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Thread: Fat and Veggie?

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Fat and Veggie?

    Right now I'm just a veggie, and I have a problem. All my life I've been skinny to average weight, and lately my dad and boyfriend have been saying that vegetarians they know who have been that way for almost or all of their life are overweight once they stop growing, or at least when they get older. I don't want to believe this. I can't believe this, because veggie is the healthier route, right? Are any of you who have been veggie/vegan all your life overweight now as an adult? Or any of you who are not and have veggie/vegan friends that have been that way all their life...are they overweight? I know being overweight isn't the worst thing in the world but I know it's not fun and I've seen my mom go through with it. Please tell me better news than what my family's telling me!!!

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    No matter if you are an omni, veggie or vegan unfortunately it is possible to be fat. Being overweight is due to an irregular balance of energy (calories) in/energy out. Just make sure you are physically active and eat small amounts of vegan treats like vegan choccie and ice cream and cookies. Make sure you base your diet on wholegrains (including bread), fruits, vegetables and legumes with moderate amounts of healthy fats, you will be fine.

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    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    its a proven fact that if u eat healthy, low saturated fats, a good amount of unsaturated fats, a variety of all colored fruits and veggies and healthy brown grains, work out 30 minutes three times a week, u will be at your body weight that is best for u.

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    If you eat the same amount of calories that you burn, you will maintain your wieght, it doesnīt matter if you eat omni or veg*n. There is no magic thing about gaining or losing weight - Even vegans can eat - junk food all day and become overweight. If you eat veggies, legumes, whole grains and fruits, and get regular moderate exercise, you will be fine.


    Since going vegan 11 months ago, I lost a bit of weight and my weight has stabilized - for the first time in my life, my weight isnīt yo-yoing all the time.


    good luck,
    globesetter

  5. #5
    julieruble
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    I do know some overweight vegetarians. And one who isn't overweight because she exercises consistently, but if she stops she gains. She eats very healthily too, lots of vegetables, not to many sweets/breads. But she has to exercise to maintain her weight.

    Personally, I gained weight when I stopped eating meat, mostly because I don't like many vegetables unless prepared in certain ways and probably didn't eat the best balance -- especially not at school, where the vegetables are NOT appetizing to me at all.

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    It's possible. Generally a lot of vegans are health concious enough that they consume a well balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. Me, well err I dropped another ten pounds after switching to a vegan diet (that initial change not knowing what's out there..)... I'm around a 4-6... but yeh I tend to stay in a 10-15 lb. range and I have a family w weight problems so I have a tendency to put on weight if I don't watch it... which err I haven't been doing as of late... and yeh need to get back to more exercise and less calories.

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    before i went vegan (i was still veggie), i put on about 2 stone (28 pounds) thanks to medication i had to take. but when i went vegan, i lost half of it in a couple of months. i'd still like to get rid of the rest, but i think i'm around my natural weight as it's staying pretty stable now.

    there are so many theories about how to lose weight/keep a stable weight. i think different people's bodies react differently to different kinds and amounts of food. i know two girls who've been veggie since birth, they're now in their mid-twenties and still skinny and gorgeous!

  8. #8
    funkyvixen
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    Hello

    Like people have said its perfectly possible to be overweight on any diet. You could be vegan and eat nothing but chips, white bread and chocolate. BUT in no way does a veg*n diet MAKE you overweight - nononono. I'd say that generally its quite the opposite.

    IME, a lot of vegetarians fall into the trap of eating too much dairy, especially cheese, too many eggs, and too many convenience foods with fried breadcrumbs on them, too many white carbs etc. So thats where a perception that a veggie diet makes you fat may come from. A bad veggie diet may lead to you being overweight - but a bad any kind of diet will lead to you being overweight.

    So don't worry keep going.

    fv x

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    John's Avatar
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    Not to brag, but I put on 20 pounds of muscle after switching from vegetarian to vegan. I was always too skinny. People seem to be quite impressed.

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    Today's UK 'Independent', has a report that supermarkets and food manufacturers were named and shamed yesterday for failing to reduce salt levels in family staples including baked beans, pizzas and canned pasta. The Food Standards Agency accused them of risking the health of customers after a survey showed salt levels varied widely in similar products. Children's cheese and tomato pizzas had almost three times the level of salt compared with an otherwise identical pizza.

    Among products aimed at adults, some had more than half of the maximum recommended daily total of six grams of salt in a single serving. These included own-brand baked beans which all contained 3.2 grams in half a tin (210 grams), 53 per cent of the daily limit. Other high-salt products for adults were Stonebaked Pepperoni Pizzas from Tesco. Half a standard-sized pizza, an adult portion, contained 4.1 grams of salt, 68 per cent of the recommended six-gram daily limit.

    Whilst this is from UK, without reports from our own countries, it is quite possible that the same sort of standards apply.

  11. #11
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    There are various surveys showing that vegetarians and vegans tend to be thinner on average than omnivores (some references here: http://www.vegsoc.org/health/vital2.html) , and I don't think I've seen a single one showing the opposite.

    Sure, there are are overweight vegetarians and vegans but I don't think your informants can be meeting a representative sample. Either that or they're winding you up

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    I like salt so maybe that's why I love the Moe's black beans so much. Probably too much salt... b/c I can't seem to end up w home cooked black beans that taste as good.

  13. #13
    cati_araujo
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    well, veggies and vegans are people, and people come in all shapes and sizes. I know personally an overweight vegetarian, and she's 16. all that blah, blah, that you will only become fat if you eat crap is WRONG! that vegetarian, Sofia, eats healthy, and practically the same amount as I do and exercises (swimming). i never exercise. she's overweight, my weight is normal. it's all about metabolism. her metabolism is slower than mine, so it never burns as much calories as she eats. to loose weight she would have to starve. of course there are veggies and vegans who don't eat healthy, but not all of them are overweight. there are healthy people of all sizes, as well as there are unhealthy people of all sizes. saying that you'll only gain weight if you eat a lot, is just as wrong as saying that if you eat right, you won't be skinny. there are skinny people who eat a lot, but don't gain weight because of their fast metabolism. then, when they get older, the metabolism slows down, and they gain weight, even eating less than before. and yes, there are even obese vegans. some eat healthy and exercise, some don't. just don't stereotype.

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Thanks cati_araujo - being non-judgmental is good. There are too many people with strong opinions that are quite often wrong. This applies to health, with some vegans saying that if you follow a vegan diet, or only eat organic, you'll avoid heart conditions, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. Well there are plenty of long-term vegans who take care to eat the right foods, do the exercise etc, but they have inherited certain genes from which they have the tendency for some of these conditions. It is then quite hurtful to have skinny young short-term vegan nazis saying 'you've not been eating the right food'.

  15. #15
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Quote eve
    Thanks cati_araujo - being non-judgmental is good. There are too many people with strong opinions that are quite often wrong. This applies to health, with some vegans saying that if you follow a vegan diet, or only eat organic, you'll avoid heart conditions, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. Well there are plenty of long-term vegans who take care to eat the right foods, do the exercise etc, but they have inherited certain genes from which they have the tendency for some of these conditions.
    I couldn't agree more. That's why I am sure to educate anyone I can about lowering the risks of succumbing to the small portion of health that is actually controlled by genetics. Anyone who says that you will never get these diseases/conditions if you follow a specific plan is not balanced. What is balanced is to eliminate all risk factors that one can control and let nature (and if needed, Science) take it from there. There are many ways to overcome what has been part of our genetic blueprint and nutrition and lifestyle choices influence these to a large degree.

    Quote eve
    It is then quite hurtful to have skinny young short-term vegan nazis saying 'you've not been eating the right food'.
    Wow, Eve. It sounds like someone has really made you angry/hurt your feelings. "skinny short-term vegan nazis"...That's quite a mouthful? Where does one find a "skinny short-term vegan nazi"? Please let me know, because I want to avoid them at all costs! Sounds rather unpleasant... :/

  16. #16
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    I'd say the genetic element is pretty important, speaking as one who had a healthy-eating, exercising friend who died of cancer at 37 and also a rubbish-eating, sedentary grandmother who lived to be 100. While I believe in taking responsibility for one's health I think it's important not to overstate the degree of control we have - otherwise the risk is that you make people feel guilty for being ill etc.

    Having said that, some of these metabolic differences may actually be life-style related. I believe some scientists think, for instance, that insulin resistance (which is supposed to be common now and may be linked to being overweight and having difficulty shedding weight) may be partly a result of having eaten too much of the wrong kind of carbohydrates earlier in your life. (Although if you didn't have a genetic predisposition it might not affect you that way. Aaargh! )

  17. #17
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    I think we all have heard of such occurances. I am sorry you lost your friend.
    What I mean by the "small portion of health that is actually controlled by genetics" is that there are many factors involved in illness and healing. You are right- studies are showing that life-style dictates how we play out our genetic hand. This gives us even more of an ability to work in harmony with nature. What is considered a "healthy" approach by one is considered to be too extreme or even not extreme enough by another. I just know that there is always more that can be done.

    There is always a way to take natural healing to another level. While working at Optimum Health Institute and in my private practice I have seen people rid themselves of cancer by adopting what others would consider the healthiest diet; raw juices, fresh air, good thoughts, resolving issues, meditation, yoga, bodywork and holistic care. I personally have fought against what apparently was my "genetic blueprint" and overcome cancer by implementing such holistic care. Had I not been aware of what to do (and done it) the outcome would have certainly been different...

    I have seen insulin-dependent diabetic stop needing their shots when following a strict schedule of natural healing. If they revert back to old habits, the need for insulin resurfaced. Not everyone is willing to try natural healing, though. I wish they were. I am not saying that we should not make use of modern medicine, I am simply saying that taking as natural, as holistic an approach as possible can yeild amazing results that often surpasses what traditional Western medicine offers. I have seen it happen with others and I have seen it in myself.

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    John's Avatar
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    Of course there are many fat vegetarians. Eggs and milk are really just liquified meat. My hypothesis --correct me if I'm wrong-- is that that if one follows a vegan diet for several years, it is almost impossible to be obese.

    Note: I consider a chunky or chubby person to be in the realm of "healthy".

  19. #19
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    My hypothesis --correct me if I'm wrong-- is that that if one follows a vegan diet for several years, it is almost impossible to be obese.
    It may be almost impossible but it isn't absolutely impossible I'm afraid - I have a friend who's been vegan about as long as I have (c10 years) and is officially obese.

    His doc has said he has "metabolic syndrome" which is supposed to be linked to the insulin resistance thing I mentioned earlier. He really doesn't seem to eat all that much.

    In other cases, the vegan beer and chips diet would probably do the job too. There is a lot of vegan junk food available.

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Quote ConsciousCuisine
    Where does one find a "skinny short-term vegan nazi"? Please let me know, because I want to avoid them at all costs! Sounds rather unpleasant.
    A short-term vegan is someone who is so smug with themselves since they became vegan (say 3 months ago!) that they believe they know it all, especially if they are young. They look upon anyone over 60 as being ready to send for Dr Death. If they are healthy so far, they look upon any vegan who has a high cholesterol reading, as not having eaten the right foods. They dismiss genetics, despite the fact that high cholesterol can be related to an inherited condition. They are ready to point the finger at someone who is innocent of straying from the vegan path, because they are sure that if a vegan has diabetes or something, then they must have eaten the wrong food.

    CC, you've seen insulin-dependent diabetic stop needing their shots when following a strict schedule of natural healing, and that taking as natural and holistic an approach as possible can yield amazing results. You've seen it happen, and so have I. However, we need to be humble enough to accept that no matter what, with the best will in the world and doing all the 'right things' - sometimes it doesn't work.

  21. #21
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Quote: Eve "However, we need to be humble enough to accept that no matter what, with the best will in the world and doing all the 'right things' - sometimes it doesn't work."

    Yes, it's true. Sometimes even with all of their efforts to heal, people die or succumb to illness. It's especially difficult when one has tried all of the (often rigorous) natural ways of addressing an issue and they still get no relief. Fortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule. I just wish that more people would be open to giving it a try!

    I have a sister who has very high cholesterol. she's young too, only 35 and has had this issue for years. She was a vegetarian for 10 years but now is a meat-eater. She thinks my diet is extreme and opposed these choices by "sneaking" animal products into my daughter's food for quite some time, until I actually got a Doctor to say that my daughter has "alleriges" to dairy and eggs. Now she's more careful about ingredients. She refuses to try and adjust her own diet at all. I know that she is pre-disposed to this condition, but I also know if she modified her diet (became vegan) she would lower the cholesterol naturally. It makes me very sad...

  22. #22
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    im allergic to eggs and dairy aswell

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    Quote harpy
    It may be almost impossible but it isn't absolutely impossible I'm afraid - I have a friend who's been vegan about as long as I have (c10 years) and is officially obese.
    I stand corrected. Perhaps I should have made exceptions for sick people but I still stand by my speculation.

    And I drink plenty of beer and eat lots of chips "that's potatoes right?". There's nothing wrong with that diet.

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    Quote Veggie4Life139
    Right now I'm just a veggie, and I have a problem. All my life I've been skinny to average weight, and lately my dad and boyfriend have been saying that vegetarians they know who have been that way for almost or all of their life are overweight once they stop growing, or at least when they get older. I don't want to believe this. I can't believe this, because veggie is the healthier route, right? Are any of you who have been veggie/vegan all your life overweight now as an adult? Or any of you who are not and have veggie/vegan friends that have been that way all their life...are they overweight? I know being overweight isn't the worst thing in the world but I know it's not fun and I've seen my mom go through with it. Please tell me better news than what my family's telling me!!!
    People seem to forget exercise. Theres one you could keep up all the time just for your health.
    "Its bad karma to fuck with the stoned"- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Comentary (found on criterion collection)

  25. #25

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    I'm not obese, but I am somewhat overweight, and one look at the obesity epidemic in this meat-grubbing country and my own family is what prompted my switch from omni. Granted, I'm not into sports and I only went vegetarian/semi anti-dairy around March of this year, but I plan to go fully vegan once I move into my dorm next month (thank God for those militant college kids I'll meet, lol) and have more control over the things I buy and the food I keep in my mini-fridge, as well as free gym access.

    I believe many people predisposed to obesity and addicted to junk food would, after the initial "withdrawals", fare infinitely better from a vegan diet. I personally find my lifestyle moral opposition to meat (as well as typical teenage stubbornness) makes any cravings I have for it immeasurably easier to ignore/resist than, say, just trying to avoid cookies on a two-week diet.

    And the more reading up you do on veganism, and the more people you talk to, the more you begin to do for your health, and cut out convenient crap food (soda, sugary cereals) in general. The fact that refined white sugar, present in and responsible for most of the calories in almost every junk food, isn't vegan, really helps! Additionally, every normal candy bar you might otherwise be tempted to grab in the checkout lane contains dairy, as does ice cream, and most baked goods have eggs. Any vegan items a fast-food/regular restaurant might carry (side salad, anyone?) are typically low in calories, as are the choices you must make: you opt for marinara sauce over alfredo, decide against using the ambiguous margarine on your roll, have fruit salad instead of chocolate-oreo-brownie-ice cream-diabetic-nightmare.

  26. #26
    TheFirstBus's Avatar
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    I have never had the urge for candy. Though sometimes I wonder if I enjoy tofu to much
    "Its bad karma to fuck with the stoned"- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Comentary (found on criterion collection)

  27. #27
    Veganmama
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    i know a few Vegan who are very over weight, i myself put on A LOT of weight with my first pregnancy and went from being very under weight to extremely over weight. Due to having to be sedetary due to a high risk pregnancy, but slowly over the last 18months since my second daughter was born i have gome back to a healthy weight.

    I find most vegan's or vegetarians i know who ar eover weight have a diet high in refined carbs. If you read any crappy mag's thre has been heaps about drew barrymore who has lost 12kg due to stoping being a vegetarian. But all she has really done is gone from eatin lots of carbs to eating a diet high in protien and vegetables, which she could've done being Vege

  28. #28
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    I agree about the refined carbohydrates, Veganmama. Also there are an increasing number of vegetarian (and also some vegan) ready meals and other manufactured foods which, when you look at the ingredients list have a horrific nutritional profile, full of hydrogenated fat, sugar, salt etc. Anyone, vegetarian or not, who lives on commercially prepared food is probably asking to be overweight and worse

  29. #29

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    Refined foods in general are incredibly calorie dense. The more people make vegan versions of traditional western foods, the more we're going to see fat vegans. One of the best things you can do for your body is eat lots of raw fruits and veggies, when you do cook avoid oils and grains, and don't consume food-like products like soda and candy.

  30. #30

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    phillip888, there is no reason to avoid grains, as long as they are wholegrains. 3 meals a day i eat wholegrains (breakfast cereal, bread, pasta, brown rice, couscous etc...) and the occassional refined grain (white rice for example) - I am FAR from fat and have trouble gaining weight at all. I would wither away into nothing if i eliminated grains! they have healthy minerals/vitamins and fibre as well. I also include olive oil and it hasn't harmed me either - in fact my skin dries up and goes flaky without it. I include plenty of raw as well as cooked fruit and veg, dried beans/legumes and sometimes nuts, as well as cookies and processed foods like hummus etc...
    i think the key is moderation, not eliminating healthy foods

  31. #31
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Quote Banana
    I would wither away into nothing if i eliminated grains!
    i think the key is moderation, not eliminating healthy foods
    Everyone's system is different, based on habits, lifestyle and lastly, genetics.

    I know of many people who have went on an all raw fruit and vegetable only diet who have lost extreme amounts of weight, only to eventually stabilize and then return to a healthy weight without altering their diet of raw fruits and vegetables or consuming more calories. It is believed that this is due to the body's detox and dumping of toxic deposits in the organs and tissues that are deeply pocketed away. Losing all fat reserves is necessary to accomplish this. There are Naturopathic Doctors, Nutritionists and Medical Doctors who back this up.

    As far as moderation and "healthy foods" are concerned, everyone has different ideas and theories about what is actually healthy and what is not.

    I personally feel that even a junk food vegan is heathier than 99% of those who consume the S.A.D, and I applaud any move anyone makes towards a more plant-based diet and gentler living.

  32. #32

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    Quote TheFirstBus
    Though sometimes I wonder if I enjoy tofu to much
    My friend's Iranian mother eats incredible amounts of tofu--usually just standing at the kitchen counter, forking the plain stuff right out of the asceptic package. So unless you're weird like her I think you'll be alright.

  33. #33
    Veganmama
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    I'm definetly not saying to do away with grains just over refined flours extra are just really unnatural and i'm sure they slow down and clog up our digestion. I eat alot of grains , just not refined. We like our brown rice and also eat heaps of sprouted rye and out groats

  34. #34

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    I usually eat whole grains, specifically whole wheat, but if I happen to use unbleached white flour in a recipe for something, I don't find that I'm bloated or feel heavy or anything afterwards.

    I think the best advice is to stay active. Your body needs exercise.

  35. #35

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    My mom and dad have been vegetarians for good portions of their lives (40 and 20 years, respectively). My mom stayed very thin up until after menopause where she filled out a bit, but I wouldn't say she is fat. Plus, she's always eaten lots of junk and drank a lot of soda. My dad remains pretty thin. They're both in their mid-50s.

  36. #36
    beforewisdom
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    There are many fat vegetarians, particularly vegans.

    Many people who give up animal products never bother to learn about nutrition, excercise and/or become junkatarians.

    In the end, if you are fat you are taking in too many calories.

    It is harder to stay feeling full with junk food and processed foods.

    It is easier to feel full and stay feeling full on whole foods.

    If a veg*n who exercises is very fat it is probably due to a "pasta and bagel" diet high in flour products( even whole grain flour products can be a problem with weight control), sweets, processed foods, refined grains, refined carbohydrates, and refined fats.

    Moderate exercise along with eating lots of fresh vegetables, WHOLE grains, and legumes ( not processed soy foods ), and drinking water versus caloric beverages will reverse this issue.

  37. #37
    beforewisdom
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    I have heard such comments as well.

    From watching my own thoughts I do think it is true that individuals who are part of a movement represent that movement to other people in their everyday lives.

    Unfortunately this is true with veg*ns who do not take care of themselves.
    It is harder to help animals( or the environment) by convincing people to go veg*n when many veg*ns are overweight or sickly looking.

    No one wants that for themselves.

    You can mention all of the famous fit veg*ns out the wazoo, but that is a bit abstract.

    Seeing up close is believing

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