Hi! I'm sooooo confused. This May, I went on a 30 day vegetarian challenge that lasted about 45 days. At the time, exercise was not a part of my routine and I gained 2lbs. On July 5th I took PETA's 30 day challenge (Jazzercising 3-4 days per week.) The result, is a gain of 4lbs for a total of 6lbs since May. I'm drinking about 7 glasses of water daily on a regular basis, not to include the water in the multitude of vegetables I eat daily. I have 1-2 sweet snacks per week (vegan) and about 1-2 pieces of bread per week. I didn't initially start the vegetarian/vegan diet to lose weight, though it would have been nice. I'm concerned that if I keep going, the gains will continue and I'm getting married this December. This week, I started charting calories, sugars, carbs, protein, and fiber daily to make sure I'm not accidentally over doing things. A few days I was under calories on exercise days but only by 100-200. It's getting really frustrating and I don't want to quit, but not sure what to do because I don't want to keep gaining. Any help would be awesome!
First, good for you for going vegan :) Don't give up and don't get discouraged - it's easy to do sometimes when you're not getting the results you expected.
What types of foods are you eating? My first recommendation would be to stay away from processed foods. "vegan" does not always = healthy. Try sticking to WHOLE foods, real foods - less processed. I'm a raw Vegan, so obviously that would be my next recommendation - eat more raw foods. You don't have to go 100% but go as high as you're comfortable with and I really think you'll notice a difference.
When you say you're gaining weight, how much have you gained? It's possible that if you're working out, you could be gaining muscle mass, which weighs more than fat.
I second November Blue's post about avoiding processed foods. I am not a raw vegan, but my diet consists of mostly veggie-based dishes with brown rice, quinoa, etc. Stay away from white rice and pasta. My husband followed Dr. John McDougall's weight loss cookbook/plan which is vegan and he lost lots of weight without exercise (though both would have been nice!) Dr. McDougall advocates eating 1/4 grain and 3/4 vegetables for meals for ultimate weight loss. He cuts out sugar too of course. Also, my husband would eat a green salad with fatfree dressing or raw veggies before lunch and dinner to fill up a bit on that before. PETA's 30 day vegan challenge and some of the others focus on a lot of mock meats and things to make the transition easier for some people. It is not necessarily the healthiest vegan diet. Good luck!
You should actually be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, and more if you want to lose weight. If you're trying to lose weight, you should aim for one ounce of water for every two pounds you currently weigh - it'll help fill you up & flush out your system.
You might want to look into seeing a naturopath or nutritionist (that's vegan-friendly) to go over your diet. It might be something you won't notice on your own, like a lack of certain minerals or vitamins, which could be fixed by remembering to eat more of a certain type of vegetable. I'm wondering if you're eating a lot of starch - an anti-inflammatory diet (which just has you eat only alkalin foods for a few weeks - it's a really easy diet, you probably won't have any trouble) would help balance you out & start shedding that weight, but I wouldn't advise it without supervision or a lot of research!
I know you didn't say you were eating a lot of "mock meats" or soy-replacements, but if you are I'd suggest treating those the same way you treat bread. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. I have been eating black bean patties and soy meats. I will take those out for a while and exchange them for more raw foods. I will also try increasing the amount of water I'm drinking. I might try that for a few weeks and see if I notice any changes. If not, maybe the nutritionist could be a next step.
On a positive note, I feel GREAT and am full of energy since going vegan. I'll give it another month or two. :)
That's awesome that you're feeling so good! Have you heard of the "Skinny Bitch" books? They have a cookbook called "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch" I know the title is ridiculous but the recipes are really yummy & filling, and all vegan! It's pretty cheap, it's a little paperback book.
If you're looking for a burger substitute you can try sunshine burgers or Amy's sonoma burgers. Sunshine burgers are rice based I believe and Amy's are nut and quinoa based. I've cut out most of the fake meats because they're just so processed and most contain gluten and I went gluten free earlier this summer.
A big problem I used to have was the constant snacking, even thoughI net caloric requirement or less, I was eating and gaining all the time, too much sodiums a big one also. It will retain water and therfor you'll feel way more bloated. Maybe try to spice things up abit? I dont know what your eating but try cinnomin with the morning stuff, some heat with black pepper, ginger, cayenne and garlic? Also use alot of herbs, they flvor things up and make them sooo much more satisfying. When your satisfied with your food, you'll eat less and lose weight naturally. Deep breatheing and/or yoga really help too.
All in all just listen to your body because everyone is diffrent.
I hope my advice has helped, or will help. =) Best wishes!!!
The more vegetables,beans and literal whole grains you eat,the better.Quinoa,brown and black rice,millet,garbanzo beans,azuki beans,any bean really,they all fill you up and you are less inclined to reach for that cookie or muffin.Have a fiberous fruit for a snack,such as a plum or some dried figs.Or make a protein smoothie.
I have low blood sugar,so I have a reason to have afternoon snacks.I try to have healthy things,such as quinoa and dried fruit.Once both your schedule and your body get used to it,you'll see how simple it is.