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CERTHIA SparkPoints: (22,539)
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8/4/13 8:18 P

I have given up dairy for a month now (allergic). No weight loss out of the ordinary for me. Did not really expect it either, as I found it a bit challenging to eat within my ranges after excluding milk protein. (After adding wine and chocolates to soothe my cottage cheese cravings, oh my..)

I must admit I have secretly nurtured hopes (wishful thinking) that my allergies somehow was slowing down my weight-loss, and that excluding dairy magically would speed things up without me having to reduce calories further, but nothing indicates that happening for me so far.

Edited to add that I if I had been consuming cakes, pizza ect. on a regular basis prior to eliminating dairy, I would probably lost more weight by now. But my dairy was mostly in the form of lean protein (cottage cheese, fat reduced Greek yogurt, whey protein), so eliminating it made finding new healthy substitutes for adding the lean proteins challenging for me.

Edited by: CERTHIA at: 8/5/2013 (07:51)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
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8/4/13 7:51 P

Weight loss isn't so much about *what* you eat, as how much of it you eat. If you drop certain foods from your diet, that often does trigger weight loss because it reduces overall calorie intake. However, if you're already overeating, you may just drop down into maintenance, or may compensate by overeating with other things.

While cutting out certain things does tend to cause weight loss, it doesn't always. I know plenty of people who identify as vegan or vegetarian who have awful diets and are always overeating.

Potato chips are vegetarian, but not healthy at all.

AUDIROE SparkPoints: (1,728)
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8/4/13 7:45 P

Just for reference, most meat and eggs produce the same effect as milk products in my system. I am also giving up most meat because of a family history of colon cancers and studies have shown a high correlation with meat consumption and these types of cancers. This was purely personal preference.

I understand that being a "vegan" or a "flexitarian" is not about weight loss. I simply expected to see some change in my weight over time because of not consuming foods like pizza and ice cream. Though these were not staples in my diet, I would have a treat once or twice a week. I am also consuming more whole fruits and vegetables. Oh, and by the way, I don't eat those crappy vegan "substitutes." I'd rather eat vegetables than a processed veggie "burger." Yuck. And what the heck is vegan cheese, anyway?

I was really just curious about anybody's experience with becoming a vegan or vegetarian regarding weight loss. I have been free of dairy, eggs, beef, and pork for over two months now without seeing a change in my weight. This is ok because I feel so much better, but I'd like to know if anybody experienced weight loss.

And PS... I don't need to hear about vegan nutrition; I have and am taking the time to properly educate myself on required nutrients. I realized that I was malnurished as a dairy and meat consumer; I'm actually getting more complete nutrition now.

Thanks for your input!

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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8/4/13 12:22 P

At first I thought the OP was deciding to cut out *all* meat as well as dairy. I realize now they were referring to red meat only.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,249
8/4/13 11:18 A

vegan diets don't have anything to do with weightloss. you can lose weight eating vegan, but you can also lose weight not eating vegan. years ago deciding to eschew animal products meant you were very limited in what you could have but now most major cities have vegan restaurants, more highly processed foodstuffs mean a greater number of things are being made accidentally vegan, and marketers have realized that people will buy stuff if they slap a vegan sticker on it so it's not as hard to skip animal products. plain oreos seem to be made with 2 different recipes, one of which is vegan. and one of the variations is too [mint? double stuf? i can't remember offhand]. the point of all of that is that there is plenty of junk out on the market that you can eat that doesn't contain meat or dairy. and if you're grabbing the stuff that's labeled vegan odds are you're eating more of the high calorie junk that's not conducive to weightloss. the best stuff for you tends to come with little to no packaging and claims on it.
so if you were gaining weight with dairy in your diet and you're just maintaining now it's possible that your biggest vice wasn't as large of a problem as you thought it was. so it's just making a difference in not gaining as opposed to losing. if you were staying steady with the dairy as well as without, that just means that whatever calories you used to spend on dairy you are now spending on something else to the point that there aren't any calories leftover to contribute to a deficit.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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8/4/13 9:11 A

I too am puzzled at the connection between lactose intolerance and giving up (some) meat and presumably eggs; maybe there is no connection and the OP did them for different reasons.

Regardless, I think Jennilacey's concerns are overstated; as long as some meat is still in a diet there shouldn't be any trouble at all with getting all the needed micronutrients, nor is there any reason per se that carbohydrates would be high. (Nor do highish carbohydrates necessarily hinder weight loss in and of itself, but that's another story.)

On to the main topic, about six months after my son was born we found out that he was having allergic reactions to dairy milk that he was getting through me (I was nursing). Since I wanted to nurse long-term I stopped eating all dairy products and kept that up for about two years. Since our son is still allergic himself, we use very little milk at all in the house even now for that matter, though I do eat yogurt sometimes. So anyway as regards milk and weight loss -- I did in fact lose weight when I cut out dairy. About ten pounds if I remember correctly. I attribute this almost entirely to having to give up ice cream and almost all baked goods in order to cut out the dairy -- that was most of my over-eating, right there. I gradually gained it back afterwards, of course.

I didn't lose all the weight until I made a much more comprehensive effort at managing not just one food group, but everything I eat.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
8/4/13 7:29 A

I, too am unsure what the dairy and the meat have to do with each other.
The dairy does not "leak" into the flesh of the beef (and it's often not the cow that you're consuming, anyway).

Giving up vast quantities of things, unless for allergies, is often only a temporary 'fix' for some - because they go back to their old ways after a while.

Reworking your menu to include a healthy balance of all food categories that you can tolerate is a much better, life-long solution

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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8/4/13 7:15 A

I'm not quite sure what giving up meat has to do with lactose intolerance? Is it just a personal choice?

It's going to be difficult getting enough protein giving up the two main food groups containing it. Not impossible.... but it's going to take a very specialized diet on your part. You will be lacking in complete proteins, B12, iron, calcium etc. unless you pay very close attention to supplements and substitutes... even still.

I have a strange relationship with milk. I drank it all the time as a kid, never bothered me. Then in my early 20's I suddenly developed a severe intolerance where even products made with cow's milk would turn my stomach into knots. No milk, no cheese, no products with milk, no dairy at all aside from the occasional yogurt. I avoided it like the plague until I became pregnant with my first and started craving it. Suddenly, I had no problems with it and didn't my entire pregnancy. Post-pregnancy my intolerance returned although not as severe as before, it was just pure cow's milk that bothered me. In my second pregnancy, I thought; great! I can have milk again! WRONG! It was horrid. A couple drops put me on the couch for the rest of the day. I tried soy, didn't like it. Tried lactose-free, still bothered my tummy. I finally discovered almond milk and I love it! Even more than cow's milk.

Fast forward a few years; I haven't had issues with cheese, products containing milk (incl. cooking and baking), yogurt or any other dairy. But if I have too much cow's milk in a day I start cramping and bloating. So I just use almond milk. For example; the other day I ran out of almond milk and used a little too much cow's milk as a substitute (like I said, a little bit in a day doesn't bother me but I used quite a bit for 2 days) and I started bloating up again and cramping. So although I'm not affected quite as severely as I used to be, it can still bother me and I try to avoid using it and sub almond milk. But I don't get any symptoms from cheese or yogurt.

The only way I can think of that cutting out meat and dairy is going to effect your weight loss is that your diet is subsequently going to be carb heavy. Carbs retain fluid (bloat), I'm not very educated beyond that of the effects of a carb heavy diet (I'm assuming you will be opting for healthy carbs; veg, fruit, legumes, whole grains). In any diet that is heavy in one macro over others and/or cutting out food groups, I find you're going to run into deficiencies if you're not extra careful and develop a specialized diet. Cutting back on protein and fats may also effect your satiety. You will not stay full for long after eating and may be prone to overeating.

I don't eat a lot of meat... mostly a personal preference thing but I do try to get 1-2 servings a day. I eat a lot of chicken and fish/seafood (also a personal preference) and occasionally pork (like a pork tenderloin) or turkey (when the occasion calls for it) but I've never liked red meat. Strangely enough, I still get a lot of my protein from dairy like; Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and other cheeses and they don't bother me. I also get a lot of protein from eggs/egg whites, nuts/nut butters, seeds, whole grains, legumes and veg that is higher in protein (like mushrooms and broccoli). I still have a diet heavy in protein, about 90-125g and my macro breakdown is usually 40% carbs 30% fat and 30% protein.

None of my diet preferences/requirements effected my fat loss/weight management. When it comes to fat loss it's all about calories in vs. calories out. Everything else is just fluid loss/gain. When it comes to my diet it's about personal preference, dietary requirements, adequate nutrients/vitamins and the right combo of macros for sustainable energy, satiety and muscle growth... not fat loss. I lose fat because I eat less than my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 8/4/2013 (08:19)
MISSRUTH Posts: 4,271
8/4/13 6:36 A

Do you track your food here on SparkPeople? It will automatically track the protein, but you can also set it to track calcium and other nutrients that you might now be lacking since you don't eat dairy. There are many vegans here on Spark (who don't eat dairy or any meat products) who've lost weight. The bottom line is that weight loss comes down to how many calories we're eating versus how many calories our bodies need to sustain their functions and the activity we do. You can cut out dairy but if you then eat more starches etc and eat too many calories, you won't lose weight. So eliminating dairy won't automatically lead to weight loss. You'd need to look at the whole picture, of how many calories you're taking in overall.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,333)
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8/4/13 3:09 A

Lactose intolerance doesn't mean you have to give up meat. It just means you need to be careful with the milk-type products. I can consume small amounts of milk, occasionally, but if it is frequent then then I have problems. I can tolerate quality yoghurt well, and hard cheeses are good. The softer ones can be more problematic. Just as I can tolerate small amounts of milk occasionally, I can have cottage cheese, but not all can.

Make sure that you are getting a good amount of protein, and talk with your Dr about other nutrients that you could be missing out on. Calcium is one, and so too are some of the various vitamins. If need be, you might find it beneficial to ask for a referral to a Registered Dietitian to ensure that you are getting what you need.

I haven't given up meat, but mostly eat a lot less than the average person. The exceptions are if I occasionally have a roast or a steak. I have been eating like this for many years, and the weight-loss still happened.

Good luck,

AUDIROE SparkPoints: (1,728)
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8/3/13 11:55 P

I have discovered that I am lactose intolerant. I have given up all dairy and all animal products except for shrimp, turkey, and lean cuts of chicken.

I am about 30-40lbs overweight and have had trouble losing weight in the past. Considering that dairy was a HUGE part of my diet, and my biggest vice, I expect to see some long-term weight loss, though the scale has not budged much for the few months of dairy-free living. *Note: Weight-loss is not my primary goal here, though it would be nice. I am very happy that I just feel better without dairy and most meat!

Anybody have experience with giving up dairy and/or red meat and experiencing weight loss? Did you lose weight? How quickly did you notice a difference?

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