Vegan Weight: Losers, gainers, and maintainers

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modest me
lavendersparkle wrote in vegan_weight
I'm 25, I've been vegan for nearly nine years and I'm trying to lose some weight. At the moment I'm about 7 pounds into the overweight bit of the height weight chart. I'd like to lose a stone or two. I think part of my problem is that I've always had an approach that you can't get fat on a vegan diet. This attitude hasn't taken into account my love of chips, vegan ice cream, vegan cake baking, roast veg and mashed potato mountains. Don't get me wrong, I have a pretty healthy diet in terms of eating lots of fresh veg and whole foods and very little processed stuff, but that can still be calorific.

When I first became vegan I lost about a stone and almost became underweight. I've gradually gained weight over the years but I think I've put on quite a bit of weight since I got married last year and started baking more and eating bigger portions.

I think part of my problem with losing weight is that I don't know the calorific value of most of the food I eat. I make most of my food from raw ingredients, I even bake my own bread. The veg I buy rarely has nutritional values on it. I'm also not quite sure whether I can work out the calorific value by just adding up the value of the ingredients or whether some of the calories get lost in the cooking process. At the moment I mainly working on cutting out obviously high calorie foods (cake, ice cream, less oil on salads) and reducing the size of my portions of carbs. I'm also writing a food diary and trying to work out some of the calorie values when I can.

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Hi Lavendersparkle,

I completely empathize with your post. I know so many people just equate vegan with ridiculously skinny (case in point, favorite vegan joke: Q: What do you call a fat vegan? A: A LIAR!)...but that's not true. Nuts and oils are fatty, and with the widespread availability of vegan convenience food (tofutti cream chese at walmart), a vegan who doesn't watch what he/she eats can easily become overweight! And I think that makes it even worse because people expect it to be easy to be skinny if you're vegan...but honestly, it takes work no matter what!

I'm guilty of eating a lot of packaged food just because it's easy to know how many calories are in it. However, it's also not too hard to add up the calories in things you make from scratch. I do just what you asked about when baking: add up all the ingredients and divide by the servings. Once you know how many calories a serving of your favorite thing has, you can just kind of eyeball it. Also, for things like fresh bakery bread, I find it helpful to have a food scale (actually, I use my food scale for everything). I have figured that an ounce of fresh bakery bread (28 g.) has about 70-80 calories and a tablespoon of homemade jam (18 g.) has about 50 calories. For these values, I have gleaned info from various websites (,, by searching things like "sesame bread" or "artisan bread" or whatever. They can give you a rough idea at least. Calorie counting can be a pain in the bum, but I think it really helps. I find it valuable to know just what I'm putting into my body.

Well, sorry for writing a novel. I hope to hear more about your journey... I'm totally with you about eating more after marriage, too. Ugh, it's hard work!

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