Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

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esqinchi
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Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#1 Postby esqinchi » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:53 pm

After consuming tofu en masse (around 12 oz per day) for what seems like ages, and now switching it up with Seitan, and this Beyond Meat stuff (pea protein isolate), I'm starting to wonder whether consuming all of this "processed" stuff is hindering my progress. I've seen other people on here looking great on raw food diets, and then there is Brendan Brazier (proponent of raw foods, and also ripped!), who make me wonder whether I should make a switch -- Or is it that I am sick of eating tofu?

I think my main problem is that I am afraid of eating too many calories that would cause me to gain my recently lost weight back again. I train four days per week, for about an hour each session. For training I combine heavy weights, hypertrophy, and some functional crossfit type movements.

For months now my diet has been pretty severely calorie restrictive - and I am afraid of breaking out of that cycle. I am male, 32 years of age, 5'7", 163lbs, 18% body fat. I would like to get down to about 8 - 10% body fat in this lifetime. Daily, I consume between 1600 and 1800 calories, depending on whether I am training or not. Apparently my BMR is around 2600 calories per day.

My diet is pretty boring: seitan, tofu, beyond meat, broccoli, peanut butter, oats, apples, ezekiel bread, salads.

I'd say about 30-40% of my diet consists of faux-meats.

Anyone have an opinion, or suggestion? I want to exchange my remaining fat for muscle, but I don't want to see the scale move upward, and I don't want to bulk in size. I have a psychological fear of increasing my calories, but I would if I had some reassurance that I won't blow up like a pig.

I would really appreciate your insight.

Chris

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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#2 Postby stcalico » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:57 pm

I'm really liking McDougall plan so far.. it is whole food, plant based with no added sugar or oil. Never feell hungry on it. You do have to give up everything processed. But eliminating processed food is just good sense imo... it is unnatural with so many nutrients removed that it leaves you feeling hungry for more. Great for marketing/sales, but not so great for the body.

On McDougall I eat about 1800 calories per day and weigh in at 113 .. down 2 pounds since I started McDougall 1 month ago... not much but slow and steady is best and I don't aim to lose more than 3 more lbs. The hardest part for me was giving up alcohol.. but haven't had a beer in a month now and it's summer!
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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#3 Postby Fallen_Horse » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:03 am

I would definitely cut down on the tofu intake. 'Everything in moderation' is one of the key ideas in a healthy diet. I would cut down on the processed soy before cutting down on the less processed soy. Tofu and soymilk are safer than faux meats. Still, try to find alternative foods that you enjoy eating. Beans? Peas?
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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#4 Postby drbro1228 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:11 pm

I agree with Fallen_Horse on this one; Cut back not only on tofu, but also processed foods in general. 30-40% seems like a very high percentage. As far as food intake goes, you should definitely experiment a bit. I used to eat around the same amount as you back when i counted calories, and eventually my body just hated me. My weight stayed the same and I couldn't put on muscle. I know it can be a bit scary, but the best thing I ever did was stop counting calories and began listening to my body.

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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#5 Postby esqinchi » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:12 pm

stcalico wrote:I'm really liking McDougall plan so far . . . The hardest part for me was giving up alcohol.. but haven't had a beer in a month now and it's summer!


I should really look into McDougall's plan, especially since you've mentioned it before. I love beer so, so much. It is part of my weekly cheat meal. Though I suppose I am willing to cut it out for the sake of my goal... Just like your quote says...

Fallen_Horse wrote: . . . 'Everything in moderation' is one of the key ideas in a healthy diet. I would cut down on the processed soy before cutting down on the less processed soy. Tofu and soymilk are safer than faux meats. Still, try to find alternative foods that you enjoy eating. Beans? Peas?


I do love beans and peas, but they tend to be higher calorie. Like DrBro says below, I probably need to let go of counting my calories and focus on listening to my body. However, its hard, since I really fear seeing the number on the scale increase. I wouldn't mind weighing more, provided that I stay about the same size physically, and exchange my remaining fat for muscle.


Right now I average between 1600 - 1700 calories per day... Is that too few? Will I see better results by eating more? Will the results be different if I substitute things like beans/peas/whole foods for tofu/seitan/Beyond Meat/etc.? I confess I am a little lost in my diet.

drbro1228 wrote:I agree with Fallen_Horse on this one; Cut back not only on tofu, but also processed foods in general. 30-40% seems like a very high percentage. As far as food intake goes, you should definitely experiment a bit. I used to eat around the same amount as you back when i counted calories, and eventually my body just hated me. My weight stayed the same and I couldn't put on muscle. I know it can be a bit scary, but the best thing I ever did was stop counting calories and began listening to my body.


I know what you mean about the body hating itself... I find that I get much more tired easier than when I ate more; what a concept, right? Did you find that your muscle increased, and fat % decreased when you added more calories? My weight is still dropping, but much more slowly than before - I've been stuck at around 163 - 165 for weeks now. Is there a point where the numbers game just stops working?

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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#6 Postby drbro1228 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:45 pm

As soon as I upped my calories(went from like 1600 to 3000), I saw nice gains and I started losing fat again. But most importantly, I felt way better and was much healthier.

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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#7 Postby esqinchi » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:42 am

drbro1228 wrote:As soon as I upped my calories(went from like 1600 to 3000), I saw nice gains and I started losing fat again. But most importantly, I felt way better and was much healthier.


Really? Would you mind telling me your height/weight/exercise routine regularity? Did you keep your maintenance calories in mind, or did you just eat whenever you felt hungry, and make sure things were clean calories?

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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#8 Postby Think_machine » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:32 am

Soy has toxic saponins in it, as well as all beans. But soy does have the most for sure. I would rather reach for a handfull of sunflower seeds, some quinoa, brown rice or something like that for protein. I know soy is cheap and a complete protein but I just don't think people take saponins seriously. They truth is people really do not.practice the "better safe than sorry" philosophy with this potentially harmful toxin. I think the soy farce is one of the biggest and most harmful substances highly marketed to us vegan folk. Please correct me if I am wrong because after doing my own research, I was very disappointed and no longer will eat so much as a cliff bar.

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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#9 Postby SunWarrior » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:47 am

I think youre a little too frightened of soy. Rice contains arsenic, especially brown, many seeds including flax seeds contain cyanide like compounds that when soaked in liquid(like in shakesyummy!) Create low doses of cyanide. Humans are strong and resilient, and if we start avoiding everything we're going to become deficient in our diets somewhere. Our bodies can handle low doses of these toxins, especially when the foods come with so many healthy benefits. Unprocessed soy is awesome, and I personally believe tempeh to be a superfood. Im not trying to entice argument by any means, Im only stating personal opinion. It is difficult to eat over 200 grams of protein without unprocessed soy, and without supplements as a vegan and still fit macronutrient profiles like that of a professional bodybuilder.
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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#10 Postby Think_machine » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:49 am

Now tempeh does get rid of most of the saponins as well as some of the other toxins, but the saponins are just one issue. Soy has more allergens than milk. And contrary to popular belief, soy beans are very, very sparingly used traditionally in Oriental food. Americans are the ones who generalized this as a staple of Oriental diet, when in fact, these Eastern folks have known about the dangers of soy for centuries. I am not looking for an argument either, but I do tend to see a trend in modern medicine catching up to what people knew thousands of years ago. This just seems to be one such scenario. Of course a vegan diet rich in raw fruit and veggies will counteract a large portion of bad habits, the least of which is soy. Personally, I have enough bad habits (smoking) to make me steer clear nearly everything that is not very nutrient dense/has loads of toxins/allergens.

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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#11 Postby esqinchi » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:17 pm

My problem is keeping within my daily calorie requirements (to continue losing weight), and switching to an entirely raw/whole food diet, and meeting my macros. It seems impossible to consume no more than 1800 calories in a day and reach the 1g:1lb protein ratio. Even more difficult that I restrict myself to 1600 calories on non-training days.

My overall concern is gaining weight/size. I would like to retain my current size, yet exchange my remaining fat for muscle. Any tips on this would be great.

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Re: Tofu, or not Tofu - is that the question?

#12 Postby Think_machine » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:47 pm

esqinchi wrote:My problem is keeping within my daily calorie requirements (to continue losing weight), and switching to an entirely raw/whole food diet, and meeting my macros. It seems impossible to consume no more than 1800 calories in a day and reach the 1g:1lb protein ratio. Even more difficult that I restrict myself to 1600 calories on non-training days.

My overall concern is gaining weight/size. I would like to retain my current size, yet exchange my remaining fat for muscle. Any tips on this would be great.


Sunflower seeds is how I did it last summer in like a month i gained a couple pounds and almost had a six pack.lots and lots of sunflower seeds lol.


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