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Thread: Not needing weight loss - freaking out

  1. #1
    vtveg
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    Unhappy Not needing weight loss - freaking out

    I am new to the forum and new to veganism since August 4th. I have many concerns (in combination with anxiety, hypocondriac (not sure if that's how you spell it), and obsessive mental tendancies);

    I am petite (always have been) - 5 ft. 1 in. and 107 lbs. I was a steady 110 before going vegan but have since lost 3 lbs. I've been steady at 107 lbs. for at least a couple of weeks. I'm extremely worried because I can't and don't want to lose any more weight. I would look skeletal if I lost much more. I am usually very active, though I haven't been much since having shoulder surgery in April. Otherwise normally I would be out rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, very often.

    How can I rest assured that I won't continue to lose weight? I'm also freaking out right now about not getting what I need from this diet - iron, zinc, protein, calcium, etc.......I'm no doctor so I can't measure these levels in my body and I want this change to be a healthy and benefitical one (for myself, environment, and animals) but am worried about doing more harm than good to my body. I drink soy milk everday and usually have soy yogurt for my morning snack. Tofu a couple times a week and sometimes a soy protein shake in the afternoon. I'm also concerned with this - too much soy. I've read that there hasn't been enough studies to really say how much soy is too much but enough is known about it to say that it affects hormone levels and can lead to the increase in breast cancer risk if consumed too much for too long. Since soy is usually a large part of the vegan diet, how does one adjust to such a need and concern for?

    For a few weeks I was fine, feeling food mentally and physically, then it hit me "do I really know what I'm getting myself into? am I hurting myself by switching to this diet? how will I know if I'm doing good or bad by it?"....now I"m in 'freak out' mode which is getting to the point where it's hard for me to eat at all because my anxiety level is so high (which always decreases my appetite).

    Any suggestions, advice, etc. would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not needing weight loss - freaking out

    Hello vtveg! Don't freak out, there are loads of us here who have been vegan for ages and are thriving on it, and weight loss is the least of some of our worries I think a lot of people lose weight when they first go vegan, but then regain it when they find out what a lot of things vegans have to eat.

    Try having a look around the forum and you should get some reassurance. There are some threads about gaining weight, e.g. http://www.veganforum.com/forums/sho...ning+weight%22 and some about soy(a) e.g. http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=626

    ETA there's information about getting the nutrients you need here:
    http://www.vegansociety.com/food/nutrition/
    and also on the forum.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Not needing weight loss - freaking out

    Hi vtveg!! Firstly, stay calm!!! Trust me, if you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet, you shouldn't lose weight, or at least your body should settle into its ideal weight.

    Remember soy isn't the only source of protein; it's contained in many veggies, so try to get as big a variety as you can, the more colourful the better! Although having said that, cauliflower is high in Vit C, so just vary your veggies as much as possible. Leafy greens are especially good for you, and are rich in iron, with the exception of spinach. Not saying don't eat it, just that there are other, better sources of iron.

    Legumes!!! Chick peas, lentils, cannellini beans, kidney beans, and they can be eaten lots of different ways - soups, pates, stews.

    There are also grains - rice, pasta, cous cous, barley, to name just some.

    Remember too that there are other "milks" instead of soy - rice milk, oat milk and almond milk are just some.

    Harpy gave you some great links above, so be sure you read up on the nutritional aspect of veganism, but as long as you vary your fruit and veggies, grains and legumes (also tofu and seitan) you won't go wrong. Have a look at the recipes on this site and on sites such as Vegweb, and you'll see how easy and delicious veganism can be.

    Welcome to the forum

  4. #4
    CurrantCottage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not needing weight loss - freaking out

    I'm struggling to lose weight now I'm vegan - I love baking cakes, biscuits and flapjack too much - and eating them obviously!

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    Default Re: Not needing weight loss - freaking out

    ^ Ditto!!!

    ETA: I just guzzled half of a big bar of carob.... mmm!!!

  6. #6
    CurrantCottage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not needing weight loss - freaking out

    Quote fiamma View Post
    ^ Ditto!!!

    ETA: I just guzzled half of a big bar of carob.... mmm!!!
    Dont - I just made some fruit cup cakes - unfortunately they were very more'ish ... especially in their raw state!!!! What makes it even worse is I wouldnt allow my children to lick the bowl out and sent them outside ... and then I did!!

  7. #7
    vtveg
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    Default feeling spacey and/or depleated?

    So I just had a co-worker comment on my lunch, "is that all you're eatng?"; I was eating a small portion of cous-cous and a small portion of grilled zuchinni. Before that I had eaten a small mixed green salad w/sprouts, tomatoes, walnuts, craisins, and sesame ginger dressing. Now I'm eating some whole wheat crackers. She says "Wow, you eat like super healthy" to which my reply was "I just went vegan a month ago." She explained to me that she use-to be vegan but always felt so spacey and depleated. She's a vegetarian now.

    My question to you more experienced vegans is, have you also experienced the feelnig of spaceym foggy, and/or depleated? If so, what do you think contributed to those feelings and how did you overcome it?

    Now maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive or overreacting but I too have felt a little less "sharp" lately and am worried I'm neglecting my body of things it's need to be "sharp". Help, suggestions, etc........

    Thanks!

  8. #8

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    Default Re: feeling spacey and/or depleated?

    B12 deficiency can apparently cause a general foggy, fatigued feeling, could it be that maybe?

  9. #9

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    Default Re: feeling spacey and/or depleated?

    Have you been feeling like this ever since you went vegan, or only since your co-worker mentioned those particular symptoms? Is this the first time you've felt like this, or have there been other occasions?

    Other important considerations:
    Are you eating enough? (Your lunch didn't sound very much from your description, but then not everyone likes a big lunch, I know I don't).
    Have you had your blood pressure checked?

    Many of us have grown up believing veganism to be "unhealthy", so it can be easy to jump to conclusions and automatically blame every little symptom on veganism, when that isn't really the case.

    Why don't you post a typical day's menu? That way we might be able to give you some pointers if something really is amiss.

    Don't forget, though, that we're not a substitute for a doctor's opinion if you're feeling poorly! Keep us posted!

  10. #10
    Manzana Manzana's Avatar
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    Default Re: feeling spacey and/or depleated?

    Quote vtveg View Post
    My question to you more experienced vegans is, have you also experienced the feelnig of spaceym foggy, and/or depleated? If so, what do you think contributed to those feelings and how did you overcome it?
    No, never had that...

    I seem to have exactly your very same built (height and weight). Going vegan did not change my weight but I did start eating a lot more quantity (since dairy and eggs are quite calorie loaded and also because usual comfort foods like cakes were no longer available in most places)... I also had to plan my food better (baking cakes and cookies when I wanted a treat for example)...

    I would not worry, there are plenty of athletes on vegan diets... McDanzig comes to mind and he is super fit...

    Also... Scott Jurek... who is an ultramarathon runner... and finally, you can check this one out: http://www.raw-food-health.net/StefaniaLicari.html (raw food ultra marathon runner! )

  11. #11
    vtveg
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    Default Re: feeling spacey and/or depleated?

    thanks for all the suggestions, advice, support, etc.!
    Flamma - to answer some of your questions;

    Have you been feeling like this ever since you went vegan, or only since your co-worker mentioned those particular symptoms? I'd say I've felt like this off and on for a couple days.

    Are you eating enough? (Your lunch didn't sound very much from your description, but then not everyone likes a big lunch, I know I don't). Not sure. It's quite possible I'm not getting enough calories. I've always had a high metabolism and high energy level.

    Have you had your blood pressure checked? Not lately but I am going to see my doctor tomorrow to discuss my somewhat new switch to vegan and see if she recommends any lab tests, testing blood for things like Iron, protein, Zinc, whatever they're able to test for, see how my levels are, and she has seen me for years and knows about my body type, etc. so she might have other insight. But I will take it all with a grain of salt too because she is a primary care provider, not a nutritionist and most likely not fluent in vegan living.

    Many of us have grown up believing veganism to be "unhealthy", so it can be easy to jump to conclusions and automatically blame every little symptom on veganism, when that isn't really the case. Yes, I can see where I've been doing this; some things I've noticed might be psychosomatic due to this assumption that "uh oh, that must be because of my diet."

    Why don't you post a typical day's menu? That way we might be able to give you some pointers if something really is amiss. Today I definitely feel I didn't eat enough; Breakfast - toast w/PB and some sliced banana w/glass of OJ, Morning snack - plum, banana, 1 1/2 cups chocolate soy milk, Lunch - 1/4 cup Cous-Cous, 1/2 cup grilled Zuchinni, small salad w/tomoatoes, sprouts, walnuts, craisins, dressing, Afternoon snack - apple, handful of mixed nuts, 1/2 cup pasta salad w/beans, broccolli, tomatoes, peppers, veggie protein strips (faux chicken), soy protein drink w/soy milk, Dinner - creamy artichoke ravioli (yes vegan) w/tomatoe sauce, mixed green salad w/tomatoe, sprouts, nuts, lentils, dressing, Treat - 6 squares vegan chocolate bar.

    I think I need to eat more calories, get more exercise (has been hard since shoulder surgery in April, but can still ride a stationary bike, hike, walk, etc.), drink more water, and continue to educate myself on what I can eat, where to get my nutrition, etc.

    I am taking a Raw & Living Food class at the end of October which will cover where to get protein, omega 3,6,9, as well as other nutritional information, and at each class we will prepare a raw vegan meal for dinner, taking home a half dozen recipes over the course of the class. Now I'm not so sure I want to convert to a raw vegan diet, especially since I still have much to learn about a vegan diet in general, but learning more about the foods I can eat, where to get my nutrients from, and gaining recipes and making delicious meals, I'm all for it!!

    Further suggestions, insight, support, appreciated. Thanks again all!

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Not needing weight loss - freaking out

    At the end of ur last post i think u hit the nail on the head. We havent seen an entire food journal of yours but I would suggest keeping one. At least until you are able to gain a couple pounds back. This will allow you to really see what your are eating, and maybe make an appointment with a dietician (sp?) to make sure. You mentioned not getting enough calories. I think this appears to be your biggest problem with having lost a few pounds. You may think you are getting enough, but many of the vegan foods u mentioned are super super low in calories. Do you eat any pasta, bread, peanut butter, energry bars, cereals or anything like that Something like peanut butter on toast is a good way to keep weight up, and i cant imagine u having problems with being under weight if u add in some high calorie foods like this into ur diet. Obviously u dont want to eat junk food which is why i suggested some of these things. but dont be affraid to add in a snack like chips and salsa or something here and there. things like cliff bars have 250 or so calories. not sure what luna bars have. i also love having lintil stews packed with potatos, carrots, celery, tomatos and all the other stuff. dont forget the potato though. 1 potato has about 275 calories. Also dont be affriad to bake some muffins for a snack also.

    i lost a bit of weight going vegan in the first few weeks. this is what i wanted because i was a bit over weight anyways. i think its also cuz i didnt know what was vegan and what wasnt and was only eating fruits and veggies. once i learned how to read labels and what was vegan and what wasnt i started eating some higher calorie foods to stop the weight loss where i wanted.

    i think ur other problems like feeling foggy/depleted are part of the same problem. Obviously im not a doctor, and i definetely suggest u see one if this have kept up. But if i were to take a wild guess at ur calorie intake right now based on the foods u lised i would have to guess around 1,200. Now this isnt TOO low for a small female weighing 110 pounds. Obviously u dont need 2,000 a day or anything like that. But i would make sure ur getting somewhere around 1,500 or so at least. Also make sure u are getting important vegan nutrients: omega 3's (can find peanut butter with this like smart balance), calcium, vit D, iron, iodine (iodized salt), B12 (fortefied soy milk) etc. the soy milk, peanut butter, and some kinda of clif type bar with added vitamins/minerals will keep u healthy. After u consult with a doctor/dietician(sp?) u may find that u also need to take a vegan vitamin depending on the rest of ur diet.
    Last edited by brad3104; Jan 26th, 2010 at 06:04 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Not needing weight loss - freaking out

    Eat more! Eat lots! When I first went vegan, I never experienced any loss of energy. Why? I ate my favorite foods: Pasta with red sauce, or falafel with tahini and tomatoes in a sandwich, or tempeh burgers and french fries. Frequently, and in large quantities. I never had a drop in energy, but I did have a gain in weight. Eat more! Especially good rich foods. Pancakes for lunch.
    context is everything

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