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50 days in, light headed, not enough calories, help!

Discussion in 'Transitioning' started by Pharaoh, May 16, 2018.

  1. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

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    so my long-story-short is I’m 32 years old, I weigh 188lbs, I’m 6’7” tall. Basically I’m super tall and super skinny. I have been depressed for a long time and recently changed my life to try and start feeling better (along with therapy). What I’ve started is eating vegan, Whole Food plant based, with zero processed sugar (I was using fatty sugary foods addictivly to feel better).

    I also haven’t done any exercise in a long time, and last time I was regularly active was 8th grade baseball. I started doing daily calisthenics and cardio, which is why my calorie count is high.

    So I’ve been using the chronometer iOS app to track my calories daily and see my needed intake. I’m trying to gain weight so I selected that option within the app. After inputting my body info, and my daily workout, the app says I need to consume 3,400 calories per day?!?!?! Back when I was eating double bacon cheese burgers this was easy...

    this is an insane amount of food as a vegan. And I think I’ve been under eating most of the last 50 days. I started using chronometer about 5 days ago and even if I try really hard to hit thst mark I haven’t (the best was 3,100). The last few days I’ve gotten around 3,000 but that is with many handfuls of nuts and a 2-3 in between snacks with fruit and peanut butter on a rice cake. Not a lot of healthy greens.

    I feel like I’m eating a lot of sugar (Natural from fruits and stuff) and nut butter and nuts just to bump up my calories. It doesn’t necessarily feel healthy, although this might just be in my head. But I feel like eating lots of whole veggies is a problem because they fill me up but have VERY LITTLE calories. I mean I had 200g of Brussel sprouts yesterday and that was only 70 calories!

    Yesterday I had about 1,800 calories of nuts, grains and peanut butter.

    How do others keep their calorie counts high on a vegan diet?

    How do you get enough veggies at the same time?

    Is lots of nuts, grains, peanut butter and fatty foods like avocado good to have daily???
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  2. Veganite
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    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    I would suggest looking to Youtube and Google for some tips. I did a quick YT search "how to gain weight as a vegan" and came up with lots of results.

    Also, as painful as exercise might seem, it would really help increase your appetite, decrease your depression, as well as help your body process the foods you eat better. Even just a minimal amount would be helpful, say like 20 mins, 3 days a week. Anything to start is better than nothing. What kind of exercise, you ask? I read somewhere where a doctor answered that with "the exercise you will do". So if you like swimming, then swim. Even just walking a few days a week for 30 mins will be better than nothing. We all know we should. The hardest part is taking the first steps.

    I'd also research higher calorie dense foods:
    List of vegetables with highest calorie content
    Measured in cups:

    Mashed potato – 250 cal

    Boiled soybeans – 250 cal

    Lentils – 230 cal

    Lima/Kidney beans – 200 cal

    Boiled corn on cob – 185 cal

    Baked sweet potato – 180 cal

    Baked corn (kernel) – 160 cal

    Peas – 144 cal

    Carrots – 52 cal

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

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    Thanks for the info, it seems like beans, grains and potatoes are going to have to be 2/3 of my daily intake. Is that healthy??

    I gues Lynn main concern is that nutritionfacts.org talks about having lots of veggies in my diet, and those don’t add many calories, so curious how to get a balanced diet if I’m mainly eating grains, beans and potato.
     
  4. Veganite
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    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not a nutritionist, so I can only give an opinion here, but from what I understand, the healthiest cultures on the planet eat mostly a starch based diet. So in my opinion, I think the beans, grains and potatoes are definitely a healthy thing to include in your diet and in those amounts. I strive to eat that way, myself, making starch the bulk of my diet. I do also try to make sure I get some greens in there at some point too. I love my greens, anyways.

    Basically, I try to eat lots of different things all the time, so if I don't get something one day, it will be included the next, hopefully.

    It's not common, but I've heard that some people need to ensure they get sufficient iron, and of course vitamins D3 and B12 are suggested as supplements. I just take a sublingual B12, myself.

    And there's Omega 3 fatty acids, which usually aren't a problem for most vegans. It really depends on the person, but ground flax seed is good for omega 3, as are brussels sprouts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp heart seeds, etc.

    Nutritionfacts.org is an excellent site. However, eating his daily dozen takes a lot of effort, in my humble opinion. I have tried, and it's not easy for a busy working stiff. I do like his YT channel too.

    Something I also eat regularly, because I like it, is seaweed. Seaweed is much more nutrient dense than any land vegetable. It's a great source of micro-nutrients including, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and even iodine. I also include a Brazil nut a day for selenium, thiamine, copper, much like taking a vitamin, except they taste better.

    Just try to cover your bases as best you can, regarding balance. You will eventually eat more and more. We're really meant to be moving though. I know exercise sucks, but after a while it doesn't suck. It feels good, because it gives you more energy, and just feels good. It's pretty important for longevity as well. I hope you manage a way to include it in your lifestyle, as it will help.

    Oh, one last thing that can help boost calorie content is shakes and smoothies. Patrik Baboumian - worlds strongest man maybe able to help you bulk up. *laughs*


    This vegan strong guy is huge. I'm not sure what he eats, and I'm not sure I want to know ;)

     
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  5. Emma JC
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    Emma JC Active Member

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    Yes, I would second the motion that a starch based diet that includes mainly whole grain including breads/pastas, beans/lentils, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rices as a base and then lots of other vegetables, fruits, green leafies, avocados, nuts, seeds, etc. Put those brussel sprouts on some noodles or rice and flavour with spices, sauces, tahini etc. Big bowls of oatmeal for breakfast with lots of bananas and berries, nuts and seeds etc. All good! Balance! 10-15% fats, 10-15% protein, 70-80% starch!

    Emma JC
     
  6. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

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    Sweet! Thanks for the advice.
    I have been eating loads more beans and rice for dinner and lunch and also upped my breakfast oatmeal from .75 cups dry to 1full cup dry with a rice cake and peanut butter.

    Also I’m eating 2-3 snacks in between meals of nuts and fruit.

    I’m feeling better. No more light headed.

    Thanks for the encouragement and sound advices.

    If anyone out there thinks this advice is t healthy, lmk otherwise I’m all hood now ;)
     
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  7. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

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    Ok new problem, but related

    So I now have constipation. From eating so muc more oats, rice and beans no not enough veggies. I can’t pissibly add more veggies because I’m already stuffed all day and constantly eating.

    Suggestions?
     
  8. Veganite
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    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Drink lots of water, eat apples and/or pears will help, try snacking on dried fruits, eat ripe bananas..not green, and lets not forget the prunes, and prune juice. It would also help if you get some greens into your diet. Even things like spinach will help a great deal. I can cook a pound of spinach down and eat it all in one sitting with ease. I'll post a yummy spinach recipe below for you.

    You could also try a senna leaf tea for quick relief, but only for short-term use. It should help, but don't overdue it. Drink lots and lots of water though. That will help the most. Lastly, I've read that a little baking soda and warm water helps, but I have not tried that one myself.

    I hope things work out...no pun intended ;)

    Recipe HERE
     
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  9. amberfunk

    amberfunk Active Member

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    Try to eat more veggies and less grains. Grains are very calorie dense so you don't need a whole lot of them. For example when I have rice I'll have half a cup cooked with whatever vegetables, beans or tofu that I'm having.
     
  10. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

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    Unfortunately not everyone’s body is created equal. According to chronometer, my body need between 3,100-3,400 depending on my exercise.

    I’m eating loads of grains and beans and I’m still not hitting my needed daily calories.
     
  11. shari1
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    shari1 New Member

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    Hi,

    Please be aware that the chronometer is only an estimation of your daily needs. If you are a little bit under the calorie intake that they recommend it won't necessarily do you any harm. You feel how much food is good for your body.

    My advice to you is to eat more whole grains, in combination with the veggies you mention instead of eating the veggies alone. Vegetables are low in calories and don't provide you energy while whole grains do.

    If you find it difficult to insert more whole grains into your meals consider eating a piece of whole grain baguette next to your meal like the French do ;)

    Good luck!

    Ziya Empereur
     
  12. gab
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    gab Active Member

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    Pharaoh,

    Your breakfast could be 10 bananas in a blender, mixed with 200-300g of organic sugar (1500 cals sorted).

    You can use dates blended with bananas for high cal smoothie.

    Lunch could be some pasta with low fat sauce ... dinner could be curry with a lot of rice (I use two bowls of rice for a small curry).
     
  13. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

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    Thanks. I follow a few vegan body builders on YouTube and it looks like they eat a bunch of bananas every day. I’ll see about my budget and buying more bananas. Sounds like a good answer for snacks and added calories.
     
  14. gab
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    gab Active Member

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    If you are on a budget forget the fruits ... rice, potatoes, breakfast cereals (including corn flakes) are some of the cheapest foods you can buy. You can add sugar to breakfast cereals to increase the calorie count.
     
  15. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    How much do you guys pay for bananas? That's always the cheapest produce by weight IME.
     
  16. ap1989

    ap1989 Member

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    I'm similar to you (not quite as tall!) and have always struggled to keep my weight up even before I went Vegan (only a few months ago). I no longer track calories as I think it does more harm than good. But I don't feel I consume any less calories alone in a day than I was before I went vegan. What type of meals were you eating before? I just roughly swap out the calorie content of the meat I used to put in my meals with an alternative. Beans, sweet potato and lentils are all great ways to bulk out a meal with more calories and if you still don't feel like you're eating enough than increase the carb intake with your meals, eat extra potatoes, pasta, rice etc with your main meal. Bulk out lunch salads with nuts & seeds.
     
  17. OriginalBankster

    OriginalBankster New Member

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    While caloric intake is one thing and is important, be sure that you are also getting proper nutrition. Eat a variety of foods including fruit, nuts, vegtables, grains, mushrooms, etc. Lots of leafy greens (The darker the better).

    I would also add a daily multivitamin and be sure that it has plenty of B12, Vitamin D, Iron and Calcium. Those are also typically hard for Vegans to get sufficient amounts of.

    I am not a dietitian but I am a Finance and Economics person (Basically I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express Last Night). I put together a spreadsheet that included the daily recommended nutrients, foods to help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and arteriosclerosis, as well as "bad foods" that cause issues with these. I scoured published health articles and built my own diet. I then found foods high in the needed nutrients and compiled my diet. That is when I realized that meat, dairy, fried, and Processed Foods are Bad and cut them out. That is how I became a mostly Vegan. When doing my research I found that those that are primarily Vegan with the occasional lean meat or fish live the longest so I do eat the occasional fish or shrimp but it is not even weekly. My diet is entirely for health reasons. It is just an excellent side effect that it is far better for the environment and less cruel.

    There are more obscure nutrients that do require a variety of foods to meat. It is important to do your research. I see a lot of vegans that say that you do not need B12 but they are absolutely wrong. This could cause very severe issues. Take a B12 supplement of some sort people and ideally a daily multivitamin that also contains Zinc and Iron. The nervous system is too important to neglect it. Just do it people.
     
  18. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

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    Before vegan I was eating really unhealthy. I would have a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and a banana, then not eat lunch or any snacks, then for dinner it would be really fatty cheeseburgers or similar and then loads of donuts or chips and pie or something like that.

    So eating regularly is something in learning g to do.
    I’ve been eating mainly rice and beans/lentils/edamame, with a side of veggies. The bulk of my calories are the rice and beans. The veggies are usually broccoli, green beans, cabbage.

    I also eat about 2-3 bananas each day, and about 3 cups of soy milk. And if they’re on sale I eat 1/2 an avocado.

    Im not adding any sugar or extra salt to stuff either. But I do use oils (olive or sesame) for dressings.

    For snacks I’m eating 40 grams of nuts and usually a handful of leafy greens like kale, or arugula twice a day. In also eating rice cake with peanut butter daily.
     
  19. Emma JC
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    Emma JC Active Member

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    It appears you like peanut butter, the Esselstyn's have an amazing peanut butter dressing (goes on almost anything) that I have been making. It is called Dragon Dressing and it is from Rip's Cookbook. So delicious.

    They also make a simple Walnut dressing called OMG Walnut Sauce.

    This way you get the fats and can stay away from the oils.

    Emma JC
     
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