My boyfriend is an avowed vegetarian, almost vegan. Out of respect for him (and the desire to live healthier), I have switched to an almost completely vegetarian diet. Now I've gained weight... why?
posted by Unicorn on the cob to Food & Drink (50 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm thinking that it's the switch from eating meat to eating lots and lots of soy products, which I know can affect estrogen levels in women. I also had a wicked sweet tooth before (imagine eating half a pound of candy in one sitting... that's me!) and have just recently cut back significantly on sugar in an effort to drop the unwanted weight (the past 60 days I have only consumed sugar for about 6 days total, and you can guess when). A few more tidbits:
1. I am a 35-year-old female.
2. I work out at least 4-5 times a week, with a minimum of an hour cardio, preferably 90 minutes of cardio with 15 minutes of weight training, should I actually make it to the gym. At the gym I use the elliptical, stair climber, recumbent bike and treadmill, and vary my times/workouts each time I go to avoid stagnation in my workouts. Otherwise, I use my elliptical at home and hand weights.
3. In the year we've been dating, I have cut back to eating meat maybe 3-4 times per week (usually in a sandwich or soup form), and our typical meals consist of such things as: tofu and veggie stir-fry, veggie burgers, Quorn fajitas with beans, falafel on pita with baba ghanoush, fake-lunchmeat sandwiches and low-fat cheez-its (I know, I know... sodium!).
4. I only drink alcohol once a week and drink coffee maybe 3-4 times per week, one cup or less. I drink regular sodas at the movies maybe twice per month and mostly drink spring water or sparkling, and avoid fruit juice and sweetened tea.
5. I am on birth control pills.
6. Over the course of the year, I tapered down on eating meat until I now no longer eat meat at all in his presence, nor do I keep it in the house, unless it's in a can of soup. At the same time, I worked out LESS at the beginning of our relationship due to the honeymoon factor, and now work out probably twice as much as I did six months ago.
7. The majority of the weight gain has been in 3 pound increments, very suddenly, over the course of, say, a two-week period when I notice it and then can't get it to budge.
8. I still drink regular, 1% milk and eat regular 2% cheese, but have subbed out Quorn or soy-based products for virtually every dinner meal where I would normally have eaten meat instead.
Now, a co-worker of mine recently gave up meat and dairy in an effort to curb her food allergies and she ALSO gained 10 pounds in 6 weeks. She is a woman in her mid-40's. She and I were commiserating over this fact on Friday, and we both thought... hmmm, is it all the soy? Could the extra estrogen be making me gain the weight? I'm trying like hell to lose the weight and I just... can't.
I have reduced the number of calories I eat, I'm pretty sure, because I no longer eat sweets or snacks (except things like birthday cake if it's a special occasion). I realize that over time, cutting out the sweets will probably help me lose the weight, but for right now, I'm beyond frustrated. The most I can get my weight down is like maybe 3 pounds, and I want to fit in my clothes again! I know this is a time in my life when my metabolism slows down, but this seems really sudden to me and not gradual at all. I searched previous questions and didn't see this exact issue addressed. Hope me, hive mind!