“Is it true that when eating a vegan diet, you can eat as much as you want?”
Liz, it is not exactly accurate to say you can eat as much as you want. A vegan diet is defined as one that avoids all animal products. Yet potato chips, soda, French fries, and many candies, cookies, and cakes fall into that category. These types of items are stimulating, high in calories and fat, low or devoid of fiber, addictive, do not contain nutritional benefits, and do not contribute to satiety. Therefore, you can easily overeat these types of foods and pile on the calories. The result of this is, of course, weight gain and poor health.
However, if you consume a whole food vegan diet, you will have a different result. Because whole plant foods contain fiber, micronutrients, and water, you can fill up on a lot fewer calories and feel satisfied quickly. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes offer a lot more nutritional bang for their caloric buck and you will not become addicted to them. Thus, it is a win-win–win situation…you get to eat to satisfaction, eat less calories overall, and get all of your nutrients to stay lean and healthy.
Ultimately, the ideal diet is one based on these whole plant foods (see the Plant-Based Food Plate). If you are at your ideal body weight and are free from illness, you can enjoy treats in small amounts as long as the majority of your foods come directly from nature.