Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Diet plans

I have thought long and hard about my diet and how I self destruct myself on occasion. My weaknesses would be pizza and then basically just eating too much for the amount of running I do. Meaning when I am injured and/or don't get my runs in my weight creeps up and when I do get runs in it meanders down. For the last 2 or so years, it has been floating between 210 and 220 which on my 6'1" body is about 30 pounds too much. So the long term goal is to work my weight down this year at least 20 pounds.

So, I have been reading a lot of diet books to figure out what I should do. They all pretty much agreed on a few things, eat veggies and fruits and reduce processed foods.

I have also been thinking for years about becoming a vegetarian but that seems so like it will take a lot of work. So I have pretty much been stalled out on this, the meats that I do enjoy are hot dogs, bacon and brats which probably sums up a few other issues. Beyond those three, I do eat hamburgers on occasion, chicken, tuna and turkey more often (none more than 1 or 2 a week). As to fish, I only like tuna, shrimp and lobster and I despise any visible fat on meat.

A few weeks back I was listening to the Run Vegan Run podcast (episode 9 - good discussion, take a listen) where Megan was interviewing Adam who writes the blog Lone Wolf Runner. And what did they discuss but vegetarian eating and how to get started so after the show I dropped Adam an email asking a few questions about it and he was kind enough to get back to me. His advice made a lot of sense, start by logging all food. So I did it for awhile and I ate fruit (bananas, strawberries, grapes, apples), veggies (broccoli, carrots, green beans), salads, almonds, cashews, peanuts, energy bars, instant oatmeal, string cheese, peanut butter, bread, veggie and cheese pizza. Over this period of time I didn't eat any red meat but I did eat tuna once and when I had training at work I ate a small piece of chicken. That's one of my concerns about going vegetarian, figuring out how to eat when I don't have control over anything. Since then I have eaten a little more meat but it's no more than every 2 or 3 days or longer.

If I ever do decide to formally drop all meat I think I would make the attempt to follow the Lacto-ovo vegetarianism. Which means I will eat dairy and eggs and honey as giving up cheese would be really, really difficult.

First, though I will follow Adam's advice and start keeping a log and see how I do and I will look to avoid processed foods and increase the fruits and veggies as I have some weight to lose.

For those like me who don't know everything about different versions of vegetarianism here is the definition table from wikipedia.

Foods in the main vegetarian diets
Diet name Meat, poultry, fish Eggs Dairy Honey
Lacto-ovo vegetarianism
Yes Yes Yes
Lacto vegetarianism
No Yes Yes
Ovo vegetarianism
Yes No Yes
No No No[11][12][13]

11. Vegan Action FAQ: Is Honey Vegan?
12. Why Honey is Not Vegan
13. What is Vegan?


Karen G said...

I went on vegan diet mid april and have been very very happy. I never thought I could give up meat but there is a meat replacment for almost everything.
Whereas if you are limiting your grains group no good replacement for those.
I think a problem with still eating cheese would be the fat and colesterol in cheese is so high. I picked up a vegetarian cookbook by mistake and thought well there is probably alot of vegan recepies in there but no- almost everything relied on cheese and eggs.
Just wanted you to know there is life after meat and cheese.

wildknits said...

Or try my method - "opportunistic carnivore". After years of being a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I started eating meat again - though not much by most Americans standards.

We mostly eat organic, free-range chickens (from a local CSA), wild-caught fish and venison, but again only a few times a week.

Instead of worrying about what I will eat while out/traveling I take an attitude of - usually vegetarian - but will eat meat if that is a) what is on offer or b) what sounds good at the time.

Interestingly my hemoglobin levels have been worse since returning to eating meat more regularly.

My daughter tried a vegan diet for a while and I found it to be much more expensive than other forms of vegetarianism - plus, a lot of junk food is vegan ;->

Eating low on the food chain, lots of water, fruits, veggies, and whole-grains that are minimally processed is probably the key, along with portion control (another of my downfall areas as a portion is not a serving ;-> ).

good luck!

Bernard said...

Thank you for sharing the informative post.

Exercise is one of the most important activities that we should learn and squeeze in to our daily schedule, no matter how busy it may seem. If we are not able to do this, and we have fast foods included in our way of life then we are putting ourselves at risk of being fat and unhealthy. There are a lot of ways in which we can be physically fit and a number of these are easy to do. For example, running is the most common work out one can think of and going at it for at least an hour or two every morning helps maintain a good heart.


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