18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Weighty Issue

For most of us, it's hard to keep the pounds from creeping on.

When I underwent my transformation from lacto-ovo vegetarian to vegan, I swore I'd lose weight. No more cookies and brownies from the drug reps. No more ice cream. No more fatty cheese and eggs. It would be easy, the pounds would melt off.

I was so wrong. My weight stayed about the same, which I think is a testament to how much good vegan food is out there. Also, I quickly found vegan ice cream, cookies, brownies, and all that junk food that I love.

Regardless of your diet, weight depends on two things: calories in and calories out. In other words, how much you eat and how much energy you expend. It seems simple, but in practice it is not.

Granted, I'm not a stick, but I've maintained a consistent weight for the past ten years. Here are a few important factors to keeping the pounds from piling on.
1) Be happy. Healthful choices are more appealing when you feel good about yourself. Conversely, stress and sadness predispose to poor eating choices.
2) Don't keep junk food in the house. I no longer keep Fig Newmans in my cabinets, because I am adept at eating them by the stack.
3) Stay active. When bored, it's easy to snack.
4) Exercise regularly. Make it an every day habit, so that the days that you don't exercise are the exception.
5) Weigh in daily. I know some people will disagree, but I've found that it's a quick way to see that the pounds are creeping on after a few days of slacking.
6) Eat foods that are closest to their natural form, and fewer processed foods.

Any other suggestions or tips? As you can see, with my upcoming move I'm not doing a lot of cooking.


funwithyourfood said...

Not a lot of cooking eh? I suggest finding a veg friendly store that has a good deli.. I mean if you're lucky enough to have one around they're great

oh and i've seen you're pics. you're in great shape missy!

btw My first EVER MwM is up!

Cindy said...

I think the most important thing in your post is that it doesn't matter what type of dietary guideline you follow, if your calories in are more than your calories out, you will gain weight, period. Healthy eating and exercise are the only ways to go. No short cuts.

KleoPatra said...

Those are great suggestions, VeganDoc.

I tend to snack quite a bit throughout the day vs. eating big meals (one of the reasons I don't post much about my eating habits on my blog; i don't do major breakfasts, lunches or dinners). "Grazing," i think it's called.

I never weigh myself unless I have to at my doc's, but that's just my "thing" and I think it's a good idea for some peeps, just not moi. I'm weird. I more or less can tell what's goin' on by the way my clothes fit (or don't fit!).

Truthfully though, I have weighed about the same in pounds for about 20 years now... I'm 40 (heavens! where did THAT number come from? Oy, did i mistype? Unfortunately, no. i am not a spring faque chik'n anymore) and basically i owe the weight comfort zone to a dedication to exercising daily (some cardio, some core training work).

This is a very good and important post, VeganDoc. I think more on it would be great since you are in a profession that is so embedded in good health for long life! G-d bless doctors!!!

Ferocious Killer Kat said...

I've weighed about the same in past 3 years.. though in past 8 months or so I haven't exercised AT ALL.. like the only exercise I get is walk to the busstop.. thats it! and i have been overeating like crazy.. still havent gained weight at all.. mebbe its the vegan food.. and actually my cholesterol improved surprisingly during this non exercise period.. which seems somewhat shocking.. but I've been so much inspired after looking on all the blogs and how much ppl are doing.. and so I'm gonna start biking soon :-)

Anonymous said...

My husband and I both lost weight when I had to cut wheat and gluten out of my diet. I think bread is a problem for lots of us. I basically can't eat anything packaged because of my food allergies and it is amazing the difference it makes. I have benefitted from having healthier grains like brown rice and quinoa vs. all that wheat. Adding more vegetables also means you get full and can't fit in all the carbs.

Great topic... so true that vegan does not necessarily mean weight loss!

lisa said...

Other suggestions? I think you've covered most of it: Pay attention to what you're eating, and exercise more. Of course, the important thing I learned when I really set my mind to losing weight was that exercise doesn't have to mean "working out" in the sense of going to the gym. I hate working out--but I love walking to do my errands. Which, once you've done said errands, turns into walking with weights. :-D City living is great for that--it's exercise, but it's SNEAKY exercise. I think you're going to be very happy with your upcoming move. :-)

Princess Brat said...

You have some good points about weight issues. I agree with everything except the daily weighing. I don't even know what I weigh, I have a bonus sister she knows it, but she won't tell me. But I can feel on my clothes and such that I'm losing.
But I still have to much of an eating disorder and no matter what, as long I can't get the scale to show negatives I won't be happy.
Hi, I found your blog by searching since I'm in the process of becoming vegan myself. I avoid calling myself vegan yet though.

herself75 said...

I think avoiding the processed & fast foods is VERY important not only b/c of the calorie content but it is LOADED with soidum, preservativesand other crap that isnt' good for ANYONE!

another BIG thing is moderation & portion control!

Intersting thing with the "diet" I'm on is the emphasis on whole natural healthy foods! Being that I'm PG, I'm SUPPOSED to gain weight (probably a lot since it looks like we're on track for another 10#er! but I don't look at the scale) BUT b/c it is HEALTHY food, I shouldn't have a hard time getting it off later.. of course burning a good 500 calories/day making milk wont hurt!

kaivegan said...

There's some good advice from the Doc.

I don't weigh myself everyday, but that's one thing I usually do when I first go to the bathroom in the morning. I got rid of 30 some pounds from the last pregnancy and eating junk, and switching to a healthier diet, so I couldn't help it. It's a nice reminder, if I say so myself.

Urban Vegan said...

these are great. love your blog.

weight's never been an issue for me (don't hate me) but I would add one tip:

Don't forget to ENJOY your food.

Anonymous said...

I think it's really important to find an activity that you really enjoy. If you hate your exercise form, you're probably not going to stick with it. But, if you love what you're doing, you'll stick with it. It seems obvious, but I know so many people that hate their workouts, but get stuck in one rut and don't try new things.

t. said...

I think this is a great post, especially since it challenges the misconception vegans are all rake thin. Your entry and all these replies show that is fat from true: we vegans may not be overweight usually, but we do have weight control issues as well and that is pretty important for people to know... I often hear people turning veggie and then vegan just to loose weight: wrong move!