Less Meat, More Carbs?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 18, 2011 12:16 PM GMT
    Right, just looking for tips here, I guess mostly from vegetarian/vegan guys who know what they're talking about.

    Over the last few months I've been significantly reducing my meat intake - largely for ethical/environmental reasons. I feel good about this and want to keep it up. However in the process of doing so, my carb intake has definitely gone up (there's a fair bit more bread, pasta and rice in my meals now) and I think this is contributing to the fact that I am now carrying a little more body fat over my abs then I'd like.

    When I was eating a lot more meat I was really good about not having any carbs on my plate (still am when there's meat in my meal) but I kind of struggle with how best to I guess fill out and balance my meals in the absence of meat.

    Anyone else have some difficulty with this?

    Guys got some suggestions for me?

    Any and all tips appreciated..
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    Sep 18, 2011 4:44 PM GMT
    First off, I must confess my reluctance to adhere to a "diet" that arbitrarily excludes this or that.

    Secondly, as a former vegetarian, I must say that I enjoy what I see as a better quality of life when I selectively consume meat: chicken and fish mostly, with a few servings of emu (which is a red met) thrown in.

    No carbs is for me not healthy as I have a body that refuses to run on something other than glucose, which is primarily derived from carbohydrates.

    Hope that helps.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2603

    Sep 18, 2011 4:45 PM GMT
    I`m not a vegetarian as such,but I`ve been reducing my meat consumption for the same reasons(also economic!) I take roadkill as well.
    Try more cardio,that should help use up the fat.
    See if you can reduce the fat in your diet any further.Do you eat much processed/junk food?
    Eat more of the protein rich plant foods,nuts,beans,lentils,etc. to balance the carbohydrates.
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    Sep 18, 2011 4:49 PM GMT
    I'm not totally familiar with the subject, since I'm still a carnivore, but I'd suggest more vegetables and beans/nuts/lentils, etc. This will fill you up as well as give you much needed vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Regardless of your choice of diet, stay away from too many carbs, especially the simple carbs (sugar, flour, rice, etc.)
  • Abc123456

    Posts: 336

    Sep 18, 2011 5:38 PM GMT
    Lay off the bread, pasta, sugar & starch.

    Use quinoa instead of rice and in place of flower in baking. Increase your nut & seed intake. Yams instead of potatoes...

    Are you a pescitarian? Consider that... if you're not.
    Eat eggs

    I'm not a vegitarian...but when you're on a fat-cutting diet, you cut out all of those things you mentioned. So... reduce the processed sugars and starchy foods and you should see this reverse.
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    Sep 18, 2011 7:06 PM GMT
    jekyll2hyde saidLay off the bread, pasta, sugar & starch.

    Use quinoa instead of rice and in place of flower in baking. Increase your nut & seed intake. Yams instead of potatoes...

    Are you a pescitarian? Consider that... if you're not.
    Eat eggs

    I'm not a vegitarian...but when you're on a fat-cutting diet, you cut out all of those things you mentioned. So... reduce the processed sugars and starchy foods and you should see this reverse.


    This... the vegetarian diet is not great for you. Period.
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    Sep 18, 2011 7:09 PM GMT
    I was a vegetarian for 9 years when I lived at home.....then I got to college and realized that being veg is hard......an expensive. My advice would be to find some vegetables that you like

    I love spinach, okra and tomatoes. So I eat those alot. I can eat them as much as I want because they have virtually no calories. Also

    PEANUT BUTTER AND CUCUMBER SANDWICHES. icon_cool.gif
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    Sep 18, 2011 7:17 PM GMT
    A contradiction if there ever was one: "...vegetarian/vegan guys who know what they're talking about."
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    Sep 18, 2011 8:55 PM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidA contradiction if there ever was one: "...vegetarian/vegan guys who know what they're talking about."



    I didn't realize you were vegan. icon_lol.gif
  • in_this_corne...

    Posts: 704

    Sep 18, 2011 9:17 PM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidA contradiction if there ever was one: "...vegetarian/vegan guys who know what they're talking about."


    Hahahahahaha...love this. Personally I don't think vegetarianism is natural, humans are carnivores.

    In my opinion cutting out meat entirely is just an extreme that isn't necessary or healthy. I'm sure it works for some folks, but some of the fattest people I know are vegetarians because they do exactly what you said you were doing...filling your plate with rice, pasta and whatever other starches your body doesn't process effectively or efficiently.

    It's hard to out cardio a carb heavy diet. I believe the USDA food pyramid is backwards and one of the reasons obesity and diabetes is such a problem - in addition to 'non fat' foods and restaurant portions and fast food.

    There's a healthy balance in there somewhere, but everyone's body is different and it takes some time to adjust, but plain oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice are something I've incorporated more of. Less white breads and pasta, though I've not cut them completely. I've increased vegetables, eggs, chicken, tuna, salmon, halibut, tilapia and indulge in a nice burger or filet (bison is best) every once in a while so I don't get burned out on what I would consider a 'bland' diet 70-75% of the time.

    Anyway, I hope you find a good balance and something that works for you.
  • in_this_corne...

    Posts: 704

    Sep 18, 2011 9:26 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    in_this_corner said some of the fattest people I know are vegetarians


    It is perplexing how some people who eat vegetarian diets get skinny and others get fat. I got really skinny when I was vegetarian. I think the weight gain comes from eating too many grains. Vegetables and fruits alone will not make a person fat.


    Yeah, I guess a better statement would be 'processed carbs-a-tarians'. It is a little misleading to say vegetarians are fat. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 18, 2011 9:29 PM GMT
    If you want to be vegan and low body fat, then get used to feeling hungry. I'm not being a smart ass either, as I've been down this road before. You can add fat in place of some of your carb calories to ease the hunger a bit but I always felt hungry if I kept my body fat in check.

    Ultimately, you're going to end up looking thin - like most vegetarians and cross country runners do. this was the reason I gave it up. I like to carry some meat on my bones and the only way I can do it is by including some meat in my diet. My first steps away from the vegan diet was lacto-ovo vegitarianism but whey and eggs only got me so far. it took meat along with all the vegetables I was eating to allow me to grow in the gym.

    Maybe not what you wanted to hear but that's how it went down for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    Oh you blokes!

    I said 'reduce' my meat intake - not become vegetarian/vegan.
    I've no intention of doing that, it won't work for me. (Interesting the comment about the difference between always being a vego and BECOMING a vego - that makes sense to me.)

    I definitely do dairy, eggs, fish and seafood, it's just the land-animals I'm cutting down on (note - down, not out.)
    What I'm asking is for tips on how I can make sure that in the meals that I have cut out land-meat, I keep the carbs in check.

    Replacing rice with quinoa is a good idea . . I like quinoa, just need to get into the habit of making that substitution permanently. Ditto on the potato substitution with yam/sweet potato. Guess I need to learn to do more stuff with beans, they're not really my forte but I know they're pretty excellent nutrition-wise.


    And yes.. otherwise, my diet is really good. Don't do the sweet stuff, the processed stuff, or junk food. Bleh. icon_mad.gif
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    Sep 24, 2011 4:59 PM GMT
    in_this_corner said
    JackNWNJ saidA contradiction if there ever was one: "...vegetarian/vegan guys who know what they're talking about."


    Hahahahahaha...love this. Personally I don't think vegetarianism is natural, humans are carnivores.

    In my opinion cutting out meat entirely is just an extreme that isn't necessary or healthy. I'm sure it works for some folks, but some of the fattest people I know are vegetarians because they do exactly what you said you were doing...filling your plate with rice, pasta and whatever other starches your body doesn't process effectively or efficiently.

    It's hard to out cardio a carb heavy diet. I believe the USDA food pyramid is backwards and one of the reasons obesity and diabetes is such a problem - in addition to 'non fat' foods and restaurant portions and fast food.

    There's a healthy balance in there somewhere, but everyone's body is different and it takes some time to adjust, but plain oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice are something I've incorporated more of. Less white breads and pasta, though I've not cut them completely. I've increased vegetables, eggs, chicken, tuna, salmon, halibut, tilapia and indulge in a nice burger or filet (bison is best) every once in a while so I don't get burned out on what I would consider a 'bland' diet 70-75% of the time.

    Anyway, I hope you find a good balance and something that works for you.


    The old food pyramid is gone. They introduced a new one with vertical sections.

    Apparently, the new pyramid is gone too. They're now using a plate instead of a pyramid.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Oct 02, 2011 5:26 AM GMT
    Squash can also be used as a "carb sub" as well. I like to saute shoestring zucchini or yellow summer squash as a substitute for pasta. Eating butternut and acorn squash is fantastic as well, as you can use savory flavors instead of the usual cinnamon and sugar.

    I'd also try to up the healthy fats in your meals as well - olive oil, nut butters, regular butter, some cheese. This will help you from being hungry again so soon after your meal (which is problematic for me when I eat vegetarian, even a very large size). For example, I'll toss some olive oil on my rice and beans, and it will keep me full and satiated much longer and for less food.

    Beans are kind of tough to eat if you don't have good recipes! I like them in soup. You can puree black beans (very easy to get your intake) or leave them whole (I love a chickpeas and sausage soup recipe I have). Hummus is another good way to get your beans (and veggie crudites) in. I mostly stick to Latin American and Indian food for my bean recipes. I usually make a pot of pinto or black beans in the slow cooker with chipotle peppers, garlic, onion, and sometimes a slice of bacon to give it that nice smoky taste. Or, I'll make a channa masala using chickpeas, making sure I use some butter or coconut milk to make it a bit more filling.
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    Oct 02, 2011 5:41 AM GMT
    in_this_corner said
    JackNWNJ saidA contradiction if there ever was one: "...vegetarian/vegan guys who know what they're talking about."


    Hahahahahaha...love this. Personally I don't think vegetarianism is natural, humans are carnivores.

    In my opinion cutting out meat entirely is just an extreme that isn't necessary or healthy. I'm sure it works for some folks, but some of the fattest people I know are vegetarians because they do exactly what you said you were doing...filling your plate with rice, pasta and whatever other starches your body doesn't process effectively or efficiently.

    It's hard to out cardio a carb heavy diet. I believe the USDA food pyramid is backwards and one of the reasons obesity and diabetes is such a problem - in addition to 'non fat' foods and restaurant portions and fast food.

    There's a healthy balance in there somewhere, but everyone's body is different and it takes some time to adjust, but plain oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice are something I've incorporated more of. Less white breads and pasta, though I've not cut them completely. I've increased vegetables, eggs, chicken, tuna, salmon, halibut, tilapia and indulge in a nice burger or filet (bison is best) every once in a while so I don't get burned out on what I would consider a 'bland' diet 70-75% of the time.

    Anyway, I hope you find a good balance and something that works for you.

    Actually humans are omnivores and all of the other apes eat less meat than humans so most humans are probably doing an unnatural thing by eating the amount of meat that they do. Gorillas are actually vegetarians and they don't have trouble putting on muscle. I don't have a response to the op's question because I'm a vegetarian and I just started working out, but I have to say that I didn't really gain any weight or lose any weight since becoming a vegetarian. I would suggest buying vegetarian items that are rich in protein and eating them as often as you would normally eat meat.
    http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 02, 2011 11:26 AM GMT
    Thanks dancedance - some good suggestions there.
    And I appreciate the link, too, joe122 - handy reference.

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    Oct 03, 2011 1:02 AM GMT
    joe122 said
    Actually humans are omnivores and all of the other apes eat less meat than humans so most humans are probably doing an unnatural thing by eating the amount of meat that they do. Gorillas are actually vegetarians and they don't have trouble putting on muscle.


    Just because humans eat a diet that is different from other apes doesn't mean we're eating an unnatural diet. Our digestive tracts are very different from other apes, which have short small intestines and very long large intestines, where fermentation creates fatty acids from the large quantities of fibrous matter. Humans have the reverse: a long small intestine for assimilating a much more nutrient dense diet than that of other apes, and a short large intestine which derives very little caloric value from ingested fiber.
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    Oct 04, 2011 2:06 AM GMT
    Trollileo said
    Scruffypup said
    JackNWNJ saidA contradiction if there ever was one: "...vegetarian/vegan guys who know what they're talking about."



    I didn't realize you were vegan. icon_lol.gif
    I lol'd.
    +1
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    Oct 04, 2011 2:22 AM GMT
    If you're eating more carbs, make sure they are whole foods that are high in fiber and vary what you're eating... quinoa, beans, whole wheat, rye, etc. and lots of vegetables. As far as I'm concerned, quinoa is awesome.
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    Oct 04, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    seems to me that you're going to have to really ramp up your fish intake to make up for reducing your consumption of land animals. eating a lot of beans, legumes, gluten will likely cause intestinal inflammation, digestive problems and cause your body to store fat.

    if you're serious about doing this, sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than potatoes but you'll still probably gain weight since your insulin balances will be all out of whack, spiking and crashing all the time.

    what i'm curious about is that you say you want to reduce your meat intake for environmental/ethical reasons. sure, the meat industry is disgusting but the rest of the farm industry isn't much better. do you have any idea how many pesticides and crap they put into the earth to grow crops? if this is your reason, i'd suggest for your health to think instead about reducing your processed food and non-locally grown food intake. i didn't look where you live but it is easier and easier to buy locally grown, organic foods including meats. if your issue is really with the meat industry, that's a better option. if you don't like eating animals because they're cute, i have no advice for you.
  • Bigolbear

    Posts: 528

    Oct 04, 2011 4:40 PM GMT
    There are tons of things you can make that are vegetarian or vegan that are not high in carbs.

    The recipe below makes 4 servings and each serving has 458 calories per serving. It has 16g of fat (2.7 saturated), 61mg of carbs ( I would choose bunelss), 9g of dietary fiber, and 20.1g of protein per serving.

    I'm not trying to make a nutritional debate about veganism, vegetarianism, or omnivorism but you can make healthy and tasty options in any diet if you are creative enough and are willing to use a little trial and error in your cooking.

    Chickpea-Burgers-with-Mint-Raita.jpg

    Chickpea Burgers with Mint Raita

    For the chickpea burgers:
    1/2 cup walnuts
    2 garlic cloves
    1 shallot
    1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1/4 cup mint, minced
    1 tablespoon parsley
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1/4 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 cup freshly made breadcrumbs
    1 large egg, whisked
    a little oil, for preparing the pan or grill

    For the mint raita:
    1 cup lowfat plain Greek yogurt
    1/3 cup mint leaves, minced
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/2 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon salt


    To make the chickpea burgers:

    Place the walnuts in a small sauté pan over low heat. Toast, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes, or until the nuts are brown and fragrant. Chop the walnuts well and season with salt, to taste.

    Place the shallot and garlic cloves into a food processor. Pulse until minced. Add the chickpeas, mint and parsley to the food processor. Season with the salt, cumin and paprika. Pulse to combine and distribute the ingredients evenly.

    Transfer the chickpea mixture to a large mixing bowl. Fold in the toasted walnuts, breadcrumbs and egg. Form the chickpea walnut mixture into 4 patties, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

    Place the oil in a skillet over medium heat or prepare the grill with a light layer of oil. Cook on both sides, for 3-5 minutes per side, or until both sides are well browned.

    To make the mint raita:

    Whisk the Greek yogurt, mint, lemon juice, garlic and salt together in a medium bowl.


    To complete the Chickpea Burgers with Mint Raita:

    Preheat an oven to 350 degrees or keep the grill on medium heat.

    If you’re using the oven, toast the whole wheat buns in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the buns are toasted. Place the browned chickpea burgers on a baking sheet and let them cook in the oven, while the burgers are toasting.

    If you’re using a grill, toast the buns for about 5 minutes on the grill. Place the browned chickpea burgers back in the grill for 5 minutes, while the buns are toasting.

    Place each chickpea burger onto a toasted bun bottom. Top each with a slice of tomato, a spoonful of mint raita and the toasted bun top. Enjoy!


    Source: http://www.meatlessmonday.com/chickpea-burgers-with-mint-raita/




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    Oct 05, 2011 7:09 AM GMT
    imasrxd said

    what i'm curious about is that you say you want to reduce your meat intake for environmental/ethical reasons. sure, the meat industry is disgusting but the rest of the farm industry isn't much better. do you have any idea how many pesticides and crap they put into the earth to grow crops? if this is your reason, i'd suggest for your health to think instead about reducing your processed food and non-locally grown food intake. i didn't look where you live but it is easier and easier to buy locally grown, organic foods including meats. if your issue is really with the meat industry, that's a better option. if you don't like eating animals because they're cute, i have no advice for you.


    To answer your question - yep, it's the industry.
    From the ethical perspective: I'm okay with animals dying so I can eat them, provided they live and die in a humane way. I don't like the way the meat industry commodifies animals, and so am choosing not to partake. My rule is that I only eat meat that I know how the animal it came from lived and died, or meat (like fish, kangaroo, crocodile) that has come very much from the wild and ended up on my plate because it had to get culled. So as you suggest - I buy all my meat from farmer's markets where I can talk to the producer about exactly how my piece of dead cow got to be wrapped in plastic in front of me.

    This works fine when I'm at home, the difficulty is that I travel a lot, so struggle to know where my meat is from, so don't eat it. And that's when my diet gets a lot more vegetarian and the carbs go up.

    From an environmental perspective, it's not so much about the toxic chemicals (although I do buy organic meat, fruit AND veg to avoid them) but about the fact that we clear huge amounts of land and use massive amounts of water to grow crops that we feed to the animals that we eat. Not particularly sustainable or efficient.

    But in any event, it's pretty clear to me from the posts here that the answer is to just be pretty strict on avoiding the carbs and seek to fill my meals out in other ways (like with beans), to only eat whole/unprocessed carbs if I can't do that (just as well I really like brown rice and quinoa already!) and to think carefully about WHICH veggies and stuff I eat (sweet potato v regular potato being a good case in point).

    I can do all that - just need to get educated on which choices to make, and then be conscious of what I put in my mouth.

    The suggestions (and recipes, thanks Bigolbear!) coming through on this thread all help with that..