Saturday, July 7, 2007

Veg*n Diet For Weight Loss

Here is an easy to read fact list of some of the endless reasons as to why a veg*n diet is helpful where healthy weight loss in concerned:

-Complex carbohydrates, found only in plant-based foods, cannot add directly to your fat stores. There is no such thing as “carbohydrate storage areas” on our bodies. If the body is to try and store the energy of carbohydrates in fat, it has to chemically convert the carbohydrate molecules into fat. This process consumes a fair number of calories and so calories from carbohydrates are not likely to increase body fat as the same number of calories from fats.

-Carbohydrates actually boost your metabolism. Plant-based meals tend to increase the metabolic rate slightly. What happens is they break down to various natural sugars in the body which cause insulin to be released. That, in turn, leads to the production of two natural hormones, norepinephrine and thyroid hormone (T3). These hormones both increase the metabolic rate, which results in more effective calorie burning.

-Fiber, also not found in animal products and only in plant foods, is also a critical factor in good health and weight loss. Fiber makes people feel full faster and longer. This alone slashes calorie intake. Fiber itself has no calories. You could eat a ton of high fiber plant-based food and swear up and down you had the same amount of calories as you used to, but it not be near as much. Fiber helps to keep your intestines clean, including your liver, which is the most important organ where your metabolism is concerned. It helps to block the absorption of toxins as well as some carbs, sugars and fats. In total, up to 120 calories a day can be flushed away just through increased fiber intake. Fiber makes you regular and being regular is crucial for weight loss and weight control. Word of caution, though - if you don’t currently load up on fiber, add it up slowly. But the benefits of fiber are endless.

-You don’t have to calculate your fiber intake because when your diet is centered on high complex carbohydrate foods (fruits, grains, vegetables, beans and legumes), the fiber content of your diet increases naturally.

-A plant-based diet is rich in carbohydrate and fiber. Animal products are completely devoid of them. Meaning a plant-based diet promotes slimness, while animal products promote overweight.

-On a low fat vegan lifestyle, there’s no such thing as skimpy portions or calorie counting. That means that, unlike diets and diet fads (that do not work), your metabolism doesn’t go down. Meaning the weight stays off instead of piling back on at warp speeds and making you heavier.

-Animal fat was designed by nature to act as a calorie storage area for animals, just like a person’s fat is all their stored calories. So when you eat animal fat, you are eating all those stored calories. Also, animal fat is not only on the outside of a cut of meat. It is marbled through even the so-called “lean” parts, almost like a sponge holding water. Simply put, meat is fat. There isn’t “lean” meat. So, when you eat it, you are eating someone else’s fat and someone else’s concentrated stored calories. It will put fat on you.

-60% of calories in ground beef come from fat. 54% of calories in “extra lean” ground beef come from fat. 83% of the calories in bologna and hotdogs are from fat. Chuck roast is 50%, rib eye steak is 63%, short loin porterhouse is 64%, roasted chicken is 51%, chicken frank is 68%, Chinook salmon is 52%, etc. Most beans, grains and vegetables (except for avocadoes and olives) are less than 10%. So you can eat much more and still be cutting out calories and losing weight.

-Food products that are packaged claiming to be low in fat or fat free are based on percentages by weight rather than percentages by calories. It’s a trick. So whole milk, for example, is 3.3% fat by weight because it is loaded with water. But half it’s calories actually come from fat. Milk that is 2% fat by weight is actually 35% fat as a percentage of calories. It is actually not a low-fat product at all. A good way to put this into perspective is that milk is designed for an animal’s biggest growth spurt of its life. Cow’s milk, made for a cow, is designed to make a calf grow into a 2,000 pound cow. Milk is fat.

-A big problem with meats, including poultry and fish, is that they are muscles, and muscles are made up of protein and fat. The protein in meat is also second-hand, the protein the animal first consumed from plant sources in order to make its own. Meats are protein and fat yet contain no fiber at all and virtually no carbohydrate.

-Fat always has more calories than carbohydrate.

Other things to consider:
-It’s an unfortunate fact that everything these days revolves around money. It’s an unfortunate fact that something so small as money - something that we won’t even carry with us when we die - is so powerful that it causes families to break up, people to take the lives of other people, and even wars. So that is really all companies and corporations care about is profit. Not if you’re getting ill because that makes them rich, too. Government, media, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, food industries, etc., are all connected whether it be through investing in each other through stocks, manipulations by PR firms, etc. Now consider this - companies aren’t required to list all ingredients used in a product on a food label. Due to the chemicals in the packaging and the chemicals in the food and preservatives, many snack foods lining the shelves of stores actually have a shelf life of 22 years. It makes one wonder if people are also preserving their fat cells. . .

-Meat and dairy are the most contaminated stuff people put in their bodies. Milk has perchlorate, which is the scientific word for rocket fuel. Other than that, meat and dairy are full of antibiotics, pesticides, steroids, chemicals, industrial pollutants and hormones. Many animals are even given arsenic-laced drugs. Arsenic! And meat and dairy doesn’t even have fiber to bind these toxins and fats and help usher them out of the body. This absolutely has huge effects on the way your body is working. It absolutely has an effect on your organs, including your liver. So, without even having to say it, it absolutely has an effect on the metabolism. They alter it.

-The FDA lists approximately 1,700 drugs approved for use in animal feed. Of these approved drugs, at least 300 include “weight gain” in their description. However, in their book Animal Factories, Jim Mason and Peter Singer disclose an estimate of 20,000 to 30,000 drugs actually being used.

-"Diets" don't work. They screw the body's chemistry and metabolism up and they are not sustainable for long periods of time, therefore, do not lead to permanent weight loss. Once someone stops their "diet," they often go back to being heavier than they were before.

-Vegetarians tend to be slimmer than their meat eating counterparts. Vegans tend to be slimmer than both. However, though it's rare, there are such thing as fat vegans. These are the ones whose kitchens are stocked with margarine and oils and flours. They are the ones who fill up on cookies and shop mostly in the processed cookie and snack isles rather than the produce section. They overdo it on the ice creams and cakes. And, yes, vegan have ice creams, cakes and cookies. And, yes, they are delicious. But, if you are looking into the vegan diet for weight loss reasons,

-Don’t cook with oil or margarine. They are 100% fat. Fat calories get converted swiftly into fat on the body. Plus, they add loads of calories and fat with absolutely no nutrition to go along with it. They are empty calories and do nothing but add a ton of fat. It tastes absolutely no different if you sautee something for a recipe in water or vinaigrette or juice than if you were to sautee it in oil or margarine.

-Always do whole grain bread if you feel you can’t go without bread. I personally can’t have bread because it will land me in the hospital, but, for weight purposes, it’s kind of a blessing. Yes you can eat bread and stay thin. But flours, because they are grinded up, do tend to release more calories in the digestive system. Try, if you can, to have rice instead of bread.

-Whole Foods Market has an awesome bulk section at reasonable prices to stock up and have on hand such things as brown rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, etc. The list is literally endless.

-Walk some. A little exercise doesn’t hurt. Try 30 minutes a day or an hour four times a week. Then work your way up if you want.

I highly, highly suggest the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. for those interested in weight loss. Some other excellent books are Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight by Neal Barnard, M.D., and, for a entertainingly funny read as well as an informative one, Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Saw your post on Truly wonderful and enlightening blog. I have been reading through it carefully. Will be watching "Earthlings" when I have more time. Thank you Jackie.


VeganJacks said...

You're very welcome - it's my plasure. :) Thank you so much for stopping by.