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#1 Old 12-26-2015, 01:38 AM
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I Have No Idea What I'm Doing.

I've been vegan for about 2 months now and I've noticed that I've began to eat more than I would have before going vegan. I have heard mixed things about amount you're supposed to eat as a vegan and what I've generally seen is that you should eat as much as you feel you need (assuming that you're not eating complete junk). Although it seems pretty logical to eat as much as your body feels it needs, as someone who is recovering from an eating disorder and disordered eating habits, I still get a little panicky about food from time to time. As I said earlier, the amount that I have eaten has gone up and I find that I am hungry more often. Although I do eat more, I find that I eat less compulsively and am far less obsessive about food but I still wonder if I'm eating too much. I have this fear that I'm stretching my stomach out and that I'm going to gain a bunch more weight. From weighing myself every so often, I haven't really seen any weight change which slightly concerns me as I would have expected to lose weight. However, my mother on the other hand says that I am dropping weight but I don't really see it.
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#2 Old 12-26-2015, 04:43 AM
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Hi newveg96,

Good to hear from you again! Can you post an example or two of what you typically eat each day? It might help give a better picture of what your needs are. I remember you shared that you are living in a dormitory and are in college? How is it working out for you with the food arrangement?

When you change the way you eat, it can take quite a while to adjust to in terms of figuring out what to eat, how much, and what satisfies you etc. Everyone is different. For me personally, I found that I needed to add in a serving or two each day of a higher fat food like nuts, seeds, peanut butter, avocado, hummus, or some other similar food because I found that it gave me a sense of satiety and extra stamina and staved off the constant hunger (more on that in a minute). Others find that any added fat makes them more sluggish or is a trigger for eating more. I also find that higher fiber foods...think leafy greens, beans, apples, whole wheat bread, brown rice etc...help with hunger and keep blood sugar stable whereas foods like bananas, pasta, white rice, oranges, potatoes, and others provide a quick source of energy but eaten alone will make me very hungry again within a few hours. One of my best breakfasts I like to eat is a large mango and a handful of whole almonds because the mango gives me extra energy for my morning workout a few hours later and the almonds stabilize blood sugar and provide that stamina and satiety I need for a busy schedule.

Also, as someone with a long history of an eating disorder, I am well aware that our hunger signals are going to be different than someone who has not been through this. year of yo you dieting and restriction can wreck havoc on one's metabolism. This is where it is very helpful to work with a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorders. They understand our needs, and often they will set you up with a meal plan or provide a personalized daily chart of how many carbs, fats, proteins, etc you would need based on your weight, height, activity, eating habits, history, etc. Would there be a service like this at your college? From years of working with a dietitian I know that for me when I feel overwhelmed and lost as far as what and how much to eat etc, it is helpful for me to keep a daily menu of what to eat. I have a weekly menu table I created in a Word Document with spaces for breakfast, snack times (morning and afternoon and evening), lunch, and dinner and on Sundays I plan a week of meals and write them down in my table. It helps to get a picture of what I am eating at a glance and gives me the goal of eating what I planned out and at regular intervals so my body knows it is going to be fed on a regular schedule. This is a common strategy for restoring the metabolism and reconfiguring those hunger signals. Skipping meals, restricting food intake, and going long periods without food can trigger all sorts of unwanted sensations and cause a lot of long term problems. I used to fast once per week, or skip all but one meal a day, or eat three or four meals but tiny amounts, and while I might have lost a good bit of weight short term, eventually all that caught up with me.

I focus a lot on making sure I get enough protein and calcium with my meal planning because I have a health issue that requires more of these particular nutrients than the average person and it is an area I tend to fall short. It is also helpful because I use that table to shop for what I need for the week so I don't miss anything and I know what I need. After doing it for a while, everything becomes more automatic and I have a better understanding of what I need daily to function. Technically I don't need to do the menu anymore as I have been eating this way for years, but it is still this kind of reassurance measure for me (and I am very anal about stuff lol). It can however become another obsession and way to control so I do have to be careful, and it might not work for some people with eating disorders. I STILL struggle to eat more spontaneously and intuitively, and I think this is a universal struggle among those of us with eating disorders, regardless of the type of diet we have. It is almost impossible if you have a history of an eating disorder that has not been treated to learn to eat more spontaneously all on your own, unless you have the tools to learn to do this. Rarely does it come totally naturally as far as I have observed having been in a number of eating disorder treatments.

All that said, I think it is a common concern among new vegans that they feel hungry all the time when they first go vegan. You are after all eliminating higher fat hard to digest foods like meat and eggs and some dairy. Meat can literally sit in your digestive tract for days. Plant food breaks down and moves through much faster. You may very well need to eat more if you are still hungry all the time. This is one of the reasons I asked if you could provide an example of what you eat. Sometimes it feels like you are eating a ton when in reality the calorie intake might actually be less but the food is more bulky and fills one up faster so it seems like you are eating a lot. A strategy for that might be to eat smaller meals but more often until your body becomes used to this type of food. When I was an omnivore I would sometimes have oatmeal for breakfast and would typically have one cup cooked oatmeal and some other dish with it. As a vegan, I can easily eat two cups cooked oatmeal for breakfast along with some fruit or some other side dish. I would have been doubled over doing that as an omni lol, but as a vegan I am not consuming that morning egg or bowl of Greek yogurt. Speaking of that, I can also blend an entire block of silken tofu with a banana and cocoa powder and some stevia and splash of almond milk and have breakfast pudding. as an omni if I would have eaten a whole block of tofu I guarentee you I would be sick and doubled over lol.

No need to be anxious! Just eat a variety of plant food, and know that you are doing something great for your body, the environment, and other animals!

Finally, here is a food chart that might be helpful:

http://www.vegancoach.com/images/veg...-pyramid-3.jpg

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#3 Old 12-26-2015, 11:12 AM
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I have been vegan eight months and the same thing has happened. I eat a ton more than I did before, and I am very slowly still losing weight. I am no where near underweight though, so I am not worried. I think it is impossible to gain weight on a vegan diet. I did a project for a college class and through my research learned that it is because vegetables and fruit are not stored as fat unlike meat. Darlin, I may be a stranger so this won't mean a lot, but I am extremely proud of you! Eating disorders are very hard to over come, and going vegan isn't easy either! You need not worry about gaining weight as a vegan, but if you do gain weight I would love to know how in the world you did it!
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#4 Old 12-26-2015, 01:04 PM
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I purposefully gained twenty lbs as a vegan. It's totally do able.
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#5 Old 12-26-2015, 08:47 PM
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Thank you for your encouragement and support! Eating vegan in college has been a sort of a challenge in it that I have to purchase my own food as the dining facilities do not really have the best vegan options available.

A typical day for me in terms of what I eat really depends on where I am or what's happening in life at the moment. For example, when I am eating how I would like to, I would usually have something like a bowl of oatmeal with an apple, a pear, a banana and some chia seeds on top; i might have some fruit before lunch; some pasta from the cafeteria for lunch (which would usually have marinara, spinach, onion, black olive and sometimes tofu) and a probiotic drink, or I might have something from the sandwich bar which would most likely be a spinach wrap with tofu, avocado, tomato and lettus with a fruit salad on the side; then for dinner it might be pasta (if I didn't have it for lunch), beans and rice with steamed veggies (if I choose to make it) or sometimes the cafeteria will have some other kind of vegan option. And if I'm up late working on homework and get hungry, I might have a cliff bar, some fruit or some oatmeal.

One of the eating disorders that I have struggled with is binge eating disorder. Although I have made great progress food can still become a coping mechanism (although not to the same extent as before). So when I get stressed out at school I can start to stress eat and have a lot of junk food with what I normally eat or instead of what I normally eat. For example, during finals week I might have a lot of caffeine or yerba mate and I would have more than probably healthy. For breakfast I might have oatmeal, or a vegan muffin with a big plate of food. I might have a bag of chips for a snack with a soda and I might have some fruit too. For lunch I might also have some pasta or a sandwich or something, and for dinner I would have maybe a vegan burger and fries and have vegan ice cream. and later if I got hungry at night I would have a bag of chips or a vegan cookie. I don't usually count calories as I get too obsessive but there have been a couple of times where I was curious about how much I've eaten and I've counted about 3000 calories which freaked me out.

When I go home it is a lot different. I live with my dad and he has a very bachelor pad type home and as the only vegan i pretty much feed myself. He works at night so he doesn't really have food in the house now that I'm gone and it's hard to coordinate shopping trips with his sleep schedule (I do not have a car). My sleeping schedule also gets pretty wonky when I go home so I might wake up at 12 and not eat until 2 or 3 (or 4 as I did today). And what we mostly eat is take out.I have a lot of thai food and pizza. So i might eat like once or twice a day but I'll have an entire medium pizza from pizza hut with no cheese a a bunch of vegetables,or some kind of thai dish with tofu. I also end up having a lot of junk like oreos or candy or something (I just have a bunch if Swedish fish and dark chocolate these last couple of days).
If we do make it to the store I tend to eat healthier like I'll make lentil and vegetable soup and fruit throughout the day. Or i'll make pasta or rice and beans with vegetables.

Also, thank you for the chart and the flikr page! I found them very helpful!!

Last edited by newveg96; 12-26-2015 at 08:56 PM.
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#6 Old 12-26-2015, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by animals82 View Post
I have been vegan eight months and the same thing has happened. I eat a ton more than I did before, and I am very slowly still losing weight. I am no where near underweight though, so I am not worried. I think it is impossible to gain weight on a vegan diet. I did a project for a college class and through my research learned that it is because vegetables and fruit are not stored as fat unlike meat. Darlin, I may be a stranger so this won't mean a lot, but I am extremely proud of you! Eating disorders are very hard to over come, and going vegan isn't easy either! You need not worry about gaining weight as a vegan, but if you do gain weight I would love to know how in the world you did it!

HAHA thank you! I appreciate your encouragement!
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#7 Old 12-27-2015, 10:57 AM
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[QUOTE=newveg96;3856177]HAHA thank you! I appreciate your encouragement!

You're welcome gorgeous! I will be happy to talk anytime you need, I am working my way up the ladder to be a clinical psychologist majoring in teen depression, anxiety, and self harm, so if you ever need anything just let me know!
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#8 Old 12-27-2015, 12:06 PM
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I unintentionally gained twenty pounds on a vegan diet. I wish it weren't so doable!


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#9 Old 12-27-2015, 12:11 PM
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I unintentionally gained twenty pounds on a vegan diet. I wish it weren't so doable!


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How did you do it? While I am quite enjoying my new figure, everyone else is worried about my weight loss. I should make sure I am prepared if the weight loss does take an unhealthy turn I guess.
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#10 Old 12-27-2015, 02:31 PM
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I Have No Idea What I'm Doing.

I'm not quite sure. It could be partly age related (I'm old ). I don't think I process carbs well, anymore, even the good carbs, like beans, legumes, etc. which is where I mostly obtained my protein in the beginning.


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#11 Old 12-28-2015, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by newveg96 View Post
Thank you for your encouragement and support! Eating vegan in college has been a sort of a challenge in it that I have to purchase my own food as the dining facilities do not really have the best vegan options available.

A typical day for me in terms of what I eat really depends on where I am or what's happening in life at the moment. For example, when I am eating how I would like to, I would usually have something like a bowl of oatmeal with an apple, a pear, a banana and some chia seeds on top; i might have some fruit before lunch; some pasta from the cafeteria for lunch (which would usually have marinara, spinach, onion, black olive and sometimes tofu) and a probiotic drink, or I might have something from the sandwich bar which would most likely be a spinach wrap with tofu, avocado, tomato and lettus with a fruit salad on the side; then for dinner it might be pasta (if I didn't have it for lunch), beans and rice with steamed veggies (if I choose to make it) or sometimes the cafeteria will have some other kind of vegan option. And if I'm up late working on homework and get hungry, I might have a cliff bar, some fruit or some oatmeal.

One of the eating disorders that I have struggled with is binge eating disorder. Although I have made great progress food can still become a coping mechanism (although not to the same extent as before). So when I get stressed out at school I can start to stress eat and have a lot of junk food with what I normally eat or instead of what I normally eat. For example, during finals week I might have a lot of caffeine or yerba mate and I would have more than probably healthy. For breakfast I might have oatmeal, or a vegan muffin with a big plate of food. I might have a bag of chips for a snack with a soda and I might have some fruit too. For lunch I might also have some pasta or a sandwich or something, and for dinner I would have maybe a vegan burger and fries and have vegan ice cream. and later if I got hungry at night I would have a bag of chips or a vegan cookie. I don't usually count calories as I get too obsessive but there have been a couple of times where I was curious about how much I've eaten and I've counted about 3000 calories which freaked me out.

When I go home it is a lot different. I live with my dad and he has a very bachelor pad type home and as the only vegan i pretty much feed myself. He works at night so he doesn't really have food in the house now that I'm gone and it's hard to coordinate shopping trips with his sleep schedule (I do not have a car). My sleeping schedule also gets pretty wonky when I go home so I might wake up at 12 and not eat until 2 or 3 (or 4 as I did today). And what we mostly eat is take out.I have a lot of thai food and pizza. So i might eat like once or twice a day but I'll have an entire medium pizza from pizza hut with no cheese a a bunch of vegetables,or some kind of thai dish with tofu. I also end up having a lot of junk like oreos or candy or something (I just have a bunch if Swedish fish and dark chocolate these last couple of days).
If we do make it to the store I tend to eat healthier like I'll make lentil and vegetable soup and fruit throughout the day. Or i'll make pasta or rice and beans with vegetables.

Also, thank you for the chart and the flikr page! I found them very helpful!!
I can see how you might feel hungry all the time if your eating schedule is so irratic. Sometimes, psychologically, if I am traveling or know I am going to be in a situation where food is not readily available, I have this tendency to hoard or eat more in one setting as if to prepare for it. Not sure if that is a healthy or unhealthy mechanism, but it's sort of like an anxiety thing. Eating at more regular intervals definitely helps with hunger cues and satiety. Maybe you could carry portable snacks with you, like larabars or whole almonds or little boxes of raisins and so on. Even something like a simple whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter or some other spread rolled up in it would keep for quite a long time without refrigeration. I do those when I am on long distance hikes all day.

It sounds like you are really trying, and for the most part much of what you eat seems healthy. Hats off to you for making it work under your circumstances!

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#12 Old 12-28-2015, 02:27 AM
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How did you do it? While I am quite enjoying my new figure, everyone else is worried about my weight loss. I should make sure I am prepared if the weight loss does take an unhealthy turn I guess.
I gained weight eating homemade seeded whole wheat breads, nut/seed/peanut butters, whole dates, higher calorie plant milks, avocado and vegan mayo dishes (think macaroni salads, potato salad, garden salads with mayo or avocado dressings), occasional desserts (and there are MANY vegan ones lol), homemade vegan pizza, lots of hummus lol, larger portions of beans and bean spreads (pureed beans pack in more calories per serving), sprouted raw grains (again, a cup of sprouted raw buckwheat groats or oat groats or quinoa for example is four times the calories of one cup cooked of the same grain). I also strategized so I was eating smaller meals but six times per day so I wasn't getting so full so fast. And smoothies...I could add a few bananas, flax or chia seeds, vegan protein powder, plant milk, other fruit, loads of leafy greens and the calories can really add up.

Or one could do it the easy way and just eat all the processed vegan foods that are available nowadays lol.

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#13 Old 12-28-2015, 06:06 AM
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I gained weight eating homemade seeded whole wheat breads, nut/seed/peanut butters, whole dates, higher calorie plant milks, avocado and vegan mayo dishes (think macaroni salads, potato salad, garden salads with mayo or avocado dressings), occasional desserts (and there are MANY vegan ones lol), homemade vegan pizza, lots of hummus lol, larger portions of beans and bean spreads (pureed beans pack in more calories per serving), sprouted raw grains (again, a cup of sprouted raw buckwheat groats or oat groats or quinoa for example is four times the calories of one cup cooked of the same grain). I also strategized so I was eating smaller meals but six times per day so I wasn't getting so full so fast. And smoothies...I could add a few bananas, flax or chia seeds, vegan protein powder, plant milk, other fruit, loads of leafy greens and the calories can really add up.

Or one could do it the easy way and just eat all the processed vegan foods that are available nowadays lol.
I will definitely keep this in mind, thank you!
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#14 Old 01-25-2016, 01:56 AM
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Great may be that will become the inspirational thing for me. I am newbie here. I had just started about a few weeks ago for loosing my weigh.
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