Too Many Carbs - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-23-2011, 08:03 AM
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I'm a new vegetarian convert (a little more than 2 months now) and am having a hard time getting a grasp on a balanced diet.

I used to be super duper in shape - very strict diet, lifting weights 4 times a week, etc. But I also ate a diet composed of mainly (animal) protein with much smaller portions of fat and carbs. Throughout my many workout phases, I've come to realize that my body doesn't do well with mass amounts of carbs - I gain fat/weight almost instantly.

I'm currently the heaviest I've ever been in my entire life - about 25lbs more than my fittest, which was about 2 years ago. I feel like I'm hitting a wall and am borderline depressed about it. Since going veggie, I figured I would sort of get my footing first and then get back into the groove of working out.

Problem is - I feel like I'm eating way too many carbs. And no matter how much I lift or how much cardio I do, it's just not coming off. I just can't figure out how to do a balanced diet while being vegetarian. I've actually continued to gain MORE weight after becoming vegetarian

I have tried the Morning Star meal starters ("beef" and "chikn") and I like them both, as well as other Morning Star options, veggie burgers, etc - and I could use those for protein sources, but I don't want to be eating processed foods all the time.

Does anyone have any insights on how to handle obtaining a balanced diet without overloading on the carbs?

Thank you!
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#2 Old 09-23-2011, 01:17 PM
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What does a typical day of food look like for you? We might be able to suggest some substitutions or different foods for what you're normally eating now.
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#3 Old 09-24-2011, 03:41 PM
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I recommend an exercise program it is very important, especially to find an effective type of exercise to suit you.

I would eat plenty of legumes and quinoa and try alternative grains like millet, I am going to try kasha soon too but I dont know how to prepare it. Buy wholegrained breads and cereals. Avoid sugar (lol I should take my own advice on that one).
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#4 Old 09-27-2011, 05:52 AM
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Thanks!

Typical meals for me -

Breakfast - (I'm lacto ovo) egg/cheese wrap/sandwich/etc, or kashi cereal w/silk milk, or oatmeal/protein powder/berries, etc
Lunch - veggie or hummus sandwich/wrap, or leftover dinner foods (sometimes tofu, casseroles, etc), or veggie burger, etc
Dinner - Morningstar meal starters w/pasta/couscous, or sauteed veggies, or rice and beans, or casserole type dishes, etc
Snacks (one morning, one afternoon) - yogurt/fruit, or oatmeal/protein powder/fruit, or kashi bar, or hummus/veggies, etc


Right now I'm trying to just go to the gym whenever I can, rather than being there 6 days a week (4 for lifting and 2 for just cardio). I joined a kickball team, so I have that every Tuesday night. Just sucks going from being in the best shape of my life to the worst shape of my life. Don't know what to do
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#5 Old 09-27-2011, 12:59 PM
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It sounds like you're just eating more and exercising less. I think a few people on here use some sort of calorie counting website - maybe try that for a few days. What's in the casserole dishes? Those things can hide a lot of calories. You might be surprised. I'd limit the veggie burgers and other mock meats. Stick to more whole foods.

I gained a few pounds when I first went vegan. It was so easy to underestimate how much I was eating. Good luck!
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#6 Old 09-27-2011, 08:18 PM
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Maybe you need balance, like vegrunner suggested. It may just be that for you it's turning out that way. To offer a different point of view, when I went vegan I lost weight. And now, having gone raw for a few weeks, I'm starting to lose again, without any effort except diet.
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#7 Old 09-28-2011, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaD View Post

Does anyone have any insights on how to handle obtaining a balanced diet without overloading on the carbs?

Maybe try cut back on the processed carbs/sugar you're eating. Ditch the yoghurt (esp. if it's a sweetened one), stop eating cereal for breakfast (or switch to something low sugar/higher protein like oats, and sweeten with a little dried fruit or some berries), substitute brown rice for pasta, etc.

More cardio (at higher intensity) always helps - the endorphins should cheer you up as well

If I was where I would be, then I'd be where I am not, here I am where I must be, where I would be I cannot.
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#8 Old 09-28-2011, 05:39 AM
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Thanks everyone!!

I actually have a wellness consultation with a nutritionist scheduled for Saturday morning, so I'm hoping she can give me some more insights and maybe a specific meal plan. In addition, I'm taking a cooking class tomorrow - it's cooking with legumes and tofu.

I also think part of the problem is really getting back into the swing of the gym. I can't get out of my own head. I keep thinking "well I've gained all this weight already and I'm never going to lose it, so why even try." It's extremely frustrating for me because like I said, I used to be VERY fit and in shape. I lived in Hawaii back then and was always on the go doing outdoor activities in my spare time... now I live in Syracuse NY and the outdoor activities are very limited and especially with winter coming it's only going to get worse...
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#9 Old 10-01-2011, 08:25 AM
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It looks to me like you are eating a whole bunch of carbs and fat a day. Your assessment of that was correct. Here's what my typical day looks like:

Oatmeal and coffee for breakfast.

A subway veggie delite for lunch with low fat mayonnaise rather than the regular. Or I might scoot over the Bojangles and get a couple of veggie sides. Something like that.

When I get home I am starving. I will eat a couple of bowls of veggie soup, of have some Mexican vegetarian fajitas, or we might get some Thai food where I'll get Yellow Curry with Tofu, or maybe we go to the cafeteria where I get a veggie plate, etc.. You get the idea. If I get hungry in the evenings I'll eat a fiber one bar.

I work on a very big construction site. My job requires me to be all over the site throughout the day so, I walk and climb stairs all day. Exercise is a non issue.

If you have to choose, choose carbs over fat. That's my opinion. Why? For several reasons. Carbs are easier to burn off than fat. I was a big carnivore for most of my life. The cholesterol damaged my eyes some and kept my blood pressure high. As you get older that's gonna matter a whole bunch. When eating carbs your generally not eating anything from a slaughterhouse.

Remove some of the high carb and fat foods and replace them with fresh, canned or frozen veggies. Also, eat small meals and snacks throughout the day rather than big meals. That part is very important. If it's protein your worried about just get nuts and beans into your diet.

Mixing the that fat egg and cheese sandwich into a high carb diet means your body is processing the worst of both worlds into your body. I would cut the eggs and cheese out completely. My doctor says that where people usually blow it on a vegetarian diet is that they eat too much cheese and gain weight. I eat very little cheese and no eggs. Don't stress so much about protein. Your body will find what it needs in the food you eat. Just make sure to incorporate beans, nuts, tofu, etc.. into your lifestyle and you will be fine. People get into trouble on the protein issue when they eat lots of greens and none of the veggie proteins. It's about being well rounded.

Good luck and bump up your exercise by walking more, taking the stairs, etc.. Also, review portions and schedule.
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#10 Old 10-02-2011, 09:34 PM
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Limited time, only read OP.
Cardio in the morning makes your 'fat burner' stay on all day.
Cut out as many processed foods as you can. Whole foods contain water, fiber, etc that will help you be and stay full, have energy and not intake anywhere near as much fat or calories.
Oils of any kind are unnecessary, but highly fatty. Continue to grow your recipe collection and you will use less and less fatty foods, and carbs. Veggies are carbs, but so much more, too.
Good luck!

P.S. - If you haven't seen Forks Over Knives, there is a segment in there where they discuss the 'fullness sensors' (I don't remember exactly what they were called in the film). Basically, we have sensors all along our stomach. So when we eat dense, high calorie/fat foods our brains don't get a message saying we've had enough, so our likelihood of overeating goes way up. That was a huge eye opener for me.

To learn more about me and my interest in being totally vegetarian, I would be happy for you to visit my website:
http://thereasonstobeavegan.com
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#11 Old 10-03-2011, 03:58 PM
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^ What Marvin said.

I have not been hungry once since switching over to the whole food plant based diet. I've got more energy and have upped my exercise the two combined. I've cut out all processed foods and added oils. The weight is coming off both myself and wife nicely. I've lost 35# in a couple of months and have about 20# more to go to get to a healthy weight and the mrs has lost 14# and has about 10 more to go to make her happy (though she's at a healthy weight atm)
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#12 Old 10-04-2011, 08:36 PM
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I have this problem too! I am eating way too many carbs! I tell people that I am a vegetarian and they look at me in disbelief. I think many people have the stereotype that vegetarians are skinny and malnourished but NEWS FLASH! i got some junk in the trunk I would like to cut some weight and it is hard to cut out the carbs when they are the most filling. Any ideas?
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#13 Old 10-04-2011, 08:45 PM
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Eat whole foods. It's amazing how filled you'll be eating just a salad. And I don't mean lettuce. Salad = LOTS OF VEGGIES, nuts, even fruit. Make a bowl full bigger than your head, make an awesome dressing (my favorite at the end) and just enjoy your life of eating healthy, nutritious food.
Example:
Field greens
Romain
Carrot slices or julienne (fresh, not bagged)
Grape or cherry tomatoes halved
Cucumber sliced or chunked
Green onion "cubed" :P
Craisins or dried cranberries
Pine nuts
Pecan pieces or halves
Avocado if you like it, cut small. Not too ripe.
Apple chunks (you pick sweet, tart or in between)

This salad probably wouldn't take it well, but I like to use green olives (in brine with pimento)

My favorite dressing:
Fresh pressed garlic - ~5 cloves
Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
Water - 2 Tbsp
(some use Olive oil. I don't think it is necessary at all)
Let this sit for a few minutes. I like to make it before I prepare the salad.

If you make a HUGE salad this way, you will be stuffed to the rafters with highly nutritious foods, won't feel heavy or bloated, will not get constipated, will have good energy and sleep well (assuming you don't have a sleep disorder). And you WILL lose weight, but not too fast and not too much. Our bodies are smart.

Good luck, and enjoy your meals.

[edit: I forgot to mention that the lettuce in the salad should be less than half of the bulk, or volume, of the salad. Not too much, but it is important to have dark leafy greens.]

To learn more about me and my interest in being totally vegetarian, I would be happy for you to visit my website:
http://thereasonstobeavegan.com
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#14 Old 10-04-2011, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Eat whole foods. It's amazing how filled you'll be eating just a salad. And I don't mean lettuce. Salad = LOTS OF VEGGIES, nuts, even fruit. Make a bowl full bigger than your head, make an awesome dressing (my favorite at the end) and just enjoy your life of eating healthy, nutritious food.
Example:
Field greens
Romain
Carrot slices or julienne (fresh, not bagged)
Grape or cherry tomatoes halved
Cucumber sliced or chunked
Green onion "cubed" :P
Craisins or dried cranberries
Pine nuts
Pecan pieces or halves
Avocado if you like it, cut small. Not too ripe.
Apple chunks (you pick sweet, tart or in between)

This salad probably wouldn't take it well, but I like to use green olives (in brine with pimento)

My favorite dressing:
Fresh pressed garlic - ~5 cloves
Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
Water - 2 Tbsp
(some use Olive oil. I don't think it is necessary at all)
Let this sit for a few minutes. I like to make it before I prepare the salad.

If you make a HUGE salad this way, you will be stuffed to the rafters with highly nutritious foods, won't feel heavy or bloated, will not get constipated, will have good energy and sleep well (assuming you don't have a sleep disorder). And you WILL lose weight, but not too fast and not too much. Our bodies are smart.

Good luck, and enjoy your meals.

[edit: I forgot to mention that the lettuce in the salad should be less than half of the bulk, or volume, of the salad. Not too much, but it is important to have dark leafy greens.]

That dressing is so easy! I am definitely going to give it a try!

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