Modified diet, started losing weight again and regained energy. But digestive system out of whack. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-29-2013, 03:43 AM
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Really, if it's not one thing it's the other. I can't seem to find the "sweet spot" for staying on the Ornish reversal program.

As some of you may know, some time ago I gave up brown rice in favor of white rice. The brown rice was too indigestible for me, even though I actually like it better.

Within a few days, for the first time in like a year, my digestion returned to normal! It was great!

But (1) I started feeling very lethargic (falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon) and (2) My weight loss was still stuck.

Last week I made exactly one change to my diet. Instead of eating white rice 3 times a day I switched to 200 g servings of tofu.

1 serving of rice had 333 calories, 5 g of protein and like 60+ g of carbs.

1 serving of tofu has 132 calories, 13 g of protein and 5 carbs. Much more fat than rice though.

My weight has dropped every day since making this change, and this morning I'm down to 92.8 kg. A total loss of 36.2 kg (almost 80 lb). Just a hair's width from moving from the BMI obese category to the overweight category.

My energy also rebounded.

Can the carbs in rice actually be affecting my metabolism? I know it sounds Atkins/Taubes, but is there some element of truth there?

Anyway, the bad news: my digestive system is out of whack again. I can't stand it. Again it's morning to night bloating, gas and having to go to the bathroom too much. It's not a sustainable lifestyle.

Every morning I wake up and say, "maybe I should switch back to rice" but then I weigh myself, see I've lost weight again and think, "well, I'll try this one more day and see if my body will adjust."

But it hasn't. I guess I don't tolerate any legumes at all, not even tofu, which is low carb. I've tried taking digestive enzymes with it, but it doesn't help.

I don't know what to do. I think I'm falling into a serious depression right now.

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#2 Old 06-30-2013, 06:38 PM
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What about adzuki beans? I just tried them for the first time. Really like them. After a soak overnight they cooked beautifully in 30 minutes, with a very soft thin skin. On their own they're not at all sweet, but slightly nutty.

I looked up facts on them and it turns out they're lower in fat than other beans and more easily digested

 

Soy appartently is one of the more harder to digest beans.

 

BTW, you are doing fantastic and I hope you find your happy medium with food!

 

How about a mix of rice and beans?


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#3 Old 06-30-2013, 07:07 PM
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That's a lot of rice or tofu. How varied is your diet? Insteas of following a plan why not eat a wide variety of healthy foods?

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#4 Old 06-30-2013, 07:07 PM
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Thanks for your note. To be honest, I'm a really lazy cook, and have been avoiding actually cooking beans. It took me more than 10,000 days after moving to Japan to finally use a rice cooker and cook rice. :)

 

I have heard that some beans are supposedly more digestible than others, but haven't done a lot of experiments on different types. The beans I've tried so far on this diet have been ready-for-salad canned or vacuum pack types: red kidney beans, or a mixed blend. I haven't actually cooked any.

 

I'm thinking of laying off the rice for now (except if there is nothing else to order in a restaurant) because it sort of seems like a waste of calories at the moment. Also, it's not especially filling. Maybe because it is high in glycemic index and low in protein it seems more of a hunger trigger than satiating.

 

Over at the Ornish site the nutritionist suggested I give the tofu at least two weeks to see if my body "adjusts" and I said I would. So I'll see if it gets better. :(

 

Thanks,

 

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#5 Old 07-01-2013, 06:00 AM
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You lost weight bc the tofu has less calories than the rice. Eating less calories or burning more calories will lead to weight loss.

Lentils are easy to cook, so are split peas.
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#6 Old 07-01-2013, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by luvourmother View Post

You lost weight bc the tofu has less calories than the rice. Eating less calories or burning more calories will lead to weight loss.
 

 

Yes, of course. To some extent. I also tried eating rice and cutting down on other things to bring myself to the same caloric level, but curiously was not losing weight. Which is why I wonder if there is some other metabolic effect at play.

 

But it's certainly easier keeping the calories low by substituting tofu for rice.

 

I think it would be harder with cooking legumes. And legumes are not so low calorie. For example, 200 g of tofu is 132 calories. 200 g of cooked lentils is 232 calories (and I don't know how the volume compares).

 

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#7 Old 07-01-2013, 06:56 AM
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If tofu is causing digestive stress it's best not to eat it. I mentioned easy to cook legumes as another option to rice and tofu. Also beans and legumes have a multitude of health benefits and are totally worth the calories when comparing how much nutrition they provide.

It really is not hardto cook beans. Cook them in large batches and freeze into portions for even more ease.
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#8 Old 07-01-2013, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by luvourmother View Post

If tofu is causing digestive stress it's best not to eat it. I mentioned easy to cook legumes as another option to rice and tofu. Also beans and legumes have a multitude of health benefits and are totally worth the calories when comparing how much nutrition they provide.

It really is not hardto cook beans. Cook them in large batches and freeze into portions for even more ease.


Well, maybe I'll try. Since I'm still almost in my plateau (maybe a bit lower than my plateau) I hate adding back extra calories. But I can try and cook some legumes. I haven't had any luck with any legumes I've tried so far though: soybeans, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans - they all wreck my digestive system. But I haven't home cooked them. I buy the cooked already, canned in or vacuum packs, mainly for adding to salads.

 

I suspect for the same portion size of tofu or rice the calories are probably at least as high as rice.

 

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#9 Old 07-01-2013, 07:22 AM
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Kidney, soy and chickpeas tend to be harder on the digestive system, especially kidney beans. It has to do with higher levels of phytic acid and sugars.

100 grams of cooked lentils ( about 1/2 cup) is 114 calories, 9 grams protein, 19 grams carbs, 8 grams fiber, less than 1 gram fat, provides folate, calcium, iron, phosphate, and vit b6 to name a few.
So pretty much not comparable to white rice at all.
How many grams or cups of rice are you measuring as a serving?
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#10 Old 07-01-2013, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by luvourmother View Post

Kidney, soy and chickpeas tend to be harder on the digestive system, especially kidney beans. It has to do with higher levels of phytic acid and sugars.

100 grams of cooked lentils ( about 1/2 cup) is 114 calories, 9 grams protein, 19 grams carbs, 8 grams fiber, less than 1 gram fat, provides folate, calcium, iron, phosphate, and vit b6 to name a few.
So pretty much not comparable to white rice at all.
How many grams or cups of rice are you measuring as a serving?

 

100 grams doesn't seem like much, if you are making it a daily staple of your meals. 100 grams of cooked white rice is 130 calories. So the caloric difference is just 16 calories. Still, for rice anyway, that is a teeny tiny portion. More of a side dish than a main course.

 

One reason I initially switched from brown rice to white rice was because the brown rice (though it tastes better) has too much fiber and my digestive system just could not adjust. When I switched to white rice at least my digestive system settled down. But I couldn't lose more weight, and became lethargic. It sounds like lentils have even more fiber. I know people say fiber is "healthy" - but too much is too much for me.

 

Anyway, 1/2 cup of something is not a main dish. I'm thinking about my "main staple" food. Previously it was rice (like for most people in Japan) and I'm trying to switch out to something else now. I'm going to give tofu another week to see if my body adjusts. But I'm on the lookout for other ideas - not for small side dishes, but for main staple foods.

 

Thanks.

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#11 Old 07-01-2013, 07:44 AM
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You can certainly eat more than 100 grams of lentils, I just used that amount to compare bc that is considered a serving size of lentils. Also I'm not talking about just eating lentils as a meal, put them on top of rice or in a soup with veggies and potatoes or mixed into a cold pasta salad etc.

Lentils and beans are definitely a main staple food in a vegan diet. I cook and eat at least 3 lbs of beans/legumes a week.

Good luck with your diet, keep an open mind about new foods and don't be lazy in the kitchen wink3.gif
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#12 Old 07-01-2013, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by luvourmother View Post

You can certainly eat more than 100 grams of lentils, I just used that amount to compare bc that is considered a serving size of lentils. Also I'm not talking about just eating lentils as a meal, put them on top of rice or in a soup with veggies and potatoes or mixed into a cold pasta salad etc.

Lentils and beans are definitely a main staple food in a vegan diet. I cook and eat at least 3 lbs of beans/legumes a week.

Good luck with your diet, keep an open mind about new foods and don't be lazy in the kitchen wink3.gif

 



Of course then I'm back with the calorie problem and not losing weight. Hmm... I need to come up with a good plan in case my body doesn't adjust to the tofu (which it isn't yet) that still lets me continue to lose weight.

 

Thanks,

 

doug

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#13 Old 07-07-2013, 04:34 PM
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An update on this. Switching from rice to tofu has definitely broken my plateau. After 5 months stuck between 95 and 96 kg, in the last 14 days I've dropped 3.6 kg (8 lb) and my weight yesterday morning was just 91.8 kg.

 

And the ONLY thing I changed was giving up 3 rice servings per day in favor of 3 x 200 g firm tofu servings. Is it just the calories? Or could rice itself also affect metabolism? Do carbs in and of themselves affect weight loss in some way like Atkins and Gary Taubes maintain?

 

My late afternoon lethargy has also disappeared, which is what makes me wonder.

 

As far as digestion, it is still not normal. But maybe it's improving slightly. I can't say for sure. I'll continue for another two weeks and see if it gets better, because this is very good weight-loss-wise and my only complaint is the digestive issues.

 

doug

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#14 Old 07-07-2013, 05:17 PM
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yeah, sometimes switching from low-fat, high-carb foods to higher fat and lower carbs seems to break a plateau.

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#15 Old 07-07-2013, 05:22 PM
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yeah, sometimes switching from low-fat, high-carb foods to higher fat and lower carbs seems to break a plateau.


I wonder why. Does that mean there is "something" valid in the Atkins/Taubes theories about the metabolism of how fat gets stored?

 

I'm still eating gobs of carbs. But obviously there has been a sharp drop in the 3 servings of rice to 3 servings of tofu from about 180 carbs to just 15 carbs. But all the other carbs - lots of veggies and fruits, etc. - have remained the same. Maybe there is some critical carb level I exceeded?

 

My whole lifetime of thinking about a calorie-is-a-calorie might have to be revised.

 

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#16 Old 07-07-2013, 05:39 PM
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No, I don't think it's the "carbs" thing - I think it's changing up your routine.  That's what got me over my plateaus when I needed to lose weight. :)

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#17 Old 07-07-2013, 05:54 PM
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No, I don't think it's the "carbs" thing - I think it's changing up your routine.  That's what got me over my plateaus when I needed to lose weight. :)

 

Interesting. But it really was just the slightest of change to my routine. Anyway, we'll see how it goes. I'm just a hair's width away of several major major weight milestones I look forward to reporting when it happens.

 

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#18 Old 07-07-2013, 05:57 PM
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Yay!  :)

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#19 Old 07-10-2013, 06:23 AM
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That's a lot of rice or tofu. How varied is your diet? Instead of following a plan why not eat a wide variety of healthy foods?


I agree with River.  A good program for eating healthy is diversity.  Stick with the whole foods (stay away from the processed stuff) and try to stay away from wheat (go for the other, less destructive grains)  There has to be something in your current diet that's causing the stomach issues.  Maybe it's wheat?  Try adding gluten free grains and see if that helps.  It could also be too much fiber.  Life is about balance.  Don't go nuts on one thing.  Also, brown rice is a better nutritional choice then white.  Just an FYI.

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#20 Old 07-10-2013, 06:55 AM
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I agree with River.  A good program for eating healthy is diversity.  Stick with the whole foods (stay away from the processed stuff) and try to stay away from wheat (go for the other, less destructive grains)  There has to be something in your current diet that's causing the stomach issues.  Maybe it's wheat?  Try adding gluten free grains and see if that helps.  It could also be too much fiber.  Life is about balance.  Don't go nuts on one thing.  Also, brown rice is a better nutritional choice then white.  Just an FYI.

 

I'm not eating wheat. I tried brown rice for about 10 months but could not get used to it digestively, even though it tastes better. So I switched to white rice and my digestive problems completely went away. But then I entered a plateau.

 

Japanese people typically eat 3 servings of rice a day. It's the staple of most people's diets here.

 

I switched to tofu because I was no longer losing weight. Tofu is lower calorie, lower carbs and higher protein than rice.

 

Grains have too many calories. I need to lose more weight.

 

I agree too much fiber could be a problem. Another reason to prefer white rice over brown rice.

 

doug

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