Gained weight as a vegan? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 03-06-2016, 06:28 PM
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Question Gained weight as a vegan?

hi everyone!

so i went vegan aug. 9th, 2015 and i weighed around 112-114 ish.

during late august until early february i was in a rigorous swim schedule, meaning every morning i would swim 2 hours a day and every saturday compete in swim meets.

during this time i ate a lot bc i burned a lot of calories each day. honestly i thought i would lose weight when transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, but instead i put on about 5 lbs ;-;..

i'm not sure if this weight was from muscle because of my swim routine, or if it was from fat.. being 117-119 really upsets me because i have been around 110's for around 3 years..

i also noticed that my abs weren't as defined as they used to be when i wasn't vegan. i used to be very lean and have little fat on my stomach, but now my tummy is a kind of soft and it makes me insecure.
how can i lose this weight?
what kinds of foods should i be eating?
how many calories should i consume in a day?
( i'm 5'5, age 16)
*also swim team is over so i'm rarely exercising, i just ice skate, rollerblade, and do the occasional ab workout,
( maybe someone could give me a workout routine??)

thank you
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#2 Old 03-06-2016, 11:50 PM
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From my understanding, the only reason a person gains weight (except for medical reasons) is due to eating too many calories. It would help to know what types of food you are eating.

I have a friend who is a vegetarian and is very into fitness, and another who was vegetarian for a short time(only did it because I challenged him and when he won he ate meat again) and also into fitness. They both ate mostly soy products, beans and lentils, spinach, asparagus, and lots of veggies. Since they need double the protein of an average non athlete, their main powerhouses for protein were tofu, organic soy milk, lentils, black beans, and chickpeas.

I know they avoided overeating things like tomatoes, bread, pasta, potatoes, things that were high in calories and sodium. But I also know they were both cutting at that time.

Since I'm not athletic myself, the only advice I can actually give is to start counting calories. There's loads of free apps where you can input your weight, height, age, amount of exercise to see exactly how many calories you need and you can try to base what you eat off of that. I believe theres also apps that not only show how many calories you need but how much fat and other stuff is needed for your body type and lifestyle and weight goal.
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#3 Old 03-07-2016, 01:03 AM
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The ideal weight for a 5'6" woman is 115-154 lbs per the bmi table. It can be a bit lower adjusting for age, but you are really at the low end of healthy weight.

I'm a mom and a nurse, and I recommend that you not focus on weight and abs, but on eating plenty of healthy veg food and healthy, fun exercise. Focus on hobbies that don't have to do with diet/exercise.
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#4 Old 03-07-2016, 02:37 AM
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At 16 your body is probably not done growing. I was very very active at your age too (so many years ago lol). I was studying ballet and modern dance 22 hours per week in my early teens leading up to 16. I was very small, almost childlike and no period until I was 16, but when I turned 16 I remember I began to shoot up as far as height and I developed hips and breasts after my first period. It was very hard because I was expected to be small for dance. And I heard about it from my instructors. :/ I was still small by todays standards but I know the pressure to be small in athletics, especially for women.

I am guessing it has little to do with your diet per say and far more to do with growing as a teen. Please do not restrict down further to lose weight. Your body needs all the energy it can get for what you do, and simply to help your body grow and maintain itself. This is when your bones are at their peak too. As long as you keep your diet relatively healthy (limit junk food) and remain active, I doubt you have anything to worry about. A vegan diet provides all the amino acids and other nutrients you need. check out the Vegan bodybuilding and fitness site for examples of people who have developed incredible strength and muscle as vegans. They've blown away the theory that you need dairy and meat to thrive as an athlete.

edit to add: I forgot to mention that if you started taking supplements as a vegan (which is common for new vegans), sometimes those can cause some bloat or make you hold on to water which can make it seem like you body is bigger. I've had to play around with trying different supplements and taking them on a full stomach etc to work around this. Just a thought.

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Last edited by Naturebound; 03-07-2016 at 04:14 AM.
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#5 Old 03-07-2016, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterbunni View Post
hi everyone!

so i went vegan aug. 9th, 2015 and i weighed around 112-114 ish.

during late august until early february i was in a rigorous swim schedule, meaning every morning i would swim 2 hours a day and every saturday compete in swim meets.

during this time i ate a lot bc i burned a lot of calories each day. honestly i thought i would lose weight when transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, but instead i put on about 5 lbs ;-;..

i'm not sure if this weight was from muscle because of my swim routine, or if it was from fat.. being 117-119 really upsets me because i have been around 110's for around 3 years..

i also noticed that my abs weren't as defined as they used to be when i wasn't vegan. i used to be very lean and have little fat on my stomach, but now my tummy is a kind of soft and it makes me insecure.
how can i lose this weight?
what kinds of foods should i be eating?
how many calories should i consume in a day?
( i'm 5'5, age 16)
*also swim team is over so i'm rarely exercising, i just ice skate, rollerblade, and do the occasional ab workout,
( maybe someone could give me a workout routine??)

thank you
I would definitely echo what others here have said, in that you are probably not finished growing, and it's better not to focus too much on weight.

Also, I would just point out that a lot of endurance athletes, myself included, sometimes gain a few pounds during intense training. Some of it can be water retention from inflammation (depending on when it is you are weighing yourself, you may find that if you weigh yourself when you've had a day or two to recover from an intense workout, you are back to your normal weight). In addition, intense training increases your appetite and you may have put on some muscle. The easiest way to tell if it is muscle is if you still fit in your clothes the same way

Again, less defined abs can definitely be due to inflammation and water retention. Ask a trainer or a bikini fitness model! All will tell you that heavy workouts will cause you to weigh a bit more for a few days after. In my experience, a 5 pound difference is totally possible depending on how your body reacts to intense exercise. Last summer I ran 20 k every day, ate reasonably and lifted weights 5 days a week. I gained about 5 pounds, but lost that and more immediately in the fall when I reduced my training load.

Bottom line, don't freak out!
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#6 Old 03-07-2016, 09:49 AM
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I think it's actually good to have some extra weight on you incase you need it. If you get sick or are in a situation where you cannot eat properly having some extra energy on you is important.
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#7 Old 03-07-2016, 12:05 PM
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I know how you feel. When I was a teenager and an omni, I was pretty tiny (hence, the username). I was very active in athletics and competitions but I ate like total crap most of the time. I started eating healthier but quit exercising as much, and I gained a bit of weight. Fast forward to now, I am a vegetarian and eat very healthily, but I'm virtually sedentary besides my yoga practices twice a week and of course, I don't quite weigh the same as I did when I was sixteen. As others have said, your body is probably still growing. You also noted that your swim season is over. Since you're not exercising as much, that may have something to do with the sudden gain if you're still eating the same amount of calories, but also consider that five pounds really isn't that much and could literally just be water-weight or bloat! I know it's easier said than done, but try not to obsess over your weight, especially minor fluctuations like that. It made me so miserable stressing out over the scale, but I've come to realize weight is a silly number to focus on when I still feel just fine. I know that my new diet makes me feel better in other ways: more energy, happier moods, and a better immune system than I never would have dreamed of having as an omni. Try not to stress out.

Forgot to add: if you're experiencing painful bloating, it might help to take a look at whether a certain food is triggering that. I found out that white breads are no good for my stomach the hard way.
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Last edited by skinnieminnie; 03-07-2016 at 12:38 PM.
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#8 Old 03-07-2016, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by veggiekisses View Post
From my understanding, the only reason a person gains weight (except for medical reasons) is due to eating too many calories. It would help to know what types of food you are eating.

I know they avoided overeating things like tomatoes, bread, pasta, potatoes, things that were high in calories and sodium. But I also know they were both cutting at that time.

.

Hi veggiekisses,

Welcome to VeggieBoards. I want to encourage you to learn more about the nutritional content of foods. You can look up this information on Google.

I'm writing this because you have provided incorrect information regarding tomatoes, pasta, and potatoes. These foods are not high in calories or sodium. A medium tomato only contains 22 calories: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=tomato . One cup of pasta only contains 174 calories: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...pasta+calories . One medium potato only contains 163 calories: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=potato+calories .

Considering that a 16 year old female needs to eat at least 1600 calories per day, or 2200-2400+ calories per day if she is active (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/mini...girl-5199.html ), you can see that tomatoes, potatoes, and (whole grain) pasta are perfectly healthy foods.
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from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 03-07-2016 at 12:37 PM.
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#9 Old 03-07-2016, 01:06 PM
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What sort of stuff are you eating? If your fat intake is no more than 50 grams a day and you're doing as much exercise as you stated there's no reason why you should put on any weight.

I would advise tracking your macros for a few weeks to see what your typical intake looks like then make adjustments where necessary.
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#10 Old 03-24-2016, 04:20 PM
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i recently switched over to a HCLF vegan diet & i've gotten back to my normal weight! i feel so much healthier and great- thank you for the advice
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#11 Old 03-26-2016, 09:00 AM
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I've endured the same thing. I gained 10 pounds over the winter. It comes down to calories in vs. calories out and the quality of food we eat. I started tracking my food intake with crono-meter and slapped the fitbit back on. Mindfulness and awareness goes a long way to stay healthy.

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#12 Old 09-27-2016, 07:18 AM
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I think it would be best for you to start using a calorie counting app (I use myfitnesspal) and being aware of the amount of oil, sugar, and salt you are eating. The best types of exercise to lose weight is HIT training where your heart rate increases and decreases multiple times throughout the workout. There are many HIT exercise videos on YouTube that you could check out to start. Also, I am not sure if you have an Orange Theory fitness near you but their workouts are HIT. I hope this helps!
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#13 Old 12-06-2016, 10:40 AM
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I also gained weight going vegan. I later realized it was because I was eating a lot of vegan junk food and wasn't getting enough protein and kept reaching for carbs to satisfy my hunger.
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#14 Old 06-11-2017, 01:09 AM
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Today I hit 40 lbs lost! Yesterday made 5 months eating healthy and I'm so excited! I tried on some things that had been hanging in my closet for years and they are starting to fit. 1 more lb until my halfway goal.
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#15 Old 06-11-2017, 08:39 AM
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I've been losing weight since going vegan six weeks ago. I'm now at a weight I haven't been since being in the military almost 25 years ago.

And I don't count calories, feel starved, or eat 100 percent strictly healthy either.
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#16 Old 06-22-2017, 01:01 PM
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I used to hang out at a very popular weight loss/fitness site (with millions of members), and there were quite a few overweight vegans that hung out in the forums, that were working on weight loss. That's because regardless of what kinds of foods you're eating, you must still be at the correct calorie balance for your weight goals. In terms of weight it's all about the calories, (nutrition is a completely different topic). Food is the biggest factor for calories, but exercise also comes into play.

OP, you're still young and your body is still growing, but it's a good time to learn how calories actually work in relation to weight. This will give you a solid foundation moving forward and you'll have the knowledge you need to meet your weight goals down the road I wish I knew how this stuff all worked when I was a teenager-I may have avoided becoming an overweight pre-diabetic in my 20s.

eta: realized this was an old thread, oops!
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#17 Old 06-28-2017, 10:24 AM
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I have been also trying to lose some weight but not getting onto the right way. I think after reading few comments here, got motivation and feels something new to plan for my fitness.


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#18 Old 10-16-2017, 07:04 AM
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Hi there,


It happened to me as well, I took 10 kg in 1 month after going vegan !

Love yourself,

Cheers !
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#19 Old 10-16-2017, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luc Camisard View Post
Hi there,


It happened to me as well, I took 10 kg in 1 month after going vegan !

Love yourself,

Cheers !



You gained 10 kg (22 pounds) in 1 month?! What were you eating?
.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991
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#20 Old Yesterday, 08:37 AM
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Hi !

I should have tell that this happened during rehabilitation after a one year long immobilisation. I was eating mostly lens, almonds, nuts, and as much fruits and vegetables I could find on my way .


Cheers,
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