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Monday, June 23, 2008

Diet Advice????


I happen to like reading health magazines and books. I also happen to eat a healthy diet and actually enjoy exercise. But, because neither my weight nor my blood sugar are as low as I'd like them to be (I would love it if I could lose about 25 or so pounds and I would be ecstatic if my daily fasting blood sugar were about 20 or 30 points lower) I'm always looking for changes I can make to my diet to make it even healthier (I'm already a vegan -- this means no animal products: no meat, poultry, fish (I was never fond of fish anyway, but I digress...), dairy or eggs -- and, in addition, I eat no sugar, no grains (except sprouted whole grains), no soy (that's a tough one for a vegan, let me tell you!!), well, basically, what I do eat is beans (except soy), nuts, things like wild rice (not a grain) and kasha (buckwheat -- also not a grain), vegetables and a little bit of fruit.

But despite this diet, I'm having a tough time losing weight. I've tried adding fiber (by eating foods high in fiber -- I've been doing that for over 30 years now), lowering fat (I once had it so low that I'd say my diets averaged about 5-7% of its calories from fat -- I haven't done that in years), I even once tried the Adkins diet (boy, was THAT a mistake!) before I was a vegetarian (and, actually, even while I was ovo-lacto vegetarian -- somehow or another, I doubt I could find a way to keep to Adkins as a vegan)

So I keep looking for more ideas and more information about dieting. I read books, magazines, newsletters. I've tried eating more of this or less of that. And I still have a belly that won't budge.

So I read the latest "new thing" as far as belly fat goes from Prevention magazine. They were writing about the virtues of MUFA -- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids. These fatty acids are in things like nuts and nut butters, olives and olive oil, peanuts and peanut products, avocados, sunflower and safflower oil. And we're supposed to eat them at least at every meal. Ok, this is not an issue for me. I eat a lot of nuts and nut butters, lots of avocados, olive oil (and, occasionally, canola oil) and other high MUFA oils.

Ah, but here's the kicker. You have to eat these high MUFA foods at least three times a day, but you still have to keep your caloric intake under 1800 calories a day.

So I tried to figure this out. I also read that I need to eat one gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight. Fair enough. That means I need to eat in the neighborhood of 70 or so grams of protein. That would mean the equivalent of two cans of beans a day. Another few hundred calories.

I also noticed that I do best when I have either vegetable soup or sauteed vegetables (or both) during the day. But that's also more calories.

So how do you get by on 1800 calories a day? I guess I don't.....

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