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HOW can I lose weight????

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have gained about 15lbs over the past year & I want it gone NOW. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm a bit more active than I was during DS's first 2 years (though still not as active as I could be, working on that...) DS is nursing a lot less (1-2 times vs. 20+ times a day!), but I don't feel like I'm eating double or anything. I eat too much for dinner but am pretty good the rest of the day. I went gluten-free about 1.5 years ago (always tired & I think I feel a bit better GF) and try -- often unsuccessfully -- to minimize grains. I eat very little sugar. I've been vegan for years so mostly I eat veggies, nuts, beans, brown rice, etc. which is basically everything every diet I read suggests eating... I don't know what to change! I was on thyroid meds for about 4 months but that didn't help in any way (with my exhaustion or with weight loss) & seemed to mess with my moods. I try to drink more water, which is really hard for me, liquids don't always sit well with me. I don't understand why I keep gaining though. Something needs to change but I don't have the time or energy (or money!) to spend 1-2 hours at the gym every day and I can't figure out how to change my diet, I have been a pretty steady weight for a good 15 years before this, aside from a couple years when I was anorexic, and obviously when I was pregnant, so I am not sure what to do to control my weight.
post #2 of 23

How long ago did you have your thyroid tested? I am hypothyroid and cannot lose weight if I am not medicated properly. Sometimes it takes more than four months to get on the right track, too. Pregnancy messes that all up for me. Anyway something to think about.


You gotta change your diet or your exercise level. How do you feel about walking/running? I've been walking 3-4 times a week for the last 10 weeks and I have lost 15 pounds. I also have an apple instead of ever ever ever eating seconds. I'm just about to get some new shoes and start couch to 5K.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
My thyroid was tested a year or two ago?? I don't remember. It wasn't low enough to medicate, just borderline low, but eventually we tried meds anyway just to see if it would help my symptoms (and it didn't). I should get bloodwork again but I need to find a new doctor and starting Jan. 1 I only have minimal insurance so I doubt I'll find someone & get the tests done in just one month. greensad.gif

Theoretically I like to run, but in reality I hate it & it wipes me out too much. I have been walking 3-6 times a week for months & months & months but it makes no difference (some of these are hour+ long walks)... and I've also been doing little workouts most days of the week -- sometimes only 5mins, sometimes 20+mins, that's in addition to walking. I like the apple idea. It's so hard for me to not have seconds and my stomach is always growling by bedtime no matter how much I have for dinner, but especially when I don't have seconds!! Maybe the apple will help. What is couch to 5K?
post #4 of 23

Couch to 5K is a program that teaches you how to run in I believe 8 weeks. I used to run, and loved it. And walking to burn enough calories takes such a huge frickin time commitment I decided to try to get back to running. I think I'm ready. Google it and let me know if you want to start it with me and we'll get a thread going. People love it.


I get a bag of huge tart apples every week and slice one up for every dinner, and eat it last. It takes forever to eat, and gives my body a chance to realize I'm full. I have a hard time not being a hoover when I am breastfeeding. At bedtime I eat a little coconut bar.

post #5 of 23

Walking is great but jogging will burn a lot more calories in a shorter period of time. You are on the right track. A good exercise program to go with a healthy diet is a sure fire way to lose weight. Just be a little patient as it may take a few weeks for it to really start paying off.

post #6 of 23

You might look into the primal or paleo diet


Check out www.marksdailyapple.com


Or google dr. Michael Eades, kurt Harris, or paleohacks


Its def not vegan but I find it to be pretty conscious.

if your vegan for ethical environmental, or health reasons I would strongly suggest reading the book "vegetarian myth"


I was a vegetarian(vegan for the latter part)  for almost ten years.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
So funny that this thread just got bumped back up now... I have not lost a single ounce in the ~6 weeks since I posted this. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I've been eating less, trying to exercise more (as much as my energy level will allow, at least) and the scale isn't budging.

But, a couple of days ago, I decided to do a non-vegan trial. I've been a vegetarian for seventeen years of my life (vegan for almost half that, with no "cheating" and no breaks!) and I am starting to question whether that's the source of my health problems. So I'm trying to experiment a bit with animal products. It is crazy hard (I don't like this stuff!! I don't like the taste, the idea of it, nothing!) but I feel I owe it to myself to try it for a good two weeks. I haven't tried meat yet but I might soon. I guess I would like to ultimately try a cross between paleo/TF/vegan -- kind of a whole-foods/low-grain/veggie-heavy diet. IDK. Taking it slowly...

So... obviously I'm not giving up veganism just to lose weight, but it will be interesting to see if I'll have more energy to work out, be more full so I don't have to gorge on carbs... I don't know if I can tolerate more than 2 weeks though if I don't see any change -- then I might just go back to being vegan.
post #8 of 23

Your body does get used to certain things and sometimes making a diet change can give your metabolism a kick start.  Since you're normally busy and you don't have the excess cash to spend on a stinky gym membership... I hate the gym then you can incorporate working out at home into your daily routine.  We dance like crazies at our house often and sometimes do push ups and crunches while we're waiting on something.  I do planks while I watch TV or help the girls with their homework.  I find ways to throw in a little working out all day long. 

post #9 of 23

I'm a firm believer that diet determines your size and exercise your shape.  So if it were me, I would try to figure out an eating plan that works first and then throw in exercise after that is kind of figured out.  I know for me, exercise can often make me hungrier and throw everything off balance.  I know in your OP you mentioned nuts and those can be very high calorie if you don't watch portion size.  I also wonder how much fat you're getting in your diet.  Adding some fat in may help with the hunger.


I'll be interested to see how you do adding in some animal products.  I've heard quite a few veg*ns have had really good results adding in some animal products. 


Good luck!

post #10 of 23

Hi Crunchy:


As a vegetarian/vegan for over 20 years, I'd like to throw you some food for thought:  I maintained pretty consistent weight over the years without weight gain and maintained fairly high energy levels (I was a marathoner for a long time whilst a vegan).  I gained some weight during my pregnancy, but not much, but then started consistently gaining weight thereafter.  I just couldn't understand it.  Finally, I had to come to the horrid understanding that I was getting older!  This, combined with the fact that I wasn't getting quality sleep and that I was perhaps overeating seemingly healthy things which contributed to my caloric intake.


Aerobic exercise is good, but I think one of the things that creep up on us (especially women) is the loss of muscle as we age.  I know it sounds sophomoric, but our bodies burn calories much more efficiently if we have better muscle mass (they don't have to be big muscles, just strong muscles, for lack of a better term).  Over and over I have read that as people approach middle age, they tend to gain weight and do not have the ability to lose because their focus is primarily on food rather than balancing food with the way that your body burns fuel.  Despite the fact that I have remained active, over the past ten years, I have seen my muscles start to sag.  So, what helped me successfully trim and keep it off (as well as renew my energy) was the following:


I started doing simple resistance training (I can do this right in my living room with free weights and crunches, etc.).  I hate gyms and don't have the time to go somewhere to work-out (unless it is running outside).

I reevaluated how much I was eating and when I was eating (I started eating my main meal at noon - which is usually huge - which set me up for hours of energy well into the evening).

I started paying closer attention to my sleep patterns and adjusted to a schedule which gave me adequate sleep.


At 48, I probably feel better than I have in years and am satisfied with my weight (and I'm still vegetarian/primarily vegan).  I think that it was a big leap for me to understand that it was not just food that was the issue, but my lifestyle and the adjustments I had to make for my changing body.  I think that anything restrictive (from a food intake perspective) is going to put your body into a starvation mode, and it will seek to retain calories, which is why dieting is not a long term solution for many people).  Switching to a main meal earlier in the day was probably the hardest but most effective thing for me to do in terms of energy.  I really had to take a hard look at how I was eating and how my body burned fuel.  I knew I was getting all the nutrients that I needed, but how I was consuming those nutrients and how my body was processing same wasn't in synch.  I had to look at my overall lifestyle and make adjustments.  It wasn't just about the food, if that makes sense. 




post #11 of 23
You need enough calories to make up for the exercise. For example if you're only eating 1500 calories a day but exercise enough to burn off 500, it's as if your body is only getting 1000 so your body will go into starvation mode and cling onto everything it can. Sometimes the issue lies on not eating enough.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Imakcerka - yes, I've been trying to work out at home a little, whether it's playing/doing yoga/etc. with DS, doing crunches while reading, or doing Wii or something... little things that are really all I've had the time & energy for...

greenmom4 - I'm hoping a little bit of animal products will help me feel more satisfies so I don't overeat... I don't eat that many nuts or anything, but in general lots of carbs, too much grains, etc. just trying to feel full.

CatsCradle - I totally hear you, I need to work out more & at a higher intensity (more cardio & more weight) and I actually love the gym (just can't afford it right now) but my energy level has made it nearly impossible to step it up a notch. A short, low-intensity workout can wipe me out for 3 days straight. I really wanted to remain vegan but I feel like my body just can't take it right now. And it's been hard for me to cut calories because being vegan plus avoiding gluten and some nuts & fruits that I'm allergic to means I eat way too much rice, gf pasta, potatoes, etc. otherwise I just feel SOOO hungry just eating only veggies... I've also had a bad tendency to eat almost nothing between breakfast & dinner and then eat a huge dinner because I'm so starving... or eating very little for a few days and then overeating to make up for it... I have only been eating animal products for ~5 days now but already one thing already seems clear: I can feel full on WAY less food and far fewer carbs just by having a half-serving of fish or a little bit of egg. Ultimately I'm experimenting with animal products for health reasons, not weight-loss, but I'm curious to see what effect it might have, and whether it might provide me the energy to work out more! How long were you strictly vegan? Or have you always included small amounts of eggs/dairy or gone back & forth?
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jimblejamble View Post

You need enough calories to make up for the exercise. For example if you're only eating 1500 calories a day but exercise enough to burn off 500, it's as if your body is only getting 1000 so your body will go into starvation mode and cling onto everything it can. Sometimes the issue lies on not eating enough.

Sometimes this is my issue too probably. Often when I count up my calories, it' barely hits 1200/day. I can't seem to get this quite right.
post #14 of 23

Crunchy:  actually I don't eat any eggs and presently can't call myself a vegan because I do sprinkle parmesan cheese on my salads and have milk in my morning coffee during the week.  I was strictly vegan for about 15 years and although I don't sit around eating blocks of cheese, I don't think it is fair to call myself vegan at this point. 


Just based on what you have mentioned here regarding your consistent intake of gf pasta, rice, potatoes, it sounds to me that you've probably been consuming heavily on the carb side without balancing it with fat.  I think it is the intake of fat that makes one feel full and satisfied in the long term.  I consume a lot of olive oil and sesame oil via homemade dressings and sauces, and I eat a lot of vegetable based foods/dishes that contain fats (olives, avocados, bean dips and hummous, sauteed tofu, etc.). I've become the Queen of Sauce and Dip! I also started focusing on Greek and middle eastern dishes which seem to swim in olive oil.  I noticed too that my skin and hair started improving drastically when I upped the volume on fat intake.  I might eat rice once a week, and treat myself to a bagel on Sunday, but other than that, I don't really eat foods which are traditionally high in carbs.  I think I probably have a gluten intolerance because although I love pasta and bread, it makes me feel somewhat crappy when I eat them.   But, for me, eating only traditional veggies without the fat balance would not be sustainable for my body in the long run (plus I don't think it would be particulary balanced for anyone).  I went raw for about year and had rapid weight loss, but after the initial spike in energy and glow, my fingernails started getting brittle and I had to reassess.  Again, wasn't eating enough "good" fat.  I think what you'll notice is that when you add animal based foods like cheese to your diet, such items contain more fat than the average vegetable or handful of elbow pasta and thus give you a greater sense of fullness, which lasts a longer period of time.


Sorry that this whole post was about fat, but I really do think that we underestimate the importance that consumption of healthy fat plays in our diet and often it is the first thing to be cut from traditional diets as well as overlooked in vegan diets.   The easiest choice, obviously, is to introduce fat based animal products into the diet, but I didn't want to go that route for a number of reasons.  I had to do a bit of research and experimentation to come up with tastey meals that left me full as well as helped me maintain my weight. 


EDITED TO ADD:  I should stress that when reevaluating and implementing my new approach to eating, it took almost two months to get into some kind of groove and to start seeing any difference.  I was super cranky and tired when I cut the volume on carbs.  Keep in mind (and I'm sure you know) that with any change, your body does take some time to adjust. 

post #15 of 23
Yes, fat is very important! I read recently that fat satisfies hunger so it helps keep you full longer. So in my earlier post I mentioned that you might not be eating enough. On the flip side, if you feel hungry often you could be eating too much. Include more fats and that will help. There's actually a video series on YouTube all about adding avocados to smoothies to help satisfy your hunger. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL713C1484708FF508&feature=plcp
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
LOL unfortunately when I added fats it just seemed to make me gain MORE weight & still didn't feel full. Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, etc. I don't know why that didn't help... but DH calls me the Sauce Master or something like that because I make sauces for everything!! Catscradle, I'm glad that it's worked for you and that gives me some hope that maybe once my body has recovered a bit, I can go back to being vegan or at least veg... I'll keep in mind the carb thing, didn't think of that!!

jimblejamble, I'll check out the video when I get a chance, thanks!!
post #17 of 23

Ok, so I guess I'm not a calorie counter at all.  I've literally put on 30 lbs this year that is coming off.  Thank god almighty!  I measure it all by my amount of activity and need to feed for use rather than... well just because.  


I love to play and that helps.  It also help I avoid sweets like the plague, headache inducing for me.  Also I hate bread and most starches.  Just my thing.  I also have an every other day thing I do.  I work hard for an hour one day the next I work on my core.  And I continue this way.  I've heard it's bad to do it... I've heard it's great to do it.  I used to be a fitness instructor as a side duty in the military and I swear I got more people fit to fight than anyone else.  And I have a stupid certificate to prove it.  I heard a lot of complaints from people while they worked out with me about not feeling like they were doing enough.  And once I read their food diaries... Hells yeah they weren't doing enough to get rid of all those egg mcmuffins!  If they followed my food for life guideline and worked out in a way that didn't exhaust them but gave them energy and strength they lost weight.  More over they lost inches.  And inches were what counted since we taped.  

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
LOL you wanna come be my trainer?
post #19 of 23
 I like the apple idea. It's so hard for me to not have seconds and my stomach is always growling by bedtime no matter how much I have for dinner, but especially when I don't have seconds!! Maybe the apple will help. 

i have lost 24 pounds over the past 8-9 weeks. 

don't eat after, say, 5 pm. 

eat your calories and anything fatty or carbed *early* in the day to rev your metabolism.

if you really want to lose weight, you WANT that stomach growling at night!!!

i cannot emphasize this enough.

THAT is when you lose your pounds, when your stomach growls for hunger at night, and you go to sleep for a good 8 hours before feeding again.

i weigh myself every morning (and before bed too -- i can pretty much count on losing two pounds overnight, from where i am when i go to bed, to where i am when i wake up. my weight fluctuates throughout the day, but -- as you probably know -- you are lightest in the morning).

here's a list of metabolism revving foods:

* oatmeal

* beans

* green tea

* apples

* coffee (black)

* almonds

* blueberries

* watermelon

* ice water


also, re: apples, i have read that eating 3 apples a day will do more for you as well. they are taxing for the body to digest, thus boost metabolism, are crunchy and sweet, therefore satisfying... and low in calories/fat.



post #20 of 23

Ha!  Yeah hold on... I"m gonna jump in my speedy car!

Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

LOL you wanna come be my trainer?


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