As you may or may not know, I have been a low-carb eater for more than 2 years now. That means I ate very few grains, a lot of meat, and some fruit and vegetables.
I’m changing that, doing almost a 180, in fact. For at least the next year, I’ll be eating a modified vegetarian diet, which means I’ll eat only plant-based foods, but also include whey protein, eggs, and fish. Some call that “pescetarian” or “pescatarian”, but, really, fish will be a very small part of my diet, as will eggs.
Low-carb was great for me for weight loss, because I could feel satisfied on the low-carb, high-fat/protein regimen. The problem is that I’ve been stuck for more than 2 years. I cannot seem to budge below the 170-175 range.
Or I should say that I could not budge below that range. I have now busted through with the help of a detoxification cleanse, a 21-day detoxification process that attempts to rid your body of contaminants through a vegan diet and reset it to zero so you can, essentially, start over. And that’s what I’m doing. Starting over.
Not only that, but I am starting over 11 pounds lighter. That’s right, in 21 days I lost 11 pounds and 2 inches off my waist. That’s significant, because I had struggled to lose that gut fat, and now it’s shrinking.
In light of that, then, I decided I should take a closer look at plant-based nutrition.
The first thing I noticed is that while most eating plans focus on the fact that you can lose fat on them, and, thereby receive all the health benefits of a leaner body, vegan eating also has been shown to reverse diseases like heart disease and cancer. Reverse them.
The second thing I noticed is that when I looked at vegan recipes, often the nutritional breakdown was missing, so there was no listing of macronutrients like fat, carb, protein grams. Why? Because who cares, that’s why. You can’t get too many calories on an plant-based diet. Okay, that’s not really true, but if you stay away from processed foods of all kinds, like flours, oils, sugars, you’ll be okay. Yeah, you gotta watch your protein, and my sample size is probably too small to determine that this is a trend, but I found it interesting.
The third thing I noticed is that I’ve never been talking to a fat person about nutrition and had him tell me, “I’m a vegan.” That’s not to mention that the vegetarians I do know are all thin.
By the way, I should caveat this with the fact that I do believe that heredity definitely impacts all of our body compositions. Some people are naturally thin, some are naturally fat, some in-between. That’s why some have to work harder at staying thin than others. I do not use “fat” as a pejorative term here. Fat is fat, same as thin is thin.
Finally, and most importantly, is that it seems to work for me. I lost that gut fat that had hung on for so long. And my eyes have stopped burning! They used to burn so often, and I often blamed it on allergies or staring too much at the computer screen. I’m sure my doctor would have diagnosed it as dry-eye syndrome, if I’d told her about it. But here on this vegan diet, no burning eyes, and that is a huge mood changer for me.
With all that in mind, I’m going to give a modified vegetarian lifestyle — maybe merging into a vegan lifestyle — a shot for at least a year and see how it treats me, make sure this isn’t just a short term fluke.
[UPDATE ON OCTOBER 25, 2012] After further research, I have decided to drop all animal products from my diet and eat vegan at least through October, 2013. I figured, what the hell, might as well go all in, right?
I’m pretty excited about it, because it’s something new to learn, and I love learning. Drop me a line if you want to join me or just have something to say about it, because I’m all ears!