Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week 2

Another week as a vegetarian. This still sucks.

The thing is, it MIGHT be better if A.) I had the budget to cook whole "Indian-style" meals for myself or B.) it was possible to actually order decent no-meat food outside of upscale restuarants.

Seriously on "B," though - if this has taught me one thing, it's that people aren't kidding when they say American (Western in general?) food-culture is way too meat-centric: EVERYTHING has some kind of meat base - I couldn't even order cheese sauce for the dipping of tortilla chips because it just "came with" ground-beef in it. At even "classy" fast-food places (think Panera Bread) a "filling" salad means a salad with a sammich's worth of chicken on it.

Stirred a can of "Vegetarian Chili" in with my mac-and-cheese for dinner Friday night. Tasted okay, texture of what I'm assuming was beef-style tofu was alright, but the lack of beef aftertaste totally kills the illusion. I've determined that "meat substitutes" like Tofurkey (it's actually called that - I always thought that was a parody-name!) are not for me.

Either way, once the 30th gets here I'm done with this shit - largely because I hate it, but ultimately because it's just not working. I've lost precisely the same amount of weight (re: not much) as I did the last time I went on SlimFast without cutting the meat, so clearly too much protein (and cutting portion size) is not my problem - which is actually a little disconcerting, to be honest. I'm doing a regular 2000 calorie workout (not including weights and crunches) and only eating one solid meal a day - at this point I'm just going to bite the bullet and see a nutrionist.


Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

It doesn't need to be exspensive for you to make some vegetarian food.and even tasty vegetarian food.

Just cook up some potato soup, it's easy, tasty and fills up in the stomach. soups all in all is an easy solution. Tomato soup, Pea soup, indie style soup.

Or you can make an onion tart.

Beside, one solid meat a day is actually no good for you. the best thing to do is eat three main meals and then have the scheduled snacks in form of veggies. It's really bad for you that you go hungry, and it doesn't make you loose weight faster. especially when your working it it's much more important for you to eat, or it's your muscles your de-grading not your fat.

And if you started that vegetarian thing in the first place to loose weight you are still doing it wrong, tofu and cheese sauce is the wrong kind of beverages, then chicken is much preferable. unless it's have been down in the frier, stay long away from anything that's been in the frier, including tofu!

yeeh.. I am a nordic part vegie, meaning I made a rule that I am only allowed to eat meat Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Finished business! I am not eating outside of does evenings.
It may sound like compromising, and yeah it is. but it works for me, and it fells like it's a good way to care about the nature without giving to much up, plus potato soup is both yummy, easy and cheap.

d' said...

Without judging on the vegetarian thing, the only good way to change what you're going to eat is to plan ahead. Spend half a day once a week and prepare stuff that you can easily portion and reheat, or keep, like the soups Sofie Liv Pedersen suggests.

I'd also like to echo that eating more often, and especially eating enough is good for you, for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is that without fuel your metabolism slows to a crawl, and you can't build muscle to raise it. For a man, the general rule of thumb bandied about is that you don't want to go a whole ton more than a 500 calorie deficit, especially if you're trying to increase your general level of fitness, which IMO is probably even more important than just losing weight.

Seeing a nutritionist is not a bad idea either. Either way, keep in mind that nothing you have to do needs to be revolutionary, just a concerted and planned effort.

If I can avoid sounding like a shill, a different sort of dieting plan and excersise plan is detailed in the fairly reasonable (and free!) Brain Over Brawn by Clint Cornelius

He suggests meat as examples in his meal plans, but there's no reason you can't stock up on Tofu, Whole Beans, and Soy and do just as well!

graeme said...

Your having a laugh if you think that you can loose weight easier as a vegetation. Its actually alot harder especially as you don't have the cooking skills/spices to make complex Indian style dishes. Also yank vegetables are shite. You are eating to many carbs, its much easier if you do 40/40/20
Protein / non saturated fats / carbs.
Also only eating 1 solid meal a day is going to absolutely slaughter your metabolism.

Ben said...

No offense, but it's always pretty funny to see people talk about the trouble they're having losing weight, only to have them finish off with something like "I don't get it! I'm only eating one meal a day, it feels like I should be shrinking!"

The way to lose weight is not to drastically reduce the amount you eat on a daily basis, it's to reduce the amount you eat a little bit at every meal. Eating one big meal a day is not going to help you at all, and, as graeme said, will actually put your body into "holy fuck my guy is starving" mode.

I don't know why you're having so much trouble with vegetarianism. I loved the hell out of some meat before I stopped eating it. I used to be one of those types who eats mostly meat at every meal. And I never had much trouble at all -- At this point, a couple years in, I never even have to think about it.

Timothy said...

I don't mean to correct one of the smartest people I've seen on the internet but I'd avoid anyone calling themselves a "nutrionist".

The reason being is that "nutrionist" is not the legally protected term. Anyone can call themselves that, and not be charged with fraud, what you want is a "dietitian".

The word "nutrionist" is one of the reasons I believe there are so many "diets" around that all contradict each other or don't work, everyone selling them is a fraud, who is just trying to make money off a media phrase that really never should've started.

Monodi said...

May I give you a tip? Vegetable juice. The best culinary alternative i've discovered for my college life.

blend celery, carrots and tomatoes on a juice extractor, and you get a really healthy, nourishing, and surprisingly tasty drink. You could also include lemon juice or hot sauce for more flavor.

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

oh yeah I forgot.

Rule number one about your health and ability to loose weight, which should be obvious and yet no one listens to nor follow.
Because the general public are idiots!

For gods sake, listen to your own body! if your hungry eat! don't walk around hungry! that way when you do eat you end up in all the unhealthy surgery stuff, eat! and eat what you all ready know is the right things.
And hell, if your not hungry when people offer you a bag of crips, guess what, it's a lot easier to say no!
If your not hungry, don't eat!
And here's a tip, eat slowly. the thing is the stomach often first registrates that you have eaten like ten minutes after you eaten, of you eat to quick (and I have eaten with Americans, if I compare you with myself, you swallow your food... sorry guys) but if you eat slowly you will realise you will fell filled up with less food, and by doing that you will probably also discover you will need less and less food gradually until your down on a level where you would probably start to loose weight. and yeah, when order from outside order the small portions, you would probably be surprised to discover it's enough.

And nacho's honestly? you are telling me you are on a diet where you eat nachos with cheese dip? I admire you much and your a smart man, but that is dump.

Nachos in itself is a cripes you should not eat, it's 65-75% cholesterol, the thing you are trying to avoid by not eating meat. Cheese dip is only worse.
Cheese is a thing to stay away from for people on a diet, it's made out of almost pure protein, which again, is the thing you are trying to avoid by not eating meat! Cheese dip is even worse as it's the worst of cheese mixed with weird chemicals to give it that fluent consistent.

Here's the problem with Americans, you are thinking in "Meat and fat." that is not what your supposed to be thinking!

if you go advanced some people even think "Protein, Carbohydrat and fat" those are the three types of energy in food, it's what you eat and what's give you energy aka Calories, which makes some people think you can just avoid them.. you can't.. everything you eat will be transformed to calories, that's the point of it! calories is energy, energy is what makes your body work. the thing just is you can eat to much calories and so the body will store them.

Protien is the energi stored in meat, egs, cheese, milch... and Tofu! that's why tofu is such a wonder thing for vegetarians, because you need protein, it's what is building up your bones and muscles, but by changing out meat for tofu you have accomplished nothing! because they contain the same things! which is a good thing for vegetarians but useless for you!
That is not saying you should stay away from it, Protein is important for you when you work out, especially when you work out, just don't eat to much.

But stop thinking in those terms, think is what is fresh.. I heard a radio show once that made me laugh so much, it was one compared Europeans and Americans in their answers to the question. "What is good food?"

As Europeans went on in it needed to be fresh local products, a good species of fish and veggies of the season newly harvested, Americans went on a strange ramble about fat and proteins... I'm sorry, but I had a fitt of laughter..

And I hope I didn't come out to sound self important, but I needed to say this.

Fett101 said...

If you eat a lot of red meat than you should consider doing more lean fish and chicken. I only do red meat a few times a month.

James said...

Honestly dude, read this website:

It was written by people on Something Awful and is permanently "stickied" to the top of 4chan's /fit/ board. I've lost 30 pounds since starting this, and actually am accidentally vegetarian a lot of days.

You may want to try this site as well:

This will help you find your BMR, which you use to find how many calories you burn per day. I found out I actually burn 4000 calories a day (6'7'' behemoth here) and it helps tremendously in making your math more accurate. The whole "500 calorie reduction" rule works for a 2000 calorie diet, what you want is to reduce it by 20% of your daily caloric needs.

Hope this helps man, I've been losing weight since I saw your "Be a Better Gamer" video and finally got off my ass.

Mike Ralls said...

Try only eating food every other day.


It's called "Intermittent Fasting" and it works like a magic bullet to lose weight. Use the googles for more info.

Fett101 said...

As far as I'm aware, "magic bullet" is code for "bullshit".

jameshayes said...


I have a family member that has lost over 70 pounds within six months, and has been able to keep it off for over a year so far, by using the simple method of cutting down on carbs and doing one hour of exercise a day.

Seems like you have the exercise part down. In fact, this person simply walked an hour a day.

The carbs are where things get complicated. You don't need to go vegetarian, but, instead, you need to cut down on certain sugary vegetables such as carrots. No bread, no corn, no potatoes, no catch my drift. Obviously, no sweets like candy or dessert either.

The reason for this is that sugars (carbs) are broken down quickly by your body for a quick burst of energy, and fats are stored for long-term "backup" usage. If you cut down on carbs, your body needs to break down the fat to provide itself with enough energy to get you around. And breaking down any extra fat is exactly what you want to do to lose weight.

You'll find you start losing weight immediately. Once you lose enough that you're happy with your weight, then you can bring these "restricted" things back into your diet - but, of course, in moderation.

Oh, remember, don't skip breakfast! Your body goes into "starvation mode" if it realizes you don't eat breakfast in the morning. It conserves fat because your body assumes you won't be eating for a long time.

One more thing, muscle weighs more than fat. Although it may not seem like you're losing weight, you may be burning fat from all the exercise you're doing.

Popcorn Dave said...

Indian food is expensive? What what? All you need to make a curry sauce is half a block of creamed coconut (dirt cheap), a spoonful of curry paste or powder (or actual spices when you get good ;) ) and a little hot water. Then you chuck in a load of chopped veg, pour it over some rice and bam, done. It's about the cheapest meal you can get... I mean, c'mon, Indian people can buy it.

Anyway, some great advice is being given in this thread, I hope you take it on board, especially about making sure you don't skip breakfast - I've heard that a huge proportion of overweight people skip breakfast and it only leads to problems. And yeah, man, don't eat nachos in cheese sauce when you're on a diet, I mean sheesh.

Good on you getting rid of the "veggiemeat", anyway, it's not much good and only really serves to remind you how much better real meat tastes. I think most of them have way too much salt in as well.

Talking to a dietician would definitely help, but I also sense that what you really need is to talk to some actual vegetarians and find out what they eat. And cook real vegetarian food rather than some awkward substitute. For instance, instead of replacing chilli con carne with "vegetarian chilli", why not replace it with, I dunno, mushrooms or kidney beans in a spicy sauce? Most of the vegetarians I know are pretty good cooks - they HAVE to be - and they're probably going to have some good food ideas you can use. Just a thought.

The key thing about changing your diet is to focus on what you CAN eat, not on what you're denying yourself. I would definitely talk to a dietician and make a long-term plan. After all, healthy eating is a life long thing; a diet of food you don't like is never going to work, because you'll just switch back to sloppy joes as soon as the arbitary time limit is up.

Good luck, man. It can be done!

Chris Donaldson said...

Hey Bob, I just wrote a very lengthy reply and lost it. So let me just try to make this as succinct as possible. Any changes to your diet that you can't sustain are a waste of time. Diet isn't temporary, it's what you eat day to day every day of your life.

I would say more important than a nutritionist would be a personal trainer. Mine was the only thing that got me to a weight I was happy with. He wasn't cheap but I only needed him for a few months and it was one of the best investments I ever made, because once you develop a good foundation for your workouts in terms of technique and exercises, you'll always have those skills.

Here is a great blog that is geared towards women but helped me enormously with changing my diet permanently:

Last but not least, for me, eating smaller meals throughout the day was crucial. I'm always hungry and having a banana or a granola bar or SOMETHING every 2 hours helped me stop gorging when it came time for lunch and dinner. I know this doesn't work for everyone but it was one of the most important changes I made in my diet that has kept me at the weight I want for the past 3 years.

Suffice to say your one month experiment with going half-assedly vegetarian aren't going to pay any dividends. But stick with your efforts to lose weight and be healthy because everything in your life stems from your health. It should be your first priority in your budget and your schedule. And you've gotten some great advice in these posts, hopefully it helps. Good luck Bob!

Arturo said...

Story of my life.
I've been a big guy for damn near my whole life. Measuring my portions and working out daily were never enough. So I went to see a nutrisionist (he did this weird thing where he takes a magnifying glass and a flashlight and checks out your retina. Apparently, he can tell if there's something wrong with your body just by looking at spots in it) and concluded that my liver, for almost my whole life, had been retaining fat and it was screwing with my metabolism. He gave me a new diet (the point was a new menu every week to keep my metabolism guessing) along with some herbs (pills) to take in every meal while I continue working out 6 times a week. I've been at this for a month and so far I've dropped 10 pounds.

Maybe a nutrisionist has the answer, Bob.

Dave said...

Once again. GM diet. 14 pounds in a week. And It keeps off. Weight issues stem from bad habits. a good diet breaks said habits.

Kyle said...

Morningstar Farms makes a decent no-meat chicken nugget. :)

akkuma420 said...

Bob you should try veggie lasagna.... I'm no vegetarian, and I find that much more enjoyable than regular lasagna.
You can buy them frozen just about anywhere and they are delicious.
Good luck with your goal, and keep up the good work, I'm sure you will start to see results soon if you haven't already.
Stay strong my friend, I know its hard, but it will pay off in the end.

Cole said...

Hey Bob,

I'm a huge fan of your work on both moviebob and the game overthinker. You probably won’t even read this and I shouldn’t expect you to take my advice or anything, but have you tried simply running or any other types of cardio workout? I know it may feel like you don’t really have the body type for it, but finding the time to do some running and sticking to a regular schedule can do wonders for burning off fat. Weights and crunches are good for building muscle, but they just add more bulk to your frame on their own. Diets are good for maintaining your overall health and making your metabolism run smoother, but exercise is really where you want to go if you’re looking for immediate weight loss. One of the best things about running, though, is that once you get good at it you can eat anything you want and never gain a pound.

Cole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Wyatt said...

Hey Bob,

I tried something very similar to what you're doing once, and I'll tell you, it didn't work for me either. I know from experience, skipping meals and only taking meat out of your diet is going to make you feel miserable and you'll see little to no results.

A good friend of mine is a personal trainer, and he gave me life changing exercise and nutrition tips thats worked wonders for me. In the first week I started following his plan, I lost 12 pounds. I kept losing weight as I kept it up, and I was feeling better than I ever had before. Here were were some of his tips...

1. Always Eat Breakfast -
Actually skipping meals in general is a bad idea, but especially breakfast. If you skip a meal, your body goes into fast mode and ends up storing fat. Its actually a good idea to eat about 5-6 mini-meals a day to stay constantly satisfied.

2. Don't Drink Your Calories - Sodas are full of refined sugar and have typically been major culprit for weight gain. Juices, sportsdrinks, and others are also full of sugar and carbs and, in many ways, are not much better. Water is always best. If you're in doubt, drink water.

3. Stay Hydrated -
This is probably the easiest tip to follow and one of the most effective. Be drinking water consistently through the day. Sometimes for people who have trouble losing weight, the main problem is that they're just not drinking enough.

4. Some other tips -
Avoid processed foods (premade stuff, boxed mac and cheese, TV dinners, etc.) Fresh veggies or foods high in dietary fiber are always good (go to your local produce store, good stuff there). Eat bread with no flour like Silver Hills bread (its high in fiber and low in carbs). Lean meats and fish like chicken and turkey are usually fair game (if they're cooked properly, grilling is usually a good way to go). Limit your dairy intake (try doing no more than 1 glass of skim milk a day, for the first while anyway). Meals high in carbs should only be consumed after a workout (stuff like pasta is okay immediately after a workout, but should be limited otherwise).

I did some light exercise during the plan as well. As per my trainer's advice, I was mainly lifing weights. While lifting weights doesn't burn fat per se, its great for increasing your metabolism and will help you keep weight off in the long run. Some light cardio to help burn some excess calories is very helpful too, but unless you do it seriously and consistently, its effects on your metabolism will be limited.

Sorry for the long post, but this worked for me and it might be effective for you too. Good luck Bob!

tyra menendez said...

Look into what Alton Brown, of Food Network's "Good Eats" did. He lost 50 lbs, without cutting out foods he loves. He reduced his red meat to once a week, only one alcoholic beverage a day, no canned soup (high salt content), reducing sugar, and changing his snacking habits.
But yeah, one of the biggies, is not to skip breakfast. It's actually better to east several small meals, a day, from what I understand - granted, I'm no expert.

Mike said...

For me what has worked thus far was instead of eating one or two big meals a day I try and do several smaller meals.

Another useful trick is to start reading the labels of the food you eat. I am not saying that you need to break out the calculator, but you will be shocked at what the caloric content of most of the prepackaged frozen stuff averages out to.

So far I have gone from 250 to 180, and I am not miserable like I was when I was eating diet foods.

Popcorn Dave said...

Sorry if this is getting patronising, but I also just noticed that this blog post was posted after 4am. If that's 4am in YOUR time zone, Bob, then damn... go to bed! Sleep is the time when your body adjusts and rebuilds, it's absolutely vital if you want to improve your health.

Any sportsman will tell you that a good night's sleep is one of the most important things.