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Frustrated and Relearning Fat Burning

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Hello, I've been a long time lurker on the boards, but finally feel frustrated enough to ask for help!


After going vegan 3 years ago, I've put on a substantial amount of body fat.

I am currently looking to be about 25% at 154 lbs, 5'7 female. Before I was vegan I was 135 lbs and felt comfortable wearing a bikini- those days are out the door.


Over the years I've tried a few strategies that backfired:


  • -Power 90 Classic along with low calorie counting elicited some toning results with the aid of soy protein shakes but I would inevitably get injured, strain a muscle, and give up and return to bad junk binge eating (i.e. newman o's, vegan pizzas, gigantic fake meat burgers and fries.)


  • -Low fat eating, and daily high intensity cardio goals on elliptical machines and in spin classes, only made me feel more endurance and have stronger larger legs.


  • -The 4 Hour Body slow carb diet, allows me to lose a drastic amount of weight within 6 weeks, not a drastic amount of inches, which makes me think I was actually burning muscle tissue. All of this weight piled back on shortly after adding in fruits and grains again.


I've pretty much varied between these diet lifestyles over and over again over 3 years as a vegan, (I seem to be able to maintain very intense commitments in 45 day spurts) and any progress I've made, seems to be doubled in reverse (1 step forward, 2 steps back).


Now I am on day 7 of a more intense 4 Hour Body diet, in some dizzying desperation that maybe I could stick with it beyond 6 weeks this time, but just in case, to aid my sanity, I started poking around these forums and trying to find some inspiring information and fat loss plans for women like me.


I guess all in all, I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions or links that can guide me with:


  • 1.) How to use the cron-o-meter, (which selection should I choose for my macronutrient ratios? balance? zone? paleo?)
    and how do I apply it to fat loss? (I read that I am supposed to eat 400 less than whatever numbers it says, but does that apply across the board for each macronutrient?)


  • 2.) Once I get the nutrition and tracking right, will I see positive results from workouts I like, such as spin and power 90 classic?


Thank you so much in advance for any advice. I am so inspired by the growing activity of this vegan community:)

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I'll start by saying that I'm no expert. (I'm around your weight but 2" shorter than you, so probably don't have the figure you're aiming for. But for me and my goals it's not too bad and I'm not aiming to be much smaller.)


I don't know anything about these diets that you mention. But my guess is that they are rather strict, short-term diets? I imagine you're kind of desperate to see change so are going for quick-fix, but if you want lasting results you should go for something that is a long-term plan and will perhaps have slower results.


I suggest a few things.

1. Forget about any kind of diet. Just try to eat well. Eat as much whole foods as possible and avoid processed stuff. Eat as much veg as you can. If you want to read a book with guidelines, I like Eat to Live.

2. Do strength training, ideally lift weights. Do basic compound lifts to increase your overall strength and ensure that you don't lose too much muscle mass.

3. Find some other form of exercise (more along cardio lines) that you actually enjoy doing so you'll look forward to doing it and stick to it.


Though I warned that sensible changes will probably lead to slower results, when I did Eat to Live strictly, I lost around 10 pounds in 3-4 weeks. So it can be quite effective.

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I'm a chunky feller who has yo yo'd so bad with my weight. I think I was institutionalized after trying to to count calories and nearly lost my kidneys after trying the atkins diet. 3 months ago I stumbled upon the Engine 2 diet book, Forks over knives and Fat sick and nearly dead documentary. I threw out all the oils, meat, dairy, and eggs! It was an expensive move but I was sick and tired.

I started running at first just a half hour a day just to get back into the swing. After about a month of boring cardio I jumped into a weight routine that kicks my ass every other day. I stopped doing boring cardio and started interval training, body weight, weights and treadmill work. On my days off I go for walks or jump on the erg or treadmill for about 25min to 30min. Just to keep active. Some days I run somedays I just go for a walk.

My palate has changed so much since not cooking with oils. I can taste food again! I eat 7x's a day sometimes a few times more depending on work. If I feel a little hunger come on I grab a little bit of seeds, nuts, hummus, what every my Barney Rubble hands can grab. I don't eat processed food anymore. NOTHING!!!!! I was eating soy yogurt for a while and noticed a stomach issue. Gone, fed it to the cats. Just kidding they didn't like it. I don't eat 7 huge meals. I have 2 or 3 normal meals a day and the rest are snacks or pre/post workout meals. I do however take in VEGA Whole Food Meal Replacement 4x's a week for breaky. Pre work out energizer, Post workout recovery and Protein from VEGA. If you really want to count Earth's Own Rice milk as processed...you got me! Guilty.

I have never had this much energy in my life since doing this. I'm no expert by any means, but this is what I did and I have dropped almost 25lbs of fat. My gf is pissed at me, although she has lost 10lbs...not that she needed it. We save so much money on groceries but have spent a few bucks on clothes. We don't have kids so it was easy to cut out alot of the garbage and it helps with her support! That is the BIG TICKET> SUPPORT from your spouse or family!!!!!

Hope this helps...Again, I'm no expert. Some people can handle having oils and other processed crap, some people can't. It goes that way for everything I guess. I have that typical Endo-Meso type frame which means crappy metabolism. I used to look at Real Whole Grain breads and I could hear myself get fatter. LOL....It's all changed, workout and diet is helping I guess.




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I don't think any specific diet the issue here. You need to eat whole unprocessed foods. Load up on protein since it helps satiate you. Beans, tofu, quinoa, lots of leafy greens. Seeds are wonderful and help keep you full as well. I love hemp seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. I also try to eat a handful of walnuts everyday.


I think following any type of strict diet is just asking you to fail. You need to love what you eat.


As for exercise I feel best when I lift heavy and incorporate cardio.


It seems like you've gained weight because you've been eating lots of processed crap, stop eating the stuff and you should start feeling better and looking better.


Good luck!

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Yeah, as above. I don't know what a cron-o-meter is and don't think it's necessary. You're not bodybuilding and trying to enter a competition, so I don't see any reason to worry about your macros or details like that. You also don't need to eat any specific diet with a name.


Just eat whole foods and avoid processed junk. Eat as much veg as you can, especially green leafy ones. Eat beans/legumes. Eat fruit. Eat nuts and seeds. As I said, if you feel you can't make a change without more detailed guidelines, try reading Eat to Live. But it will basically say the same with many more words.

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