Category: Fat Loss

I went vegan for a month… and lost 7 lbs

I survived!!!

Okay, so it actually wasn’t all that big of a deal. The first couple of days were kind of tricky, but that was on us. We hadn’t really planned it out too well leading into the vegan way of life. However, after we had things figured out it, we found it pretty easy to do. And pretty tasty too.

Tofu is the chicken of the vegan world. It doesn’t have much flavor until you season it. And it’s a great source of protein. And if tofu is the chicken of the vegan world, then tempeh (fermented soybeans) is the ground beef of the vegan world. And it’s heartier than tofu so it works in other dishes where tofu would not. And then there is seitan (pronounced say-tan) which touts itself as the ultimate “meat” substitute. And while I admit that I enjoyed this wheat protein, I didn’t feel it really lived up to its name. And since most of the questions I received were in reference to protein (in that, where did you get it from?), here is a list of the sources of protein we ate. And yes, we got plenty of it.

  • Tofu (love it’s versatility)
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Nuts, nut butters, seeds
  • Edamame
  • Soybeans (roasted these are an awesome snack)
  • Chickpeas/hummus
  • Beans (we had a LOT of beans)
  • VEGA vegan protein powder (my post workout shake)

There are others that contributed in a smaller way, but these were the big ones.

What I noticed and my final takeaways:

  1. It’s best to ease into this slowly. The increase in fiber is larger than you think and we um…. noticed. Things settled down after the first week though.
  2. If you plan this out, it’s no big deal. This includes social situations. You learn after a bit what you like, what’s easy to make, etc. Just not all that hard.
  3. You’ll likely save money. Meat is expensive, man. Beans aren’t.
  4. It’s (probably) healthier than your current diet. We ate tons of varieties of fruits and vegetables and even found myself eating fruit and nuts for snacks and absolutely loving baked carrots. Perfect snack.
  5. You eat more cheese than you think you do. We are cutting way, way back on this moving forward.
  6. It’s easier to get your protein than you would think. See above.
  7. The recipes we made were almost all really, really good. We will continue to make them.
  8. We did miss traditional pizza, but did find ways around it. Shout out to WB pizza here in Indianapolis for their creative ways of making vegan pizza really tasty.
  9. You’ll lose weight…. maybe….

Which leads me to the title of this post. Yes, I did lose 7 lbs in 30 days. Man, that sounds like a headline you’d read on a magazine cover of Cosmopolitan doesn’t it? But it’s true. Here’s the kicker though. I intentionally lost weight. This really ended up being a timing issue. Coincidentally, October 1st not only marked the end of our month of veganism, but it also marked the day of an Olympic distance triathlon I had signed up for a while back. And to prepare for the race, I wanted to get back to what I feel is my best “race weight”. I could have, and would have, lost the weight on any diet really. I simply cut back on calories (mostly from fat as I kept carbs high for training purposes) while simultaneously running, biking, swimming, and lifting weights each week. With the triathlon over (whew), it’s highly likely I’ll creep back up 3-4 lbs…. and that’s okay. Or maybe I’ll stay keen on what I’m taking in and it will stay down. And if you’re wondering how this weight loss was determined, I weighed in on my super cool scale here at my office on day 1 and weighed out on September 30th. Starting weight was 168.6 lbs and final weight was 161.4 lbs. And for the record, I weighed in today at 163.4 (scale tells me thats almost all water though).

Final thoughts here: Megan enjoyed it so much that she is done eating meat. However she will still on occasion eat seafood. This technically makes her pescatarian, or a vegetarian who still eats fish. As for me, I will eat meat again, however it’s pretty clear that I will be eating quite a bit less, and that’s fine with me. The biggest change back from being vegan will be my addition of cottage cheese, eggs, and Greek yogurt. And speaking of eggs, I picked up a carton at the store yesterday… and proceeded to make my tofu/bell pepper/onion/bean breakfast. It’s really good I promise.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t bad at all and I enjoyed many parts of it. I’ll keep many of the pieces I picked up during my time as a vegan and carry them with me moving forward. And I think that’s a good thing.

What do you think?

Surviving your diet on vacation

With schools letting out and summer just around the corner, that can mean only one thing (okay, it can mean a number of things)….

Summer vacations!

This is a notoriously slow time in the nutrition and fitness business. And rightfully so I suppose. The weather is nice and lugging your butt to the gym to lift isn’t really very enticing now is it? Farmer’s markets are opening and offering up fresh, local produce (and pizza, tacos, guacamole, dog treats, pretzels, and wind chimes) so eating healthier is easier and typically more palatable due to the freshness of everything. People are also heading to the park and riding bikes and are, in general, more active this time of the year.

I also have been doing this now for just shy of 7 years and so I’ve witnessed how people’s nutritional habits/tendencies vary during different times of year. And they’re exactly what you might think they’d be. From Halloween until January 1st, our dietary intake is typically less than stellar. January to spring break is usually tidied up a bit with some not so great days mixed in there.

And then there’s summer. Summer is a mix of a bit of everything. There’s the aforementioned increased intake of fresh fruits and veggies, but there is also a lot of potato salad made with loads of mayonnaise sitting between potato chips and hot dogs.

So what do summer vacations look like? Well first let me tell you what I tend to hear from clients who are about to embark on a trip.

“Well we’ll be doing a lot of walking!”

“There will be a lot of fresh fruit”

“We’ll be near the beach so plenty of fresh fish”

“The hotel has a gym in it”

“We’ll be so busy we won’t even hardly think about food”

And the list goes on and on, but there is a single recurring theme to each of those statements….

Good intentions.

And that’s cool in theory, right? I mean positive thinking is a good thing. And when you think about it, it makes sense too. Vacations are supposed to be fun, relaxing, getaways so the mood is a positive one overall. The problem lies in what I call the “screw-it-itis” syndrome. It goes a little something like this:

“Yeah, I could get the grilled grouper with a side of rice and pineapple, but screw it I’m on vacation! I’m getting the fried grouper sandwich with a side of fries and a margarita. I’ll get back to eating healthy when I get home.”

Happens all. the. time.

You know you’ve done it. I sure know that I’ve done it. So what do we do about it?

The answer, as is almost always the case, is it depends. However, some people respond well to, and this is typically the first place I go with my clients, but to remember the “why” they are on this health/weight/fitness journey in the first place. Do you need to come off medication? Do you want to be around to watch your daughter grow up and get married? Do you want to be able to complete that half marathon you signed up for in the fall? That “why” needs to be more important than that fried grouper sandwich and fries. There is a great quote by the late Zig Ziglar that reads: “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now”. So by learning delayed gratification, you can really make the change. It just isn’t always easy. In fact, it almost never is.

So the post title is obviously about vacationing, but the meat of this post can be applied to any situation where you’re vulnerable to make a decision that isn’t helping you get closer to your goal. As a matter of fact, I’m looking out over my gym right this moment and I know I have a lift scheduled here in 5 minutes. And I gotta tell you I really don’t want to do it. I’m tired from my lift yesterday. It’s beautiful outside. I need to head home and do laundry/pack/clean for my trip to Chicago tomorrow. But you know what? I’m lacing up and doing it anyway. It won’t be my best, but it will keep the habit. And as a bonus, it will get me one step closer to a goal I set for myself. So I’m just gonna suck it up and bang it out.

Til next week!

 

 

About Fat Shaming & Body Images

Ok, before I dive in I realize not everyone will agree with me on this topic. Frankly, it’s likely to piss some people off and make them think I’m a terrible person.

And that’s ok.

This is an opinion piece after all. I have my right to it and I do mean well as I hope you all see after reading this.

Read More

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén