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6/11/14 9:47 A

No need to do it for weigh loss issues. If you do it, do it for HEALTH reasons.

Some people aren't successful b/c they find eating chips and pastas and breads as part of a vegetarian lifestyle. As long as you eat FRUITS and VEGETABLES (no meatless processed crap like bread, pastas, candy, cookies, chips), you should be good.

Start slowly...maybe plan 3 days out of the week to start going vegetarian, then all the way to 7 days. You'll notice your body will start feeling better. You'll have more energy and will start seeing good results.

EXNOLA Posts: 309
6/5/14 9:00 A

I really liked eating vegetarian. I found it exciting to find new recipes and see what we liked. However, I gained 10 pounds- no clue why I was still monitoring my calories, still working out, but the weight just crept up over 6 months.
I was having trouble with protein. I do not handle soy well, so all those soy based proteins were out for me, so maybe that is it.
I went back to eating meat a few months ago and dropped 5 of those 10 pounds without changing anything else.
So, do it if you want to. Do it for ethical reasons, for health reasons, but don't do it just for weight loss.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/5/14 8:43 A

Any time you limit a macro, you will see a dip in performance in the short term.

Personally, I love meat, and eat low carb, but had to adjust, and also had a dip for several days, due to dropping carbs. It will pass, and you will start increasing performance again.

A vegetarian diet is wonderful, and just takes some adjustment. As noted, just make sure you are getting all your nutrition, including protein. Meat is the only place where you get all the amino acids in one place, so plant proteins while incomplete, can still get them, by having variety in your plant protein.

You may want to talk to a dietitian, who can help you maintain your muscle, by setting up a plan, and explaining how to do vegetarianism properly.

Whenever we cut stuff out of the diet, we oversimplify it.. meat is bad, carbs are bad, and focus on what we DON"T eat. You need to focus on what you DO eat, and make sure it gets you all your macro-, and micro- nutrients.

A vegetarian diet can be wonderful if you eat real food, and not processed, but like any other diet, if all you focus on is the non-meat aspect, you could still eat a poor diet. Get a plan, and stick to it, and I think you will be healthier, as long as you eat the right kinds of foods.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 6/5/2014 (08:45)
LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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6/5/14 8:26 A

To Kylar's point, when some teammates and I went vegetarian in college (never take a practical ethics class if you like won't afterwards), we did notice a drop in our capacity to practice and perform well at meets. When we met with one of the sports nutritionists on campus, she said that when we cut out meat, we replaced it with carbs rather than still getting the same macros as before. Instead, we had to focus on eating protein rich foods like beans, eggs, tofu, and yogurt to maintain our macro levels. Following her suggestions worked wonders for our performance and we actually noticed an increase in our athletic capacity once we had been eating properly for a couple of weeks.

There's different ways to go vegetarian...none of them a guaranteed to help you lose weight just by virtue of being meatless.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,097)
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6/5/14 8:02 A

Do you like any meat dishes; ham, chicken, turkey, roast beef, meatballs, chili, tuna salad, bacon, cobb salad, fish, shellfish, eggs, etc?

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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6/4/14 10:35 P

Being vegetarian, or near-vegetarian, or dairy-free, or pretty much anything else I've ever been at various times of my life, never changed my weight. The only way it would is if, by removing whatever you removed, you also removed a lot of calories from your daily diet. In my experience maintenance is pretty easy for a near-vegetarian who eats mostly healthy, real foods; but weight loss is a different story.

Do it if you want to eat that way for other reasons, but don't expect it to lose your 10-15 pounds for you.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,231
6/4/14 9:38 P

diet simply means what one eats.
as far as going vegetarian, well that's not necessarily going to do anything for your weight. it's more about how you eat. so if your idea of vegetarian is eating a lot of veggies and limiting junk food, great that might do something for your weight as well. but at the same time eating a lot of veggies and limiting junk food could apply to low carb, paleo, clean, vegan and a regular omnivorous diet. it's the more veggies, less junk that works. forty years ago if you wanted to eat vegetarian that may have limited some of your junk choices. but these days even some kinds of oreos are vegan. so if the market has plenty of junk food options for a plan that's more strict than the one you're looking at, well, there isn't anything particularly limiting about that choice. i mean, head to the junk food aisle in your local grocery store and start reading labels. being vegetarian only knocks out pork rinds, meat based jerky and jello. well, maybe a few more things, but 90+% of what's in that aisle you can still eat as a vegetarian. in that sense if you choose to be vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, omnivorous, whatever else, it has about as much affect on weightloss as what color shirt you wear. it's not which way you choose to do it it's that you choose to eat more veggies and less junk.
head to your local library to check out some veg cookbooks. most have recipes and menus and many have tips for switching over. if you don't want to count calories, decide about how many servings of what foods you need to be eating [say, 2-3 dairy, 2-3 protein, 3-5 fruits, 3-5 veg, 6-11 grain or whatever breakdown you want to go with]. make a little chart and tick them off as you eat them to make sure that you're getting enough, particularly on some of the more vegetable heavy dishes. my clean out the fridge vegetable lentil curry tends to run under 200 cals for almost 2 cups. that's fine for a meal, but it's better if i pair it with a baked potato [another 100 cals] because otherwise i'm not getting enough calories in for the day because veggie heavy can be quite low calorie if you're not paying enough attention.

Edited by: NIRERIN at: 6/4/2014 (21:48)
EELPIE Posts: 2,700
6/4/14 9:01 P

@ Kylar, why would that occur?

KYLAR_STERN SparkPoints: (22,234)
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6/4/14 8:46 P

Prepare to have energy levels, athletic performance, and body composition drop. It happens time and time and time again.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
6/4/14 8:37 P

Some have, some haven't. I pretty much stopped eating meat as well - but...I could gain a ton of weight eating cheese pizza, french fries, apple pie, chips, etc. You still have to watch, in some form, how many calories a day you do eat in order to lose weight.

Also, you need to keep your eye on your protein intake, as well as others.

I'd suggest doing some due diligence on it, beforehand:

ETA: It was not hard for me (I'm kinda at 98%, so not totally), the one thing I really found was that (by tracking here, otherwise I would have never known!!!) I was only getting minimum protein per 15-20 grams. For losing weight, it is recommended that a woman get a minimum of around 60, for my age, maintenance (where I am at) is about 40 - so..yeah 18 per day was not good at all. Still, it is something that I keep my eye on, every single day.

Edited by: EELPIE at: 6/4/2014 (20:42)
6/4/14 7:58 P

Hi people!
I'm trying to lose 10-15 pounds. I don't really like meat, never have, and I was curious if people had success with simply switching over to a vegetarian "diet". I know diet is a bad word here, and I agree; I figure instead of looking at it as a short term thing, I should switch to something long term and sustainable (for me). Counting calories makes me feel crazy and also obsessive (which was a danger in the past, and I dropped too much weight).
To the vegetarians out there; how easy/hard was it to make the switch? Did it alter your weight just by virtue of the food selection? Any tips on how to go about it?
(It's true I'm not motivated by moral outrage. But I see benefits beyond completely hypothetical weight loss. Just to clarify)

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