Muscle loss. Help!

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Muscle loss. Help!

Postby MadisonL » Mon May 14, 2012 2:52 pm

Hi. I've been vegan for just over a month now. I've lost about 10 pounds since then and I'm a small person to begin with. Weight loss wasn't my intention at all! I currently weigh about 94 pounds and am 5"2. I'm quite sure it's muscle weight I'm losing but I don't know for certain (how can you tell?). I have quinoa, raw hemp powder, and different grains for protein sources. I work in Hospital and have been doing light exercises since going vegan. I can't afford to keep losing weight but I do want to continue this diet and lifestyle. Please help!
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby Talyn » Mon May 14, 2012 3:04 pm

Hi, welcome to the board!

The most likely answer you are going to get is: eat more.

How many calories do you consume per day?
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby xrodolfox » Mon May 14, 2012 3:09 pm

I gained weight when I went vegan.
If you want to gain weight, you need more calories. There's a lot of dense caloric foods out there... but your list doesn't contain any of them.
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby MadisonL » Tue May 15, 2012 6:23 am

Thanks for the welcome!
I'm eating about 2200 calories/day. Do you suggest any foods in particular to regain muscle and up caloric intake? I'm heard good things about nut butters and nutritional yeasts. How much fat and protein should vegans be getting daily?
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby Lordmuppet » Tue May 15, 2012 7:58 am

I seriously doubt that you need to lose any fat but in answer to your questrion:

It is quite hard to tell if weight loss is muscle or fat. There are expensive fancy shemansy weighing scales that will give you a fat percentage but these aren't super reliable from the research I've done I think. They are, though, good enough to let you know the direction you are going in if you make sure to weigh under similar conditions each day (first thing out of bed is easiest). Fat Calipers are preferred by most people who have someone that they don't mind taking the rather intimimate measurements required for them

Obviously if strength is decreasing that can suggest muscle loss.

Anyway i would agree with the other posters insofar as you should first just try to eat more.

Nuts butters are great but I prefer the nuts themselves as they are great to just grab with some cut veg on the go. They also go great with chocolate :)

if you PM me an email address I'll send you a really great article I have from a website I have a subscription to on the subject of gaining weight.

A couple of tips from it

1) to eat more try distracted eating. So eat while doing something else like watching tv.
2) add sauces and oils to what you are already eating. These contain a surprising number of calories. Olive oil is good. Also whatever sauces you like.

I would not stress at ALL about fat until you get your bodyweight to stabilize :) Best of luck and keep us updated :)
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby Lordmuppet » Tue May 15, 2012 8:02 am

I have quinoa, raw hemp powder, and different grains for protein sources.


also add some legumes and other things to diversify your protein sources

cheap protein sources:

lentils
tvp (don't like the taste myself so i go for more expensive tofu)
peanut butter
beans

not as cheap protein sources
nuts
seeds
soy

edited to add welcome! :D
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby thestoatyone » Wed May 16, 2012 5:24 pm

Hello!

My response is peanut butter sandwiches. Do it!
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby JP » Thu May 17, 2012 12:20 pm

Hey if it's just within few weeks it's unlikely to be muscle loss, maybe done water from muscle.

But! Just re iterating what others said, sounds like you are in a calorie deficit. When you went vegan,.how did you change your diet? Maybe better just to swap couple items around rather than found a full overhaul of your dietary habits. It could be that you are getting way more fibre now which makes you full but doesn't provide the calories, for example.

But awesome that you went vegan! And also heart that you are seeking a solution to your problem, and perhaps from the best place in the net so you won't get any of that "it's just toxins leaving the body" bullshit ;)
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby MadisonL » Thu May 17, 2012 5:33 pm

Thank you for all your help and comments!

I first noticed the weight loss about 2 weeks into the diet. I didn't (and still don't) notice much of a physical change, except perhaps slight muscle fatigue--which is why I'm thinking it's muscle loss verses fat. Increasing my protein intake didn't affect my weight and I think I've dropped another pound since my last posting.

Aside from the protein sources you guys suggested, what are some high calorie foods I should be including in my diet? I have since bought a life time supply of peanut butter and various coconut milk products haha. Also, before I went vegan I did mostly cardio at the gym but now I'm afraid I'd just lose more weight if I continued that. What kind of exercises would you suggest at this point?
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby JP » Fri May 18, 2012 11:41 am

Rapid strength loss would suggest energy, as in calories, not muscle loss, which is why I wanted to ask, how did you change your diet what did you drop off and what did you start using instead?
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby Konstantin » Fri May 18, 2012 11:52 am

Couple of suggestions:

Seed cake - grind some seeds, either with some dried pineapple or afterwards mix with soaked dates (boil them if you have less time).

Hi calorie cake - mash up a banana, soaked dates and an avocado. Looks horrible, tastes good, loads of calories.
You can see my training log if you're really bored: [url]www.veganfitness.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16086&start=360[/url]
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby baldy » Fri May 18, 2012 12:05 pm

MadisonL wrote:Aside from the protein sources you guys suggested, what are some high calorie foods I should be including in my diet? I have since bought a life time supply of peanut butter and various coconut milk products haha. Also, before I went vegan I did mostly cardio at the gym but now I'm afraid I'd just lose more weight if I continued that. What kind of exercises would you suggest at this point?

Really hard to recommend food, without knowing what food is available in your area. If you can give us a typical days food we can easily give suggestions how to bulk it up.

With the cardio, if you are doing it as a sport then I would say keep doing it, just up your calories. If your only doing cardio to loose weight, then stop and do something you enjoy.
Gym and training should be fun!
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby MadisonL » Fri May 25, 2012 5:28 am

Thank you for all your guys' help. Sorry for the late response. I collapsed at work recently and had to be hospitalized for a few days, due to low potassium and iron levels. I am currently returned to a meat + diary diet but with time I hope to return to veganism and I will definitely take into consideration your comments about bulking up.

So I guess the obvious question is, is veganism for everyone?
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby baldy » Fri May 25, 2012 7:10 am

MadisonL wrote:So I guess the obvious question is, is veganism for everyone?

Yes Veganism is for everyone, it sounds like your diet just is not very good (or you have underlying health issues).
Do not get disheartened, get your health back then try make the transition more gradually?
Iron and potassium are no problem at all on a vegan diet. I can recommend this book which should help you a lot -> http://www.theveganrd.com/vegan-for-life
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Re: Muscle loss. Help!

Postby Lordmuppet » Fri May 25, 2012 7:53 am

baldy wrote:Yes Veganism is for everyone, it sounds like your diet just is not very good (or you have underlying health issues). Do not get disheartened, get your health back then try make the transition more gradually?


Seconded from me on all counts. I'd glad that they've identified the problem! They are saying that the weight loss was the result of low iron and potassium yes?

I'd like to explicitly reiterate the fact that non vegan people like yourself are very welcome to post here just so long as they don't actively promote non-vegan stuff.

So yeah if anyone gives you crap they can deal with me :twisted:

... they wouldn't like the muppet when he's angry :wink:


Best of luck getting your health back together *insert hugging smiley*
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