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Hello again all,<br><br>
I am very much new on here, and have been VERY impressed by the vibe that this forum has. Most internet forums are places where all nuance loses out, and the most extreme shout the loudest....with this all said, I do have a practical question.<br><br>
I am a vegetarian of five months now, having gone my first 25 years as an omni. Since I have started early this year, I have lost 25 lbs. I do not mean to sound improper, but let us just say that it wasn't all fat. I have been an avid workout fanatic my whole life, and do triathlons competitively. I expected, with such a drastic diet change, to get the constant upset stomachs, fatigue, etc, when I switched. I have had no issues with any of this....it's the weight, or muscle definition loss, that is putting me off.<br><br>
I am aware of several big name athletes that are vegs. I was considering a move to veganism, and right now the muscle issue is about the only thing holding me back. I don't know how I will keep enough calories and protein in my diet, with the workouts and goals I have, after taking out dairy and cheese. I have even resorted to MRE's to keep weight on. (For those that haven't tried them, they are about 2000 cals, and taste pretty much like canned pasta.) How do I keep my weight up? How do I keep the physique I worked so hard those years to attain?<br><br>
Any good sites for high cal, protein, recipes? Any secrets out there? I would love to move to no meat or biproducts, but I can't handle the definition loss that would be requisite with. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Hiya and welcome! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sheep.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sheep:"><br><br>
Unless you're in a third world country or not eating, there is no way you can not be getting enough protein, even as a fitness buff. There's protein in just about everything, and there are also animal-free protein powders out there, like pea, rice and hemp. If you're eating actual meals, you should have no problem.<br>
Beans/legumes, nuts, tofu, tempeh, seeds, seitan, spinach, TVP, etc. have a lot of protein per serving, not to mention tons of other vegetables, fruit, etc. For calories, there's pasta, potatoes/other starches, any fatty foods like nuts, nut butters, avocado, oils, etc. I also found out that nutmeg has 525 calores per 100 grams. So, if you like nutmeg... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hungry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hungry:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br>
If you eat a whole lot of different things you should be A-OK.<br>
It is also a myth that you can't keep up muscle or weight as a vegan. Here is <a href="http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/" target="_blank">this</a> and <a href="http://veganfitness.net//" target="_blank">this</a> as just a bit of evidence. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> (and both have recipes)<br><br>
Edit: And <a href="http://www.soystache.com/sources_of_protein.htm" target="_blank">here is a list</a> comparing some animal proteins to plan proteins. They are each per 100g (3.53oz) serving. Even if your daily protein intake is around 200, you'd be hard pressed not to get that purely from plants. If you eat about 4 cups of soybeans, for example, you'd ring in over 100g.
 

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Check out veganbodybuilding.com for high-protein ideas. If you're actively building/training, your protein needs are gonna be higher, and you might want to look into supplementing with protein shakes.
 

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Muscles synthesize fats and proteins most efficiently when your body is in a state of ketosis. If you don't have weight problems, which you obviously don't, then you probably don't need to go to the extremes of carb elimination. But most of the obvious ways to increase your overall calories as a vegetarian will cause you to inadvertently increase your intake of refined carbohydrates. This reduces the amount of time you spend in this ketosis state to when you are sleeping, making it very difficult to maintain muscle mass regardless of how much protein you eat.<br><br>
If you want to eat more, eat high fat items like coconut and nuts. I don't believe in miracle foods, but coconuts are close. Don't be afraid of saturated fats, they are not as bad as modern flawed science would have you believe.<br><br>
Trans fats, on the other hand, are a different story. Not a good way to get your calories, and MRE's contain large amounts of both trans fats and refined carbohydrates. Unless you're in the military and have no choice but to eat them on occasion, avoid them like the plague. Best case, they do absolutely nothing to help you maintain muscle mass. Worst case, they make you fat.
 

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I was going to point out that vegan bodybuilding site, but the link is already up there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
Now, I'm not a trim person at all, but I applaud you a lot! There's nothing cooler than being vegan/vegetarian and chubby/tall/muscled to stifle any exclamations of "vegans are thin and sickly" at once. Nobody dares say that to 6ft-tall me :p And I doubt they'll say it to you either.
 

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It's not necessarily true that it's impossible to be protein deficient, especially if you're a highly active person. Just try eating more protein-dense foods (legumes, tofu/tempeh, seitan, mock meats), and track your calories against your amount of activity to make sure you're eating enough. Obviously, vegetarian foods tend to be lower in calories, so you'll need to eat more in general to compensate.
 

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Avocados.....fats without the saturated ones, high in protein.<br><br>
Before I start shooting off recipes, how much interest/time do you have to cook?<br><br>
Chili with TVP, lentil loaf (like meatloaf without the obvious), walnut burgers, peanut and almond butters.<br><br>
If you do not have one, invest in a excellent quality blender that can juice too. Smoothies have been one of my staples for years and a quick easy way to add proteins.<br><br>
You CAN do this. I am 50 a fifty-year-old woman and still get compliments/questions almost daily about how cut/fit I am. It was only after becoming a vegetarian that I became this way.
 
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