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Never feel full with plant-based diet

Discussion in 'Food' started by Jools Holland, May 25, 2018.

  1. Jools Holland

    Jools Holland Member

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    Hi, I've been whole-food plant-based for about two and a half years now, and am seriously considering incorporating some animal foods back into my diet (even though I am well aware that they are very unhealthy and obviously bad in terms of the treatment of animals) because I almost never feel satisfied on this diet with a normal amount of food, and need to overeat to quite a large degree before I feel satisfied. Then I feel uncomfortably full, my stomach extends to all this food, and I get bloating and can't really move around much afterwards. If I try to eat a normal amount of food and don't keep eating until I feel satisfied, I have bad sleeping problems, get very lethargic, irritable, low mood, etc. and get diarrhoea more often. I need to force feed myself large amounts of food to avoid all of these problems, which leads to the problems I have with overeating. None of this happened before going plant-based (though I did have other problems back then like frequent heartburn, pimples, constipation, and some other things I think that I can't remember).

    I've also noticed that I very often have diarrhoea after every meal, or in the middle of eating, whether I overeat or not (though I think I get it more if I don't eat until satisfied). Very often I'll be in the middle of eating, and need to pause my meal and go the toilet. As you can imagine, this is very annoying, and not something I have ever experienced before I transitioned to a plant-based diet.

    For instance, just before, I cooked around 150 grams of bulgur, and around 100 grams of lentils, with a large amount of vegetable stew (red peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, tomato), and a few hundred grams of broccoli. I ate until I was satisfied, which results in feeling a bit of pain in my stomach, bloated (which made it uncomfortable to walk around), and had diarrhoea around half an hour after eating. I don't think it was some type of food poisoning, as I soaked the lentils overnight, and cooked them thoroughly, and I also washed the vegetables before preparing them.

    Has anyone had similar experiences? Do you think it might be a good idea to try and eat a lot of high calorie plant-foods so that I could try and get more satisfied with a smaller volume of food, because I don't want to keep eating like this forever; it's nauseating and feels like a massive chore to force feed myself such a huge amount of food every meal. I want to feel full eating just a regular amount of food.

    Sorry for the wall of text. But I feel I needed to include that level of detail to get my point across.
     
  2. amberfunk

    amberfunk Active Member

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    This doesn't sound like a vegan problem, in fact all the vegans I know never have diarrhea. I only had diarrhea when I ate animal products. You might have a gluten intolerance or try soaking the lentils before you cook them. I think you should see a doctor though since it's an on going problem. You could just have an issue with your bowels that is not related to veganism at all.
     
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  3. Sax
    Daring

    Sax Active Member

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    I agree that talking to a doctor is your best bet.

    You could try eliminating certain foods from your diet one at a time...no lentils for a week, then no bulgur for a week etc and see how your guts responds to that. Or try taking a probiotic. If you can eat smaller meals more frequently that may help.

    Macadamia nuts have about 200 calories per ounce, more than 3x the calorie density of lean beef and almost 2x that of cheese. I suspect a calorie shortage isn't the real issue though.

    Sorry you're dealing with this, must be pretty bad if you're considering animal products after so long. I'm convinced that whatever the issue is, there's a vegan-friendly solution. What originally inspired you to go vegan?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
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  4. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    2.5 years plant based huh? Congratulations on making it that long with all the problems you listed. Sounds like a really rough ride to take for so long. I've only been Vegan for around 7 months, and if I had anything like you described for more than a month or 2, I probably would have quit, figuring that this change just wasn't right for my body after even this long.

    Fortunately, the super frequent bowel movements slowed after a few weeks and normalized within about a month or so. Normalized, as in, I typically do one for every substantial meal, so usually 3, sometimes 4 in a day. No diarrhea, though. The amount I eat varies, but satisfaction isn't a problem provided I eat enough. Getting that worked out can be a little tricky, but often it's just adding a handful or 2 more of whole foods (often grains, which I eat plenty of) to my meals...properly soaked then cooked.

    I find it sort of curious you use the words "normal" as applied to "amount of food". What's normal? Most Vegans soon realize that the side dish of grains, tubers, veggies etc that was part of their meals as an omnivore just isn't going to cut it and they have to increase them. Bloating can occur with grains and pulses that aren't properly soaked (for enough time) and/or cooked (for the right time). It shouldn't happen if you prepare them correctly AND you have been eating them regularly for a while.

    Annoying indeed! Well, if this is true, then you should take comfort in the fact that food (any food) just doesn't pass through you this fast (even high fiber plant based food), so if you are having problems it's something else, or something else you did in the past that messed with your gut (long term antibiotics can do this).

    I sometimes experience stabbing pains with whole grains, but only if they are not soaked and/or prepared properly. If I were you I'd try eliminating foods one by one by eating something properly prepared (soaked overnight, then cooked), and see what happens. For instance, if the lentils in the above meal were soaked and cooked properly, they should not cause problems. The way to be sure is to eat them in isolation without the bulgur. Then test the bulgur. Was it also properly prepared?

    Aside from a transition period (by this I mean body transition, not easing my way into eating vegan (even though I did screw up 3 times in the first month), rather a transition where my body became accustomed to new eating habits), and also aside from what I already mentioned (learning how to eat enough), no, not really. Which is one reason I'm a little baffled at the time you say you've been eating "whole food plant based", which is substantially longer than I have. One would think you'd have it much more worked out by now.

    Just out of curiosity, have you seen a doctor in all this time? Or did you just decide to suffer for 2.5 years of bloating and losing so many fluids through diarrhea before you connected it to Veganism? I'm sort of curious how you can still be alive if you're losing that many fluids just after (during?) a single meal, each and every day for each and every meal.
     
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  5. Consistency
    No Mood

    Consistency Active Member Banned

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    I had the same issue with rolled oats, lentils, wheat, beans and other grains regardless of soaking and cooking well. I stick to boiled and then rinsed potatoes and ripe fruit for the carbohydrates. Various vegetables for protein. Perfect poop daily. No more constipation or occasional diarrhea or small clumps.

    Digestive issues are sometimes the result of physical inactivity. Basically the muscles surrounding the intestine/colon are undeveloped. Walking daily has been shown to be very beneficial if you're wondering.

    Another thing that comes to mind is too much oil, especially in cooked form, does cause diarrhea.

    Hopefully these points will be of help.
     
  6. Forest Nymph
    Relieved

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    I suggest fat and sugar. Many conventional diet "rules"don't apply to veganism.

    I've been poor enough to be a step away from starving at points. Foods like peanut butter saved me. Also oil or "vegan butter" on pasta or rice if you have it. I've eaten TVP (which is the grossest thing in the world that's not processed meat) and rice or quinoa for two weeks. Use nutritional yeast and Bragg's liquid Amino's or ketchup to add calories and flavor.

    One of my favorite things is ramen with peanut butter, Amino's, lime juice and hot sauce... Or oatmeal with peanut butter and soy milk.

    When people say they nearly starved as vegan, I say what, with the same money you'd have hot dogs and Top Ramen eating animal products?

    I've never felt starved as a vegan with a little money. If you do you may be following an oil free or raw diet senselessly to your peril. Vegans can eat veggie burgers and pizza, tacos and pasta,no need to starve.
     
  7. Jane Black

    Jane Black Member

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    Maybe you should make a test on the intolerance of some food. Probably you should eliminte legumes from your diet. Legumes are well known to be a cause of digestive disorders.
     
  8. Nicky

    Nicky Member

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    I found a one-word solution for similar issues that I had; wheat! I mean you might not be having the same problem as me, but it sorted me right out and it is very easy to try. A lot of diets seem to shun grains, but my experience is that it's an important part of my diet.

    In all honesty, 100% whole food, (which I interpret not to include bread), gave me similar symptoms to what you described - I certainly didn't stick with it for 2 years, mind. Although I eat probably 80-90% whole foods, nothing settles my tum like a serving of bread or pasta. The bonus being that you have a good reason for eating bread and pasta.

    On a more serious note - as serious as you can get in a hootenanny, anyway, "Jools" - you'd be wise to keep a diary of your diet for a few weeks and discuss with a nutritionist or a doctor. Are you taking b12?
     
  9. Jools Holland

    Jools Holland Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm pretty sure I fixed my problems after putting salt on my meals. In the few weeks I have been doing this I feel progressively fuller as I eat more meals and feel full after a sensible point. I pretty much never get diarrhoea now and I almost never feel lethargic after meals. It wasn't anything to do with the amount of calories or fat I was eating (although if I under-eat I still think it makes my sleep quality much worse).

    I presume I had some type of hyponatremia because I was massively restricting my salt intake (because of all the recommendations to do so), I sweat all the time, and I was drinking a lot of water, which is probably a recipe for developing this problem. The reason I came to this conclusion was after having miso soup a few times and noticing how filling and satisfying it was and how great I felt and how much it temporarily killed my appetite even when quite hungry before having it. I started putting salt on my meals afterwards to see if it was lack of salt causing the problem and then all of the above symptoms immediately stopped happening.

    I also barely need to go to urinate anymore. Before I could urinate like 3 to 4 times in the space of 2 hours which was annoying, and the need to urinate would come on extremely suddenly and then I would be dying to use the bathroom. Now I don't have that problem I don't think (unless I've gone a while between meals).
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  10. Emma JC
    Joyful

    Emma JC Active Member

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    Our bodies need salt and much of it we can get from our food. We do eat a much lower amount than is in the standard american diet however we do eat some. We have taken Dr McDougall's advice and don't add salt when cooking, we add it on top after so that we can taste it and thereby satisfy the innate craving for it. When it is mixed in with the food it gets diluted and so our tongue/brain doesn't register it so easily unless there is way too much.

    Many people following a whole food plant based also follow the SOS free (Salt/Oil/Sugar) and we do also and instead call it LSOS Limited Salt/Oil/Sugar. A small amount of salt on top of the meal, oil added only once a week and just a tablespoon between the two of us/sugar rarely in it's crystal form, maple syrup is our sweetener of choice.

    Congrats for listening to your body and adding salt.

    Emma JC
     
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  11. Jamie in Chile
    Balanced

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    Try reducing legumes, experimenting and reducing new foods that you added to your diet since you gave up animal products. However, I think this problem is likely beyond what us can advise or at least what I can advise. Good luck!
     

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