Vegetarian diet and exercise plan?
April 15, 2007 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a vegetarian diet and exercise plan?

I'm a vegetarian. I have been going through a bout of depression and have put on about 30 extra pounds.

I'm looking for a good diet and exercise plan. In can be in the form of a book or a website (I would be willing to pay to join something). What I'm looking for is a specific list of meals to eat and exercises to do. I could probably come up with something on my own, but I won't. When left to my own devices, I do things like buy (literally) 20 boxes of Special K cereal and convince myself that if I eat it for every meal I can lose the extra weight. Did you know that they have Special K with little chocolate pieces in it? They do. Yes, I am an idiot and I hate myself.

I am imagining something very brainless where I wake up, check the list, see that today I am supposed to run three miles and do 30 sit-ups, then eat toast and half a grapefruit. Or whatever. For some reason I am willing to let a list on a piece of paper be the boss of me, and I am trying to use that to my advantage. I'm not looking for a fad diet or anything crazy.

Anyway, any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks.
posted by JamesToast to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Search for any of the other exercise plans that anyone may have mentioned on this site (if that is not too much work for you), but I'll recommend that in addition to doing a cardio workout make sure you do some weight training to build up some muscle, so that you don't look flabby and thin, you look muscular and thin.

As for what to eat, beans, lentils, and tofu will probably become a good friend of yours. Do you eat fish/dairy? If nothing, I suggest you throw out all of the food in your house that you can *grab* and eat.
posted by mhuckaba at 4:02 PM on April 15, 2007

Try Sparkpeople. I'm almost positive they have vegetarian meal plans (but you can also input your own food choices) and exercise plans. And it's free!
posted by stefnet at 4:04 PM on April 15, 2007

Weight Watchers' core foods program can easily be done as a veg'n. I haven't done it, but I know people who have. eDiet has a veg plan. This VegWeb page has some sample menus from a book called Vegan Nutrition, Pure and Simple. You may want to think about going to a nutritionist and/or physical trainer who will draw up a plan for you. Good luck!
posted by acridrabbit at 5:45 PM on April 15, 2007

I've done both Weight Watchers and eDiet vegetarian meal plans, and they were very easy to follow and seemed pretty healthy. It's been a few years, but I can only assume that they're at least as good.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 6:21 PM on April 15, 2007

I can't help you on the diet part, but see my post here for a solid, basic workout routine. Scroll halfway down for my comment.
posted by charlesv at 6:35 PM on April 15, 2007

Seconding SparkPeople. I'm a vegetarian who joined about a year ago and dropped almost 30 pounds since. I don't follow their meal plans, but they're a good general guide, and they'll help you get off to a nice start.

They're also pretty supportive on the forums and groups to keep you motivated. There's even a vegetarian group, as well as many others.

And like stefnet said - it's totally free.
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:53 PM on April 15, 2007

i love amy's foods which are all vegetarian and mostly organic.

i also love indian food but have none near me; theirs is quite good and healthful.

this diet emphasizes portion contol.
posted by oigocosas at 10:18 PM on April 15, 2007

I don't have a brainless plan for you, but I do have some tips and some general rules. As a vegan and fellow label reader its all about following rules anyhow, so I know you can do that part, just change the rules a little bit.

Avoid simple carbs like the plague as a vegetarian, they will get you every time, ie. no white bread, white rice, white pasta. Simple carbs go through your body way too fast and leave an empty feeling, which is why we continue to eat more than we should of it. Whereas complex carbs like whole wheat pasta, rice and bread are broken down properly and work with protein in a healthy way that turns into energy instead of stored fat.

Avoid saturated fats, but eat plenty of the good fats like peanuts and avocados. Be VERY careful with cheese if you eat it, don't eat it every day by any means. Yes cheese has some calcium but so do many veggies.

For proteins, I like to eat soy burger patties grilled with a side of veggies instead of on a bun. Beans and rice together make a complete protein. Tofu can do some absolutely incredible things, it is your friend.

Eat your protein with your complex carbs and a little bit of good fats for the best benefits of all three.

Keep all of your favorite raw veggies in the house chopped up in baggies. When you feel like snacking fill up on these instead. Clif bars and Luna bars make good snacks when you are on the run.

Check out Soy Delicious ice cream instead of dairy, much better for you and less fattening.

Potatoes for me are my favorite thing, I love them in every form, but potatoes are not your friend if you want to be fit and healthy. Cooked cauliflower can help curb potatoes cravings.

ALWAYS start your day off with some protein. I like to have a piece of fruit, a handful of my favorite nuts and 1/2-1 piece of whole wheat toast with a sugar free jam. As for cereal watch for high levels of sugar on the label and try it with plain soy milk. (if you don't like soy milk give Silk's chocolate soy milk a chance, soy milk is an acquired taste and that chocolate stuff does it to most people.) Oatmeal is great too.
posted by trishthedish at 7:33 AM on April 16, 2007

About the suggestion for Indian food - Indian take out or restaurant food is usually not healthy (they use lots of ghee, which is like butter, cream, full fat yogurt, etc.). If you cook it yourself, however, it can be very healthy.

I use the morningstar farms products for protein, which I have at every meal (usually soy milk with breakfast, yogurt with lunch, something random for dinner). Yesterday I put frozen soy crumbles in my pasta sauce, for example. I sometimes use the fake sausage links at breakfast, and really the veggie burgers, too. They are usually high in fiber, as well.
posted by echo0720 at 5:05 PM on April 16, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for the good advice. It's much appreciated.
posted by JamesToast at 5:48 AM on April 17, 2007

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