Can you offer an opinion?

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Can you offer an opinion?

Postby DianeJ » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:43 pm

Hi, Jeff, firstly, I'm not sure that you can even settle this, there may be too many variables, but I would love to know what you think. I have been coming to this site for years for support and info, and your forum is a welcome addition. Anyway... I got into a discussion with a friend re: her frustration that she has gained weight with menopause and can't seem to lose it. Approx. 15 lbs over the last 3-4 yrs. I will add that she is only maybe that much overweight. I started telling her about McDougalling, explaining the concept. Her eyes glazed over, and she said she could never do anything that "strict", so I said, why not just go vegan then( at least initially). Other than the fact that she eats meat, she eats much healthier that the typical SAD, she says she loves whole grains, eats low fat, lots of salads, fruits and veggies. I told her that if she just cut out all animal products, and substituted with healthier low fat vegan options, that she would lose weight. She says she would gain weight ( the argument again of increasing those "carbs"). Sorry- so the question is- do you think one would lose weight by substituting a fairly healthy vegan diet( prob. containing some soy, and meat subs, etc, but lots of plants, whole grains, fruits etc) but NOT the McD. plan- for a "fairly healthy" meat-eating, low-fat dairy, some sugar diet.
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Postby dlb » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:47 pm

Jeff -

I was reading Diane's question and started thinking about transitional diets. Do you recommend them? Do you work with clients who are not eating a whole food, plant based diet? I pretty much jumped in with both feet but can see how this would be hard for some people. What do you tell them?

Thanks,
Donna
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Postby serenity » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:06 pm

I haven't read the book so I could be way off base, but isn't that the premise of Ornish's new book The Spectrum? Meet people where they are sort of thing?
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Re: Can you offer an opinion?

Postby JeffN » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:16 pm

Hi Diane,

DianeJ wrote: So the question is- do you think one would lose weight by substituting a fairly healthy vegan diet( prob. containing some soy, and meat subs, etc, but lots of plants, whole grains, fruits etc) but NOT the McD. plan- for a "fairly healthy" meat-eating, low-fat dairy, some sugar diet.


When you look at studies, vegans tend to have a slightly lower BMI then the general population but this does not guarantee that a vegan diet will result in weight loss or the maintenance of ones weight loss. When you look at some studies on vegan diets that have resulted in successful weight loss, it is always because the diet is not only vegan but very low in calorie density also.

Weight, is a function of energy (calorie) balance. While I would prefer for people to obtain and/or maintain a healthy weight, through a healthy diet, the reality is, a healthy weight can be obtained and/or maintained with unhealthy foods and unhealthy diets. I am sure we all know many people who have lost weight on a unhealthy animal based diet.

While at the end of the day, calories are what matter, calorie density is the real key, as it is much harder to over eat on foods that are low in calorie density. And, most foods that are low in calorie density are plant foods, like vegetables, fruits, starchy veggies, intact whole grains, and legumes. However, there are many vegan foods that are high in calorie density, such as nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, refined/processed grains, refined sugars, and all the food products made from these. Soy beans, tofu and many of the products and meat substitutes made from them can be fairly high in calorie density.

If i knew the calorie density of the two proposed diets, I would have a better chance of telling you the odds of it being successful for weight loss, otherwise there would be no way for me to know.

If you rephrased the question and proposed it as...

"do you think one would lose weight by substituting a fairly healthy vegan diet( prob. containing some soy, and meat subs, etc, but lots of plants, whole grains, fruits etc) but NOT the McD. plan that is very low in calorie density, - for a "fairly healthy" meat-eating, low-fat dairy, some sugar diet that is higher in calorie density......"


then I would be more willing to think it would, but I couldn't guarantee it.

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Postby JeffN » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:24 pm

Hi Donna,

dlb wrote: Do you work with clients who are not eating a whole food, plant based diet? I pretty much jumped in with both feet but can see how this would be hard for some people. What do you tell them?


I work with everyone as an individual, and work with them on where they are right now, where they want to go and adapt and adjust with them along the way.

I have no one formula or plan that everyone must follow, nor do I have any personal belief system that I impose on them.

As a health professional, I work with people to help them optimize their diets and lifestyles, regardless of whether they are vegetarian, vegan, or athletic or not.

Regardless of whether someone wants to be a vegetarian, vegan or not, a whole food plant based diet is the foundation of good health. Vegetarian, vegan or not, there are certain guidelines for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat, refined carbs, refined sugars, etc and activity levels, that everyone should be aiming for.

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Postby DianeJ » Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:54 am

Yes, I understand. Thank you so much. We'll see how my efforts go with aiming my friend in this direction, though I'm not too optimistic. I think the key here, as you said, is "whole-foods, plant-based". I am not a 100% McDougaller myself, but after reading the China Study, that is always my goal. It just makes so much sense.

Something funny that comes back to me, as I think about the unhealthy vegans diets you refer to- someone I worked with years ago touted herself as a strict vegan- but her favorite meal was her mothers pot roast- oh, she didn't eat the "meat" but ate platefuls of the vegetables and potatoes COVERED with the gravy and fat from the roasting pan. Oh well.... Thanks again for your input. You are invaluable.
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Postby dlb » Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:08 am

Thanks Jeff. Like Diane I have a friend in need. She doesn't need to lose weight but does need to change her diet for medical reasons. I am going to try and steer her in your direction.

Donna
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perfect example

Postby janisphilbin » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:31 am

Well I am a perfect example of a person going vegan and still not losing any weight. I've been vegetarain for about 15 years, rarely had dairy due to migraines, but finally went totally vegan this past year. I am now past menopause and have those same 15 lbs I've been trying to get rid of for the past few years. It's so frustrating. I've upped my exercise to twice a day, lift weights now, and eat totally vegan. Lots of salads and fruits some rice and oatmeal. Still no weight loss. So that is what brought me to McDougall's site. I'm having a hard time with the "no Oil" aspect when we eat out, but I'm trying. Lately I've been trying Mary's Mini and have lost a couple of pounds. But I thought just getting rid of cheese and buttered popcorn would do the trick, sadly it isn't so for me at least. Good luck to your friend.

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Postby Donna R » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:53 am

janis, it is harder for some people to lose weight, especially the "last few pounds". it doesn't seem fair, does it? cutting out all fat (except flaxseed or a SMALL amount of nuts) should help. if you have to have fat when eating out, make it a very little amount and not very often. good luck!
~ Donna
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re:not fair

Postby janisphilbin » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:19 pm

You are right Donna, it doesn't seem fair. Especially when you have relatives or friends who have dropped a lot of weight eating the old Atkins way. They're eating cheese and bacon, etc. and I'm eating salads and they're the ones losing the weight! Boo hoo. I know that way of eating is not healthy and I wouldn't go back to eating meat no matter what they say about it. But it does get frustrating.

I also like the one where if you just give up one food item in a year you will have lost 10 lbs. Well I no longer eat buttered popcorn at the movies or at home, almost never eat bread or pasta...where's my 10 lbs weight loss? Ha!

Thanks for the suggestions about oils. I don't use any at home and have greatly modified my eating out meals, my one down fall is the occasional mexican restuarant, my those chips are hard to resist!

JP
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Postby JeffN » Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:06 am

The last 10 or the last few pounds, especially for women, are always the hardest for many reasons, but they can be achieved.

Shifting the calorie density of the diet downward will help, as it allows for the consumption of as much if not more food (in volume, bulk, weight) while taking in less calories, without going hungry.

Be careful with any oil as it is the highest calorie dense food there is.

It might be good to review the discussion on calorie density
http://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/viewt ... ie+density

Also, an increase in intensity during exercise, such as the inclusion of a few brief intervals during exercise sessions,a few times a week, allows for the burning or more calories, during the same amount of time exercising.

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JeffN, Those last ten pounds...?

Postby Clary » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:19 am

Those last ten pounds...
Hope you see this, JeffN.

I have often wondered through the years , but never before had a comfortable place to ask this question, one that has sincerely interested me intellectually and physiologically:

What if the selected goal weight had been different? What if the goal weight had been 5 pounds higher or lower (or 25 lbs. , or ?? lbs.), for example? --or what if the goal weight is reset, for example lowered as one enthusiastically approaches within 15 of so pounds of a goal? --or even raised, if someone decides they have set a goal too low for their health? Would the "last ten pounds" to reach that firmly set new goal weight still be the hardest to lose?

What is it about those "last ten pounds" that can be consistently difficult for apparently many different people to lose even tho' their goal weights, body sizes, metabolisms, beginning weights, etc. can widely vary? How does each particular body know it is on "the last ten pounds" (or last few) of an individually chosen goal, when the person could have started with any number of other chosen goal weights ?

This fascinates me.

Thank You.
--Clary
Last edited by Clary on Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
"LIFE always begins again." --Edmond Bordeaux Székely
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last 10 lbs

Postby janisphilbin » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:04 am

And why does it take so much extra effort to lose those last 10 lbs and once you go off that very strict diet they come back so easily? Does one have to live such an austere life to keep them off? Sometimes it doesn't seem worth it.

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Based on my experience

Postby SactoBob » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:19 pm

I disagree that those last 10 pounds are that hard to lose, and that the McDougall program is a deprivation of sorts. As Doug Lisle explains, your tastes change. My food is delicious to me, as unlikely as that seemed when I started this.

After my diagnosis of a clogged artery in my heart, I started the Esselstyn heart disease reversal program, which is very similar to the McDougall program, but no nuts, seeds, or other than nonfat soy products. I am concentrating on the low calorie density foods.

My wife, who is 5'11" had previously gone from 195# to her weight watchers goal of 145#. She has, with effort, stayed at 145 for many years. She wanted to lose another 10# but could not.

We have now been on the program for about 10 weeks. My wife has been cooking for me and consuming the same foods. She has, without trying, lost another 10 pounds to 135#. I am down to 203 now from 218 at the start, eating at all times to satisfaction and not trying at all.

Looking at calorie density, I think that oils, and olive oil, were a big part of the problem as were flour products, which I loved.
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Postby Jaggu » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:59 pm

As the saying goes, you can not expect different results by doing the same thing. The same applies here, when you are on a weight loss regime, there comes a point where things starts to equalize, you attain an equilibrium. At this point if nothing is change or done differently like (eat less calories or find a way to expend more), you hit the plateau.

Having said that, I'm also not absolutely sure whether the fat you eat is a fat you wear and to what extent that is true and if you cut all fat out whether or not you will squeeze in those last 10 lbs.

I'm not sure whether there is something beyond Fat is high density/high calories, energy balance and calorie balance.

There are people who do not work out and eat whatever they want, yet skinny. We say, they have high metabolism. If they have to burn 500-600 extra calories over a period of 24 hrs( as the person who is overweight and has reduced his/her weight by diet and exercise by creating that 500-600 calorie deficit) that means their per hour metabolism has to be higher by 600/24 = 25 calories/Hr. Can not believe that their metabolism will be higher by 25 calories per hour; that's why this doesn't make sense to me.
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