I’m a Vegetarian So Why Am I Still Fat?!
Yes, I said the F-word– FAT. I could have chosen the more PC term “overweight” or even the more descriptive “fluffy” or “pleasingly plump,” but let’s just call a spade a spade and set aside all this bullsh*t PC crap. I’m okay with it, are you? Okay, then let’s get to it.
You know how you think it’s okay to make jokes about your own ethnicity? (Seriously, please tell me it’s not just me)! I’m Cuban and Lebanese which gives me a lot of fodder for poking fun. LOL! Well, I’ve also been fat—very fat, obese in fact. I think I must be in the minority when I say that I didn’t get offended when people called me fat. Sure, my feelings may have been hurt (I am human after all), but that IS what I was so what were they supposed to say? Digressing. . . man am I good at that or what?!
Back to why you’re still fat despite living a vegetarian lifestyle. The two biggest reasons are:
- Processed foods
- Too many carbs
Let’s talk meat analogs—those products designed to imitate the taste and texture of meat. These include things like veggie sausage, fake chicken nuggets, veggie corndogs, fake turkey loaves, etc. I used to live on these things, especially the veggie sausage patties—man are those delicious! I would have them for breakfast, put them on homemade pizza, make sandwiches with them. Yep, I was having a love affair with those little suckers! Truth be told, my mouth is salivating a little as I write about them. Don’t judge me—old habits die hard. Sheesh, there I go digressing again…
What’s wrong with the veggie “meat” products? They are not clean foods, meaning they are processed. As I have mentioned in other blogs, it is super important to stay away from processed foods because they contain additives/artificial ingredients, and they are put through a process that compromises the integrity of what little nutritional value was in there to begin with. Stick to whole, organic foods that do not come in a box. For example, if you enjoy veggie patties, make your own! There are hundreds of recipes online, plus it’s super easy to vary the flavor of your veggie patties when you make them from scratch yourself.
Too Many Carbs
Living a vegetarian lifestyle can be a slippery slope thanks to the carb trap. I fell hard for this trap, and it took me years to figure it out. Being Cuban, beans and rice are a staple practically at every meal. So I cut out the meat protein and resorted to eating loads of beans with rice to make a complete protein and make up for the meat I no longer was ingesting. Add other grains to the mix and I was in major carb overload! There I was thinking I was making healthier food choices when, in reality, I was actually increasing my odds of developing Type 2 diabetes which runs prominently in my family. All those carbs I was consuming had me on a rollercoaster ride of blood sugar spikes and drops. No bueno! The overabundance of carbs also kept me bloated. Eek! Not a pleasant feeling.
If you’ve been trying to go vegetarian, or are a vegetarian who can’t seem to shed the extra pounds, take a close hard look at what you’re eating. Do not make any changes to your nutrition just yet. Keep a food diary for one week first (the My Fitness Pal app is free and super easy to use) so you can get a clear and honest picture of what you’re eating. Then analyze it and see where your problem lies. Are you really eating clean, whole foods or loading up on those overly processed meat substitutes?
Take a close look at your daily carb intake. If it is more than 30-40% of your total food intake for the day, it’s time to cut back. Again, the My Fitness Pal will automatically calculate these macronutrient percentages for you so I encourage you to start using it.
Barring any medical conditions or medications, you are fat because you are:
- eating too much
- not moving enough
- eating out of balance (in terms of macronutrients)
- filling your body with artificial crap, and it doesn’t know what to do with it,
- a combination of the above.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to be cognizant of what you eat and #FuelUpforaFitLife!