or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Nutrition and Good Eating › Vegetarian and Vegan › Are vegans ever overweight?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are vegans ever overweight?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I just started eating a vegan diet and all the books I've read talk about all the weight you'll lose. Is that pretty much a given if you eat a healthy vegan diet? Because so far I haven't lost a single pound. 

 

Just wondering if some vegans still struggle with weight. 

post #2 of 17

I've met some overweight/obese vegans.  They do exist.  In my experience, it was quite easy to lose weight on a vegan diet.  I lost 45+ lbs in 9 months.  I'm close to my goal weight now and I'll tell you, if I don't keep myself in check, it starts to creep back on.  If I eat too many vegan cookies, or too many refined grains, I'll gain a couple lbs in no time at all. 

 

So it truly is a combo of what you eat, but also how much.  I lost weight through diet change AND portion control.  I let myself have "bad" stuff from time to time (amy's frozen burritos, vegan cookies, vegan ice cream, ect).  But I had to mostly eat a TON of fruits and veggies, green smoothies, lots of beans and whole grains, ect.  I drank a lot of green tea in that time too.  I had to skip the juice and pop, obviously.

 

I'm eating a very relaxed vegan diet now and not losing a single lb, even though I could stand to lose 10-15 more.  It doesn't "fall off" of me unless I work for it, just like every other diet (although I have found this to be the easiest weight loss solution in the many years I've struggled...it's very easy to keep my weight in check).

post #3 of 17
I actually gained weight while vegan. There are no guarantees and no "solution" works for everybody.

For myself, (unknown at the time) i don't tolerate wheat or soy well at all, which formed the basis of my diet. So I gained probably 30 lbs while vegan.
post #4 of 17
I only met one vegan in real life that was really overweight. Actually, now I'm not sure if she was vegan or vegetarian. But I know she was the frenchy-fry-and-cookies type...

As for me, technically I'm not 'overweight' (low end of normal) but I don't feel I'm at the best weight for my body... I could definitely stand to lose 5-10lbs. I've been vegetarian for ~16 years and vegan for the last 6 or so, and there are only 2 times when I've struggled with weight -- once when I was on some crazy meds that made me gain 20lbs in 2 days (weight disappeared when I stopped the meds) and now. I was doing fine until I went gluten-free again about a year ago, somehow that made me gain some weight and highlight all the postpartum trouble spots.... The hard thing is, there's not much I can cut back on our cut out, since I'm already vegan, gluten-free, mostly soy-free, mostly processed & sugar-free... It would be so nice if I could just skip a daily cookie or something, instead I guess I just need to work out more....
post #5 of 17

The only person I've known who was vegan(I mean, that I KNEW was vegan) was/is morbidly obese. So is her husband. I really couldn't figure it out. Except that it seems like they eat a lot of "junk" vegan food, like soy ice cream or whatever. Their kids are overweight, too. 

post #6 of 17

There are lots and lots of fat vegans. Just ask Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I lost 80 pounds on a vegan diet, but I counted calories to do it.

post #7 of 17
.
Edited by kristandthekids - 1/16/13 at 6:41pm
post #8 of 17


Oh, do share. That sounds worth reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristandthekids View Post

I could think of at least one blog right off the top of my head run by a woman who is absolutely celebrating keeping her morbid obesity in spite of being a vegan.
post #9 of 17

i went vegan for a year several years ago.  didn't lose weight, didn't gain either.  probably because I was soooo hungry all the time that I was over indulging in carbs.  I ate veggie protein sources but they left me pretty hungry.

 

then a few years ago I tried again, made big batches of beans, ate lots of salads, smoothies etc, exercised and I lost 30 lbs. 

post #10 of 17

I've personally known many overweight vegetarians (the eat cheese all day types) but only 1 overweight vegan.

 

My Mom has been mostly vegan for several months (for health reasons), watches her calories, eats mostly the Eat to Live way AND she is way more in shape than me and does a 3 mile hike/run 5x week. She feels awesome now but has barely lost a pound. My Dad on the other hand, went vegan with her for just a few weeks and lost 15 lbs, and he doesn't work out. My Mom suspects her thyroid, though my guess is her weight is not a problem if she is that in shape.

 

For me, I was an underweight TFer for a few years because of health problems, and was pleased how plant based carbs brought me back to a healthy weight. I am able to maintain my weight with less calories than eating tons more calories from animal fat and not being able to gain any weight.

 

So I don't know, everyone's bodies are very very different.....

post #11 of 17

Yea, I think the carbs can be the killer for vegans.  I stay about the same weight while vegan, unless I watch my carb/sugar in-take.  I have known several 'puffy' vegans in my life, however.  One of them owns a bakery though!

post #12 of 17

Well, I am one who gained weight at first when going vegan, and I still struggle with my weight after 10 years of it.  I am NOT the french fry and soda pop kind.  We eat a VERY whole foods, high raw vegan diet (sometimes all raw, for months at a time).  Prior to this I ate a pretty standard diet and only gained weight the year before we went vegan due to lots of fast food and then pregnancy.  However, I did go vegan when I was 22 so probably if I'd continued eating a standard diet I'd have eventually started gaining weight once I lost the advantage of my youth. ;)

 

When we first went vegan we ate the McDougall way which is very low fat and little-to-no flours/refined grains; we ate that way for 2+ years and I didn't lose any weight (DH did, but only the weight he initally put on when we first went vegetarian and he started eating cheese all the time).  After that it was the Eat to Live way (Dr. Fuhrman, I think?) which I felt was a healthier, more balanced diet (I should probably be eating like that now) of lots of raw and cooked veggies, beans, and small amounts of starches.  No significant weight loss.

 

I finally had to come to terms with the fact that I was spiritually lighter (I'd always had deep moral issues with animal foods) and that would have to be good enough.  And it has been.  In general, I could stand to lose 10-20 lbs at any given time but my weight is pretty stable so I don't gain and lose often (this is a good thing, as someone who has recovered from years of eating disorder, to not yo-yo).  My husband (who was always skinny!) sometimes gains weight as well, over the winter especially.  We have not found veganism to be a weight loss panacea.  However, we have to get comprehensive bloodwork done for our insurance every year and our numbers are always STELLAR.  So I know that we're "healthy" even if we aren't at our ideal weights.

 

The raw vegan diet is the only way I can get down to what is considered an "ideal" weight for my height, but it's not sustainable for me or my family.  But even after several months of the raw diet (and going from a size 12 pants to a size 6), the weight started to creep back on even though I was still eating the same raw foods.  It was good for cleansing though, and I'll probably still continue to eat as "high raw" as possible.  At 100% raw I found drawbacks, despite my weight loss.

post #13 of 17

I gained when I first went vegan, but that wasn't a failing of veganism, it was because I had to try every SINGLE vegan dessert recipe known to man. Every commercial vegan sweet, too. At this point, I'm losing weight at about 1.5 pounds a week, and it's coming off way easier than when I lost 100 pounds as a LO vegetarian. I do count calories, but I also have a really hard time with my perceptions of how much food is enough if I don't. I attribute this to 10 years on Ritalin as a child.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambereva View Post

There are lots and lots of fat vegans. Just ask Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I lost 80 pounds on a vegan diet, but I counted calories to do it.


She does have PCOS and hypothyroidism. That definitely contributes to her weight. However, she readily admits that occupation as a vegan cookbook author makes losing weight difficult.

 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodlebugsmom View Post




She does have PCOS and hypothyroidism. That definitely contributes to her weight. However, she readily admits that occupation as a vegan cookbook author makes losing weight difficult.

 


I didn't mean to come off as critical. I LOVE her. And remember her blog posts about weight. She's awesome.

 

post #16 of 17

Quote:

Originally Posted by catnip View Post

I do count calories, but I also have a really hard time with my perceptions of how much food is enough if I don't.

 

Same here, although I won't claim to be vegan-I eat a mostly plant based diet, but will occassionally have seafood or eggs. I lost weight very easily (30 lbs) when I switched to a whole foods plant based diet from the SAD, but it was only by counting calories and remaining within a certain range that the weight was able to come off. Even now I notice my weigth start to creep back up if I slack off on counting calories even though I'm still eating the same mostly plant based diet because I start to eat more than I really need.
 

 

post #17 of 17

Oh, I didn't think you were being critical! I just first read of her health issues in her latest cookbook, "Appetite for Reduction." I didn't know if it was common knowledge or not. The new cookbook, BTW is amazing! Easy and inexpensive recipes that are just packed with flavor. smile.gif

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Vegetarian and Vegan
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Nutrition and Good Eating › Vegetarian and Vegan › Are vegans ever overweight?