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let's talk about weight loss

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

how much of it can i expect after switching to a near-vegetarian diet?

I have lost 7 lbs, BMI now under 18.5 making me underweight (I have always been skinny but now don't have time to exercise to build muscle), and breastfeeding a 1 yr old for most of his daily calories.

Is this amount of weight loss normal?  Is it related to the diet switch or the breastfeeding or both? Will the weight slowly come back on again?

I know there are no black and white answers just trying to understand what is going on with my body and whether excluding meat and dairy is actually good or bad for me...  I keep high-calorie healthy snacks available such as dried fruit/ nut butters/ bread.  Can't understand why the weight loss?

post #2 of 12

Probably both. I've had a hard time keeping on weight BFing. I'm 5'3", and before veg diet was about 135 lbs. Now I'm 112 lbs, which is about 3 lbs less than I'd like, and I'm nursing my 12 mo also. Could be water loss, could be kind of a loss of toxin/back up type thing, especially if you had digestive issues on a conventional diet. The key to keeping on weight (at least maintaining it) for me has been high-fiber complex carbs. Eat spaghetti for lunch and oatmeal prepared with coconut milk before bed. 

 

A veg diet is more easily processed by your body, foods are used more efficiently and more quickly, carbs and fats are less likely to be tucked away as glucose, and instead your body will start releasing glucose/water weight for energy - which you are using a lot of to nurse and take care of a toddler even if you're not "exercising" per se. I think you will find you feel much better in general without meat and dairy in your diet, but you may need to eat more/more often than you typically do. On a conventional diet, I usually ate 3 meals and a snack, on a veg/nursing diet, I eat more like 7 little meals a day. 

 

Smoothies are very good for energy too and can help you keep on weight if you add the right stuff - coconut or almond milk, nut butters, fruits and greens. 


Most people who switch to a veg diet lose most of their visceral (bad) fat, especially if they don't have much of it to lose. Sounds pretty typical to me, and I wouldn't worry too much about your underweight status unless you are also feeling a lack of energy, fatigue, overly warm, etc. 

post #3 of 12

Huh, I switched and lost a few pounds right away and then nothing.  So I want to know why I am not losing weight.  

 

In your case I think it is the combination--new diet and still nursing.  

 

Amy

post #4 of 12

When I went vegan, I lost several pounds early on. After those initial few pounds, the weight loss stopped, though (at least until I made other changes). Do you feel well?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post

Huh, I switched and lost a few pounds right away and then nothing.  So I want to know why I am not losing weight.  

 

In your case I think it is the combination--new diet and still nursing.  

 

Amy



For me, I just can't have sugar and get to (and stay at) a decent weight. Once I cut processed sugar, the pounds fell off even with a diet relatively high in fat.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

anjsmama thanks for the informative post.  very interesting stuff.  You're probably right that I need to be snacking more during the day.   Thanks for reminding me about smoothies, I make them sometimes for breakfast but they would probably also make a good snack or before-bed snack. 

 

Tooraloora I feel well in general, thanks for asking.  Some things are better than before (my skin allergies disappeared), and I realized I am lactose intolerant which I never knew before.  I do feel weak sometimes and also have some symptoms, esp after a meal, which may or may not be "detox"--ie off and on sore throat, headaches (very mild) and first pimple for a long time.  I do associate the weakness with sometimes not having eaten enough even though I thought I was full.

 

Dh and I threw all the sugar and processed food out with the meat and dairy.  I'm not saying we don't have any at all, but far less than before and we don't keep it at home.  I can't imagine that those foods would be necessary for a healthy diet.. but I am finding it difficult to keep on weight without my old standbys.

post #6 of 12

You might take another look at your diet to be sure you are getting enough iron. That could be responsible for the weakness. Weight loss can also be a symptom of low iron levels. 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks tooraloora.  I've been watching my folate and calcium intakes but hadn't given iron a thought.

A quick estimate of today's food comes up with 19 gm.  Could be higher but I doubt I'm having low iron already after only 2 months of eating plant foods?

I've also googled around a bit about iron, in the future will make sure to serve it up with Vit C.  Also good to know that if I opt to eat some animal products sometimes or feed them to my kids, eggs would make a better choice than cheese. And I will definitely ask my dr to check my iron at my yearly check up from now on, and mention it to my kids dr too.  Thank you for the tip.

I realized today that I felt very weak after drinking a smoothie.  I was definitely not hungry.  Maybe I am eating too much fruit in an effort not to lose more weight and this is causing me to feel unwell.

I think I have to readjust my body image. . I was flipping thru a magazine tonight and thought all those famous peeople just look too skinny.  To my mind a mom of 2 kids should have a few curves...  so I have to change my way of thinking about what is "normal" maybe...  Like you said a couple of lbs underweight is not such a big deal.

post #8 of 12

hug2.gif I totally understand how you feel. I've been trying to take a break from the mirror. The too-skinny thing isn't my style either, and like you said, I feel like somehow my body doesn't show proof of my 2 kids. In fact, being 22 and skinny, people often mistake me for a new college student. I've got no shape at all. The worst is when my own mother says things like "I swear, it's impossible those kids came from your body." irked.gif Thanks, ma. Sometimes being so skinny makes me feel like I look depleted you know? And then I feel it too. 

 

 Also - my iron drops during pregnancy and breastfeeding too, and then significantly more eating vegan and also exercising, so I've been supplementing with iron since DD was born.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherr30 View Post

Thanks tooraloora.  I've been watching my folate and calcium intakes but hadn't given iron a thought.

A quick estimate of today's food comes up with 19 gm.  Could be higher but I doubt I'm having low iron already after only 2 months of eating plant foods?

I've also googled around a bit about iron, in the future will make sure to serve it up with Vit C.  Also good to know that if I opt to eat some animal products sometimes or feed them to my kids, eggs would make a better choice than cheese. And I will definitely ask my dr to check my iron at my yearly check up from now on, and mention it to my kids dr too.  Thank you for the tip.

I realized today that I felt very weak after drinking a smoothie.  I was definitely not hungry.  Maybe I am eating too much fruit in an effort not to lose more weight and this is causing me to feel unwell.

I think I have to readjust my body image. . I was flipping thru a magazine tonight and thought all those famous peeople just look too skinny.  To my mind a mom of 2 kids should have a few curves...  so I have to change my way of thinking about what is "normal" maybe...  Like you said a couple of lbs underweight is not such a big deal.



 

post #9 of 12

Congrats on making the switch to vegetarian. :)

 

When you cut out meat (and dairy) you're eating a lot less calorie dense foods, so your body is adjusting to that - more bulk in the stomach, but less calories. I think you may just be getting less calories then you think. I would guess that breastfeeding has a lot do with the loss too. My advice would be just to give it time and be mindful of your nutrition, eat to satisfaction, and your body will figure out the rest. This is a transition - your body will catch up. 

 

 

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks Dia, I had an AWFUL eating day (from the standpoint of eating to my philosophies...) I COULD NOT stand the thought of any more beans so I had almonds and salad for lunch.  I don't normally eat almonds as a main course and I decided to follow the recommended serving portion of 1/4 cup.  This did not agree with me at all, and after that I was full and even a little nauseous and could not eat anything until about 9 hours later.  Despite the almonds that I ate had supposedly less than 200 calories and the salad next to nothing.  At that point, I COULD NOT STAND the thought of any more fiber.  I picked at the pea soup, brown rice, and fancy aubergine sauce I had cooked and ended up eating 2 pieces of Dh's cheese and some liquor chocolates that I have not touched (or wanted) since Christmas.

I feel quite good about recognizing the fact that my body just needed a break from all that fiber.  It is a big change, isn't it? 

 

post #11 of 12

Yes, I completely understand what you mean! Good for you for listening to your body.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Oh today I woke with the fever DD had on the weekend.  Now I understand why the almonds were so heavy on my stomach yesterday!  They are not exactly the food to eat when you are sick......

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