carb diet:

      1. NO white starch carbs EXCEPT in the 30 minutes directly after strength or resistance training. (This includes brown rice, pasta bread etc. Instead eat beans, lentils and as many vegetables and salad as you can fit on your plate)

      2. No fruit (we seriously do not need to eat as much fruit as we do and your body just converts it to sugar instantly, then to triclycerides inteh liver and then stores it as fat. I literally never eat fruit)

      3. No liquid calories (includes beer, wine, fizzy drinks, fruit juices and dairy milk)

      4. Eat 30g protein within 30 mins of waking up (for reasons cited in this article)

      5. Have one cheat day a week (eat everything you’ve been craving, this will ramp up your metabolism even more!)

      Hope this helps!
      Love Kim

      • Angie says:

        Oh my gosh!!! Thank you SO much for taking the time to write such a detailed response! Super helpful as always! I totally appreciate it as I know you are a super busy mom of four + hubby + own business + vegan competitor plus, plus plus…You are awesome. I will give your recommendations a go. Did I mention how awesome you are? 🙂 Much love Angie.

      • Svetlena says:

        Kim: which protein powder do you use from Protein Works? Especially if you are not using pea, hemp, or rice?

          • Alessandra says:

            Hi, I checked all ProteinWorks protein powder formulas and they all contain pea, hemp and rice. Which specifically one do you use that is not whey based and contains no pea, hemp or rice? Could you pls post a link? Thanks, Alessandra

      • Raina Holmes says:

        protein powders do the same for me.. I have a cabinet full of protein that wrecks havoc on my belly!!!!! which protein from protein works do you do use? they have so many can you tell me the exact one that is working for you???
        thank you
        thank you

  2. Glynis says:

    Thanks for the info, very interesting. Currently recovering from surgery,will increase my protein intake to help, hopefully will speed recovery and lose weight – win win – fingers crossed xx

  3. Alexandra says:

    Hi Kim! I agree with your advice I feel that when I eat protein based breakfast, I’m less hungry the rest of the day. I’m also an athlete and bikini competitor and became vegan only 2 months ago. I’d like to focus more on less processes foods but I can’t find a good raw source of protein. Do you have any ideas?

    • Kim Constable says:

      Welcome to veganism Alexandra!

      I don’t eat any processed protein. When you transition, it’s easy to want to replace your meat products with meat substitutes as you really do miss the meat. And if this makes it easier for you, rock on with your bad self!

      However, you will find that you can get adequate protein from making meals that are based around beans, lentils and legumes with added tofu if you want a massive protein hit. Don’t be put off by the carb content of beans and lentils! Your body doesn’t store these as fat as they are so low on the glycemic index. I rarely eat any white starchy carbs at all, except in the 30 mins after a hard workout. When you eat this way you can get your protein and carb hit at the same time, but your body doesn’t store the carbs the same way as it does starchy ones.

      Also, your body can utilise the plant protein so much more efficiently than animal protein because it breaks it down so quickly. So when you eat, and the GLUT 4 receptors on the fat and muscle cells open, your body can break down the plant protein very quickly and pack more into the muscle than it would if you ate animal protein. So you actually make huge gains. Try it and see!

      On my last cut for competition, my weight stayed consistent at 63kg, yet I dropped 7% body fat. My coach was astounded! He’d never seen anyone make muscle gains during a cut, but I did. This is simply because of the vegan diet.

      Try scrambling some extra firm tofu (280g) in a non stick pan with garlic oil, tamari and nutritional yeast. Add the nutritional yeast just before the tofu is ready. Add to this a packet of puy lentils and half a bag of spinach and tell me you haven’t died and gone to heaven! There’s 43g of protein in that one meal!

      Hope this helps! Keep in touch.
      Love Kim

    • Kim Constable says:

      Alexandra I just noticed that you asked me for a good raw source of protein. If you mean protein powder, then Sun Warrior do a raw, fermented protein powder. Other than that, tofu is cooked by boiling soya beans with water, then straining them, then adding nigari (sea salt from the Japanese sea) which acts as a coagulant. Although it’s not raw, you can eat it without additional cooking by adding it to smoothies, or just eating it sliced. xox

  4. Tracy says:

    Hello and thanks for your awesome help with protein. I am struggling to give up toast and cereal. But the past couple of mornings I have made smoothies using fermented soy, a bit of mango, a banana and something called moringa. Tastes amazing and set me up for my body pump session. But after reading your blog India think I should not be having the fruit? I have been looking at protein shakes but really don’t like the idea of artificial sweeteners. I will look at the ones you are using and see if I can get some in Spain. Thanks again ?

    • Kim Constable says:

      Hi Tracy!

      Giving up toast and cereal can be hard! But when you get into a new habit, you will never ever want to go back.

      I would recommend something more wholesome in your protein smoothie. Try this:

      1 scoop vegan protein powder (or more to get 30g)
      1/4 cup porridge oats
      1/4 cup nuts (I like pecan nuts but walnuts are also great)
      1/4 banana for sweetness
      1 handful blueberries
      1 heaped spoonful of ground flaxseeds
      Non dairy milk of your choice

      Blend this all in a Nutribullet or blender and drink it down. You’ll notice a huge difference in a few days!

      My protein doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners, and most vegan protein powders don’t. It’s usually the whey based ones that have artificial sweeteners.

      Some vegan protein powders have stevia, which is a natural, low calorie sweetener. Look for a good vegan one online and experiment until you find one that you like. Most companies will send you samples if you ask them!

      Hope this helps
      Love Kim x

  5. Alyson says:

    Hi Kim-that makes a hell of a lot of sense. Like an above poster I was not eating until noon to incorporate IF (which seems to be trending right now) but it’s fairly obvious after reading your info that that is counterproductive! I just stumbled upon your website (looking for vegan fitness women around my age as I’m an 8yr vegan in dire need of sticking to a fat loss program that works) and I’m super impressed. You look amazing. Thanks for the tips and keep kicking ass 😉

    • Kim Constable says:

      Thank you Alyson! IF is very effective, when done correctly. Unfortunately, many people miss the part about having to eat very regularly on the ON days to regulate and boost the metabolism. That’s what makes it so effective on the OFF days, because the metabolism is roaring along and so keeps burning calories and cleaning the internal organs.

      It’s such a complicated world of weight loss out there lol. But one thing I know for sure is that if you start to measure something, you’ll lose weight. This could be measuring your body fat, your body inches, your calories, your macros… just something! What gets measured, gets managed.

      Or if you’re not into measurement, try doing the slow carb principles that I outlined above. In fact, I challenge you to commit to doing it for 2 weeks, measure your body fat and inches (DON’T weigh yourself as it’s not an accurate gauge) and come back to me and report your progress.

      The slow carb diet is from Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Body. I’d highly recommend it as a read on fat loss. It’s a bible!

      Love Kim x

      • Alyson Mancari says:

        Got 4 Hour Body from the library today and had my 30g of protein for breakfast. Thanks for the inspiration and recommendation-I’ll keep you posted on progress 🙂

          • Steph says:

            Hi,
            I usually have a smoothie with protein powder for breakfast but it also includes fruit – are you suggesting I should not have the fruit to get the benefits of the protein first thing in the morning? Thanks!

          • Kim Constable says:

            Hi Steph

            You can combine anything you like with your protein! You can have a meal, or you can add fruit, oatmeal, chia seeds etc to your smoothie. The most important part is that you are having the protein as that is what will give the benefits.

            Love Kim

  6. Kelly McCann-Sayers says:

    Hi Kim, Could you recommend a couple that you’ve tried as it’s a world of confusion out there in protein land!

    Thanks in advance

    Kelly x

    • Kim Constable says:

      Hi Kelly!

      I currently use nothing other than the vegan protein from The Protein Works. I have tried SO many other protein powders (hemp, pea, rice, fermented rice) and this is the only one that isn’t a) disgusting b) sickly sweet c) taste like vomit d) taste like I’m drinking blended car tyres!

      Their protein tastes delicious and is completely smooth. And it packs 24g of protein and only 2g of carbs per scoop, which is a bonus!

      I’m an affiliate with them, and am currently negotiating a sponsorship deal (yahoo for me!), as I send so many people their way! lol

      Here is the website (and my affiliate link so I will make a commission if you purchase).

      Click here to be taken there…

      The Protein Works

      If you can’t get The Protein Works (I think they’re currently only in the UK) then the next best one IMO, is Sun Warrior Chocolate Flavour. However, be warned… it makes you fart if you take too much! hahahaha

      My husband loves RAW from Amazonia, but it’s expensive. The best way is to honestly just try a few and see what you like. Most companies will send you samples if you ask them to, so you don’t have to spend a fortune and realise that it takes like vomit.

      Hope this helps!
      Love Kim x

      • Kelly McCann-Sayers says:

        Thanks Kim!

        I’m on day 5 using your protein smoothie recipe, my goodness it’s like rocket fuel! I’ve been having within 30 mins of waking and using it as my breakfast, I feel fantastic! I’ve used chia/flax mix as I already had it in, do you think that’s ok? Got lots of samples like you suggested but really like the myprotein vegan blend, so might stick with that once I’ve used the samples up.

        Thank you so much for your reply/advice! You’re a bloody marvellous woman!

        Love Kelly x

      • Kelly McCann-Sayers says:

        Thanks Kim!

        I’m on day 5 using your protein smoothie recipe, my goodness it’s like rocket fuel! I’ve been having within 30 mins of waking and using it as my breakfast, I feel fantastic! I’ve used chia/flax mix as I already had it in, do you think that’s ok? Got lots of samples like you suggested but really like the myprotein vegan blend, so might stick with that once I’ve used the samples up.

        Thank you so much for your reply/advice! You’re a bloody marvellous woman!

        Love Kelly x

      • Kathy says:

        PLEASE ask the protein works to distribute or ship to the USA, I have yet to find anything like it here, and other vegan protein powders are so hard on my digestion. Thank you Kim!

  7. Stefi says:

    Finally!!!
    Fat loss advise from someone who clearly knows what they’re talking about!
    And not only that, but someone who is very knowledgeable about the whole picture (IF, SCD etc!)
    Awesome advise!!
    Thank you Kim!! You rock!! ???

    • Kim Constable says:

      Awwww thank you Stefi!

      I am a certified, body, fitness and fat loss GEEK!

      I’ve spent 20 years researching the human body and using my own as a kind of human laboratory. So I’m glad to be able to help in some small way. There’s so much misinformation out there.

      Also, I like getting the fastest results with the least amount of effort. Life is hard enough… let’s make it easy I say!

      Thanks for your lovely words
      Big hug
      Kim x

  8. Jo Aston says:

    Hi Kim. Currently trying to strip body fat for my holiday in 5 weeks, so I’m trying this. I tried the vegan protein powder from protein works but it made me bloat so I’ve gone back to whey – I’m not vegan by the way but into healthy eating. I do struggle getting enough protein from food alone though. I’ve just got some bcaa from protein works and had my first yesterday during training- is this something you take ? Xx

    • Kim Constable says:

      Hi Jo!

      The biggest way to strip fat is to eat a slow carb diet and exercise at least 6 times per week for the next five weeks – 3/4 strength training and 2/3 HIIT workouts.

      However, just don’t get disappointed if you don’t lose too much fat. If you’re losing 1lb-2lb max per week, you’re doing great! However, you could easily lose a stone over the next 4-5 weeks with some diligent effort, and having a goal is great!

      That’s funny that the protein powder from TPW bloated you! I find it’s the only one that doesn’t. Hope you found one that works for you now? How much protein do you aim for per day? I eat around 120g per day and find it very easy to get my protein, so I wonder what you’re eating? I supplement with one 50g protein shake each day though, which helps.

      With regards to the BCAAs… yes I drink these during and after training. Make sure you’re taking enough though as usually the recommended dose isn’t enough. I take 15g in a litre of water with the juice of half a lemon.

      Make sure if you’re lifting weights that you’re also taking L Glutamine (this will help with bloating as well – take 5g morning and night) and L Leucine. If you’re eating starchy carbs, only eat them in the 30 minutes directly after strength training.

      Love Kim

  9. Misha says:

    Hi Kim, thanks for this information. I am an early morning workout person (I get up at 4:15am and I’m at the gym by 5am). I typically would eat some sweet potatoes most mornings preworkout. Would you recommend a protein shake instead preworkout , to get my 30g of protein in within 60 minutes?

    • Kim Constable says:

      Hi Misha!

      I would definitely have 30g of protein pre workout, rather than sweet potatoes.

      The reason is because your body will ramp up your metabolism with the protein, and also that you’ll burn more fat when you’re carb depleted. If you eat carbs directly before training, your body will use this energy source rather than fat stores.

      Though, if you’re lifting big and heavy then sometimes it’s good to eat carbs before training. So it really depends on your goals!

      Love Kim

      • Shelby says:

        Ugh just saw this message and it’s almost identical to mine ha. I get up at 4:15 as well at the gym by 5, but fasted.

        • Randi says:

          Same. I want to get on board with eating the 30g (or eating at all) but I can’t imagine doing HIIT and other intense workouts at 5am with food in my stomach!

          • Kim Constable says:

            Try it and see! You don’t to make the shake very runny, it can be quite thick. I’ve never had any issues doing this before a HIIT workout. It’ll make you burn more fat I promise!

          • Merrin says:

            This is me too! But I’m lifting heavy in the early morning. I’ve been having a BCAA drink on the way to the gym and during my workout but should I swap this for a protein shake (and try to keep it down!) or something like a banana and almond butter?.

  10. Agne says:

    Hey there,

    where interesting article 🙂 I am also currently on IF trying to lose some weight that I have put on while working at the summer camp. I wonder, if I don’t want to grow big muscles but on the contrary, want to first lose fat (especially from my thighs, hips, and belly), should I still incorporate so much protein? Won’t it make the fat that is now on my legs turn to muscles which would lead to big legs? Maybe it’s better to first burn that fat somehow?
    What would you recommend in my situation?

    Thank you :))

    • Kim Constable says:

      Hi Agne!

      Firstly, you cannot build big muscles as you don’t have enough testosterone in your body! But building muscle will cause your body to burn 20% more resting calories than fat will. So the more muscle you have, the more calories your burn from doing nothing. Muscle is very calorie hungry.

      Secondly, working out with weights will cause you to burn calories as it is such a huge effort! And if you are counting your calories and macros each day, then losing weight is incredibly simple.

      Thirdly, protein is thermogenic which means that it takes energy to break it down. So eating more protein causes your body to burn more calories.

      Don’t worry about fat turning to muscle either. That simply won’t happen. What will happen is that the fat will start to fall away, and the lovely lean muscle underneath will start to emerge.

      If you want to lose weight, I would ditch the IF and Google the McArdle Katch method of working out your calories. Then work out what you need to eat to be in a slight calorie deficit, and then track what you eat. It really is very simple!

      Hope this helps
      Love Kim

  11. Shelby says:

    Hi Kim. Love your site and your thorough responses. I have been working on changing my body with lifting and a strong nutrition plan since November. And I have seen some great results. Still struggling to loose the weight. But working. I workout in the early am usually 5-6:30 am but it always fasted which is fine with me and surprisingly feels good, and then in the car I drink one scoop of sun warrior with water just to fill those muscle fibers with protein. Go home get ready and usually don’t eat breakfast (1/4 cup oatmeal, I scoop sun warrior, I tbsp flax meal and 70g of berries) until maybe 8/9 mostly due to driving kids getting to work etc. So I guess my guestion is how can I get these benefits without having a huge meal prior to working out and/or should I change my breakfast meal and/or eat it sooner and what would you recommend. I’m excited to tweak things for more fat loss! Thank you.

  12. Nadine says:

    I am doing an 84 day accountability challenge at one of the gyms here. I am excited to try it, but also need to focus on my nutrition. I am going to follow your plan and I will let you know my results when I am done. Wish me luck!

  13. Melanie says:

    Does the protein shake need to be on its own (with the ice and water like you suggested), or can I just add the protein powder with some bananas and berries and almond milk? Thank you!

  14. Swathi Madaiah says:

    Hi Kim- I just discovered your site and I am very excited to try your suggestions. I have been recently eating about 1220 calories a day in the ratio of 40% Protein, 40% Carbs and 20% Fats. I’m currently trying to trim some fat. This comes to about 123g Protein, 123g Carbs and 27g Fats. I’m also trying to limit each meal to 12g of sugar. I’m 5 feet 3.5 inches and weigh 130 pounds. I’ve been doing Crossfit for a few months and I’ve been wondering whether I need to up my Protein because I am unable to push myself lifting weights. I have been doing about 25g of Protein within an hour of waking up and I will definitely do the 30g like you suggested. Do you think I should be getting more protein?

    I do eat yellow lentils. Do you suggest puy lentils over yellow lentils? I am excited to try some of the recipes that you have suggested! I am so excited to have discovered you through the Facebook Vegan page. Thanks for all the great advice you are giving out!

    • Kim Constable says:

      Hi honey!

      I think you should probably be upping your calories, not just your protein! 1220 is VERY low, especially if you’re doing crossfit. Probably the reason you’re not losing as much weight as you’d like is because you have metabolic adaptation. Your metabolism has slowed due to not getting enough calories. Use our online calculator here http://www.thesculptedvegan.com/tdee to work out your BMR and TDEE. You’ll probably find you’re not eating enough! We’ll very soon have an online macro calculator too, so you can work out your macros. But once you know your calories, keep your protein around 40% of your daily total.

      Any lentils are fine to eat as they are all slow carb and nutrient dense.

      Let me know here in the comments, what your TDEE is once you’ve done the calculator and see if I’m correct that you need to eat more.

      Love Kim x

      • Swathi Madaiah says:

        Thanks Kim! My TDEE is about 2000 calories. If I am trying to trim down from 28% body fat to 15%- would it be smart to do 1500 calories?

        I got your diet plan and read The 4-Hour Body per your suggestion. I am trying to combine the zone diet and the slow carb diet but it feels very difficult to get my food and not have it be overly processed so I am going to try a lot of your recipes.

        • Kim Constable says:

          No I definitely wouldn’t slash your calories like that as all you’re going to do is cause your metabolism to rapidly adapt to the lower calories, causing it to slow down and enter starvation mode.

          If you want to reduce body fat gradually and safely, I would aim to reduce your calories by 100 per day, per week for about 5 weeks, until you hit 1500. Stay there for one week, then increase your calories by 100 per week until you are back up to about 1900. Then repeat.

          This way, your metabolism will keep roaring along, burning fat, but it won’t enter starvation mode, thus preserving fat.

          DON’T be tempted to slash straight away or decrease any faster than I have recommended. You’ll work against yourself otherwise!

          So drop to 1900 for a week, then 1800, then 1700, then 1600 etc.

          Then increase in the same way.

          Work out with weights for 60 mins, and then do a 20 min HIIT workout AFTER weights. Or do fasted cardio first thing in the morning to accelerate fat loss.

          Aim for a 1-2lb fat loss per week and know that you won’t gain muscle during this phase as you need to be in calorie surplus to gain muscle.

          Hope this helps!
          xo

  15. Kelsey R Marzolf says:

    This all makes sense to me but I have conflicting practices in the morning that I need to perform on an empty stomach. I guess I need to try to do my practice later in the day and drink my protein in the morning!

  16. Michele Kavanagh says:

    I’m trying to do this now! I add the protein powder to my porridge – thanks for sharing the knowledge Kim! Xx