Losing weight as a vegetarian
December 28, 2011 1:20 PM   Subscribe

In my parents' Christmas card photo, I literally look like I'm wearing a fat suit. Help me get back on track to a healthy weight. Specific advice needed for a vegetarian diet.

Right now I weigh around 250 pounds. I'm a 5'6" woman. Between 200 and 220 pounds, I feel healthy and have lots of energy. (I know this is not the ideal weight for my height, but it's where I was for many years, and I would be happy to be there again.)

The last time I lost a significant amount of weight, I was an omnivore, and went the low-carb, lots of protein route. Now that I'm vegetarian, I feel like I don't know how to eat to lose weight in a healthful way. Is there a way to do a high-protein, low-carb vegetarian diet? Or do I need to look at things in a different way?

Exercise is another matter; I feel confident in handling that aspect of getting back on the wagon. Know-how is not the issue there; motivation is, and this photo (now on my profile) is plenty of motivation. (That and the edema I asked about recently. Talk about scary.)
posted by ocherdraco to Health & Fitness (35 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
I found it very motivating to track my weight daily on www.subtractthefat.com - I used to use www.physicsdiet.com but they lost several months of data, so I switch to the other.

I lost 20lbs last year and kept it all off on a low-carb diet, but I do eat meat.
posted by Dragonness at 1:29 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Or do I need to look at things in a different way?

Yes. You do not need another diet. You need to change your lifestyle and quit yoyoing, because every time you gain it back, it's harder to lose. Go on a sensible diet — lots of vegetables, lots of fruits, reasonable calories, meat or no meat doesn't matter — and sensible exercise. Something you feel you can stick with for life, not until the next time you let yourself gain it back. Just do it, and just stick with it for good this time.
posted by beagle at 1:29 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Do you drink a lot of calories? Stop.
Do you have salads but put a lot of high calorie/sugar dressings on them? Stop that too.

That combined with the exercise would be a great start. Don't try to overdo it at first! Your vegetarian diet should be fine, just try to cut out the add-ons that you don't need, i.e. soda, high calorie juices and condiments. I don't even recommend fake sugar because apparently it triggers the bodies insulin reaction just like regular sugar.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:34 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I do a high protein, low carb diet that is also vegan. So yeah, you can do it. Eat lots and lots veggies, lots. Don't add much fat to what you cook. If you find them triggering, limit your intake of sugary veggies like carrots, tomatoes, and to some degree, onions.

Use lentils or tofu noodles instead of grains if you need a base.

Make a lot of chili and vegetable soup.

High protein non meaty stuff to try:
Black beans!
Fava beans!
White beans!
Delicious squishy orange lentils!
Lima Beans!
Butter Beans!
Heartier green lentils!
Dry roasted Wasabi Edamame!
Tofu Noodles!
Tofu in all its myriad and wonderful preparations!
posted by stormygrey at 1:35 PM on December 28, 2011 [16 favorites]

I lost quite a bit of weight a few years ago doing Weight Watcher's Core plan as an ovo-lacto vegetarian. They no longer offer Core, but I think they replaced it with something similar.

Basically you eat a high amount of "good carbs", moderate protein and low fat. You can eat to satisfaction of any food on the approved list. There were a lot of vegetarian alternatives such as soy milk, soy cheese, tofu, etc.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:37 PM on December 28, 2011

I have lost weight (unintentionally) by eating lots of chunky, wonderful soups full of veggies, potatoes, beans, etc. Very filling, relatively low calorie.
posted by availablelight at 1:39 PM on December 28, 2011

The only thing to watch out for is the vegetarian proteins that are actually quite high in carbs, like beans, processed soy/tofu, and milk/yogurt. In general, it's easy to go VERY low carb on an omnivorous diet because meat has little to no carb content. If your exercise is mostly cardio, it's not terrible for your body if you have a little more carbs and a little less protein, but if you do a lot of strength training, make SURE SURE SURE you get enough protein!
posted by so_gracefully at 1:48 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's definitely possible, though harder than a non-vegetarian low-carb, high-protein diet. My mother lost about 50 lbs on a low-carb diet.

The important thing is to not be afraid of fat. Use olive oil, butter, coconut oil and ghee if you can. Avoid "vegetable" oil if possible.

Eggs are your friends (if you eat them). Try to eat an omelette/scrambled eggs every morning with various vegetable and cheese additions. This will fill you up and set you up for a productive rest of the day.

For lunch eat a giant salad with plenty of veggies, ranch/vinaigrette dressing (no sugar).

Dinner could be a tofu curry, spaghetti squash with a cheesy sauce, maybe Indian style paneer -- let your imagination figure out ways of eating food without the tortillas, rice or pasta.

My mother made copious use of coconut milk smoothies as occasional meal replacements. Liquid meal replacements don't feel satisfying to me, but YMMV.

You might to eat more beans and legumes than I do, following a non-vegetarian diet. Try cutting them out for a while and see how you feel -- I feel terribly gassy and bloated on them, so they're not worth it to me.

Above all, avoid sugar and grains. If you're craving carbs, go for sweet potatoes or a bit of rice.
posted by peacheater at 1:53 PM on December 28, 2011 [10 favorites]

Speaking as a vegetarian who has gone from 220lb to 170lb in the last year or so, it is possible to do high-protein, low-carb as a veg.

Some good vegetarian protein sources I've found (besides obvious ones like, y'know, eggs and tofu) are tofurkey sausages (other sausages don't have as good of a protein/carb ratio, or cost a ridiculous amount of money) and morningstar frozen breakfast sausage patties.

Strictly control your carb intake. For me, high-carb foods are almost like a drug, and I had to tackle them like an addiction. Anything with sugar, refined flour, high fructose corn syrup, etc., you should quit basically cold-turkey.

Changing what you eat is probably not enough. You have to eat less, dramatically less, to lose weight. Calorie counting never worked for me, so I had to find a meal formula that kept calories down without making me hungry or conscious of how little I was eating compared to before.

The basic formula I settled on was: one serving of lean protein (equivalent to a chicken breast), one serving of whole-grain carbs like really good bread or whole grain pasta, and as many non-starchy vegetables as you need to feel full.

What I did a lot was make pasta salads. Tons of spinach, whatever other vegetables I had on hand (onions, greek olives, bell peppers), my little serving of pasta, a Tofurkey sausage cut into rounds, and just a little light salad dressing.

Drink tons of water. Get a 3L bottle, fill it up every morning, and finish it by the time you go to bed. The water helps you feel full.

Eventually you will get accustomed to eating less. When you've hit your target weight, you can relax a bit, but the basic rules are good for life.

You have to look out for sneaky sources of carbs, like salad dressing. Ration that stuff out. A spoonful will do the trick.

If you want to kick-start your metabolism again, I recommend Crossfit. It can be intense, but a good Crossfit coach will be able to scale it to your ability, and I know women at my gym who started out in similar shape to what you've described. I find that working out in a group, at a specified time, goes a long way toward helping to keep me motivated.

Note that I lost my weight before starting Crossfit, so an intense exercise routine is not required. I do suggest at least a nightly mile or two walking habit, because it will help keep you focused on your goals.
posted by zjacreman at 1:54 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

I am a longtime vegetarian and I find I do really well with a few things:

Nthing not drinking calories. Water, seltzer. I am really trying to avoid even diet soda, for the same reason mentioned above. It seems easier for me without diet stuff.

Cook your food, if you can, from actual ingredients. Try to eat very few products with many many ingredients.

I have always done best tho, using an online tracker. I used daily plate. It's incredibly easy way to Track your calories. You tell it how much weight you want to lose per week and some other basic info. The most important thing, tho, was putting in what foods you eat. In some cases it was astonishing to start keep track of actual servings. Once I started knowing how many calories something I was about to eat actually contained, it was like magic. I suddenly wasn't as hungry. I set a pretty aggressive goal and I found after a while i was eating more at the end of the day just to reach my calorie count every day, which is fun bc then you can throw yourself little feasts to celebrate. Using that site was the first time I could say that weight felt like it was melting off me. It was pretty surreal.
posted by nevercalm at 2:00 PM on December 28, 2011

Making it super complicated is a sure-fire way to drop it after a few weeks. I'm a veg for ten years, five years ago I lost 100lbs and have mostly kept it off- though recently I got me some boyfriend weight.

This is what I did and what I'll be doing again:
First thing is first, make yourself a list of ten or fifteen lunch/dinner meals that fit within your calorie requirements. Those are what you start with and what you go to if you aren't in the mood for expermenting. This isn't limiting as you might think- it's about making sure you have an answer for "what's for dinner."

eggs and oatmeal for breakfast.

Pack snacks. Lots of them, and eat ever two hours. I love cold baked sweet potatos, boiled eggs with mustard, edamame, cut fruit. It's a lot easier to get used to eating good food all the time than it is to get used to not ever eating ever!! :(!

Only eat good food. No crap. Chocolate is fine, but it's got to be really effing good chocolate and not some godawful minisnickers.

Use a scale. Read lables. Know what is in every thing you eat. It's a lot easier to pick good food when you find out that the cookie you want is sixteen hundred calories.

Stick to it for at least 30 days. After that it becomes a habit and it's not so hard any more.
posted by Blisterlips at 2:05 PM on December 28, 2011 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Out of curiosity, what's "boyfriend weight"?
posted by ocherdraco at 2:07 PM on December 28, 2011

I second cutting out sugary drinks and snacks. Find healthy replacement snacks. Peanut butter is great because it helps you feel full.
posted by mai at 2:09 PM on December 28, 2011

Have you heard the expression "fat and happy"? Newly moving in with someone or dating someone in a happy relationship packs on the pounds, especially if you're sharing meals with a man (they need more calories) and eating the same proportions.

There's both a physiological and a behavioral component, IIRC.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:10 PM on December 28, 2011

Ha, boyfriend weight is the weight you gain from sitting around mooning at each other and cooking/eating/going out together instead of obsessing over everything that you put in your mouth.

It really does take a lot of concentration to stick to a solid lifestyle plan or dramatic diet change. Plus, if your guy is like a lot of guys that can really out eat you and not gain weight. My bf and I are both on the same kind of diet but he is much more active than me and he weights 50lbs more than me, so after entering all our stats into one of those tracker things, he gets to eat very close to twice as much as me. So, if we cook a meal together and split it, I'm going to get fatter and he is not. :) Boyfriend weight...
posted by stormygrey at 2:12 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ah, here we go: Entry Into Romantic Partnership Is Associated With Obesity

I also hear that going on walks with friends is helpful with weight loss! Especially if they have babies (okay that part is made up).
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:16 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'd like to say that I think beagle's answer is by far the best on this thread. There's no need to do anything other than eat sensible portions of mostly healthy food, avoid snacks and exercise. There's no need to make the whole endeavour more complex than it is - this just makes it harder.

Personally I don't think it's necessary to count calories - I think if we're being honest we mostly know intuitively what a sensible portion is, whether or not we should be having cheese again, whether we've had enough vegetables. As someone else said, do something you can stick with for the rest of your life! For me, this includes allowing some cheese/chocolate/booze, as I know I would never stick to it otherwise - just not a huge amount per week. I also try to build up a stock of very easy healthyish recipes, e.g. a jar of curry sauce and some chopped veg.

Also, as a general point: don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. I have a tendency if I've eaten too much rubbishy fatty food on a particular day to consider that day kind of a write-off, or even the attempt to lose weight a write-off - this is daft, of course. I did once go on something like a crash diet several years ago, in which I spent most days counting my calories very carefully and doing hard exercise, but sometimes took the alternate weight-loss route of eating loads of chocolate and doing nothing. The next day I'd get back on the horse. I lost loads of weight and those blip days didn't even show on the graph.
posted by Kirn at 2:17 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Small changes that become habits are light years more likely to lead to sustainable improvement rather than drastic slash and burn. Unless it's cutting something specific from your diet, that's pretty do-able.

aka giving up booze or having just one soda a day generally at a set time.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:30 PM on December 28, 2011

If you want to do low-carb as a vegetarian you definitely can. You need this book which I highly recommend. Low-carbing using the recipes in the book helped me lose over 20 lbs as a vegetarian.
posted by hazyjane at 2:30 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh and yeah, a cheat day is a good thing.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:31 PM on December 28, 2011

I've been doing a low-carb, mostly vegetarian diet and have lost 30 pounds. If you know low carb works for you, and want to continue with that approach, it is absolutely do-able.

I eat a lot of eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, and tofu for protein. I add whey protein powder to my yogurt and my coconut milk smoothies. I also eat fish, which has been a helpful protein source, but it can definitely be done without it. Plus loads of vegetables. If you're already familiar with low carb, it will probably be pretty easy for you to get back in the low carb swing.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:33 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

ahahha. Boyfriend weight: Living with a boy and sharing meals- leads to a little weight gain.
posted by Blisterlips at 2:52 PM on December 28, 2011

So I found that after I read The Omnivore's Dilemma I dropped a ton of weight. At this point in time I wasn't able to run or exercise do to an injury.... a ton was about 30lbs. literally without trying.

I did this:
Switched to nothing but whole grains
Stopped eating meat every meal then hardly ever
Ate tons of fruit and Veg (avacados!)

Kept dried nuts and fruit on me at all times to stave off cravings for garbage food.

Avoided anything with corn or corn by products* (only because high fructose corn syrup is added sometimes where sugar was never meant to go. I believe it to be as good or bad as sugar, but simply over used. Plus by avoiding corn and corn biproducts you steer away from junk/processed food. Do love tortillas though)

I enjoy cooking and baking, so I was making my own bread and pizza and stuff. But now what I do is buy produce once a week or so and prep frozen bags of cut veggies.... I enjoy stir fry perhaps more than the next guy ;)
posted by Actively Avoiding the Noid at 3:21 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Totally agree that cutting out calories from beverages is essential. Drink only water, tea and the occasional glass of juice.

Along with the other great advice here, I'd suggest that going vegan will take a lot of the guess work out of your diet and generally get you better results in a shorter amount of time. The stumbling-blocks of many an otherwise healthful vegetarian diet (cheese, ice cream, sour cream) will be eliminated.

Other that that, if you also eliminate white flour, white sugar, soda and alcohol and create a calorie deficit you will have ticked all the boxes you need to lose weight.

Random tips:

Use soy margarine, maple syrup and palm sugar for baked goods.

My favorite veggie sausage is Field Roast. They have sandwich slices and mini roasts, too-- just so much better than Tofurky etc.
posted by devymetal at 3:24 PM on December 28, 2011

I don't think that proper portions are necessarily intuitive. I was always a light eater, but health issues screwed up my internal mechanisms. I added over 50 pounds without quite knowing how.

A good online tracking app can help you make good choices because you're aware of the significance of your choices, without having to get all nutty and complicated (and burned out) doing it. I liked Lose It, but there are lots of others to choose from.

After you get used to making those choices: planning meals in advance, preparing snacks for the inevitable midday need, deciding to skip the extra serving of beans in favor of another bowl of mixed greens because you don't want the extra 50 calories, THEN it may become intuitive. I've kept mine off just fine by sticking with the revised lifestyle. I'm really just not that hungry any longer. But be gentle with yourself... your body has come to rely on those extra calories, and your brain may not know when "enough" is really enough. It can relearn it. Don't be afraid to get yourself some tools to help.

My gift to myself upon starting my weight loss program was an ipod. I got the tracking app, and a TON of engaging podcasts. I found the extra walking easier to work into my schedule if I could pay attention to How Stuff Works instead of how much I wanted some fries!

Good luck, and congratulations for taking the steps you need to get to a healthier future!
posted by theplotchickens at 4:34 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I kind of made up this recipe last night and think you'd enjoy it; it's a nice alternative to hummus, comes together well from pantry ingredients, and is high protein, low fat, and gets me to eat hella fiberous veg because I just want more wicked dip. Plus, it's vegan.


-3 cans cannellini beans, or other white creamy beans (great northern etc) (obviously mad points for cooking the beans yourself)
-2 tbs olive oil
-1 to 2 tbs of whatever fresh herbs you have on hand; Italian herbs like basil, parsley, sage, oregano work well; tarragon/marjoram/rosemary a little overpowering
-less than one cup of stock to thin it as desired (see note in crudite&stock recipe)
-salt, pepper, garlic powder, aleppo pepper, dried Italian herbs, other spices, experiment

Mix all the ingredients except the stock in a bowl and puree with an immersion blender. Add cooled or warm stock until it reaches a creamy consistency.



All colors of bell pepper
Fennel if you're cool with the anise flavor raw

Slice the veg into nice, even, neat dippable squares. Don't worry about sloppily lopping off ends of carrots, stems of mushroom, etc. Throw the scraps in a big pot of salted water. Boil at least an hour. Strain and use in the dip, and the rest maybe in some tasty rice or soup perhaps?
posted by Juliet Banana at 5:36 PM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]

I could have written your second paragraph! I’m the same current height and weight, and am working for the same goal weight range. I also had a health scare (knee surgery) that scared me back on the right path.

For me the challenge has been being consistent and sticking with a healthful eating plan.
Two years ago I found that Weight Watchers Core plan worked for me--not because of the eating plan, but because of the accountability of weighing in each week. Now I've gained back a good bit of the weight that I had lost (lost eighty pounds and gained back thirty). I can't afford the monthly fee for WW right now and am not really interested in going to the meetings again anyway. Instead, I found a way to have the accountability without the fees.

Beginning with my birthday in early November, I set a goal of losing 60 pounds before my next birthday, just 5 pounds a month--very manageable. Here’s the accountability part: I asked my sister to commit to being my “accountability-person” for the full year. Every Monday I weigh myself and send her my weight. I don't expect her to comment about it, only to ask me if I don't send it. I chose my sister because I know she'll be in my life for the next year. Also she has never had a weight problem in her life, and I know she'll hold me to it and won't accept any excuses for skipping a week. I'm keeping a spreadsheet with my weekly weight and so far I'm meeting my goal of losing an average of 1.3 pounds per week, even through the holidays!

Along with the great food ideas everyone has contributed, I hope this is helpful!
posted by SallyMonroe at 9:51 PM on December 28, 2011

I gave a similar answer in a similar recent thread, so apologies if I sound redundant, but for me Greek yogurt is like some sort of healthy-eating grail sent down by the gods (Zeus?!). It fills me up really well without making me feel queasy, as I often feel when I eat a lot of nuts for protein. It also seems healthier to me than tofu, which I also love, but increasingly appears to have various sorts of hormonal sketchiness. It's versatile-- you can do a zillion sweet/breakfasty things with it, and you can also use it savorily as part of a salad dressing, or do a sort of labneh-inspired thing and drizzle it with olive oil, salt, and cracked pepper. When I lost a decent amount of weight it really was due in large part to Greek yogurt.
posted by threeants at 10:29 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Eat high fiber foods, with no butter or margarine. Don't drink liquid calories: milk, juice, or soda. I grew up vegetarian and stayed super skinny until I started drinking sodas, convenience foods, and lots of processed crap with no fiber. Simple.
posted by thelastcamel at 11:59 PM on December 28, 2011

Quinoa is also a great high-protein grain. It's more expensive but I find it's more filling, higher fiber, and healthy. You can use it in recipes instead of rice or couscous.

LoseIt! (http://www.loseit.com/) is a free calorie tracker I've found helpful. I don't track my calories all the time but a week or two here and there to see how I'm doing.
posted by SarahbytheSea at 9:56 AM on December 29, 2011

One thing to watch out for is eating too much fruit. Fructose is absolutely killer when you're trying to lose weight, and we're not really designed to eat fruit seven days a week. Berries are low sugar and high in antioxidants, so throw them in with your Greek yogurt every so often, but don't assume that eating apples and bananas til the cows come home is all that healthy. You can get every single nutrient from vegetables that fruits also offer, minus the sugar. People tend to freak out if you warn against fruits ("it comes from the ground so it must be healthy!") but it's a big weight loss inhibitor and can lead to worse cravings. If you never ate a single piece of fruit for the rest of your life, you'd be fine.

The 4 Hour Body is sort of a trip, and I personally prefer a lower-carb diet than what he suggests, but it's a *lot* easier to adopt it as a vegetarian because you can eat chickpeas and beans. Don't get bogged down with his weird science bits, just remember his six rules: no dairy, no fruit, no "white foods" (potatoes, bread, starches, sugars), don't drink calories, eat the same meals over and over, and take one day off a week and eat whatever you want.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:39 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, eggs are your friends. Do not be scared of fat, be scared of insulin-jacking foods like sugar and starches. Cook with butter and coconut oil, as fats make you feel full and give you energy. Don't stress about calories as much as the quality of nutrition that you're consuming. Nuts are great too but in moderation. I can sit down and eat 1400 calories/24g of carbs worth of nuts without even blinking if I don't watch what I'm doing. Those 100 calorie/2 carb snack packs are great to have on hand.

And definitely make sure to take at least a multi-vitamin. Chromium is also good for regulating blood sugar so you're not craving cookies at 3PM. Are you opposed to taking fish oil capsules every day?
posted by zoomorphic at 11:47 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Losing weight is hard, but keeping it off is very hard because it requires that you make permanent changes to you lifestyle.

Something I strongly recommend regardless as to which weight-loss technique you choose, which many will not agree with, is to make it a habit to weigh yourself everyday. Like right before you brush your teeth every morning so you won't forget. The common thinking against this technique is that weight fluctuates slightly on a daily basis, and weighing yourself everyday is demoralizing when you're dieting and not seeing any losses, or that weight is just a number, and you should worry about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But in terms of holding yourself accountable for your weight, nothing beats seeing that number every morning (or night, whatever works). Of course you'll expect small movements up or down, but a daily trend of one pound gains is a signal that the current eating plan isn't working or that you've had too many slip-up days in a row. Weighing yourself once a week or less is, in my opinion, too infrequent to develop into a true habit, and it also gives you a week to ignore the weight situation. It sounds a little extreme, but think of it like checking the time to make sure you aren't late, or checking your bank account to make sure you aren't overdrawn.

Also, many people struggle with the all of nothing approach to dieting. For example, having a few cookies or a bag of chips after a stressful day doesn't mean that the entire diet/day/week is shot and it's ok to keep eating. Even if you get through the entire bag of chips and there is one lone chip in the bag when the moment of realization hits, it's still worthwhile not to finish the last chip.

Finally, I highly recommend reading Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. He is a researcher at Cornell University who studies various external factors that can influence the amount and types of foods we eat.

Best wishes!
posted by defreckled at 5:18 PM on December 29, 2011

this book changed my life. you don't really even need to buy it, the entire thing can be summed up in one sentence: "eat the same stuff you've always eaten, just less of it." though actually reading the book helps the concept sink in i suppose, and if you ask me these guys deserve your 8 bucks just for pointing out the friggin obvious. just shrink the portion sizes of whatever you already like to eat to reasonable sizes - i used a measuring tape to check my plate size (9 inches, just like they say) then made sure my 3 daily meals fit on the plate, without cheating by stacking stuff up high or whatever. and that's about as scientific and involved as you need to be to make this work.

i've been on this "diet" for about 3 years, and every year i've lost about 10 pounds (actually i think i lost about 10 pounds the first 3-4 months, which was satisfying, and then have just slowly but steadily gone down from there) i imagine i'll be down to my ideal weight in maybe another year, and i don't suppose i'll stop the diet at that point - there's no need, i'm not giving up anything, i'm just eating a reasonable amount of food every meal! this diet works if you're vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, omnivore, diabetic, desert-o-phile, whatever, it doesn't matter at all. eat whatever you want, just keep the portion sizes under control. honestly it's that simple.

really, i can't recommend this diet enough, to the poster or to anyone else who would like to permanently lose weight and happens to read this.
posted by messiahwannabe at 8:53 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

For some people, eating less works just fine. For others, who have tried that exact diet and failed miserably time and time again:
  • Avoid wheat entirely. It screws up your insulin, causes problems with leptin, and causes you to gain weight. Wheat is a disaster for many people, especially vegetarians.
  • Avoid sugar as much as is reasonable. (Snickers, while delicious and vegetarian, will pack on weight.) Same thing; insulin problems.
  • Overall, try to avoid things that trigger your insulin response. If you eat something that triggers your insulin response along with something fatty (like, sugar + fat in a donut), it makes you fatter.

posted by talldean at 2:57 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

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