October 24, 1960
I totally agree with Sheryl. I eat a plant based diet as well. It is mainly about calories. Of course, each gram of fat has more calories than each gram of carbohydrate. Therefore, the actual portions of fat has to be smaller than that of starches. Starches can be measured in measuring cups. Fats, such as oils have to be measured with spoons and not cups. One cannot eat as many ounces of nuts as of vegetables or fruits. The way to lose weight by exercise is to increase the number of calories burned by activity, without increasing the number of calories consumed. Really increasing one's exercise enables many to lose weight without cutting, while not increasing caloric consumption. I have been far more successful losing weight (95 pounds lower than my highest) than I ever have and I would credit counting calories and exercising as well as eating a lot of fiber rich plant food. The daily exercise enables me to maintain my weight on a higher calorie level than I would have been able to otherwise. Figuring out the calorie level that maintains my weight and continuing to count calories has enabled me to keep my weight steady without even one pound of regain for two straight years now. Fiber rich plant foods control hunger.
What you say is exactly what I think. I don't want to offend anyone, but I lost my weight while still eating meat- I was raised eating meat, and this made it a deeply ingrained habit. I don't think my parents really believed strongly in eating meat, but it was habitual for them as well. If I hadn't continued counting calories, I wouldn't have been able to give up meat. This helped me quit because writing down everything I eat makes me much more mindful of what I eat. I mainly stopped eating meat and most other animal products for ethical reasons since losing my weight. Plant foods helped me lose weight by their fiber content. The point is, that when a person counts calories, nothing has to be completely forbidden in order to lose weight. A person can eat nuts and still lose weight, if they cut back on something else and the nuts don't make them go over their allotted weight loss calories for the day. Since I always budget the calories for the nuts, I don't gain weight from them. And remember, my exercise gives me a higher overall calorie budget. Even when I was still eating meat, I budgeted the calories for that and still lost weight. I have also been able to lose weight even eating sweets, but I am not able to eat every sweet I want to eat. Remember the man who lost weight eating twinkies? He just made sure he had a calorie deficit and he still lost weight. If some people can lose weight still eating meat and twinkies, then certainly most people can lose weight while eating nuts, which are far healthier, if they budget their calories for them. So, no particular food that is portion controlled makes me gain weight, but eating too many overall calories does. The only time I begin to gain weight is when I go out to eat and lose track of the number of calories I am eating, and not even by eating some nuts or some sweets. The restaurants I go to are salad bar restaurants, so I eat a lot of vegetables, no meat, but higher calorie breads as well.
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How's it going?
I've been 3 weeks off all high fat foods: no oil, no nuts, no avocado, no Durien, no chocolate... all of which I had been eating increasingly in recent years. I've lost about a pound. I was hoping for more weight loss by now, but I'm feeling lighter & more energetic, & it's going in the right direction. Slow weight loss is to be expected when already within one's healthy BMI range.
Another important advantage of eating only the low-fat plant foods is protection of the colon. Dr. McDougall explains how high fat foods trigger the release of bile acids, which increase our risk of developing colon cancer.
I found some details on that on Dr. Mirkin's web sites: "Eating a high-fat diet causes your liver to make more bile, and bile is loaded with a chemical called lithocholic acid, a bile acid that helps digest fat. Lithocholic acid is probably the most toxic compound that your body makes. Lithocholic acid damages the DNA, the genetic material in cells to cause cancer."
It's been about a month of eating the truly low-fat vegan diet once more. I've lost 3 pounds so far while eating all I want, and even better, my blood pressure has dropped easily and naturally down to ideal normal.
In your reply, you posed a question about why so many people refuse to give up nuts when they could benefit from doing so. I think Dr. Neal Barnard talks about that in his lecture on food addictions. Fat is addictive and enhances food flavours.
It's been just over 2 months now of eating 100% low-fat, whole plant foods (eliminated ALL oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, chocolate, Durien. I've lost 11 pounds while eating all I want. There are other improvements too: I always used to enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, which went by the wayside once I got into "treating" myself with high fat foods. I have started opening my recipe books again! Yay!
I added up the calories from fat that I had been eating before the change; it was amazing how fast it added up! According to my calculator (9 calories per gram of fat) I was eating about 500 calories JUST from fat. I had been "justing" myself into gaining weight: JUST a 1/4 of an avocado on my salad,JUST one piece of Durien, JUST 1 ounce of chocolate, JUST 1/4 cup of unsalted cashews... as if saying "just" somehow magically takes away the high fat content.
Hello everyone who is interested in this topic. It's been about 4 months for me now of eating only low-fat whole plant foods, and to date, I've lost 20 lbs. I've been stable at this point for several weeks, so I suspect this may be the bottom of my weight loss. I look & feel much better. When I was going up a steep flight of stairs recently, I realized how much easier it is now. That 20 lbs was like carrying 4 five pound gym weights with me everywhere!
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