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  • "But vegetarians are skinny..."

    Primal living seems to be working for Hubby and I. We've both lost weight, and I have a ton more energy.

    But we know a lot of vegetarians (got a big hippie community near here). And, quite frankly, they're all skinny. Most of them have been vegetarian for years (or even their whole lives). And they're all slender and have some muscle (because they do yoga and such). Some are chronic cardio heads. All are 35+ years old.

    Obviously, preaching to them about primal living is pointless (for a variety of reasons). But mostly, I just don't know how to fight the "but vegetarians are thin!" argument that some people put to me. In truth, around here at least, they ARE. A few that I'm very close to have told me their cholesterol numbers are good, blood pressure low, etc.

    I've been reading a ton about this lifestyle: Mark's book, Taube's book, Nora's book. I just don't understand how all these people who seem to subsist entirely on grains/legumes manage to stay thin with flat bellies. The books make it seem as if eating that way almost inevitably leads to weight gain, moobs, etc. Is it just a calorie restriction thing? Good genes? Can I expect them to develop bigger bellies and more fat as they age?

    There is one thing: some of the long-term vegetarians I know do seem to be more "wrinkled" and "old" looking than I am, despite the fact that they don't smoke (I do, and sometimes get carded for cigarettes at the ripe ol' age of 37) and are diligent about sunscreen (I am not). But is that just a gene thing, too?
    Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
    Went Primal January 2, 2012!

    Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook

  • #2
    "skinny" is not a an accurate diagnostic of health.

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    • #3



      i was still fat as a vegan, even! i lost maybe 5 pounds the first week, but then i was still fat until i did a strict diet of eating animal products. then went back to veg and kept gaining weight.

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      • #4
        One of the largest people I know has been a vegetarian (at least, she says she's a vegetarian?) for many years.

        Oreos are vegetarian.
        cj

        height: 5' 10 1/2"
        2/20/11: 210
        9/19/11: 185.5
        goal: #170

        "Decide what to be, and go be it."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JennaRose View Post
          i was still fat as a vegan, even! i lost maybe 5 pounds the first week, but then i was still fat until i did a strict diet of eating animal products. then went back to veg and kept gaining weight.
          Yeah, I was vegan for about 5 years. I didn't lose any weight, didn't gain any either. Just pretty much kept at a set point (which, I might add, was not a point where I was happy). For a long time I thought the reason I didn't lose weight was because I was just eating too many calories.

          Then I found primal, and this is the first time I've effortlessly lost weight in my life.
          Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
          Went Primal January 2, 2012!

          Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TheDarkMistress View Post
            One of the largest people I know has been a vegetarian (at least, she says she's a vegetarian?) for many years.

            Oreos are vegetarian.
            Yeah, I know it's possible to become fat as a vegetarian. But it's just the ones I know aren't fat. And I don't know why! You should what they eat! Big plates of brown rice, lots of lentils. And more than their fair share of pasta and bread. It's annoying to me, to be honest, that people who eat like this still have flat bellies.
            Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
            Went Primal January 2, 2012!

            Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Marnee View Post
              "skinny" is not a an accurate diagnostic of health.
              +1

              As hard as it is these days to get people off this ridiculous idea, skinny does not = healthy!
              Start Weight: 265.8
              Current Weight: 234.4
              Leptin Reset started Jan 1, 2014

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              • #8
                I wouldn't worry about them. Worry about you and what's working for you. You can be friends with people who have different lifestyles.
                Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.

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                • #9


                  Two vegetarians...... one is rather slim, the other is not. Vegetarians are not all thin. And yes, at that time I was actively running a lot. And I weighed 45-50 lbs MORE than in that pic when I was vegan.

                  http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                  • #10
                    This is kind of snide, and short of specifics, but a good starting point for why some veg*ns are thin. Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High” - GNOLLS.ORG
                    Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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                    • #11
                      My husband is like that too - not a vegetarian, but he eats grains and legumes and has no problem staying slender. He's such a bastard.

                      I know plenty of people who are vegetarians/vegans - some are really fat and some are really thin. But I don't know anyone who got fat without sweets and grains.
                      My True Primal Story

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                      • #12
                        Every vegetarian I know is skinny but also has horrible skin and is an emotional wreck.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Blackcatbone View Post
                          This is kind of snide, and short of specifics, but a good starting point for why some veg*ns are thin. Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High” - GNOLLS.ORG
                          Short but sweet. I found some of the comments to that article actually interesting. Specifically the one about how vegetarianism leads to a slow downward spiral of health that can easily be blamed on something else because it's subtle.

                          The two vegetarians that I'm closest to (both uber thin ladies) are both stressed, sometimes depressed, always tired and often cranky, cranky, cranky. Maybe that's just one of the more subtle signs of long-term vegetarianism affecting health.

                          Of course, I can be a cranky pants, too sometimes...
                          Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
                          Went Primal January 2, 2012!

                          Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook

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                          • #14
                            Perhaps these vegetarians are skinny because they are health nuts so they don't indulge much in sugary foods and booze, and tend to eat low-fat. Their calorie intakes may not be excessive.

                            Also, they could have IBS creeping up on them eating all those legumes and wholegrains, which increases daily calorie requirements.

                            I bet they are skinny fat and edging towards insulin resistance.
                            F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                            • #15
                              Alec Baldwin is a vegetarian. He didn't start losing weight until he realized he shouldn't eat sugar, even though there's no meat in it.

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