I have followed some form of vegetarianism for almost three decades.
And there was a short period of time a while back when I was under a lot of stress and ended up straying from the program.
The result was that I gained 50 pounds!
So what happened?
How to Avoid Weight Gain
Instead of eating a strict vegetarian diet I started eating a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. By the way, a lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy and eggs.
I was also indulging in snack foods like potato chips, corn chips and french fries.
Although vegetarian, these foods are loaded with calories and fat, some of it saturated. These foods are usually fried, although the baked varieties are high in fat too.
Adding junk food to your diet causes weight gain as well as loss of health.
Going from a healthy diet made up of complex carbohydrates and low-fat foods to an unhealthy diet made up of simple carbohydrates and high-fat foods packed on the pounds.
Contrary to popular belief, a calorie is not a calorie.
How can this be?
It only takes 3 calories to convert 100 calories of dietary fat to 97 calories of body fat. Fat is easily converted to fat. However, carbohydrates burn up to 25% of their calories in order to be converted to fat.
Dairy & Weight Gain
Eating dairy (cheese, milk) foods which are high in fat and cholesterol also added to my weight gain.
A cup of milk contains almost eight grams of fat, more than half of it saturated with almost 25 mg. of cholesterol.
A slice of American cheese has over eight grams of fat, more than five grams of it saturated, with 21 mg. of cholesterol. Eggs are also a problem. One large egg contains five grams of fat and over 200 mg. of cholesterol.
Even though high in nutrients, avocados, nuts and seeds can contribute to weight gain due to their fat content.
They should be eaten in moderation or not at all if you are overweight or have any signs of chronic disease.
My experience with being overweight while following a supposed healthy diet was eye opening.
I realized I didn’t feel well, look well or have any clothes that fit!
When I saw my picture on my new driver’s license reality hit me pretty hard. I changed my ways (again) and have never strayed since then.
So how to I handle stress now?
By preparing healthy foods in my kitchen, exercise and writing articles like this one.