Optimistic Vegan


Losing Weight
June 7, 2010, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Food, Lifestyle, Nutrition | Tags: , ,

Losing weight is usually perceived as a good thing, but when associated with veganism, it often has a negative connotation. Let’s break it down.

Meat has a lot of calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s designed to store calories (so that the animal can use them later, just like us!). It’s very easy to gain weight with such high volumes of fat and calories. (Besides the losing weight issue, this also makes for higher heart disease rates, diabetes, strokes, etc.)

On the other hand, vegetables are low in fat and calories, high in fiber and complex carbs, with NO cholesterol (only found in animal products). As long as you eat a balanced diet (variety of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, etc.) you will get all of the necessary nutrients while skipping out on the high fat and calories.

While this all sounds dandy, many people actually complain about losing weight, or always being hungry or feeling faint, etc. The best solution I have for this problem is to…eat. If you’re hungry, you should eat, right? If you’re eating lettuce for every meal, (you’re not going to get all the nutrients for one) you won’t be filling yourself up! If it really bothers you that you have to eat more (oh good lord!) then you could eat foods with more fat-avocados (YUM) or nuts for example.

My art teacher recently told me that her son stopped being vegan because he was losing weight. I love how society tries and tries diet after diet to lose weight, then complains about a vegan one…

There are what are called “junkfood vegans” (or vegetarians). These are the ones that eat bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or pasta. Or oreos (yes, they are vegan!) YOU MUST EAT VEGGIES. If you eat an entirely carb diet, you may even gain weight. The rule of thumb is to eat everything in moderation. A variety of foods that allow you to get all of your nutrients.

On a side note, it’s really easy to slip into the “junkfood vegan” category. Healthy meals take more time and forethought, but it is worth it in the end. Plan ahead!

Happy eating!

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