Vegan Weight: Losers, gainers, and maintainers

Intro post
modest me
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.

Hi everyone. I'm new to this group. I'm not vegan yet but I'm trying. I've been pretty much vegetarian (off and on) for several years. But I've had trouble kicking the dairy and eggs. But I'm working on it. I know how much healthier I'll be if I can just stick with it. I'm also trying to lose weight. My biggest problem is I'm not much of a cook, so I usually end up with spagetti (which I end up eating too much of), or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I need to figure out some quick easy meals I can make that aren't loaded with carbs. Suggestions? And how do you cook tofu so it tastes good? I like it when other people make it, or if I get it at a restaurant, but the thought of actually cooking it myself is very daunting to me. I'm afraid I'm gonna screw it up and be disappointed. haha!

Story time
your face
I thought this might be a good time to share "my story," and if others want to share theirs, too, all the better!

On New Years, 2008, I realized I was staring down the barrel of my 25th birthday.  To me, this was a milestone - a quarter-century and the end of my carefree youth.  I also realized that I had been flabby, unhealthy, and slightly overweight (more or less) for my whole life, and if I was ever going to change it, it needed to happen NOW, before my metabolism started to slowly die.

So in March of 2008, I vowed to get happy with my body.  I started counting calories, which was a real eye-opener.  I also started working out (really sweating) 5-6 days a week, and with hard work, I started to see a real change.  By early summer, it was clear that I was really doing it - getting healthy FINALLY.  So I took the plunge and committed to two other things that I was too scared to try before.  In August, I became vegan and I took up running.  By the end of that month, and my birthday, I had met my goal weight...and almost 9 months later, I'm still maintaining, still running, and still vegan!  WOO HOO!

I've hit a few roadblocks (don't get me started on the digestive havok that is possibly when you combine veganism and running!), but I'm in it for the long haul.  Maintaining has been hard...I've actually lost maybe 5 pounds since August, and sometimes I worry that I'm too thin or that my body fat is too low.  For the most part, though, I feel strong and healthy, and I'm happier with my body that I ever have been.

I would love to discuss body issues after weight loss...I've gotten a really boyish figure now, and I personally love it.  While I know that I am no longer the ideal picture of feminine beauty, I am what I consider to be beautiful, and for the first time in my life, I'm actually NOT desperate for the approval and interest of men.  Now that I'M happy with me, I could care less what they think!  I would love to talk to others about the psychology involved in weight loss - how we see ourselves, etc.  Also, the physical changes...I find that there are certain things, like ways that I sit, that I can do now that I could not do before and others things that I can no longer do or are now uncomfortable.

I also want to disclose that I am NOT a clean-eater.  This is something I'd like to work on in the future, but right now it just isn't important enough to me.  I love convenience food, (who can say no to kashi frozen dinners??) and I still crave my "diet" foods - like weight-watchers bagels and PB2...oh, and the dreaded DIET SODA!  Nutrition *is* important to me - I'm always careful to get enough protein and I try to get enough fat.  I would love to discuss food...but let it be known that I'm not all quinoa and walnuts...I just don't have the patience for that at every meal.

I also love to exercise - like I said, I'm a newbie runner, but I lost most of my weight by doing workout videos!  I still do them at least a couple days a week.  I also love doing group fitness classes at the gym and horsing around in the pool (I'm a crummy swimmer, but I still enjoy it).  I'm moving soon, and when I do, I get to pick a new gym.  I'm toying with the idea of taking up mixed martial arts or focusing more on weight lifting in order to tone up more.  I would love to talk fitness with anyone!

So, anyone else out there want to share their story?

your face
Hey all-

Just made this community in response to a discussion on cheapvegan.  I think there is a real need for a forum to discuss weight issues for vegans because weight watchers tend to dismiss a vegan lifestyle and vegans tend to be sensitive about the subject of weight.  So here is a place to let it all flow freely.

So what are your issues?  Having a hard time finding protein supplements without whey?  (Been there!!)  Pissed off because all the diet foods have animal products? (Seriously, why do tofutti slices have more than twice the calories of kraft singles??)  Having a hard time eating enough fats?  (How many avocados and walnuts can a vegan eat?!)  Let's hear it!


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