- Diet & Weight Loss
VB6: Vegan Before Six Diet
Mark Bittman, a New York food critic, is promoting a new diet that helped him lose and keep weight off for the past six years.
The idea is simple. Eat vegan before six. After six, when people typically go out with their friends and family, you are free to eat what you want to eat.
The idea behind this has some excited and some saying it is cheating and that if you want to go vegan, you should do it 24 hours a day.
While there will always be those that want to promote total veganism for better health and a better environment, what Bittman has discovered is a way to for the average person to eat healthier without feeling like they have to give up everything at once.
How The Idea Started
According to an interview with Huffington Post, Bittman went to his doctor and discovered that he was overweight and his cholesterol was too high.
His doctor suggested veganism.
However, Bittman, as a food critic, realized that a total vegan diet would basically kill his career.
Bittman also noted that he didn't feel like he wanted to be a vegan full time.
So setting up this idea of eating vegan until dinner encouraged him to get plenty of vegan, healthy options during the day and allowed him to splurge in the evenings.
Being Strict About It
Bittman and a fellow dieter were very strict about what they ate before six.
They made sure to eat no dairy, no refined wheat or rice and definitely no meats.
However, Bittman does note that he "cheats" a little by putting half and half in his coffee in the mornings or sometimes going out with friends and having a food that has white starches in it.
What he did notice was that over time, the pounds began to come off simply by making this very easy change.
Why Does It Work?
Basically, the diet works because the dieter is eating less calories during the day. Eating three or four pieces of fruit for a meal will still not equal the calories of a pancake and sausage breakfast.
Many people lack the discipline, will-power or even the desire to be vegan full time. It cuts off so many options and choices.
However, nearly everyone agrees that adding more fruits and vegetables to ones diet will make you healthier.
This diet combines the best of both worlds by not cutting you off from your favorite food options all the time but also increasing your intake of those good-for-you, natural foods.
How To Get Started
One of the great things about this diet is it doesn't create the restrictive feeling that other diets do.
It gives you permission to have meat, a hamburger or a slice of pizza in the evenings without feeling guilty about it.
To get started, notice the table below of some basic foods to avoid before six and what kinds of foods vegans usually eat.
Vegan Food Options for the VB6 Diet
What To Avoid
What To Eat or Cook With
Canola or Olive Oil
Whole Grain Cereals and Breads
Meal Ideas for VB6 Diets
Bittman noted that he also avoided starchy whites such as white rice, white bread, and potatoes.
Here’s some ideas for VB6 Breakfast and Lunch.
Suggestions for Vegan Meals
- Fresh Berries
- Tablespoon of natural peanut butter spread on whole grain toast
- Coffee or Tea
- Vegan Salad (lettuce, vegetables, no cheese, no croutons) with balsamic dressing
- Carrots and Celery and Hummus Dip
- Sweet Potato
- Fruit Salad
- Melon slices
- Tea, Green Tea, Water
- Handful of nuts
Bittman admitted that he did add running to his regiment but that he wasn't as committed to it in the winter.
As with any diet, adding some exercise will help the pounds to go away more quickly.
But you don't have to run to lose weight. Experts have shown that a brisk walk burns about the same calories as a slow jog.
You can also bike, swim or exercise to your favorite video. The key is to try to move a bit more than you used to.
Even Part Time Veganism Better for the Environment
Besides the diet being better for your health, eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat is better for the environment and reduces your carbon footprint.
According to the Vegan Society, eating a plant-based diet helps to reduce carbon emissions.
In the United States, livestock production produces more carbon dioxide than the transportation industry and makes up about 18% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
Raising livestock is also hard on resources since they require more food from their environment than they actually give back in meat and dairy products.
Growing food to feed farm animals also means that the particular land used is not being used for crops for human consumption.
It's Really As Simple As That
Other than eating vegan before six, there is no calorie counting, no guilt and no deprivation.
The idea is to make sure you eat plenty for breakfast and lunch--this is not a starvation diet. Look at it as a lifestyle change that gives you the best of both worlds.
It is not suggested that you load up on a tub of buttered popcorn at the movies or eat the whole extra large cheese pizza after six.
But the VB6 diet will work best if you make sure that you are eating healthy over time but still enjoying food and fun when you are out with friends or out at a restaurant.
Bittman noted that, over time, he found himself naturally eating less after six.
If you teach your body to eat healthier during the day, the cravings for the processed foods, the fats and the meats will naturally decline.
This diet may also be good for those who are thinking about being vegan but aren't sure about the commitment or if they can really go through with it.
Feeling like you have options without breaking the rules may make this one of the more successful diets for losing weight and getting healthier.
Do you follow the VB6 diet?
References and Further Reading
- 41 Easy Vegetarian Recipes | RealSimple.com
Crisp, refreshing, and practically no calories at all. Vegetarians and meat-lovers alike will fall for these vegetable-driven dishes.
- Mark Bittman: Vegan till Dinner | Whole Living
Read Whole Living's Mark Bittman: Vegan till Dinner article. Also find healthy breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner & dessert recipes, plus heart healthy food & weight loss recipe ideas at WholeLiving.com.
- Mark Bittman Talks 'Vegan Before 6'
Could you eat like a vegan until dinner time? That's precisely what New York Times' lead food writer, Mark Bittman, decided to do -- and then he wrote a book about it.
- ‘Skinny’ Vegan Diet - What You Can Eat, How It Works, and More
If you dream of a model-thin body and are willing to adhere to a hard-core, low calorie vegan diet, you may want to follow the sassy advice doled out in the book with the unprintable name.