Metabolism - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-25-2008, 12:18 PM
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Do vegetarians/vegans generally have a higher metabolism than omnis?

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#2 Old 04-25-2008, 12:27 PM
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I would guess no. I don't think that metabolism is as affected by what you eat as much as it can be affected by how much or how little. Even metabolisms that are slowed down by extreme calorie restriction do recover eventually.
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#3 Old 04-25-2008, 03:55 PM
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Some people think that because they generally feel better and energetic when turning vegetarian that their metabolism is now better.

Metabolism really is just a biochemical word meaning chemical reactions. It can be a bit complicated to describe in a message board. Metabolism can be regulated internally by your cells and organs especially your thyroid and mostly genetics.

Your basic metobolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories) can be increased through exercise both aerobic and weight lifting.
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#4 Old 04-25-2008, 06:03 PM
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I would venture to say that your metabolic rate is higher as a vegetarian. I know mine is. I think that without eating meat your meals tend to be less filling; therefore you eat smaller meals more often; therefore, increasing you basic metabolic rate.
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#5 Old 04-26-2008, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mrosev14 View Post

I would venture to say that your metabolic rate is higher as a vegetarian. I know mine is. I think that without eating meat your meals tend to be less filling; therefore you eat smaller meals more often; therefore, increasing you basic metabolic rate.

Basic metaobolic rate has a different definition that "metabolism".

My vegetarian meals are more filling probably because of the fiber. Rather than eat smaller meals more often I tend to eat bigger meals - my beans and rice have more volume than when I used to eat a piece of meat and rice. How people approach their diet is different for everyone. I do tend to be grazer, eating all the time. LOL
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#6 Old 04-26-2008, 06:52 PM
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Nop, but on a vegan raw lifestyle it improves.
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#7 Old 04-27-2008, 05:48 AM
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People make all sorts of claims about what increases metabolic rate, because most of us ( me, me! ) like to eat and the higher your rate, the more you can eat without gaining weight. However, most of the claims are neither supported nor denied by good scientific studies.

Exercise and having more lean tissue (from weightlifting for example) definitely raises rate. Stimulants definitely raise rate (nasty side effects included for free). Some hormones (thyroid hormone, growth hormone, cortisol, and anabolic steroids for example) raise rate too (along with other actions).

I've never seen good evidence that being vegetarian, or vegan, or raw, or Atkins for that matter, does or doesn't affect rate. However, a vegetarian's diet is often less calorie dense and has more fiber. This can decrease the absorption of the calories you eat, so you can still eat more calories without gaining weight. It definitely increases the volume of food you can eat without gaining weight.
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#8 Old 04-27-2008, 06:09 AM
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I don't think its so much that your metabolism is faster as compared to you're eating much easier to digest foods. Meat is very sinuous and takes time to first be broken down to the molecular level, then the absorbtion process is much more costly both time wise and energy wise than the absorbtion of carbohydrates. I know when I have protein its almost pure protein (beans, protein powders) or easily accessable (nuts) and so my body doesn't need to become super acidic before the tissues will break down to allow access to the usable protein and fat.

Because breaking down meat is so costly to our bodies, we tend to feel lethargic when that's going on as we can only spend so much energy at one time! People who simply eat less meat or who avoid it till the evening tend to complain about lethargy a lot less than those who start off their day with a big steak and eggs.. at least in my experience, and I know that when I did eat meat that was definately true for me!

It's also true that without all that saturated fats (and the saturated fats you do get are palmitic acid and myristic acid, which are both shorter than the 18C stearic acid--the saturated fatty acid you get from animal sources) and excess cholesterol you have a healthier heart and cardiovascular system and so your body in general will be a lot better at doing whatever it is you want it to do. (Much easier to jump around when your muscles can get full blast of the oxygenated blood it asks for, instead of a little leak through clogged capillaries..)

Anyway, my 80 cents. *talks too much*

PS--a lot of the trends they've found in vegetarians/vegans vs. omnivores they found stems from the fact that generally vegetarian/vegan people are concious about what they're eating (no duh) and thus are more likely to make healthier choices, and tend to avoid bad habits such as smoking, tend to eat out less, and tend to take care of their bodies more (be it a daily walk, to yoga, to running marathons).. When these factors are controlled for most differences are much smaller.
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#9 Old 04-27-2008, 10:49 PM
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My metabolic rate resembled a cheetah before I was vegetarian. I'm 15, but still. It's interesting to see how much I eat, and see how little I weigh. Makes all other females angry
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#10 Old 04-27-2008, 11:33 PM
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My metabolism is very very slow, so my weight doesn't seem to ever go up or down, but it may be thyroid related, thats pending bloodwork.
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#11 Old 04-29-2008, 12:28 PM
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I'll have to agree with bios here. I noticed that once I cut meat out of my diet completely, my meals became smaller and more frequent, plus they are filled with fiber, healthy fats, and loads of veggies. Since eating small frequent meals speeds up your metabolism, I'm assuming THATS why vegetarians could be leaner than meat eaters.

I know for myself that I have lost weight since becoming a veggie. Not purposely but I suppose what I mentioned above has something to do with it. Also, someone mentioned that veggies tend to be more conscious of what we put in our bodies, and in turn contributes to a happy, healthy body and metabolism!

Something else I noticed are that my energy levels are WAY higher, and my workouts are more intense. *shrug*
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#12 Old 04-29-2008, 03:11 PM
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Fiber is very hard for the body to digest, boosting metabolism.
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#13 Old 04-29-2008, 03:26 PM
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A lot of things go into metabolism. Genetics, exercise, fat:muscle ratios, amount of food you eat and when. I don't think you could make a blanket statement about any one dietary group's metabolism being better than another's.
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#14 Old 04-29-2008, 04:40 PM
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We have faster metabolism, and we're smarter and cuter too!

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#15 Old 04-29-2008, 09:50 PM
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i agree w/poppy!!! haha.

there was some recent studies done w/ metabolism...and they found that for the most part, there is a "set rate" of basal metabolic rate (what you need for basic functioning)for each particular person. you can increase it, w/in a small range by increasing muscle mass, but generally, is consistent throughout your life.
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#16 Old 04-30-2008, 09:11 AM
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