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itsycoo 05-20-2004 03:31 PM

Hi all. I have been quasi-vegetarian for almost ten years (eating poultry and seafood, but no meat or pork) and changed to being a lacto-ovo vegetarian 2 months ago. To my surprise and disappointment, I have gained weight and have been feeling increasingly bloated! I realize that fiber may be a reason for the bloating, but the weight gain is ridiculous. Before, I ate lots of lean chicken and turkey and have been substituting these forms of protein lately with beans, tofu, and brown rice. Can anyone offer me tips or advice on how to combat this weight gain prob? Thanks so much!!

Artichoke47 05-20-2004 03:39 PM

Do not consume too many calories and exercise regularly. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Consume plenty of water.

eggplant 05-20-2004 03:44 PM

Originally Posted by Artichoke47 View Post

Do not consume too many calories and exercise regularly. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Consume plenty of water.

Ditto. Have you been eating additional dairy to replace the meat? That could cause weight gain as well.

IamJen 05-20-2004 09:10 PM

Originally Posted by eggplant View Post

Ditto. Have you been eating additional dairy to replace the meat? That could cause weight gain as well.

I loved (still do) the taste of cheese. The calories and fat grams add up quickly. There can be quite a fat/caloric punch in tofu too.

If you're willing/able to give an example of a daily diet, we might be able to give some more specific hints.

Peter Parker 05-20-2004 09:21 PM

ive lost a lot of weight, but have a lot more to go.

I exercise 40 minutes before and 40 after work using an eleptical runner and on the weekends I run an hour straight.

I try to avoid all breads, fats, oil of any kind, and sodas.

i also avoid all fruit juices and I try to avoid all soy products too, but thats hard for me. I love silk chocolate milk.

im kinda ashamed that im vegan and overweight. but Ive lost from 323lbs to 264.

MollyGoat 05-20-2004 09:24 PM

Yeah, I was pretty overweight as a lacto-ovo because I ate so much dairy, especially cheese.

The bloating might just be your body's reaction to a sudden change in diet. That may go away after you adjust.

bizarro 05-20-2004 09:31 PM

other reasons for a bloated feeling could be exessive sodium intake, gas or your monthly visitor. if you are drinking soda pop of any kind you might want to eliminate it from your diet. the regular stuff is loaded with sugar, that will make you fat. the diet stuff is loaded with sodium which will cause you to retain water. exercise and take a water pill, that should help no matter what you eat.

Sheik del Mar 05-20-2004 09:42 PM

The exact same thing happened to me. I'm just now getting better, in fact. MY problem was substituting carbs for meat and not eating enough vegetables. So you might want to make sure that you aren't trying to fill up on simple carbs and such. However, you sound like you aren't in the same dillemma as I. I didn't like vegetables very much (which, I know, is just stupid if you're going to be a vegetarian.)

itsycoo 05-21-2004 12:42 AM

Thank you everyone for responding and for your suggestions! To respond to some of your questions: I have not been eating much dairy. I stopped drinking milk, but I do have occasional feta cheese in my salads. My typical day consists of fruit for breakfast, a large salad for lunch, carrots & hummus for snacks, and brown rice with beans and seaweed for dinner. I do have the occasional cookie, Asian-style crackers, cocktail. I work out 4-5 times a week.

It's weird; I can't figure out how I've managed to gain so much weight recently. One thing I forgot to mention was I did the Master Cleanse (a liquid detox fast) for 10 days and lost 10 pounds. It was after this cleanse that I decided to go vegetarian. I regained the 10 pounds, plus a few! I feel really uncomfortable, bloated and frustrated....

I think my problem is portions. Although I eat pretty healthfully, I eat large quantities. Like I'll have 3 large pieces of fruit at once, or 2 large helpings of brown rice for dinner.

Again, thank you to those who wrote, and if anyone else has any comments or suggestions, they'd be most welcomed!!

Peter Parker 05-21-2004 01:55 AM

feta cheese has a lot of sodium = water retention.

I would limit fruit intake to less than 2 a day when trying to lose weight (this works for me)

hummus is not that good for us. lotsa oil.

try avoiding any crackers, bread so forth for a week and see how your weight differs.

I read a lot of dr. mcdougall and dean ornish.

here is what I follow:

Foods you should eat:

All whole grains and whole-grain cereals, such as brown rice, corn, oatmeal, barley, millet, and wheat berries; many packaged grain cereals, puffed grains, and other healthful cereals.

Squashes, such as acorn, butternut, buttercup, pumpkin, and zucchini.

Root vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams.

Legumes, such as peas, split peas, black-eyed peas, string beans, and such beans as chick-peas, lentils, and adzuki, navy, pinto, and black beans.

Green and yellow vegetables, such as collard greens, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, cabbage, various types of lettuce, and watercress; celery, cauliflower, carrots, and asparagus, and tomato.

Limited to two servings per day:

Fruit, such as apples, bananas, berries, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, and pears.

For most people, simple sugars, salt, and spices used sparingly at the table rather than in cooking.

Avoid the following:

All red meat, including beef pork, and lamb. All are rich in fat, cholesterol, and other harmful constituents.

All poultry and fish. Poultry has about the same amount of cholesterol as red meat, while fish varies, depending on the type. Some fish are higher in cholesterol than red meat, others lower.

All dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese. All are loaded with fat and cholesterol. Low-fat dairy products are not recommended because of potential health hazards, including allergies, childhood diabetes, arthritis, and lactose intolerance.

All oil, including olive, safflower, peanut, and corn oil. Oil is simply a liquid form of fat.

All eggs. Eggs are abundant in fat and cholesterol.

Nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and soybean products (including tofu, soy cheese, and soy milk). Soybean products are high in fat, unless they have been specially processed (low-fat varieties are also not recommended).

All dried fruit and fruit juices

All flour products, such as breads, bagels, and pretzels. The less a food is processed the better it is for weight loss. Flour products are composed of fragments of grain, or relatively small particles, which increase absorption and slow weight loss.

by the way, this is the mcdougall maximum weight loss plan, again it works for me.

Peter Parker 05-21-2004 02:14 AM

oh by the way, itsycoo, mcdougall says you can eat as much as the you want, as long as you stay on the Foods you should eat list.

As many helpings as needed or wanted.

Artichoke47 05-21-2004 05:13 AM

I think you should have a more substantial breakfast and lunch. Add whole grains and nuts. Your body might be in starvation mode.

Peter Parker 05-21-2004 09:00 AM

i agree. personally, i would go with the mcdougall plan above and eat eat eat then eat more and lose weight! A typical month of weight loss is anywhere from 8 to 15 lbs for me.

CountessKerouac 05-21-2004 09:44 AM

Why would you have to use spices sparingly? Pepper is 0 cal! I love spices! Not salt though thank god lol

NDvegan85 05-21-2004 09:51 AM

Fasting will cause your metabolism to slow down and most of the weight that you lose will be water and muscle because the body can turn muscle into fuel more efficently than it can fat. Losing muscle will also decrease your metabolism. But when you start feeding your body regularly when it is hungry, your metabolism will go back to where it should be. IT doesn't sound like you are eating enough earlier in the day. I would guess that the weight gain is due to the "detox" than going veggie. Fad diets just don't work for any long term weight loss.

BTW, congrats on your decision to become vegetarian!

MollyGoat 05-21-2004 10:20 AM

I think the McDougall plan is really misguided, actually. Any plan that tells you to avoid nuts, avocados and soybeans but eat all you want of cereal has to be wrong...

If you're looking for a really great diet/eating plan, which I'm not sure that you are, Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live book is a great one to look up. It's based on the concept of nutrient density and is backed by really sound science and logic. Way better than McDougall by a long shot.

SweetShorty132 05-21-2004 10:47 AM

I've actually lost weight. i love to be active and i hate most dairy products so i eat TONS of veges and fruits.

Try to exercise more and less dairy stuff

itsycoo 05-21-2004 10:51 AM

Thanks again all!

Peter, thanks for the McDougall info (and congrats on your weight loss!). I do think I have been overdoing it with peanut butter, hummus and oils, actually.

Artichoke, I feel better when I don't eat a heavy breakfast. But maybe you're right in that eating breakfast would prevent my huge dinners.

FDvegan, thanks! I did the Master Cleanse mainly for the detox process; the weight loss was an unexpected delight. The negative was that I liked how I looked and felt after the rapid weight loss and felt uncomfortable when it all came back on just as quickly as it had disappeared. LOL.

Molly, I will check out Furhman's book. Thanks for the rec.

I think I need to stop thinking about it so much, too. Today I am going to eat some whole-grain pancakees and relish each bite!!

Peter Parker 05-21-2004 02:02 PM

Jennifer 05-21-2004 03:10 PM

I've lost 40 pounds since becoming a vegetarian about 15 of those since becoming vegan. I try to avoid all sugars, soda's and basically junk food. However I do indulge once in a while. I eat lots of whole grains and all the fruit and veggies I want. I eat six small meals a day instead of three and that seems to help. Also I drink about 120 ounces of water a day and hit the Gym about 4 days a week. It has taken a whole year for the weight to come off so I would not stress too much about it.

bizarro 05-22-2004 04:31 AM

a book reccomendation for you: the single vegan by leah leneman

also try not to eat within 5 hours before bed.

whats your workout routine like?

Peter Parker 05-22-2004 07:22 AM

MollyGoat, please explain this more, the mcdougall plan has worked great for me, more details... please!

I think the fat you eat is the fat you wear.

nuts, avacados, etc etc. the cereal he says to eat is oats, grains of the earth. not sugar smacks or anything like that..

Please tell how you believe this is misguided.

About the Author

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. He is the author of "Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease," published by St. Martin's. He lives in New Jersey.

Book Description

When Mehmet Oz or any of New York's leading doctors has a patient whose life depends on losing weight, they call on Joel Fuhrman, M.D. In EAT TO LIVE, Dr. Fuhrman offers his healthy, effective, and scientifically proven plan for shedding radical amounts of weight quickly, and keeping it off. Losing weight under Dr. Fuhrman's plan is not about willpower, it is about knowledge. The key to this revolutionary diet is the idea of nutrient density, as expressed by the simple formula Health=Nutrients/Calories. When the ratio of nutrients to calories is high, fat melts away and health is restored. Losing 20 pounds in two to three weeks is just the beginning. The more high-nutrient food Dr. Fuhrman's patients consume, the more they are satisfied with fewer calories, and the less they crave fat and high-calorie foods. Designed for people who must lose 50 pounds or more in a hurry, EAT TO LIVE works for every dieter, even those who want to lose as little as 10 pounds quickly. No willpower required-just knowledge!

Peter Parker 05-22-2004 08:00 AM

Vegan Cooking For One

by Leah Leneman

Artichoke47 05-22-2004 08:29 AM

Your body needs some healthy fats. I can eat 4 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1/2 c. walnuts a day and be fine. I have maintained my weight for at least a year now. In addition to the nuts I eat, I also eat plenty of grains. It's all about balance and feeling satisfied.

NDvegan85 05-22-2004 08:34 AM

Peter Parker- Calories are calories. If you eat too many calories, your body stores it as fat, regardless of whether they are from fat or not. The thing is that a gram of fat has 9 calories and a gram of protein or carbs has 4 calories. So not eating fat means that you can eat a larger volume of food for the same amount of calories, but it might not keep you full for as long. In the end it doesn't matter where your calories come from, just so long as you are eating less than you burn, you will lose weight.

Not all fats are bad. The fat in peanut butter, avacodos, almonds, walnuts, olive oil and other things are good for your body. It's the saturated and trans fats that you have to watch out for as far as health goes.

Different diets work for some people and not others in part because everyone's body is different and some people can more efficiently metabolize one type of food more easily than others. There is no single solution that we work for all.

Peter Parker 05-22-2004 08:34 AM

true, but Im trying my best to lose weoght, I want to be thin almost wispy again.

I will attain my goal.

Peanut butter, olive oil... any fat to me I have mentally placed in the same 'field' as eating animal products. Which makes my stomach feel like its just 'dropped' like I was riding a huge rollercoaster.

IamJen 05-22-2004 10:01 AM

re: McDougall MWL

Since this program is designed specifically for weight loss, he recommends cutting out tofu, etc. because they are very calorically dense. While it's true that you *may* not stay as full with salads, etc. he also recommends "grazing" as opposed to the "3 squares a day idea". Eating 6 smaller portions a day helps you feel full while still eating less calories overall (if you choose the right foods). It also helps your stomach get used to smaller loads at a time.

The issue with spices is common to many weight loss plans. The idea (which I'm not totally on board with yet!) is that many spices stimulate your appetite and cause you to eat more.

I'm not a particular fan, but I think each person needs to find the "system" that works for them. 102 lbs. gone here...

tearhsong2 05-22-2004 11:31 AM

It's entirely possible that since you've been working out the weight gain is from gaining more muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat.

If it's not that, my first guess would be the detox diet you tried. That probably threw your whole body off.

Besides, being a vegetarian doesn't equal weight loss. Any way of eating you can gain or lose depending on how much you eat, how much you exercise, where your metabolism's at, and sometimes it's genetic, too.

MollyGoat 05-22-2004 12:53 PM

Peter, in a nutshell, grains are not a nutrient-dense food (see Fuhrman's book.) While I think some grains are beneficial, basing one's diet on them--especially to the exclusion of other, more nutrient dense foods, like avocados, soy, and nuts--seems to me a very bad idea.

"The fat you eat is the fat you wear" is patently false. You are just as likely to store starch and sugars as fat as you are to store fat as fat. And your body uses fat for other purposes besides storage. I sincerely hope you are not doing as you say and avoiding all fats. Fat is critical to brain and nervous system function and skin health as well as other functions in the body.

I'm not saying the diet doesn't "work", i.e., make you lose weight. I'm saying I don't believe it's particularly healthy. A lot of unhealthy diets can make someone lose weight.

I certainly believe McDougall is healthier than the Standard American Diet.

GhostUser 05-22-2004 02:55 PM

I have lost 43 pounds since going vegan and do a total body cleanse four times a year. I would like to loose another 43 and it generally comes off without much effort. I don't use much of any processed foods, don't eliminate any food groups and eat pretty much like the the vegan food pyramid suggests. I think, for me at least, that a well balanced vegan diet with the proper amounts of each group work well. This is the first time in 30 years that i have been able to loose weight.

Also, I love hummus and have it at least three or four times a week. I make my own from a recipe off the net and you don't need to put the oil in it and I don't even know the difference.

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