Vegetarianism, carbs, and fat loss

Discussion in 'Diet and Nutrition' started by MBP, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. MBP

    MBP Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Hi everyone. I love this forum--been reading for years but have never posted.
    I stopped eating animal products in May, primarily because I was having frequent headaches and I was tired of feeling lousy. I told myself I would go back to eating animal products when I felt the need -- I love(d) meat and dairy. To my surprise I have not really missed it and am generally feeling pretty well. I am strong and energetic and on my way to achieving "simple" in S&S.
    My question/concern is I am having trouble getting below 20% body fat. i'm 49 years old, 5'9" and 175 pounds. Things that I've read and researched have stated that increasing protein and lowering carbs is a good way to get that down but I'm not really sure how to do that eating the way I'm eating.
    I need to add that in the 3 weeks of doing S&S in earnest my appetite has dramatically increased.
    Does anyone have any experience/advice for cutting on a vegan diet?

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @MBP, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

    Consider adding meat back into your diet, just have less than you used to. E.g., I eat a Warrior Diet way, so I don't have much to eat during the day, which also means I don't have meat or dairy (except for cream sometimes in my coffee) during the day. There are also plenty of ways to use meat in cooking that aren't eating a steak, e.g., a favorite dish here is slow-cooked beef short ribs. It ends up being a sort of stew, with a lot of sauce and the meat in small pieces. Here, we often put a couple big spoonfuls over a bowl of rice or pasta, sometimes even on a salad.

    The other suggestion would be a vegan protein bar - there are lots of tasty choices out there now, e.g., I love a kind called Raw Rev, and often my during-the-day eating consists of one of these in the morning and another mid-afternoon, each time with a nice double espresso with heavy cream. That means I've gotten 20-25 grams of protein out of the way.

  3. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    See if you can log your intake for 3 days and get a good idea of how many grams of protein you are consuming.

    1.6 g/kg/day is a common recommendation for those who train. So 126g/day is about right for you for strength and muscle development. You can supplement with soy or pea protein isolate powders if you're not getting it through your food intake. Or add some meat/eggs back, as Steve suggests.

    If you're trying to actually lose weight while training (caloric deficit), it's even more important to get adequate protein intake. Otherwise you'll lose more of your hard-earned muscle, and then it's even harder to get your body comp where you want it.
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  4. q.Hung

    q.Hung More than 500 posts

    you can try cut one meal - i did that during last summer. I was quite lean during that time ( can see some abbie, can hold the planche...)
    Personally i don't feel lack of protein from the vegan diet, but lack of good fat is the problem for me
    Hope this help
    Oscar likes this.
  5. MBP

    MBP Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Thank you for the welcome and thank you both for the advice. I do track my intake and it looks like I am about 30-40 grams short each day. I'm going to try to supplement and if still necessary start adding back.

  6. MBP

    MBP Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I have eaten only one meal a day for years and have never had trouble until S&S. Since starting I have been hungrier during the day than I can remember. The fat point is a good one--that may help me keep the appetite under control . I haven't felt much of a problem regarding protein as far as strength and energy goes, but I think for the body composition (and appetite) I need to consider that as well.
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  7. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    If you want to eat plant based, stick to the recommendations of the leaders in that field.

    Calorie density is the key, and the best explanation and implementation of that is Dr. John McDougall and Jeff Novick.
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  8. MBP

    MBP Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Good advice. I'm a big fan of McDougall.

  9. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    FWIW, the conventional advice that protein and fat promote satiety is not at all true for me. I know I’m not alone in this.

    For me, what best promotes satiety with appropriate calories is complex carbohydrates with intact fiber and water. Just as McDougall and Novick teach. In other words, whole plant foods. I can eat a days worth of calories in cheese, and not feel satisfied. Oil does not register at all. Meat is just plain disgusting.

    But potatoes can satisfy me at a caloric deficit. And beans truly are the magical fruit, more than adequate protein, tons of slow burning carbs and fiber. Perfect!

    Bauer, MBP, Abdul-Rasheed and 2 others like this.
  10. LukeV

    LukeV More than 300 posts

    I agree with this. I eat a lot of meat including quite fatty cuts (slow cooker, yum!) but I don't find it particularly filling. But add potatoes or beans and I can get by on one meal per day
    ShawnM likes this.
  11. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    Consuming too much starch is easy to do when eating meat free. How do you typically eat nowadays? Eating less pasta and rice, and more beans, lentils and vegetables can do the trick in some cases.
  12. william bad butt

    william bad butt More than 300 posts

    Your Goal is to lose body fat %. Do you want to remain at your current body weight or lose weight?

    I figure out my calories required to maintain weight. If I want to gain weight I add 500/day. If I want to lose weight I subtract 500/day.

    If maintaining weight, I eat 1 g protein/lb lean body weight, 0.3 g fat per lb total body weight, and make up the rest with carbs.

    If gaining weight, I eat O.8 g protein/lb lean bodyweight, eat the same fat, and make up the rest with carbs. So more carbs.

    If losing weight, I eat 1.2 g protein/lb lean bodyweight, eat the same fat, and makeup the rest with carbs. So less carbs.

    One thing you said that sticks with me... When I did S&S, daily, years ago, 2013 I think, my appetite also increased. I appeased it, I bulked on S&S, lol. I thought it was odd and surprising...
  13. MBP

    MBP Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Mostly potatoes, greens, beans, and oatmeal. I'll throw in some fruit and rice occasionally but that's pretty much the core of it. I like to keep it simple and eat the same thing each day. I have plenty of energy for exercise, life, job, and kids and feel great. But I have to eat a ton to satisfy--I have the appetite of a mad dog these days.
    ShawnM likes this.
  14. MBP

    MBP Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I'm happy at my weight. I just can't seem to get below that 20%. I'm only eating 1800-2000/ day.
  15. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Actually getting below 20 % bf is/should not be too hard for males (getting below 10 % might be hard and even not advisable for some).
    Getting in 1,2 g per lb of lean bw looks like a good number. However, make sure you have high quality protein, i.e. a complete amino acid spectrum. In addition to that watch the leucine content of each meal. Aim for ~ 3-4 g per meal (which should easily be achieved by choosing high quality proteins). Your calories seem very low. How long have you been on that number? You might want to consider to eat at maintenace for 2-4 weeks and then switch conservatively to a deficit and see how it goes.
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  16. MBP

    MBP Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I've been that low for a few months now with an occasional high day thrown in now and then, more by accident than design.
    I figured it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'm also on my feet a good deal of the day so I was surprised when I got stuck.
  17. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    A few month is quite long for such a low number. I assume this is barely your basal metabolic rate (without doing the math. If you're interested in that search for "Mifflin-St. Jeor-Formula" to get a rough estimation of your basal metabolic rate). Ramp it up to maintenance for 4 weeks or so and giv yourself a chance to reset. Then start over again conservatively with a ~10 % deficit. Avoid drastic deficits (> 25 %).
  18. More than 500 posts

    BMR Calculators

    These calculators amount using GPS to determine where you are on a map and telling you that you are somewhere in Indiana. In other word, BMR Calculators give you a incredibly huge ball park figure; they amount to guessing.

    As I have posted before, the most effective method of determining you present BMR is a...

    Three Day Recall

    1) Count the calories you consume for three days.

    2) One of those day need to be a weekend day because you eating habits change.

    3) Then divide you total calorie count for three days by three to get your daily average calorie intake.

    Gaining, Losing Or Maintaining

    1) Maintaining; If you are maintaining your weight on what your consuming with the same daily activities and exercise program, that is you daily BMR.

    2) Losing: If you are losing weight, you in a deficit.

    3) Gaining: If you are gaining, you are in a surplus.

    The 20% Rule

    Increasing or decreasing you caloric intake to some extent fall within this rule.

    Research by Dr John Ivy and Dr Layne Norton, independent of each other came to the same conclusion.

    The most effective method for losing weight, maximizing fat loss while maintaining muscle mass, is to lower you caloric intake approximately 20%.

    The most most effective method for gaining weight, increasing muscle mass and minimizing fat gain, it to increase your caloric intake approximately 20%

    The MATDOR Weight Loss Study

    I've posted this information before. The study found that when you decrease your caloric intake or increase it, the body usually adapts. In other word, you end up with a New BMR

    Your body has adapted, you weight gain or loss stops. You are now at maintenance.

    The research determined that by decreasing your calories and then sticking with it, you'd lose weight.

    Your two week of consuming a calorie deficit diet was then following by increasing your calorie back to your previous maintenance level. Doing so resets you BMR Thermostat so then when you then went back to the lower calorie deficit, it trigger more weight/fat loss.

    Increasing Protein During Weight Loss

    Research has demonstrated the consuming more protein on a weight loss diet preserves muscle mass.

    Periodization Eating Plan

    One of the fundamentals of training is Periodization Training; varying your training program, making changes every 3 - 6 weeks.

    When it comes to losing or gaining weight, you need to have a "Periodization Eating Plan". That is essentially the finding of the MATADOR Weight Loss Research.

    Kenny Croxale
    MBP likes this.
  19. MBP

    MBP Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    There is a lot to digest here--pun intended. I am going to check out that study. And it's becoming pretty apparent that I need to get my protein intake to where it needs to be.
    Thank you for the thorough reply.

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