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Old 04-22-10, 06:25 PM   #1
dr. spectrum
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Vegetarian trying to keep weight on

As the topic says, I'm a strict (though not vegan) vegetarian trying to keep weight on and energy up now that decent weather is here and I've rounded up to 150 miles a week on the way to more, an annual challenge this time of year. I'm 5'10", 150 and I just can't seem to eat enough. I would eat more dense foods like cheese and milk, or meat for that matter, but I just don't care for them, and I also have very little taste for processed foods or supplements generally so putting whey powder in a smoothie, for example, doesn't really work. I do all the common sense stuff like adding extra olive oil to pasta, eating lots of starchy foods, taking second servings, snacking liberally on nuts and avocado, eating several meals a day and so forth but my trousers keep getting bigger. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone on the forum has found any good strategies for dealing with such an issue.
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Old 04-22-10, 06:30 PM   #2
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Despite what the vegans tell you, we are omnivores by design, and for some, animal products are a necessity. You could be one of them. I would really recommend finding a nutritionist and figuring out what your body is not getting.
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Old 04-22-10, 06:39 PM   #3
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I don't want to get into a debate about vegetarianism or whether or not our digestive systems were "designed" to eat animal products. I don't care what anyone else eats, but I eat little animal food because little is to my taste and because my doctor assures me that my diet is perfectly healthy as long as I take a multivitamin and eat a broad range of foods, which I do. I'm just wondering what strategies other cyclists who eat the way I do have found to address the practical problem of stuffing enough plant food in their faces to make up for the energy their legs are burning.

Last edited by dr. spectrum; 04-22-10 at 06:40 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 04-23-10, 06:50 AM   #4
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Glad you got the discussion back on track. It's not only about calories. Are you incorporating (enough) tofu, seitan, and/or tempeh in your diet? You might have to jack these up during the season. Also, how about weight training? You can do hypertrophy-specific routines that will keep your lean bulk on while reducing BF (if needed). What do you eat after a ride? That's pretty critical if you want to preserve mass- no carbs or protein after a ride and you're potentially catabolizing. You should do the same after lifting too.
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Old 04-23-10, 07:08 AM   #5
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Vegetarian Athletes - 10 Olympic Champions

It’s a myth that muscles, strength and endurance require the consumption of large quantities of animal-based foods. This myth began before anyone even talked about protein. During the Olympics, it’s a good time to take a look at some amazing athletes who are champions and vegetarians:

Charlene Wong is a champion figure skater who represented Canada in the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She began competing at the age of 6 and in 1980 was named to the Canadian Team and represented Canada in the Junior World Championships. She was highlighted in The Vegetarian Sports Nutrition Guide by Lisa Dorfman.

Paavo Nurmi, a Finnish runner, was a vegetarian since the age of 12. He is often considered the greatest track and field athlete of all time. A long-distance runner, he competed in the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Olympics, winning 12 Olympic medals.

Chris Campbell, wrestler, trained for the 1980 Olympics but did not compete as the American team boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics. At age 37, he began training again and secured a place on the US team, winning a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics, becoming the oldest American to medal in Olympic wrestling. He says, “I take care of my body. I don’t eat meat, and I do yoga every day. It makes a difference.”

Carl Lewis, vegan athlete, won 10 Olympic medals, including 9 golds, in a career that spanned from 1979 to 1996, competing for the US. He said, “most athletes have the worst diet in the world, and they compete in spite of it.”

Surya Bonaly, professional figure skater, represented France in the Olympics of 1992, 1994, and 1998. She is also now a US citizen. A vegetarian, she has appeared in PETA ads protesting Canada’s baby seal hunt and English and French fur trade.

Debbie Lawrence, vegetarian racewalker, has been a three-time Olympian (1992, 1996, and 2000) and is the world record holder for the women’s 5K racewalk event. She attributes her success to hard work and a vegetarian diet.

Murray Rose, a vegetarian since birth, has six Olympic medals. He was born in
1939 in Nairn, Scotland, but he moved to Australia with his family at an early age. He was an Olympic champion at age seventeen. He was known for his vegetarianism during his career, earning him the nickname, “The Seaweed Streak.” He competed in the Olympics from 1956 through 1960, winning six
medals.

Al Oerter, discus thrower, won four Olympic gold medals for the US - in 1956, 1960, 1964. He was also an abstract painter.

Edwin Moses, hurdler for the US, is a gold medalist who went eight years without losing the 400-meter hurdle. Over his career, he won two Olympic gold medals. After retirement from track, he in completed in a 1990 World Cup bobsled race in Germany and won the two-man bronze medal with US Olympian Brian Shimer. Edwin Moses is a vegetarian.

Leroy Burrell, sprinter, twice set the world record for the 100 meter sprint. He won a gold medal for the US in 1992 in Barcelona. He is a vegetarian.

As stated in “Vegetarian Diets” by the International Center for Sports Nutrition, Olympic Coach Magazine, Winter 1997:


“If care is taken to include a wide variety of foods, vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate to support athletic performance.”

“Whether an individual is a recreational or world-class athlete, being a vegetarian does not diminish natural talent or athletic performance. As far back as the Ancient Games, Greek athletes trained on vegetarian diets and displayed amazing ability in competitive athletics.”


Looking at these 10 vegetarian Olympic athletes, it’s clear that the need to eat meat to be strong and a champion is a myth. A whole foods, plant-based diet will give an athlete all the excellent nutrition he or she needs to be a winner.
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Old 04-23-10, 08:45 AM   #6
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Well, I'm not a vegetarian or trying to put weight on. But if I know what makes me put it on, and that's things like muffins and other carb based foods that may be loaded with high calorie things like nuts and dried fruit even when they are supposed to be healthy. Also, look up the glycemic index on some foods and eat the high ones as they will make you hungry again sooner.
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Old 04-23-10, 11:09 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions. Thinking over what I eat, I really don't eat much protein at all right after rides, and I should probably switch that up, maybe just make a batch of seitan cutlets and keep them ready for big post-ride sandwiches. That's also a very interesting point about low-GI foods—hadn't thought about it at all, but when I looked up my staple foods they're nearly all low-GI stuff. Might be tricking myself into thinking I'm eating more than I am!
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Old 04-23-10, 11:24 AM   #8
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Lucky! Also a vegeteranian, but if I'm not a little hungry most of the time, I put weight on, even at over 150 miles/week. But I use whey protein and eat cheese sometimes, maybe 1 lb./month. Optimum Nutrition flavored whey powder is not that bad. I take it straight in water. I also use a recovery drink with whey protein and sugar. Cave aged French cheeses are quite nice, really. You want good cheese, it costs money. Organic milk from cows on pasture isn't too bad, either.
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Old 04-23-10, 12:20 PM   #9
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If you want protein, get sprouts/wheatgrass going! Make green smoothies, keep as much as your food raw as you can tolerate

http://www.healthyeatingadvisor.com/sprouts.html
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Old 04-24-10, 09:11 AM   #10
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If I wanted to stop loosing weight, the first thing I'd probably do is try and count how many calories I ate per day, second thing I'd do is look around to see what the calorie RDA for my lifestyle should be.
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Old 04-24-10, 11:29 AM   #11
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I think OP is asking the wrong questions. The two questions with a diet when one is having an issue keeping weight on are: Enough protein? It doesn't matter what the source is, you need some in your diet. Enough calories?

I'm not sure why you think people use meat and dairy products for their energy density. I've never thought about them that way, and only eat lean meat and dairy anyway. These products are really mostly about protein, not raw caloric value.

At 6'1" 158 lb and very active, I eat several thousand calories a day. Almost none of them come from meat. A few hundred come from dairy. Carbs is where it's at, my friend.

Of course this whole discussion assumes that you don't have a thyroid issue or anything.
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Old 04-24-10, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. spectrum View Post
I'm 5'10", 150 and I just can't seem to eat enough.
My gosh, you're obese!
You are the same height as Tom Danielson, but *twenty* pounds heavier!
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Old 04-24-10, 04:19 PM   #13
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Dude. Your vegetarian. Didn't you know that gives you an excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of nut butter for the sake of protein? Dont be afraid of fat either, we need the stuff (more than we think)
I'd say get a jar and a spoon. Ever had cashew butter? Sunflower seed butter? Almond butter? Poured over a sweet potato butternut squash casserole? Come on, do it.
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Old 04-24-10, 05:11 PM   #14
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Dude. Your vegetarian. Didn't you know that gives you an excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of nut butter for the sake of protein? Dont be afraid of fat either, we need the stuff (more than we think)
I'd say get a jar and a spoon. Ever had cashew butter? Sunflower seed butter? Almond butter? Poured over a sweet potato butternut squash casserole? Come on, do it.
If this is a RAW recipe, PM it to me please
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Old 04-24-10, 09:23 PM   #15
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Dude. Your vegetarian. Didn't you know that gives you an excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of nut butter for the sake of protein? Dont be afraid of fat either, we need the stuff (more than we think)
I'd say get a jar and a spoon. Ever had cashew butter? Sunflower seed butter? Almond butter? Poured over a sweet potato butternut squash casserole? Come on, do it.
Heck, nut butters are awesome just heated a bit (they make a great sauce on their own) and poured over brown rice. Sublime.
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Old 04-24-10, 11:55 PM   #16
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You a**holes. I thought I'd just check my email and breeze BF before I went to bed and now I'm sitting here using a tortilla as a scoop for almond butter. And I'm 5'-10 and haven't seen 150 since I was 15.
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Old 04-25-10, 08:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by dr. spectrum View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. Thinking over what I eat, I really don't eat much protein at all right after rides, and I should probably switch that up, maybe just make a batch of seitan cutlets and keep them ready for big post-ride sandwiches. That's also a very interesting point about low-GI foods—hadn't thought about it at all, but when I looked up my staple foods they're nearly all low-GI stuff. Might be tricking myself into thinking I'm eating more than I am!
i am a pescatarian and i am trying to do the opposite from you, trying to lose weight. I don't actually eat much fish...3 times a week so i doubt that is a major difference between our diets. I am having a devil of a time losing weight even though i have lost a fair bit of fat and put on some muscle, but it isn't that much so my lack of weight loss is confusing. I suspect I am eating more than I thnk I am and i bet you are thinking you eat more than you really do. If you are the kind of person who tends to lose weight you probably don't eat without thinking. I can eat without even actively deciding to eat. I just find food in my hand.

So I guess my suggestion for you is to try eating all the time rather than thinking about set meals. Just keep grazing and not to over think what kind of food etc.
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Old 04-25-10, 09:53 AM   #18
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Nut butters are really good. I was clearing out the fridge yesterday, mixed up some brown rice with almond butter and had it with tofu slices sauteed in cumin and chili flakes wrapped in steamed chard. I'm sure the idea of that would make lots of people retch but if you aren't one of them it's worth trying.
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Old 04-25-10, 11:21 AM   #19
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That sounds pretty good spectrum. I guess I am weird in preferring peanuts in savory dishes anyways. Sweet nuts should be sweet, like the cashews and almonds and hazelnuts. If you can find these fancy nut butters, chances are you can also find miso (soy bean paste) and tahini (sesame paste). Mixing these two as a sauce or sandwich spread is AMAZING.
Now we have to talk about hummus since I mentioned tahini. Dont even bother unless you are in Israel. Sabra is alright I guess, if you can find it, but still doesn't hold a candle.
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Old 04-25-10, 02:27 PM   #20
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I wouldn't worry about keeping weight up if I were you, dr. spectrum.

When I first took up riding, as a teenage vegan, I had just reached my full height of 6' and weighed 130 lbs soaking wet. On rides with AYH, I was always in the lead. In the intervening decades I have expanded both my diet and waist size: I now weigh ~185 and am the slowest rider in the state of NY.

So don't force yourself to eat anything you are not hungry for. As long as you feel okay and are riding fine, consider yourself lucky.
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Old 04-25-10, 03:09 PM   #21
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Nut butters are really good. I was clearing out the fridge yesterday, mixed up some brown rice with almond butter and had it with tofu slices sauteed in cumin and chili flakes wrapped in steamed chard. I'm sure the idea of that would make lots of people retch but if you aren't one of them it's worth trying.
Now that sounds awesome- I'm all about the chards- good stuff! I have a block of tofu sliced and marinating in char siu sauce (Chinese barbeque) for grilling later today- will serve with brown rice, stir fried Chinese broccoli and snow peas and a salad of shredded carrots and daikon with rice vinegar and chili dressing. Then it's on the trainer for LT work for an hour!
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Old 04-25-10, 04:38 PM   #22
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That sounds pretty good spectrum. I guess I am weird in preferring peanuts in savory dishes anyways. Sweet nuts should be sweet, like the cashews and almonds and hazelnuts. If you can find these fancy nut butters, chances are you can also find miso (soy bean paste) and tahini (sesame paste). Mixing these two as a sauce or sandwich spread is AMAZING.
Now we have to talk about hummus since I mentioned tahini. Dont even bother unless you are in Israel. Sabra is alright I guess, if you can find it, but still doesn't hold a candle.

Tahini is amazing. Tahini and honey on toast is delicious and i may even prefer it to peanut butter and jam.
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Old 04-26-10, 01:11 PM   #23
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There is something so addictive about it. It's like nicotine. Right when it enters your body, it releases pleasure and leaves you wanting more. It's that good. Thought, to be honest, some american tahini is so bland and tasteless I can understand why some dont like it at all.
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Old 04-26-10, 01:22 PM   #24
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Dude. Your vegetarian. Didn't you know that gives you an excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of nut butter for the sake of protein? Ever had cashew butter? Sunflower seed butter? Almond butter? Poured over a sweet potato butternut squash casserole? Come on, do it.
you forgot pumpkin seed butter! man on man, that stuff is a double-helping of awesome with sauce.

actually, the question i have for the op is: gain weight of what? fat? muscle? hair? if it's just tipping the scales at a higher number, then i'd recommend a big-assed cowboy belt buckle. it'll add two pounds right away and is scores about 1000 irony points on a vegan.
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Old 04-27-10, 04:59 PM   #25
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Who knows what might have become of the peloton's only vegetarian team in history had sponsorship continued.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_M...ey_Racing_Team
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