First of all I would like to thank everyone that posted replies or private messaged me about my “Clean Eating” post yesterday. There were so many messages regarding Vegetarian eating, what my opinion was on it, can I construct programs for a Vegetarian, and what kind of results can one expect following a Vegetarian diet.
Based on my experience, many of my conversations with Vegetarians begin with the description of their lifestyle as healthy, built on principals, high in protein, vibrant, and/or geared for strength or endurance.
Out of all of the reasons, HEALTH is probably the most common shared reason for choosing a Vegetarian lifestyle and there are countless documents of research to support it as a very healthy choice of living when executed correctly. In fact, arguably it can be the healthiest way to live more than any other lifestyle…IF DONE CORRECTLY.
But if done wrong, it isn’t healthy at all and I find this to be the case with 99% of the potential clients I encounter (I’m not saying it’s 99% of all Vegetarians, just the vast majority that I’ve chatted with). Just because you’re vegetarian, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re healthy or fit.
I specialize in fat loss primarily using a balanced diet strategized around the individual, their goals, and their nutrition/training history. I’m also an Registered Holistic Nutritionist so my fat loss protocols are combined with a holistic approach using food. That being said, I would like to share a story about a Vegetarian client I had that worked with me for a Diet Product transformation.
We’ll name her Ann and she was a Vegetarian. She was active and very cognizant of her food choices being Vegetarian. My initial observation was she was gorgeous but her hair seemed dry, her skin was pale, she lacked energy, was frequently tired, and relied on coffee as a stimulant.
Ann’s protein sources came primarily from beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, some cheese, some dairy, some eggs, and fruits and vegetables. While this sounds healthy (and is healthy), it is also grossly under eating and lacking in protein and fats. I barely found any Omega 3s and it was lacking in iron. In fact, her diet was almost all carbohydrates. She also wasn’t losing any weight despite “eating clean” and she was confused as to why.
As we were on a deadline to achieve fat loss for the “Before and After” transformation, Ann asked what she can do to speed up the process. We put together simple changes by implementing cottage cheese, more eggs, protein powder, flax seed oil, fish oils, multi-vitamins, and a prenatal (for more iron and Vitamin B), we were able to make substantial changes to her body and energy levels.
In 10 weeks, Ann lost 26 lbs and was featured in a national advertisement. More importantly she was strong and vibrant. Ann was also incredibly tighter looking all over…another byproduct of increased protein from a variety of different sources. Her hair was shiny, her skin had colour, and she had great sleep at night resulting in more energy during the day.
So is it possible to achieve great results on Vegetarian diet? Yes. Does it require a strategy of managing your macronutrients and calories? Absolutely. Can results be as quick as someone that eats red meat, white meat, and fish? Probably not but good results, none the less.
Again it’s not all about “eating clean” as much as it is about “eating right”. This includes Vegetarians too.
Jennifer Van Barneveld (RHN)
Diet Coach/Online Trainer
Bikini/Figure Contest Prep Specialist
website www.coachjvb.com <http://www.jvbonline.ca>
website www.strong-athlete.com <http://www.strong-athlete.com>
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