think you already spotted the problem: "I am a pasta and potato
the summer I worked out everyday for about 40-50 minutes on the
sationary bike. I did lose a little bit of weght but for the 3 months
I only lost a fraction of what I wanted to lose. Unfortunatly now
I have found myself at square one again my BMI=26.8 and my food
score was 4312., I have low energy levels and always sleep, I currently
weigh 151 lbs and am 64 inches and 20 years old way to fat for my
age and height. I am trying to get to 120 lbs. and be able to keep
the weight off. Can you please give me some advise on my problem.
on the exercise program; that's half the battle. If the high food
score of 4312 was derived from my diet questionaire then you must
be getting a lot of exercise because the foods you describe probably
wouldn't do it. See:
Diet and Exercise
The bottom line
on weight loss is simple. If you burn more Calories in your daily
activities than you absorb from your food, you will lose weight.
Period! All the world's famines, concentration camps, and long intentional
fasts are proof.
However, a good
deal of present day veg*n nutritional advice advocates a high consumption
of "complex carbohydrate" which generally means starches
and grains e.g " pasta and potatoes". While this is an
improvement on the Standard American Diet, I don't think it's optimal
advice for two reasons.
is the problem of glycemic index (GI), the ability of a food to
raise serum glucose levels. Although the GI tables are woefully
incomplete it appears that baked potato has a GI of ~ 85 relative
to 100 for pure glucose and durum spaghetti comes in at 55. By contrast,
peas and cherries come in at about 22. For reasons unfathomable,
workers in the field have apparently not thought to test the GI
of the unprocessed foods that people should be eating, fresh leafy
vegetables, but I suspect they would generally have the lowest GI
of all. The evidence suggests that high GI foods raise serum insulin
and triglyceride levels and since a secondary function of insulin
is to store fat, these foods may inhibit weight loss in some people.
the high GI starches and grains have much lower nutrient values
than most vegetables, particularly leafy greens. See:
suggests that the vegetables and fruits that can be eaten raw have
much higher nutrient values than the starches and grains that generally
have to be cooked to make them palatable and digestible. See:
Raw vs Cooked
I think you would achieve your weight loss goals on a raw vegan
diet. If that's too much then a vegan diet centered on vegetables
and fruit will also work. The reason is simply that your stomach
will be filled and your nutrient needs satisfied before your Caloric
needs are reached so your body will mobilize fat stores to get at
the Calories. Whole food vegans must eat ~ 1/3 more food by weight
and volume to match the Calorie intake of omnivores and that's why
vegans are generally slender. There's a bit more on this at:
of the recipes.
On any type
of vegan diet vitamin B12 should be supplemented. As for ways to
make those leafy greens more palatable there are many different
strategies. My favorite is by our VSH meeting planner, Karl Seff,
Ph.D. the chairman of the University of Hawaii chemistry department.
Karl comes home from work and starts cooking vegetable dishes. While
the water boils he munches on raw vegetables, onions, cucumbers,
and mustard for flavor. By the time the cooked food is ready he's
not hungry anymore.
received a degree in physics from the University of California Berkeley,
where he earned Phi Beta Kappa honors. He received his degree in
medicine from the University of California at San Francisco, and
received his postgraduate training at San Diego County Hospital.
He holds a Medical License in the State of Hawaii. He has been an
Emergency Department physican since 1963, and the Director of the
Kaiser Permanente Vegan Lifestyle Clinic on Oahu until his retirement
in 1998. Dr. Harris is the author of The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism.
addition, he was the 1950 Big Ten Trampoline Champion, is an accomplished
hangglider and commercial pilot, and at age 70 became a skydiver
with 108 jumps to date. Dr. Harris has been vegetarian since 1950,
and vegan since 1963.