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From: Chris (lsa-325a-002.mcb.berkeley.edu)
Subject: Re: Weight Loss Expectations
Date: November 8, 2004 at 4:53 pm PST

In Reply to: Weight Loss Expectations posted by Eric on October 26, 2004 at 12:49 pm:

Hey Eric,

I'm almost thirty and I've been a vegetarian for 9 years. I can vouch for the veg diet as an
easy way to keep your weight under control, but only if you develop good eating habits and
focus on the veggies. It is NOT a panacea. JS is totally right-eggs and dairy can kill the ol'
diet in a flash and beer doesn't help.

If I want to lose weight quickly, here's what I do. Caution: it will suck for the first few days,
when you really crave the salt/fat/sugar, but after that you'll feel great and find that most of
the stuff you were craving doesn't seem so tempting anymore.

General rules, I only cook with olive oil (good flavor, monounsaturated so great for your
heart), no butter or cheese in the dish (I use cheese/vegan cheese only at the table).
Absolutely no sugary junk: no candy, soda, or (especially) baked goods. (That's the killer for
me. I love scones. Alas). No fruit juice (just eat the fruit-far more satisfying) and nothing
fried. I avoid eating prepared foods (like TV dinners), but I when I do use them, I pay
attention to the label (not more than about 30% fat, avoid things that have a lot of added
sugar/corn syrup). I don't worry too much about caffeine, alcohol, carbs, salt or portion
sizes. I don't count calories.

Big, important rule: drink lots of water. At least 1.5 litre/day. (this is surprisingly hard).

Pick one meal (it's dinner for me, since I can plan it out and it's nice to look forward to) that
is guilt-free. This means that I eat whatever I want as long as I have a real, sit-down meal
that's balanced (at least two veggies, like salad and grilled asparagus, one starchy thing, like
risotto, potatoes or pasta, and a protein source, like tofu (yeah, I know. Tofu. But, wildwood
makes good tofu, really). I have a glass of wine. I have seconds if I'm hungry.

For the other meals, I graze rather than having real meals. I limit myself to raw whole foods
(as many veggies and fruits as I want, anything except things like avocados that are very high
fat) and some complex carbs (I like cereal, so I usually have that. No sugary cereal, though)
or a handful of nuts. This is the part that sucks, but I can look forward to a nice dinner every
night, so it's not so bad.

I also get out for some exercise (even walking is great-I walk to and from work, about 4
miles a day, but everything helps).

I know it sounds like an extreme diet, but since you can eat as many fruits/veggies as you
want, I swear you're not hungry. As I said, for the first few days, you might feel grumpy, but
it's really the cravings, not actual hunger, and that goes away fast. Also, I always use the one
guilt-free meal to socialize, so that I don't feel like I'm on a diet (because dieting seems so
awful). Even if you can only exercise a few times a week, you can easily lose 2 pounds a week
following this diet.

Also, don't use diet pills. Totally unnecessary and a huge waste of money.

Good luck!



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