vegan diet & weight

A place to discuss health and fitness, including healthy diets, etc.
Post Reply
alyssumdreams
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2023 10:10 pm

vegan diet & weight

Post by alyssumdreams »

In the spirit of the first precept, I have decided to adopt a vegan diet. It has been great knowing I'm making compassionate choices during the day. However, it has been difficult maintaining my weight. Eating has quickly became a chore. It's such a task now to make sure I'm eating enough.
I'm wondering if anybody else has struggled with this and has any tips?
Thank you in advance!
User avatar
Ayu
Global Moderator
Posts: 13301
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: vegan diet

Post by Ayu »

I refrained from moving this post to The Great Vegan/Vegetarian Debate, because it's a certain practical question that needs to be answered. The mentioned huge thread contains confusingly much information, maybe even the answer to this topic's question, but it will be very difficult to find.

Answers which ignore OP's question here and rather indulge in basic debate are regarded as off topic and will be merged into the Great Vegan/Vegetarian Debate thread.
User avatar
Tao
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:05 am
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Contact:

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Tao »

I dunno, being vegan doesnt meaning eating lettuce all time, it can be delicious for me... anyway being thin is nice to me and for my health :) I'm more or less 60 kgr... (170cm) If you ever came to Barcelona I will recommend some places :)

Image

Anyway going from eating meat to vegan is a great change, maybe you can go gradually: less meat, then only some fish, cheese and eggs only (vegetarian), and then vegan... so it's less hard.

Probably you are gonna loose weight anyway because we're all mostly overfed.
User avatar
Zhen Li
Posts: 2807
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:15 am
Location: Tokyo
Contact:

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Zhen Li »

This is probably more of a question for a nutritionist. I've known strict vegetarians and vegans who are scarily thin, but also some who are clearly enjoying their rice and have Hotei's physique. So, it really depends a lot on your available groceries, your digestive system, and what it needs. I generally gained weight living in a monastery in Taiwan and had to consciously reduce my caloric intake.

Might be a kind of basic question, but after you eat, do you still feel hungry? Your natural weight may just not need to be so heavy.
Bristollad
Posts: 1158
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:39 am

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Bristollad »

Are you restricting your diet in other ways, too? It may be that you simply aren't eating enough calories. If you are also eating a diet low in fat, you might struggle to meet your daily calorie needs.

Adding whole nuts and seeds (and nut and seed butters) is an easy way to increase your fat intake. You can also use various oils as a salad dressing and for cooking or eat olives or avocado (not a personal favourite, yuck).

Combine those with a good variety of sources of carbs and proteins, and you should be okay.
The antidote—to be free from the suffering of samsara—you need to be free from delusion and karma; you need to be free from ignorance, the root of samsara. So you need to meditate on emptiness. That is what you need. Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Knotty Veneer
Posts: 983
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:50 pm

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Knotty Veneer »

alyssumdreams wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 5:18 am In the spirit of the first precept, I have decided to adopt a vegan diet. It has been great knowing I'm making compassionate choices during the day. However, it has been difficult maintaining my weight. Eating has quickly became a chore. It's such a task now to make sure I'm eating enough.
I'm wondering if anybody else has struggled with this and has any tips?
Thank you in advance!
You will lose weight if you are eating healthily. Most people welcome that. If you do a lot of exercise then you will need to keep your calorie count up as vegan food is generally less calorific. More complex carbs in your diet (whole-wheat bread, pasta, brown rice, steel-cut oats etc) will also add calories. Avoid highly processed vegan foods though they are higher in calories but not good for you.

I'm older so my metabolism is slower and so even on a vegan diet I can put on weight. Check out https://nutritionfacts.org/ for really useful information on eating healthily as a vegan.
This is not the wrong life.
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 17250
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Learn to cook like Thai, Indian, some East Asian cuisines, etc...basically cuisines that are good at creating flavor without meat. It's a skill to be able to do that. If other people prepare your food, IME eating vegan is not particularly healthy, though I guess it would still meet your ethical standard.
Meditate upon Bodhicitta when afflicted by disease

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when sad

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when suffering occurs

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when you are scared

-Khunu Lama
User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 5297
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by DNS »

I've been vegetarian for 40 years and vegan on and off during those 40 years. Currently I'm mostly vegan and have no trouble staying at or above my ideal weight.

It's rare, but I've seen some overweight vegans. They can get overweight by eating too much bread and nuts. Both are vegan and packed with calories, so if you need to add some more weight, that can easily be obtained by eating more bread and nuts in your diet.
Genjo Conan
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:27 pm

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Genjo Conan »

Just to say, bread isn't necessarily vegan. Milk, butter, and eggs will all soften the crumb (think challah, brioche, or a Pullman loaf) and are also often used to brush the crust either before or after baking to create a glossy crust. Honey is often used for flavor and is also a common dough conditioner. Unless you're baking for yourself, you'll have to read the label or ask the bakery.

"Lean" bread like French bread or sourdough is vegan (flour, water, salt, yeast), unless there are mix-ins like cheese or pancetta or something.
User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 5297
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by DNS »

Genjo Conan wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 7:58 pm Just to say, bread isn't necessarily vegan.
Correct, good point; most breads are not vegan but some are, you have to check the labels.
User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 5297
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by DNS »

Speaking about labels, I remember back in the 1970s when I was pre-teen and teen years, I heard that vegetarians wouldn't eat animal crackers and everyone thought they were so extreme and fanatical to not eat them simply because they were shaped like animals. :D

But that wasn't the reason they rejected them. They rejected them because they had lard in them. Later they removed the lard and used butter or margarine or canola oil.
User avatar
Ayu
Global Moderator
Posts: 13301
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Ayu »

I changed the subject line from "vegan diet" to "vegan diet & weight".
User avatar
Ayu
Global Moderator
Posts: 13301
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Ayu »

alyssumdreams wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 5:18 am In the spirit of the first precept, I have decided to adopt a vegan diet. It has been great knowing I'm making compassionate choices during the day. However, it has been difficult maintaining my weight. Eating has quickly became a chore. It's such a task now to make sure I'm eating enough.
I'm wondering if anybody else has struggled with this and has any tips?
Thank you in advance!
Maybe it matters as well which items of your food you combine.

If the meal contains sufficient amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, it will support gaining weight or keeping it. If you seperate these items, it supports losing weight. E. g. rice combined with beans is more heavy and nutricious than those items eaten separatedly. Don't eat only vegetables in one meal, but have noodles, tofu and oil with them.

Also the succession of the items matter. If you eat the sweet items first, the calories will last longer on the hips.

And don't hurry along after eating. Take rest at least 15 minutes. Have a pause in mental and physical work.
User avatar
climb-up
Posts: 1218
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:32 am

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by climb-up »

As a fat vegan I can help you, no problem at all. 😂
(FWIW, I don’t have a population survey or anything, but there are a lot of vegans who are either normal weight or overweight; I think a lot of people just assume they are not vegan though and therefore don’t include them in their mental calculations of what a vegan usually looks like).

11 or 12 years ago I switched to a vegan diet specifically to loose weight. I lost all that I wanted, and kept it off for close to 10 years.
Over the last year and half, due to grief and stress, I lost interest in maintaining my weight and gained a lot. I still eat vegan, I’m active and healthy, but I’m like 90lbs over my ideal weight (I plan on loosing it again, probably, I’m the future, I just don’t really care all that much atm).

The thing is, as vegan diet has caught on there is SO much delicious vegan food that is relatively healthy and also high calorie. If you live next to a Whole Foods, you’re set.
Obviously make sure you eat mostly healthy foods, lots of fruits and veggies. If you’re doing that and need to gain weight add cookies or vegan burgers and sauces and French fries, etc to taste.
"Death's second name is 'omnipresent.' On the relative truth it seems we become separate. But on the absolute there is no separation." Lama Dawa
alyssumdreams
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2023 10:10 pm

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by alyssumdreams »

Incorporating more scrumptious food might do the trick. It’s probably me not understanding some Buddhist principles, but I feel guilty if I eat for pleasure when I’m alone, which has been a lot lately with my work schedule. If social, I don’t mind because it’s also about bonding.
alyssumdreams
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2023 10:10 pm

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by alyssumdreams »

Bristollad wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 10:31 am
Adding whole nuts and seeds (and nut and seed butters) is an easy way to increase your fat intake. You can also use various oils as a salad dressing and for cooking or eat olives or avocado (not a personal favourite, yuck).
I think that’s the problem. I’m just not a hungry person and tend to get full easier. Maybe starting with dense caloric foods in meals and eating fast will enable me to get more food in my body. Thank you for the suggestions!
alyssumdreams
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2023 10:10 pm

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by alyssumdreams »

Zhen Li wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 9:13 am This is probably more of a question for a nutritionist.
(…)
Might be a kind of basic question, but after you eat, do you still feel hungry? Your natural weight may just not need to be so heavy.
I’ve been to a nutritionist before. I just struggle with appetite. They told me to eat non-discriminatory, not to worry about what it is. Since being vegan it’s just been tougher without the animal fat to fall back on. But like someone else pointed out there’s some foods I haven’t been considering (like nut butters).
And you do have a point about natural weight. Maybe I’m too fixed on BMI and not focusing enough on my individual health, what I feel good at.
Bristollad
Posts: 1158
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:39 am

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by Bristollad »

alyssumdreams wrote: Sun May 05, 2024 2:43 am Incorporating more scrumptious food might do the trick. It’s probably me not understanding some Buddhist principles, but I feel guilty if I eat for pleasure when I’m alone, which has been a lot lately with my work schedule. If social, I don’t mind because it’s also about bonding.
Monastics are asked to treat food as medicine—it's necessary to stay healthy so we can help others and practise. The thing is, we generally don't feel medicine has to taste nasty to be effective; in fact, we prefer it when it's not because it's easier to take. And we know that not taking or taking too much medicine will simply make us ill. It's just a mundane part of daily life, like brushing our teeth or washing our clothes: nothing special, but not to be ignored.

Maybe this perspective would help with that guilty feeling.
The antidote—to be free from the suffering of samsara—you need to be free from delusion and karma; you need to be free from ignorance, the root of samsara. So you need to meditate on emptiness. That is what you need. Lama Zopa Rinpoche
User avatar
KathyLauren
Posts: 968
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:22 pm
Location: East Coast of Canada
Contact:

Re: vegan diet & weight

Post by KathyLauren »

I have been vegan for more than 30 years. My problem is that I gain weight too easily. I control my weight with portion control. If I notice my clothes fitting more tightly, I eat smaller portions for a while.

It seems that the OP's issue is that they lose weight. Perhaps consult a nutritionist to ensure that you are getting a balanced diet. If you are, then just eat a bit more to keep your weight at the desired level. It is okay to indulge in an occasional treat: I am a chocoholic (vegan dark chocolate, of course), and my indulgence probably has something to do with my not losing weight.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy
Post Reply

Return to “Wellness, Diet and Fitness”