Anybody tried going vegan?

rivkadrApril 20, 2009

For the past few years, I've struggled off and on with trying to lose the same 10 - 15 pounds. I'd lose a little bit sometimes, and then just gain it right back because I'd have a hard time sticking to the super strict diet that was the only way for me to lose weight.

I've been vegetarian for years now, with too much reliance on dairy products, which I suspect is why I've always had a hard time losing the weight. So two weeks ago, I decided to go completely vegan -- that means absolutely no animal products at all (no meat, no fish, no dairy, not even honey). Basically, my theory was, vegans are always pretty skinny, and there's got to be a good reason for that ;) I also read the Skinny B!tch book, which helped bolster my resolve.

In the first week, I lost 3.5 pounds -- yay! So I figured, okay, some of that's got to be water weight. The next week, another 2.5 pounds. I'm very happy with my weight loss so far, and I hope it continues. Even my husband lost a couple of pounds!

I'll be frank, going vegan is a little tough, if you're used to a lot of meat and dairy. There are substitutes out there, but I wouldn't rely on them too much because they're overly processed, and probably not too good for you. The nice thing is, I haven't really even had to watch my calories super closely, and I still get to snack on some yummy things. Here's what we've had the past couple of weeks:

- Black beans, tomatoes, corn, and rice, with homemade corn bread

- tomatoes and green beans over pasta

- broccoli in peanut butter sauce, over noodles

- stuffed green peppers

- channa masala

- roasted vegetable burritos

For snacks, I rely on peanuts or fruit during the day, and popcorn or these yummies in the evening.

I just want to throw this out there as an idea for anyone who is looking to lose weight, and is interested in trying something different. I'd be happy to share ideas and what's worked for me so far -- I'm no expert, though! I'm also not planning on doing this long term, as I don't think being vegan for more than a few months would be particularly enjoyable (it's palatable, but not you know, great), but so far for me, it's been a good way to lose weight.

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I'm kind of curious about your plan to keep the weight off, if as you say, you don't plan to stay on the diet long term. Isn't that a setup for the classic yo-yo diet where the weight comes back after you return to your regular way of eating?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:56PM
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I plan to implement vegan cooking on a more regular basis; maybe have it make up 25-50% of my evening meals. As a vegetarian, that won't seem like much of a change to me. Not having the ability to ever have certain items again like cheese or yogurt or ice cream is what would keep me from being vegan permanently.

I generally don't have issues maintaining my weight once I reach a certain goal, so long as I'm smart about what I eat. I have other issues when it comes to weight gain -- eating a lot of junk that I know I shouldn't, full of sugar, etc. If I can refrain from doing that, I don't gain weight. But once I do put the weight on, by being a stupid-head and binging on candy and junk food, it's very hard for me to get off. So far, this diet is the only thing that's worked for me :) If I do manage to get it off, I'm gonna be sugar for me from now on!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:21PM
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Have you tried more exercise? I'd ditch the sugar before the dairy. Going vegan long term is not healthy, IMO.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:41PM
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Uh, I believe I mentioned in my original post that I wasn't planning on going vegan long-term. And, sorry, not to be rude, but you're displaying a common misconception. There's nothing fundamentally unhealthy about being vegan, so long as you eat a proper mix of carbs, proteins, etc., and take a multivitamin to get your B12.

I exercise every day. In past diets I have ditched sugar, and gotten nowhere. Thank you for your input.

If you're not interested in going vegan, that's your choice, but I started this thread to discuss this diet with other people who might be interested. There are tons of other people who discuss other "interesting" or non-mainstream diets in this forum -- why is it the vegan one that gets picked to shreds, hmm?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:13PM
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I'm sorry. I don't think I "picked you to shreds". I'm sorry if my response was a little abrupt but I didn't have much time at that moment. I just asked a question and gave my opinion. And while you said you didn't want to be rude I do think your tone is rather rude.

Personally, I'm pretty much a vegetarian and have been vegan in the past. It is difficult to maintain and in my experience is not a sustainable diet (in the sense of diet being daily intake of food, not diet to lose weight). I've not gone vegan to lose weight, so I don't know, although the lack of fats would probably be effective in that way.

Since you said that eating junk and sugar is what made you put on weight in the past, I said that getting rid of the sugar would be my suggestion rather than the eggs and dairy. I am of the opinion that eggs and dairy are good for a person (barring allergy issues) and should be incorporated in a healthy diet.

When I started to diet I cut out a majority of meat, eggs, cheese, etc. but I have not gone vegan in many years. Most of the people I know who have been, or are, vegans are not the healthiest bunch and I don't think it is a good idea long term, as I have said. As for becoming vegan to lose weight I think it is more sustainable to reduce those foods rather than omit them. But that's just my opinion.

I'd like to discuss veganism, but do not want to go vegan. Am I still welcome here, or are you only interested in speaking with those who wish to go vegan?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:21PM
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