|Protein Myth 4|
Myth 4. I will likely gain weight from a plant based diet.
Let’s start with the basic principle of weigh gain. The body needs energy. The body gets energy by eating food. The amount of energy stored in food is measured in terms of calories. As one goes about her day calories are burned to make the body function and to do whatever activities are asked such as walking, thinking or working out. The amount of activity one does correlates directly to the amount of calories burned. But what if more calories are consumed than burned?
Weight gain is therefore just the simple activity of consuming more calories than needed by the body to function. For most people, the real culprit is lack of exercise. Just a few hours of walking each week may be all it takes to reverse the trend. For others it is a problem of both consumption and exercise. And yet for another group, it is stress factors combined with consumption and exercise. Stress often causes people to consume more as one might in a “fight or flight” mode. Coupled with lack of exercise is a powerful combination to add weight.
The biggest culprit in the diet to weight gain is the empty calorie. Switching from white to whole grain bread and white to brown rice is a start. Cut out the sugar. It is the worst source of energy. Eating sugar will cause more hunger because it is “empty” calories -- calories void of any other nutrient value.
A plant based diet is also low in fat and absent of saturated fats. So provided one is not frying everything, fats will be of little concern
Vegetables are low in carbohydrates. Eating them as the base of the diet, creates the proverbial “filling up without filling out.” If it is feeling full that one is looking for, remember that feeling full is the stomach being stretched. This is not really being full but stressing the stomach. Getting used to the satisfaction from eating without being “full” is a big shift for most people, but a road well worth taking.
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