New vegan weight changes...

Christine

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Hey guys, thought I'd post a quick question to the vegan veterans on here who know the drill!

It's been almost 4 months now since I switched to a vegan diet and I've noticed, though not at first, what now is apparent to be a significant reduction in my weight: about 11 pounds. :/ This is unusual for me and a little concerning, as at 5"9 I was already on the skinny side at 130lb - I've had weight concerns in the past as a teen, and it's a rather unpleasant reminder of those times to check and find my BMI has dropped beyond the pale!

It would certainly help to know whether what might appear as an unaccountable weight change, despite not feeling though you are eating any more or less, is normal or not for a new vegan. What sort of foods, aside from breads and chocolate (the former upsets me if I eat too much of it - the latter I can eat to excess but yep, zero nutrition!) would you say could help shore me up in case I don't reach a plateau, soon?

I had the thought the other day that perhaps the majority of vegan foods that may not be so over-processed or high in saturates naturally make them more efficient in energy, and that perhaps this will initially cause one's body weight to drop as it's not 'needing' to store as much away, but this might be grasping at straws.

Any thoughts? :)
 

nobody

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I am always about 20-30 pounds overweight and it is because I eat tons of oil, which is pure fat. For one thing I put Earth Balance all over everything, which is vegan margarine made from a blend of non-hydrogenated oils. And I roast a lot of vegetables. My method for doing this is to coat all of the vegetables with oil, and then put (iodized) salt over everything, which sort of creates a barrier so that the inside of the vegetables doesn't dry out.

I have been using 'bad oils' for cooking, such as soybean, sunflower and peanut. These oils are high in omega 6 fatty acids and if you use them, you have to take vegan DHA and/or EPA supplements, which has omega 3 fatty acids, to balance things out. You don't want your omega 6 to be higher than your omega 3. It is better to use non-omega 6 oils like coconut or olive oil. I just got some coconut oil the other day and I am starting to use that instead. The thing about these 'good oils' is that they have a much lower smoke point. So if you use them, you have to be careful to keep the heat below the smoke point. If you burn the oil, it creates all kinds of unhealthy compounds that will give you cancer. The coconut oil says on the bottle, for cooking, sauteing and drizzling. Drizzling, so you don't even have to cook it. You can just put it on your food.

Eating pure fat - oil - along with your dark leafy greens can help you to absorb their nutrients as well. But consuming oil can also have some drawbacks, such as causing heart disease. However, if you are underweight, I think the advantages would outweigh the disadvantages. Besides oil, you can eat a lot of high fat foods, such as walnuts, peanuts, olives and avocados. Also, if you eat the oil and high fat food, you will have more energy, because fats give you energy, so that is a plus.

ETA: Another sources of my pudginess is Vegannaise dressing, made from grape seed oil. I don't know if you have that in the UK, but any mayonnaise dressing would do, because they are all made from oils. What you can do with this is make kale and onion sandwiches, on toasted bread coated with the dressing. And another big one is hummus, which contains olive oil and sesame seed paste (tahini). I eat tons of hummus as a condiment for raw tomatoes, celery, cucumbers and (sometimes) carrots. Also, seeds are a good source of fats and many other valuable nutrients...sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) etc.
 
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Christine

Christine

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I am always about 20-30 pounds overweight and it is because I eat tons of oil, which is pure fat. For one thing I put Earth Balance all over everything, which is vegan margarine made from a blend of non-hydrogenated oils. And I roast a lot of vegetables. My method for doing this is to coat all of the vegetables with oil, and then put (iodized) salt over everything, which sort of creates a barrier so that the inside of the vegetables doesn't dry out.

I have been using 'bad oils' for cooking, such as soybean, sunflower and peanut. These oils are high in omega 6 fatty acids and if you use them, you have to take vegan DHA and/or EPA supplements, which has omega 3 fatty acids, to balance things out. You don't want your omega 6 to be higher than your omega 3. It is better to use non-omega 6 oils like coconut or olive oil. I just got some coconut oil the other day and I am starting to use that instead. The thing about these 'good oils' is that they have a much lower smoke point. So if you use them, you have to be careful to keep the heat below the smoke point. If you burn the oil, it creates all kinds of unhealthy compounds that will give you cancer. The coconut oil says on the bottle, for cooking, sauteing and drizzling. Drizzling, so you don't even have to cook it. You can just put it on your food.

Eating pure fat - oil - along with your dark leafy greens can help you to absorb their nutrients as well. But consuming oil can also have some drawbacks, such as causing heart disease. However, if you are underweight, I think the advantages would outweigh the disadvantages. Besides oil, you can eat a lot of high fat foods, such as walnuts, peanuts, olives and avocados. Also, if you eat the oil and high fat food, you will have more energy, because fats give you energy, so that is a plus.

ETA: Another sources of my pudginess is Vegannaise dressing, made from grape seed oil. I don't know if you have that in the UK, but any mayonnaise dressing would do, because they are all made from oils. What you can do with this is make kale and onion sandwiches, on toasted bread coated with the dressing. And another big one is hummus, which contains olive oil and sesame seed paste (tahini). I eat tons of hummus as a condiment for raw tomatoes, celery, cucumbers and (sometimes) carrots. Also, seeds are a good source of fats and many other valuable nutrients...sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) etc.
Thanks for your input! You've given me a lot to think about - appreciated. :)
 
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Christine

Christine

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Maybe try to eat more nuts, almonds and avocado. They're high in fat so should help.
Thanks for your suggestion - I do like pecan and brazil nuts, despite feeling guilty about the big carbon footprint they undoubtedly leave due to exporting, maybe I should go look for them. I haven't had an avocado in years - how did that happen?! :D
 

Forest Nymph

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Vegan athletes give tips for weight gain - things like smoothies with vegan protein powder and nuts or seeds blended in, eating bigger portions of beans or tofu and higher calorie grains like amaranth and millet, and adding hummus or nut butter to bagels or toast.

Someone already suggested oils and Earth Balance which definitely ups calorie and fat intake.

You can also eat higher calorie vegan substitutes like veggie burgers, chkn strips, vegan sausages and fishless filets.

Putting peanut butter and maple syrup in oatmeal also adds calories.
 
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Christine

Christine

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Hi Christine, any luck yet?
Hey, yes everything seems to be ok now, no more unaccounted weight losses (Christmas lentil loaves may have helped with that!)
I've been adding a few more calorific snacks into my average daily foods here and there. Nothing major at all, just lots of little things like a handful of nuts every now and then, and more hot drinks where a milk-alternative can be added. I've also put some much-needed effort into getting to grips with vegan cooking, too, which has led to some rather interesting monstrosities but has more helpfully peaked my interest in food. ;)
As a regular runner I probably should have been eating more in the first place since the vegan switch. I believe the unaccounted-for weight loss must have been somehow linked in with the change in the type of/(quality?) of the foods I was eating before as a vegetarian, and after as a vegan. In any case, that would explain the confusion of not feeling like I was eating any less in terms of quantity!
Whatever the case though, it's good to have this issue rectified: thanks everyone for all your advice.
 
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Hey, yes everything seems to be ok now, no more unaccounted weight losses (Christmas lentil loaves may have helped with that!)
I've been adding a few more calorific snacks into my average daily foods here and there. Nothing major at all, just lots of little things like a handful of nuts every now and then, and more hot drinks where a milk-alternative can be added. I've also put some much-needed effort into getting to grips with vegan cooking, too, which has led to some rather interesting monstrosities but has more helpfully peaked my interest in food. ;)
As a regular runner I probably should have been eating more in the first place since the vegan switch. I believe the unaccounted-for weight loss must have been somehow linked in with the change in the type of/(quality?) of the foods I was eating before as a vegetarian, and after as a vegan. In any case, that would explain the confusion of not feeling like I was eating any less in terms of quantity!
Whatever the case though, it's good to have this issue rectified: thanks everyone for all your advice.
Hey Christine, good to hear back from you! I'm glad you figured it out and that it was an easy fix.