21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: No Weight Loss
Created on: 04/08/13 01:02 PM Views: 1607 Replies: 8
No Weight Loss
Posted Monday, April 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I started the 21 day kickstart on Jan 1st. It is now April 8th and I have only lost 3 lbs. I am very frustrated. Since I don't like to cook this has been very difficult to maintain. My main motivation for starting this was for weight loss and to reduce my cholesterol. I don't know if my cholesterol has gone down but I know my weight hasn't. Going out to eat is almost impossible. Just about every dish on the menu has either cheese or meat in it. It's even hard to get a salad that doesn't have cheese or meat. My family was supportive in the beginning but since I haven't lost weight they are getting tired of my "crazy" eating. I need some suggestions.

RE: No Weight Loss
Posted Monday, April 8, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Can you give a little more information? Such as current weight/height and typical day's dietary intake?

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: No Weight Loss
Posted Monday, April 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Restaurants aren't that hard IF you can just ask them to leave off the meat or cheese or whatever. As long as an item exists on the menu (maybe steamed veggies as a side for example) it is possible to mix and match, you don't have to stick to what they pre-plan. Ask questions. For some places, it's possible to check the menu online ahead of time and plan it out.

As far as weight loss, make sure that you are listening to your body. We get too used to just eating and eating until it's gone. And, the kickstart doesn't limit portion sizes. But, what is missing is slowing down and listening to whether we are eating because we're still hungry or because there's still food on the table. Better to take a small portion and refill it twice than to take a big portion and feel the need to clean the plate.

That also goes for snacking - snacks are good IF they are feeding actual hunger and not boredom or emotions. My best days are when I get a glass of water FIRST and then decide if I still want a snack. If a plain apple sounds good, I'm probably needing food and I'll have a plain apple. If an apple doesn't sound good but chocolate does (or other sweet or starchy type thing) then it's probably something else going on.

Be mindful too that if it took 10 years to add the weight, it won't come off in 3 months. This is not a quick fix, it's a lifestyle change. It's possible to be an unhealthy overweight vegan - after all, white flour pasta with commercial pasta sauce is technically vegan - but it has little fiber, probably a bunch of sugar, and some added fat as well.

If most of your meals are grains and beans, you might look at flipping things so that the bulk of the plate is vegetables and the grains and beans are the 'sides' instead of the other way around (check out the Power Plate information in the Resources for more info). I know that if I do something as simple as build in a big tossed salad with a simple balsamic type dressing or honey mustard (even though honey isn't vegan, I'm okay stretching it a bit for myself) with at least one meal per day (even better, having a salad with both lunch and dinner), I feel better, feel full longer, more satisfied, and my weight goes in the direction I want. When I start getting grain-heavy (like over the winter when I was going for lots of the hearty comfort food type things, whole wheat pasta and such) and less on the veggies, I did start to add back a couple pounds.

--DebR

RE: No Weight Loss
Posted Monday, April 8, 2013 at 5:51 PM

I am 5'6 1/2" and weigh 192 lbs.

RE: No Weight Loss
Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Well, without knowing what you are eating currently, I'll make general recommendations based on what I usually see with weight loss plateaus.

The vegan part is surprisingly pretty easy to resolve for most people. The low-fat component to this plan can be tricky. I think mostly because everyone has a different idea about low fat. While cutting out animal products takes care of most of the fat in an American diet, it's certainly not all of it. Oils and other fatty foods (peanut butter, margarine, mock dairy products such as fake cream cheese, cheese, and ice cream) should also be eliminated.

What's left is for the most part what nature offers - fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. Consuming these as much as you want is the whole plan. While products such as alcohol are not prohibited, if you are stuck at an unwanted weight, I would recommend cutting that out as well. Empty calories, especially in the form of beverages, can really throw up the road blocks. And while 100% juice may not be an "empty" caloric beverage, I would consider skipping those as well. It's far too easy to over consume liquid calories than solid.

Hopefully something in the above will get you over the plateau. It only takes a little change to get the trend moving again the right direction. Not too fast, but slow permanent weight loss.

I'm interested to hear about your lipid levels when you get that test done. Let us know.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: No Weight Loss
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM

bsweitzer wrote:

I started the 21 day kickstart on Jan 1st. It is now April 8th and I have only lost 3 lbs. I am very frustrated. Since I don't like to cook this has been very difficult to maintain. My main motivation for starting this was for weight loss and to reduce my cholesterol. I don't know if my cholesterol has gone down but I know my weight hasn't. Going out to eat is almost impossible. Just about every dish on the menu has either cheese or meat in it. It's even hard to get a salad that doesn't have cheese or meat. My family was supportive in the beginning but since I haven't lost weight they are getting tired of my "crazy" eating. I need some suggestions.

Hi bsweitzer!

Along with the other great responses to your question, I think I can help.

It can be frustrating when we think we're doing everything right - and you may well be, or just need a tweak or two.

To address this question, I wrote an article that may be of service to you here:

6 reasons you might have gained weight on a plant-based diet when your goal is to lose weight

Thinking of you,
Lani

Lani Muelrath, M.A. CGFI, CPBN
Fit Quickies: The Plant-Based Fitness Book

www
RE: No Weight Loss
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

I don't eat sweets. I have 2 cups of coffee in the morning. Water the rest of the day. I may have 1 - 2 glasses of wine a week. What I have found is that I am eating more carbs than I used to. Before I went vegan dinner might be grilled chicken and a salad. I'm always hungary if I only have vegetables and fruits so I end up eating rice or potatoes or bread. Yes, whole grain. I don't eat many beans. If I have beans I can't go out in public for 2 days after due to gas. I don't eat the fake cheese or sour cream or stuff like that. The only thing I do use is vegan butter. I use canola or olive oil for sauteeing.

I was hoping that this way of eating would work so that I didn't have to spend time figuring out what I can and can't eat. No animal products. Done. Just don't eat that and I would lose weight. I don't do well with moderation. I do better with totally eliminating a food. So I guess now I will have to totally eliminate fats. I'm at the point now where eating is a chore. It certainly isn't enjoyable.

RE: No Weight Loss
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Part of the kickstart plan is LOW FAT/no ADDED fats. So, cooking in oil and using oil based salad dressings, nut butters, etc. are basically removed.

Grains, in balance, are fine. It's when a meal is mostly grains multiple times per day (3 meals that are mostly grains) that it gets out of balance for weight loss. If half the plate is vegetables and 1/4 of it is a protein (if beans don't work, try lentils or quinoa - which is a protein rich grain) and 1/4 is a grain like brown rice, that tends toward more weight loss than 1/2 a plate of grain, 1/4 plate protein and 1/4 plate veggies.

--DebR

RE: No Weight Loss
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 8:29 PM

I had extremely high cholesterol and staying on a vegan diet doesn't necessarily lower it, but it might. I had to remove all added fat from my diet, so I took out the vegan margarine, vegan cream cheese, etc. and it went down drastically. It's now normal. As far as the weight loss, whenever I eat more fruits and vegetables and cut down on the pastas, breads, etc. (even though whole grain), I lost weight. Just keep working at it; it'll kick it. Another thing I did for my cholesterol was eat oatmeal every morning. Supposedly that helps! Good luck!!!


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