Diet update – home again with vegan, non-oil

While I have lost 5 kg = 11 lb the last 10 weeks by just calorie counting I didn’t really feel like I was moving off my plateau much. So last Friday, after getting my latest blood test results, I decided to be more pro-active and “come home again” to a vegan, non-oil diet.

In just one week I’ve lost 2.6 kg = 5.7 lb! So over half of what I have lost these past 10 weeks was just in the last week!

What I’m doing differently this time:

  • I’m paying more attention to calorie density (calories per lb) as recommended by various vegan, non-oil doctors. The idea is that you should get full on whole, vegan foods which are lower in calorie density (e.g. potatoes, rice, legumes, non-starchy vegetables, fruits) and avoid those which are extremely high in calorie density (e.g. noodles, breads, and oils in particular).
  • I’m limiting tofu. It’s not high in calorie density, but it is almost half fat. And not particularly filling.
  • I decided to not have any diet colas. I think they trigger sugar urges. I’m mostly drinking just water, and sometimes unsweetened green or black tea.
  • I am avoiding foods where the main ingredient is sugar, such as sorbets or icicles.

I’m not eliminating all sugars from my diet. If a particular vegan, non-oil food has some sugar in the ingredients I don’t really care.

What I found is that that I went from having sugar cravings for sorbet this summer to no sugar cravings at all within just the first few days.

I’ve also been eating a lot of potatoes and almost no rice. I think that’s a major difference from my first go-round with vegan, non-oil dieting. Rice is ok, but it does trigger some hunger urges. Also the calorie density of rice is considerably higher than potatoes. I’m not completely avoiding rice. If I’m outside and all I can get is a rice ball to eat for lunch and I’m hungry, I’ll have it. But I have no rice at home.

I have lots of salad stuff, little packages of corn for the salads, legumes like garbanzo beans and red kidney beans, non-oil dressing, potatoes, other non-starchy vegetables and other things I might get for a snack like some pickles, or the occasional fruit. I’m not eating much fruit though. I’m not having any cravings for anything sweet.

I really like potatoes microwaved, moistened with some soy milk, and topped with nutritional yeast, which gives it a cheesy flavor. A huge plate is only a few hundred calories and filling for hours.

It’s only been one week but I find my hunger urges are largely abated, so I’m not really eating in-between meals. I’m also not eating late at night. So basically I’m fasting ever day for over 12 hours – from my dinner until breakfast the next morning. I’m not really doing that intentionally, I just find if I eat a filling meal at around 6 or 7 pm that I’m just not hungry after that.

My meals consist of a nice salad with corn and non oil dressing, followed by something like 300-400 g of potatoes. There is some variation, but it’s mostly like that.

My energy has increased, and I’ve been taking more bike rides. The fact that the weather has cooled off a bit may have contributed to that.

I am logging calories. Calories do count (whether you count them or not). I notice that eating this way my net calorie intake has dropped a lot. Which of course explains the weight loss.

I feel this way of eating could be sustainable. So I look forward to going back to the doctors in three months and blowing them away with fantastic blood test results!


Comments

Diet update – home again with vegan, non-oil — 6 Comments

  1. Great news Doug. As you may remember, I am glad to have helped nudge you and a few others along this path. I don’t take any credit for the plant based authors and researchers whom lead the way for us; McDougall, Esselstyn, Ornish, Pritikin, Campbell, and Furhman. I too am continuing this path of plant based real food eating. For a year now, prior to that I was a organic, free range paleo guy. Now I am a calorie in, calorie out guy.

    The tech i use is my apple watch with its included workout app. This data syncs to my Cronometer app, where I also measure out the grams and food names and enter this in. (of course I have to have a kitchen food scale). These two things are working very well for me, 15 days in a stretch now. My single goal is to maintain at least a 500 calorie deficit. Which leads to adding lower calorie density foods like vegetables and less nuts and oats and pastas.

    My exercises are walking and using my elliptical. These are added via my apple watch and are pretty accurate (I read that Apple has a warehouse where people are constantly doing different activities while an apparatus is connected to their mouth and nose measuring carbon dioxide output – and the actual effort is added to their workout formulas).

    I found in the last year that free eating till I was full led to continued weight gain. So I have adjusted some of my eating. These last two weeks have helped me slowly adjust my eating to be less calorie dense. My next 2 week goal is to eat each bite with a 2 minute separation or 5 minute, depending on the food. For example, today I ate an apple crumble vegan friendly desert, which is high in calories. So that is 5 minutes between bites, and it took me around 30 minutes which actually made my time in the coffee shop very pleasant. Later, while waiting for the Apple store to fix my minor cracked screen (they decided it was covered under apple care ya:) I bought a 12 inch falafel sub from Subway, which was around 600 calories. I could have chosen 2 minutes between bites, but decided upon 5 minutes. Wow, that took 45 minutes to eat 6 inches, whereas normally it would have been under 10 minutes for the whole sub. I ended up giving the other 6 inches sub to my wife when I got home. (Apple decided to replace my whole phone because of some unfortunate reason …oh darn 🙂

    My normal foods are real foods, like beets, veggies, potatoes, with long soaked cooked oats, chick peas, and fruits. I have grown to enjoy these as my go to foods. My wife and I (she is Korean, and has always eaten far more plant based due to her traditional dishes – she started to remove the little fish from many of her dishes when I started plant based a year ago – she too wants the long term benefits of limiting animal based proteins and fats) The last 2 weeks for aiming for a calorie deficit has been instrumental in these changes in food choices. By the way, I will not get on a scale during the 2 weeks of each test period. My method is simple adding the daily deficit on a spread sheet and dividing the total by 3,500 to get the total pounds earned.

    I helped a good friend of mine 6 months ago, suggesting he reads up on Dr Esselstyn when he started to have multiple chest events daily. The daily pain was absolute motivation for him, and he is now happily a full time plant based guy. He does not even crave dairy desserts any more. His wife is also down 6 dress sizes. He is 79 and now fully believes he will hit the 100 mark.

    I am thankful that you wrote of your food challenges and changes on your blog. Google searches may end up sending people there, and some people may consider changing.

    I have started to go back to the Seventh Day Adventist church (after 20 years away) when I joined as a college student. The people are very pleasant. I suggest you look up a local congregation and go sometimes. There are likely many there that are plant based as well.

    Of course your numbers are going to be amazing, and your doctor will be perplexed:)

  2. Thanks for your reply. My use of tech is somewhat limited in dieting. I use a scale of course. And I use MyFitnessPal on my iPhone to log calories. As a matter fact, I’ve been logging calories and weight for almost 2000 days in a row now.

    I’m not a churchgoer, but I did know that Seventh-day Adventists were vegetarian, and there is a Seventh-day Adventist church near a friend’s house, so I dropped in one day. They were very friendly and gave me a lot of diet information.

    I have been gaining weight this week for some reason. I’m not sure why. I’m still down from when I restarted vegan, but I have gained almost every day this week for some reason.

    Yes, I know, I shouldn’t weigh myself every day. And I know there are fluctuations. But I’m in the habit of weighing myself every day.

  3. Can I suggest splurge on an apple watch. Its ability to measure calories out is impressive. It tracks heart rate once per minute, 24 hours per day. It also uses its onboard accelerometers to accurately measure ones movement. So when you combine this data with an app (I love Cronometer for this reason), one can get a truly accurate calories out measure.

    Another suggestion. I have seen weight fluctuations of up to 8 pounds when I eat salty foods due to water retention. And that is a major downer for me. So, for the next 2 weeks, would you try this: take a photo of your body weight each day but cover up the screen so you can not see the number. Use the calories in – calories out method with a spreadsheet. Cronometer (and I bet your go to program) allows you to enter in your activity manually. After two weeks you can revisit your photos and enter the daily weight. You will then have a form of a single blind experiment. I have come to believe that a body weight scale is a very limited measure of body fat loss, and a darn good demotivator:).

    I was bang on with calculated weight loss and actual weight loss for these last two weeks.

    The Seventh Day church may be good simply to have like minded health people nearby. I am not really religious either. I go for the people. Many churches have amazing saturday afternoon feasts, and you would likely meet a few good people you could start going to their houses for plant based potlucks.

    As for gaining weight. As long as you are in a deficit via honest entering, forget about that number. (I was dishonest entering when I was entering my weight daily, cause my losses were not always reflective on the morning scale ritual). Calories in – Calories out is quite liberating for me. Once we get the fat our of our muscle cells, then our bodies work as expected and fully burn glucose. And that formula finally works.

    Honestly I am really happy your on the same food track as many others. We can now be certain of chatting for many many more years.

  4. Oh, I’m sure it’s just a fluctuation. I am keeping track honestly of calories in versus calories out, but I varied the kinds of foods I ate this week.

    I know some people who are really into their Apple watches and fitbits and whatever. I do use MapMyRun when I go on bicycle rides around the river. That syncs to my fitness pal and adjusts the calories accordingly.

  5. I suggest looking at Cronometer via Safari or another web browser. It is free that way. The company charges $3 for its app, to bring in some income. There you can get a full breakdown of your foods entered. You will see your total protein, fats, carbs, etc. Then you can scroll down and see the types of proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, as well as your fibre. Really cool as you enter foods over time. Then if your doctor says your not getting enough protein, or insert myth nutrient concern here, you can pull out your records and summarize your total intake of each and every vitamin, mineral, fat, protein, and carb for whatever custom time period you want.

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