Will the Vegan Before Six diet help me lose weight?
I have heard of a diet called ‘vegan before six’ – what do you think of this?
BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:
The ‘vegan before six’ or VB6 diet involves following a vegan diet before 6pm. This means that any animal products such as meat, fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs and honey should be avoided before 6pm, but after this time you are free to eat whatever you want, though you’re advised to limit processed foods.
Like many other diet plans, VB6 involves limiting your intake of key food groups. This can lead to weight loss, mainly because for most of us it means cutting out foods like fatty meat, cheese, and many cakes and biscuits, which are high in fat and sugar and therefore high in energy.
Many people do have healthy vegan diets, but they need careful planning to ensure they are nutritionally balanced
The difference is, however, that these foods are only restricted at certain times. So if you just save these foods to eat after 6pm, you won’t necessarily lose any weight.
The VB6 diet is good if it leads to eating more fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, and less meat and processed foods. Remember though, there are plenty of unhealthy vegan foods, such as chips and sugary drinks, and you’re unlikely to lose weight if you have too many of these. Many people do have healthy vegan diets, but they need careful planning to ensure they are nutritionally balanced.
So, while there may be benefits to this way of eating, it needs to be a pattern you can stick to in the long term if you are going to keep off any weight that you lose. Losing weight steadily and gradually is the safest way, and there are no quick fixes. So before making dramatic changes, try making simple adjustments to your physical activity levels and your diet, such as reducing your portion sizes or choosing low fat, salt and sugar varieties of the foods you normally eat.
Meet the expert
Victoria Taylor is a registered dietitian with 20 years’ experience. Her work for the NHS focused on weight management and community programmes for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. She leads the BHF's work on nutrition.