How to Lose Fat as a Vegan | Q+A

How to Lose Fat as a Vegan | Q+A

Question:

I’d like to shed about 8 to 10 pounds of fat quickly. I’m about 5’9, 179lbs., 43 years old. I was told if I work out 3-5 times per week and eliminate all carbs and sugar for a month I should be okay. I’m vegan, so I’m guessing I should just eat vegetables, nuts and protein supplement?

– Antonio T.

Answer:

To have energy for your workouts, it may not be the best plan to forgo all carbs. Plus, so many vegan foods do have carbohydrates. Your estimated energy needs for losing 2 pounds per week quickly are about 1500-1800 calories daily with your current level of exercise. Dividing that up, you should eat 400-500 calories per meal x3 and 150 calories per snack x 2. Here are some possible meal and snack combinations for more variety than just veggies and nuts…

Breakfast options:

  • pecans, blueberries, veggie sausage patty and unsweetened soymilk
  • potatoes O’Brien and low sugar vegan yogurt

Lunch ideas:

  • spinach salad with pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives (couscous opt.)
  • mushroom burger patty, arugula, sundried tomato, avocado (sandwich thins opt.)

Sample dinners:

  • pinto or black beans with sautéed peppers and onions, salsa (fresh corn opt.)
  • butter beans with asparagus, roma tomato, basil and garlic (orzo opt.)

Snack suggestions:

  • hummus with carrot and celery
  • small apple with peanut or almond butter
  • pea protein shake

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Natural Electrolyte Drinks | Q+A

Natural Electrolyte Drinks | Q+A

Question:

I am looking for a more natural electrolyte drink than Gatorade. Lately I have been squeezing lemon juice into a water bottle and mixing with water. Is there anything you suggest either adding to this drink or even a completely different drink you can suggest?

– Brian W.

Answer:

Hello Brian. Kudos on making your own drink. To mimic a prepared carbohydrate electrolyte solution, you’ll need a source of energy (sugar). I’d recommend adding one tablespoon of agave syrup per 16 fl. oz. of your drink. Alternatively, you can replace a half-cup of water with orange juice or coconut water*. To improve the electrolytes, I’d suggest adding a couple shakes of salt (sodium chloride). With the fruit juices you shouldn’t need to add more potassium. Taste and cost preference for ingredients is up to you.

You may find oral rehydration solution recipes online, but keep in mind that they are targeted at reversing dehydration (due to vomiting & diarrhea) instead of preventing it, as they are saltier and less sweet. During exercise, people tend to drink cooler, slightly sweet beverages.

10 Surprising Facts About Water and Staying Hydrated

*I don’t recommend 100% coconut water as a sports beverage. A recently released study1 indicated no benefit to coconut water over regular water for hydration or time trial performance for a small group of men, consistent with a previous similar study2 on rehydration following exercise:

  1. Coconut Water Does Not Improve Markers of Hydration During Sub-maximal Exercise and Performance in a Subsequent Time Trial Compared with Water Alone. Peart DJ, Hensby A, Shaw MP. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2017 Jun; 27(3):179-184.
  2. Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. Kalman DS, Feldman S, Krieger DR, Bloomer RJ. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012 Jan 18; 9(1):1.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Protein Advice for Males | Q+A

Protein Advice for Males | Q+A

Question:

I have 150 lbs. of lean mass and burn 1800 calories. How much protein should I take in?

– Troy B.

Answer:

Your true protein need depends on your age and physical goals in addition to your weight and caloric rate. To get a rough estimate, start with a gram of protein for each kilogram of lean body mass (68.2 kg in your case) then increase per your activity level:

  • Sedentary – add 10%      
    • 68 + 7 = 75 gms
  • Light activity (e.g. walking) – add 30%    
    • 68 + 22 = 90 gms
  • Moderate (30 min. of vigorous activity 3 days/week) – add 50%  
    • 68 + 34 = 102 gms
  • Active (1 hour per day 5 days/week) – add 75%    
    • 68 + 52 = 120 gms
  • Very Active (10 hours of vigorous activity/week) – double 
    • 68 x 2 = 136 gms

If you maintain weight and thus consume only 1800 calories, it’s likely that the highest factor you need to use is the moderate level. If you have a goal of increasing muscle (requiring more calories), you’ll want to move to the next level higher. Likewise, for those dieting — protein should increase to preserve lean mass when caloric intake is restricted.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Nutritional Advice for Those With Hashimoto’s Disease | Q+A

Nutritional Advice for Those With Hashimoto’s Disease | Q+A

Question:

I have hypothyroidism caused by Hashimotos. What foods should I eat/stay away from?

– Justin S.

Answer:

As you know, Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune problem and the subsequent hypothyroidism is primarily treated with a hormone prescription. The American Thyroid Association’s website (www.thyroid.org ) and their 2013 patient booklet don’t mention diet or foods suggested for treatment of Hashimoto’s. Although there is no special diet for an underactive or mal-performing thyroid, nutritional support can help*. In addition, many patients experience problems with their weight. So a sound nutrition plan can help two-fold.

Follow the basics of a healthy diet, such as consuming regular meals, focusing on wholesome fresh foods, avoiding processed/packaged foods, getting more vegetables and beans, managing portions, drinking adequate fluids and balancing energy consumed with physical activity. Check with your physician whether you need to increase Vitamin D foods (fatty fish, milk, dairy, eggs, mushrooms) or Selenium sources (Brazil nuts, tuna, crab, lobster). If you are deficient in Vitamin B12 then you should consider increasing your meat, fish, poultry, organ meats and dairy intake.

Talk to your doctor if you eat large amounts of soy products, consume a high-fiber diet or if you take any of the following which may affect drug absorption:

  • Iron supplements, including multivitamins that contain iron
  • Aluminum hydroxide, which is found in some antacids
  • Calcium supplements

Because people with Hashimoto’s disease may be sensitive to the essential mineral iodine, do not consume large amounts of seaweed or take iodine supplements, which may worsen the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

* “While these practices can be helpful, it’s important to note that there is no one special diet or vitamin that has been proven to eliminate cancer or remove thyroid disease. Because of these special reasons, it’s important to talk with the doctor managing your treatment about any special diets or supplements you are thinking about using.” – ATA 2017, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Thyroid Disease

– Debbie J., MS, RD

References:

  1. Thyroid Disease and Diet — Nutrition Plays a Part in Maintaining Thyroid Health. Cheryl Harris. Today’s Dietitian. July 2012 Issue, Vol. 14, No. 7, P. 40
  2. “Hashimoto’s Disease.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 01 May 2014. Web. 15 June 2017.
  3. “Hashimoto’s Disease.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Nov. 2016. Web. 15 June 2017.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Protein Percentages for Seniors | Q+A

Protein Percentages for Seniors | Q+A

Question:

What percent of protein a day should seniors (over 65) be eating? I am female, if that makes a difference, and do cardio, weights, and yoga/Pilates classes.

– Carole H.

Answer:

Hello Carole, I’m hoping your question is about what percent of calories should come from protein.

Seniors should consume about 1.0 gm protein per kilogram of body weight daily. This is higher than the recommended 0.8 gm/kg for other healthy adults for two reasons: a greater need for maintaining lean mass and slightly diminished protein digestion/absorption. Since

protein has 4 calories per gram, your requirement equates to a set number of calories, but the percentage this makes up of your total calories will depend on how many you take in.

If you were 130 pounds, you’d need (divide pounds by 2.2 to get kilograms) 59 grams of protein. These 236 calories would be 12% of a 2000 Calorie diet, but 20% of a 1200 calorie

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Sources:

Protein for Fitness: Age Demands Greater Protein Needs. Densie Webb. Today’s Dietitian. April 2015 Issue, Vol. 17 No. 4, P. 16

Seniors — Beef it up to prevent muscle loss. Jennifer K. Nelson. WebMD. May 1, 2015

 

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

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Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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No pain in life could compare to the heartache Stefan felt as he awoke from a grand mal seizure on the racquetball court in 2010. This is LAF member, Stefan R.’s story of falling and rising again.

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