But What If I’m A Vegetarian?

 In Carbohydrate Restriction, Diet, Fat, Fitness, Vegetarian, Weight Loss

As a vegetarian for 25 years I’ve struggled with unwanted weight gain, headaches, and insatiable hunger. When I attempted to lose weight in the past, I experienced increased hunger and frustration, low energy, frequent headaches, and irregular hormones. Two to three weeks into a diet regimen, and I would usually be back to my old ways of peanut butter crackers and cheese pizza.

Most vegetarians primarily fuel their bodies with glucose (or carbohydrates). We eat a lot of carbs while trying to get in an adequate amount of protein. Rice and beans are usually staple foods, followed by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, starchy vegetables and lots of fruit. While these foods taste good in the moment, they always leave us wanting more, and never quite feeling full.

Let’s consider another option that won’t leave us feeling hungry a couple of hours later. Instead of living off of carbohydrates and fueling our bodies with glucose, we are going to start using fat for fuel!  When we tweak our macronutrients and reduce our carbohydrate intake, while getting inadequate protein and a healthy amount of fat, our body shifts to burning fat, which is a cleaner and more sustainable fuel source for our brain and muscles.

A cleaner and more sustainable fuel source for our brain and muscles!!

Let’s look at some wonderful sources of protein – eggs, fish/seafood and poultry are going to be your best options if possible, followed by extra-firm tofu, cottage cheese, full-fat Greek yogurt, and extending to soy burgers such as Amy’s, Boca, and Morning Star. So instead of having oatmeal with a banana and orange juice, a two-egg omelet with mushrooms and bell peppers would be a more beneficial choice. Sounds delicious right? What about replacing our dinner of rice and beans with fish or tofu over a bed of cauliflower rice, mushrooms and broccoli with a spinach salad, pecans and a full-fat salad dressing?

Switching from burning glucose to fat as my energy source has sky-rocketed my energy, decreased my headaches/anxiety, balanced my hormones, allowed extra weight to fall off, and…. I FINALLY FEEL FULL!

If you’ve struggled with your health as a vegetarian DO NOT LOSE HOPE! For more information on how to take back your life, call us at PHD Advanced Nutrition today in Durango or Farmington!


Katrina Cuenca

PHD Advanced Nutrition Health Coach

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