Joined: 23 Jan 2006 Posts: 5 Location: San Francisco
Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:59 pm Post subject: I'm too skinny!!
I was wondering if anyone else is losing too much weight on a vegan diet? I'm really short, at five feet even, so naturally I don't weigh very much. But unlike most girls, I keep wishing my scale would show bigger numbers. For the longest time I was around 105lb, but since starting college two years ago I went down to about 99lb. Now, since becoming vegan in September, I'm at 93lb which really scares me.
I try to eat a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains, with the vegan food pyramid guiding me. My stomach is small and I can't eat a ton at one sitting, so I usually eat several small meals throughout the day. I walk briskly to and from class, up and down San Francisco hills every day, and I try to do yoga every night. I don't know if there's something missing from my diet, or if my walking isn't good enough for excercise. But I don't want my weight to drop any more, I want it to go up! I stuff my face, but I'm still too skinny.
Any suggestions? I'm afraid if I ask a doctor or something, they'll just tell me that I have an eating disorder, and that being vegan is the problem! _________________ Save the whales. Collect the whole set. Turn them in for valuable prizes.
Your problem is not too common, although I have heard about it before from people who are very active and athletic. One difference between a vegan diet and a meat based diet is that the foods we eat are generally less calorie dense. That means we can eat more and still not gain weight. But there are some vegan foods that are very calorie dense, and since you want to gain weight, you should be sure to include them in your diet. These are the high fat foods such as avocados, seed and nuts, nut butters, and tahini. Also, beans, tofu and breads are more calorie dense than vegetables and grains. (Many of us try to avoid these foods because we have the opposite problem - we tend to gain weight even on a vegan diet. We also try to avoid highly processed vegan foods such as cakes, cookies, candy, etc. for the same reason.)
The diet you described sounds very healthy. Try adding some more calorie dense foods and see if that doesn't help. And ask those doctors why vegans have such reduced numbers of heart attacks, cancers, diabetes, etc. if being vegan is such a "problem".
Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.
I eat avocados, seed and nuts, nut butters, and tahini, beans, tofu and breads along with vegetables and grains AND I HAVE LOST 10 LBS IN THE PAST THREE MONTHS. I am now 6 foot, 3 inches and now weigh 160 pounds. The China Study convinced me to be a Vegan three months ago. I just wrote John Robbins, the ice cream founder's son, and that site has an email person asking about the ematiated look of Vegans: poor color, low weight, frail...etc. John "agreed!", but supports Vegan living. So weight is a problem with this style of healthful living which I support, BUT...here is what I wrote to him:
"I have turned Vegan since reading the China Study. I eat well: organic, whole grain, vegetables, grains, nuts, no milk products; BUT, always hungry and having lost 20 pounds in the last three months, even with stuffing myself with these foods, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO! I just went to the local home made ice cream joint and ordered a poison-dairy malt after a pure Vegan for 3 months! I AM DESPARATE TO STAY ON THIS EATING PHILOSOPHY based on China Study! [Of course, NO PARASITES.] Thank you for your time."
Joined: 06 Dec 2002 Posts: 1162 Location: San Mateo coastside
Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 4:15 pm Post subject:
Congratulations on going vegan!
Okay, gotta ask - why are you always hungry? Are you limiting calories? Or simply eat and then get hungry later? I'd suggest keeping snacks on hand and graze throughout the day. That way you're not hungry and your energy level doesn't dip. Coconut is another rich and full flavor food that you may enjoy too. I find it makes great curries!
From first-hand knowledge, let me assure you that vegans are not all frail or thin.
Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:07 pm Post subject: Too skinny?
I am one of the thin vegans, and I am darn happy about it! All the fatty foods Karen and Tammy recomended work well for me, and of course add olive oil and flax oil to your diet. Nut butters really are one of the best foods for high-energy, high-fat, calorie dense foods. And they're so convenient. If you want specific recipes, let me know, but I think you've got the general idea.
I find that there is a real disconnect with body image in this society--everyone wants to be skinny like a supermodel, but if they get that skinny they feel unwell and they're told they look funny. That's because, of course, supermodels are too thin--unnaturally thin. They look good in a photograph, but in person, they look like a hunger strike victim.
However, vegan thin is not supermodel thin. It's lean and healthy. Since many vegans are leaner than their meat-eating buddies, they feel "too" thin. The last time I was in L.A. I had several people tell me I was "too skinny," but of course, this was from a crowd of people all overweight so I didn't look right to them.
I may be thinner than most of America, but I'm healthier. Less body fat means a longer life and less health problems. And like Tammy said, you probably just naturally have a thin body type and high metabolism like I do. I'm a spaz. I'm constantly eating. At the last Bay Area Vegetarian restaurant dinner (Friday night), I cleaned the table.
So maybe take some time to let your body settle in to the new, wonderful vegan diet. Add some fattier foods if your body type needs it. I think you might adjust to a leaner you over time, like I did. When I realized how good I felt I stopped worry about how thin I looked, and "personalizing" my vegan diet helped.
I think that often what we consider "too thin" is only too thin compared to an overweight country. But it's actually very healthy. Of course there are the serious problems of anorexia and bulomia (sp?), but then you've got folks who look skeletal, sickly, and weak. I am surrounded by vegans in boty my personal and professional life, and although they are all different types of vegan--low-fat, junk-food, lean, plump, tall, short, etc--they are all vibrant, healthy, energetic to the point of craziness and they get sick so much les often.
Sorry to be so long. But please, give yourself and your body a little time to adjust to being healthy and lean, eat rich foods if you need them, and without a doubt--go get MaggieMudd's vegan ice cream!
I disagree with Tammy on one thing. Island Jitters is the best flavor, hands down.
Good luck and let me know if you need any more recipes!
Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:33 pm Post subject: too much work-out
Have you ever heard of working off more than you eat? I believe that could be essentially what you are doing!! bad idea! be careful!! I have the same weight problem, where I'm already skinny, but my veganism made me lose a few, so I'm thinking something good would be eat as much as you already can, but don't work out so much. big hills in sfo are a BIG work out. maybe only do one hill a week or something. i don't know how much you do already, but i have a feeling you need to mess up your metabolism to gain some weight before you can regulate it again. _________________ Peace Love and HarmonyBear
John "agreed!", but supports Vegan living. So weight is a problem with this style of healthful living which I support, BUT...here is what I wrote to him:
"I have turned Vegan since reading the China Study. I eat well: organic, whole grain, vegetables, grains, nuts, no milk products; BUT, always hungry and having lost 20 pounds in the last three months, even with stuffing myself with these foods, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO! I just went to the local home made ice cream joint and ordered a poison-dairy malt after a pure Vegan for 3 months! ?????
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