gaining weight as a vegetarian

  • MelloProphet

    Posts: 5

    Mar 07, 2009 6:36 AM GMT
    About a few months ago I made the jump and fully phased all meat out of my diet. My impetus wasn't ethically motivated by any stretch of the imagination, but rather more so out of concern for my health (my family has huge blood pressure and cholesterol problems). At this point, I can honestly say I feel better for making the change, and hopefully the change will be reflected in my next round of blood testing. That aside, recently I've been concerned that I'm not getting sufficient protein in my diet to help reach my goals for gaining some mass. I'm not trying to make huge gains- maybe 5 lbs of lean mass? I've been following a proven lifting program for the past 3 months or so (former collegiate athlete) and I haven't been seeing any results. So I can't help but think it's an issue with my diet.

    Lately, I've been trying to load up on veggie protein like soy, nuts, quinoa, etc, but I have a feeling that it's not enough, and that I may not be getting a sufficient quantity and spectrum of complete protein in my diet.

    At this point I feel that my only option is going the supplement route, but I wouldn't really know where to start.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
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    Mar 07, 2009 2:27 PM GMT
    How soon after a workout are you ingesting protein?

    Have been told it's best to do so w/in 20 minutes or it reduces usability.

    Kudos on making it work!
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    Mar 07, 2009 2:32 PM GMT
    Protein drinks are good. I've started doing a lot of them since being on the weightloss challenge last year. I've tended to go with the Pure Protein brand, and it's been good for me!
  • mick85

    Posts: 137

    Mar 07, 2009 2:33 PM GMT
    Hi ,
    Great to hear that you have shifted to a more healthy and religious diet .
    Though a vegetarian diet is self sufficient for al your bodily requirements ,a balanced vegetarian diet is very much necessary .Not sure about your diet ,but you can visit a nutritionist who can prescribe you a balanced wholesome vegetarian diet.Since me too a vegetarian .I mean turned vegetarian almost 6 years back due to similar health concerns you have ,I am now starting to expereince a wonderful change in my body .I fell amazingly fit and very youthful and chearful ...besides a feel good factor of not killing soemone for my diet .I am also considering to be a part of PETA .(People for ethical traetment of Animals). So just concluding it up ,I beleive its far more important to be fit and healthy rather than eating up flesh to increase your bodily flesh.Some things I would suggest you seriously if you are looking for that extra protein is to include Soy and eat lot of peanuts .(I have heard that many people are allergic to Peanuts in USA ,so just be sure abt this before starting up),eat lots of fruits and green veggies.If you want to bulk up a little .drink good quantity of milk and you can start up with some Whey proteins. Once again congrajulating you to take up a right part in being healthy and sound . It would be nice to hear back from you.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 07, 2009 3:05 PM GMT
    What is your overall caloric intake and what is your overall aerobic output?

    Basically if you are not eating enough your body wont add muscle because it will be using the protein for fuel. You need to make sure your fuel needs are meet and that you have excess protein to build muscle.
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    Mar 07, 2009 3:13 PM GMT
    mick85 saidHi ,
    Though a vegetarian diet is self sufficient for al your bodily requirements ,a balanced vegetarian diet is very much necessary .Not sure about your diet ,but you can visit a nutritionist who can prescribe you a balanced wholesome vegetarian diet.


    I agree with this advice, but think you drop the word vegetarian from your suggestions. A balanced diet is important if you are a vegetarian or not.
  • mick85

    Posts: 137

    Mar 07, 2009 4:00 PM GMT
    I think so you took this incorrectly .The sentence is not emphasizing Vegetarian diet ...but since the one who has asked the question shifted to a vegetarian diet ..I wanted to emphasize that even if the diet is vegetarian ...it should be a balanced vegetarian diet ...i hope the sentence is clear now ....
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    Mar 07, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    mick85 saidI think so you took this incorrectly .The sentence is not emphasizing Vegetarian diet ...but since the one who has asked the question shifted to a vegetarian diet ..I wanted to emphasize that even if the diet is vegetarian ...it should be a balanced vegetarian diet ...i hope the sentence is clear now ....


    gotcha. thanks for the clarification.
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    Mar 07, 2009 4:13 PM GMT
    Are you vegan or do you eat eggs and dairy. That would make a difference. They are both great sources of protein. If you're concerned about cholesterol, you could just eat the egg whites.
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    Mar 07, 2009 4:14 PM GMT
    Realjock posted about this a while back:
    http://www.realjock.com/nutrition/1064/
  • mick85

    Posts: 137

    Mar 07, 2009 4:15 PM GMT
    If you do not eat eggs .I read today google searched while eating peanuts that peanuts are the best alternative to eggs and meat as a source of protein ....
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    Mar 07, 2009 4:19 PM GMT
    Hi Mello.

    Congratulations on becoming vegetarian. I've been vegetarian, almost vegan, for 16 years now. I have similar issues with gaining muscle mass.

    Actually, you might want to check into switching from soy protein to another protein like hemp, pea or rice protein. Canadian organic hemp protein powder is readily available in most vitamin shops.

    I am not informed enough to give specific information, but I have heard that soy protein facilitates the production of estrogen and inhibits the production of testosterone, especially over time. Although you haven't been vegetarian for very long, this could be part of the problem. Without adequate testosterone, you are spinning your wheels working out.

    Personally, I don't use whey or egg proteins because they come from animal sources. Plus, you never know if they have been treated with hormones, or come from less than humanely farmed animals.

    So, you may want to research this a bit and perhaps talk to a nutritionist to find a diet optimized for muscle mass. If you do, hit me back.

    Best of luck to you.
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    Mar 07, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    never2ndbest said
    ... but I have heard that soy protein facilitates the production of estrogen and inhibits the production of testosterone, especially over time.


    Though often repeated, this has never been demonstrated to be accurate. The other big veg protein myth is protein combining. Unless you are eating nothing but sweet potatoes and onions you are pretty much in the clear on this one.

    Your suggestion about Hemp powder is great. Unlike most protein powders hemp is refined to get just the protein and is a whole food. It is also well balanced in its amino acid profile.
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Mar 07, 2009 4:59 PM GMT
    I had trouble gaining weight in my 20's. The only way that I could put on weight was to eat a lot of eggs. And at the time, I was not a vegetarian.

    My Aunt had the same problem and she gained weight by drinking lots of milk shakes.

    dscn0620.jpg

    hmmm......maybe that is why I just can't stand eating more than one egg now. icon_confused.gif
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    Mar 07, 2009 9:13 PM GMT
    I'm not one that agrees that a vegetarian diet is the only answer to families with a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All forms of meat have cholesterol in them. However, it is the relationship between the cholesterol and the saturated fat content that creates the problem within the human body. And families with histories of high blood pressure and high cholesterol seem to amplify the reaction physiologically. However, fish has been shown to be a good source of animal protein with very little saturated fat in it. So for those with high cholesterol, it's usually a safe and healthy option. You should consider eating lots of fish and see if it affects your cholesterol levels. Evidence to this is to look at many of the Asian countries. Fish is an abundant and affordable part of their everyday meals. However, people living in Asian societies are notoriously low in cholesterol. This is what led researching to begin researching this relationship in the first place.

    Soy protein is a decent option, and soy has been shown to have some effects on lowering cholesterol. But some studies also have shown that it can sometimes have a reverse effect on building muscle. So it's a toss up if it will work in helping you.



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    Mar 09, 2009 5:46 PM GMT
    derfpuck saidI went vegetarian at New years....but it hasn't helped my winter belly at all.....I'm just going to have to get used to it and the guys that think it's sexy....there are a few...heh


    Just because a diet is vegetarian or even vegan doesn't mean it's necessarily balanced or healthy. I have family members who are hardcore vegan and obese because they eat lots of grain and beans and very little fresh veggies and fruit.

    The one vegan diet I've read about that seems particularly good at reducing body fat is Doug Graham's 80/10/10 raw vegan diet.
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    Mar 09, 2009 6:49 PM GMT
    If you are a vegetarian for health reasons, I think I would do a lot more of good research before eating fish. There has been extensive research on fish containing high sources of pollution that it extracts from the water. One great pollution substance that fish absorbs from its water is mercury! I think we all know that mercury is a very harmful pollutant. Mercury is known for causing autism in children, if the mother at a too much fish while she was pregnant.

    As far as protein, as long as you are not a vegan and eat plenty of milk, cheese, and other dairy products, you will probably be fine. One thing though is you have to give this lifestyle change time. There are a great plethora of proteins you can get from vegetables and tofu as well as other grains; they may come in small amounts but every bit counts. You also don't want to over eat protein, it can cause major liver and gallbladder damage!

    I would consult a nutritionist that understands your individual needs for a better answer to your question. I mean everyone's body is extremely different, in needs.

    I have been a vegetarian most of my life, for many reasons. All my sisters are vegetarians. If I can help you please let me know. I have done many researches on the subject.

    Good Luck