20 September, 2013

Vegetarian Myth #1: You Can't Gain Weight.

Already skinny but worried about loosing more weight with vegetarianism? Don't always believe what others say! People believe that meat is what drives us to gain muscle, energy, protein, iron, and overall great health when consumed in the right amounts. So of course when people switch to vegetarianism they fear loosing too much weight. Little do they know that vegetarians have so many food options that not only help keep your weight steady, but can also help you gain weight!

Standing at 5'2" and weighing 106 pounds, I decided to become a vegetarian. Long story short, I didn't know my food options and dropped down to 94 pounds. After four years of discipline, exploring, and experimenting with foods, I now weigh a healthy 107 pounds, all done while being vegetarian! How could I have gained 13 pounds through vegetarianism?! Let me explain:

Unlike meat and poultry, vegetarians have fatty and non-fatty foods. An important difference between meat fats and vegetable fats is that vegetables contain healthy fats that the body needs. If you want to gain weight, the best foods to incorporate in your meals should be (Calories Per Gram):
- Almonds 9.0
- Peanut Butter 6.0
- Peanuts 5.8
- Salad Dressing 5.5
- Honey 3.0
- Raisins 2.9
- Dried Apricots 2.7
- Dried Apples 2.7
- Molasses 2.4
- Whole Wheat Bread 2.4
- Avocados 1.7
- Tempeh 1.5
- Soybeans 1.2
- Kidney Beans 1.2
- Navy Beans 1.2
- Peas 1.2
- Brown Rice 1.2
- Spaghetti 1.1
- White Rice 1.1
- Lima Beans 1.1
- Sweet Potatoes 1.0

So many delicious combinations can be made with these foods to create a strong and fulfilling vegetarian meal that won't leave you hungry! This chart can also help you figure out what fatty foods you don't want to eat too much of in case you want to keep your weight steady or lose weight. Now let's take a look at meat, dairy, and poultry fats (Calories per gram):
- Lard 9.0
- Butter 7.2
- Mayonnaise 7.2
- Bacon 6.0
- Chocolate Milk 5.4
- T-Bone Steak 4.7
- Salami 4,5
- Cheddar Chesse 4.0
- Hamburger 2.9
- Turkey 2.6
- Mackerel Fish 1.9
- Eggs 1.6
- Tuna In Water 1.3
- Milk (whole-3.5%) .65

Not only do omnivores have  fewer options with meat, the fats that these meat contain are unhealthy if consumed at large amounts on a daily basis.

The best way to succeed in a vegetarian lifestyle is to know your options and experiment with them in order to find what you like. Thanks to these charts (provided by the book "The McDougall Plan") you can always refer back to this blog post and see what you can eat. Never fear of not consuming enough calories and losing weight. Trust me, if I went from 94 lbs. to 107 lbs. as a vegetarian then anyone can live healthily as well. Good luck and consider this vegetarian myth DEBUNKED!

Stay tuned for next Fridays vegetarian myth!

Know of any vegetarian myths that you want to see debunked? Comment and let me know! :)


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