Tuesday, 13 September 2011 04:03

How Vegan Men Can Maintain a Healthy Weight

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vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke enjoying a banana at the gym!

Question:
Have a guy on our rig crew, he has stopped eating meat and all animal products. He has read up on it and has the camp kitchen sorting his food so he will still eat healthy. Problem is two weeks into a twenty day shift and he has dropped eight kilos (17.5 lbs). I think that he might be getting very sick. Is there anything we can feed him to help him.


Answer:
This is a common problem for vegan men. Here are my recommendations (make sure to consult a doctor and/or dietician as well):
  • Protein is key - high protein vegan foods include beans, nuts, and green vegetables (like spinach). Soy has a lot of protein, but make sure it's organic and as little processed as possible for optimal health. There are some great vegan protein powders on the market like Vega, which was developed by a vegan triathlete. 
  • Consume lots of healthy fats like: avocado, nuts, and oils (see below)
  • Incorporate organic, unrefined, expeller-pressed or cold-pressed oils into the diet, in moderation. Coconut oil is great to cook with, and olive oil and flax seed are best used when mixed into fresh or cooked food
  • Big portions are important (but be sure to chew and don't eat too fast - eat at a slow pace so that you don't get a stomach ache from eating too much)
  • Count calories - have lots of them!
  • Eat often - snacks are important. Nuts, seeds and fruit are great for this. Also have some vegan bars on hand at all time - check out Vega and PROBAR.
  • Have lots of vegetables - fresh and cooked
  • Grains are great forms of carbohydrates because they're filling and nutritious, especially brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and oats.
  • Enjoy fried foods and processed carbs in moderation - they taste great but will add on unhealthy pounds and cause all sorts of healthy issues when had in excess
Of course a doctor and/or dietician will be the best resource for your health, as long as they're trained in the plant-based diet. I also recommend reading Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness for more tips on healthy weight maintenance for vegan men (and women).

I got a lot of comments on this post about having the opposite problem - many vegan men WANT to lose weight! I'll absolutely write a post on that too - stay tuned!
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