Vegan is easy, but sugar is impossible!
Hi Sassy. I love animals and have been mostly vegetarian (sometimes vegan) for over half my life. I have currently gone back to being vegan again and I'm feeling fantastic about it. It's effortless and I love how I feel about myself for doing my part to support the welfare of animals. *****Sassy Sez:
However, I am struggling with a few things. One is that I am horribly allergic to soy which limits the food available to me quite a bit, and the other is that I am completely addicted to sugar and carbs, and being vegan has sort of given me an excuse to indulge. I know most people who go from eating meat, dairy, etc. to being vegan lose weight, but that is not my experience - I have carb belly.
Do you have any suggestions? Am I doing something wrong here? I care very much about my health (as well as animals) but find it really hard to wean myself off of excess (because obviously some is necessary) carbs and sugar, especially as a vegan. Any suggestions?
Hi Phoenix! You are SO not alone in this (what I call) "malady" of overeating carbs and sugar. We have become a society addicted to sugar and we don't even realize it.
To begin with, I recommend you remove ALL sugars from your diet -- yes, even the healthier sugars. This helps you to stop any sugar addictions in its tracks and puts you in control once more. When taking my weight loss course, I guide you to making this transition as smooth as possible.
Also, do you know the difference between complex carbs and simple carbs? Not all carbs are bad, but it is vital to choose those carbs which bring your blood sugar into a more balanced place so your cravings (and sometimes mindless "simple carb" munching) can stop. I just answered a similar question about carbs here.
On another note, when we go vegan, we are avoiding animal products and all the huge amounts of fat that tend to go along for the ride. But we must be sure to add healthy, whole-food vegan fats in because we NEED healthy fats which help to maintain sugar balance. So I would wonder whether or not you are eating nuts, seeds, avocados, and other foods which contain the vegan fats we need to be healthy and control your sugar cravings?
And there could certainly be other reasons for sugar cravings. Recently, one of my weight loss students mentioned that she finds herself craving carbs and sugar. Since she eats healthy whole-food fats, I asked her to take a Nutrition Test and discovered that she looks to be deficient in chromium, which is a nutrient which helps to balance blood sugar levels. (Thanks to the depleted nutrients in our soils these days, many people out there are deficient in this important nutrient.)
Weight loss and nutrition challenges rarely come with a one-size-fits-all solution. It is not always easy to figure out why someone has the particular challenge they do.
If you're looking for further assistance I recommend my vegan weight loss course Get Down With Sass!
As you make your way through the course, you will keep a journal which will help you to see some pretty glaringly obvious things about yourself and your diet. Then, it becomes easier to figure out some pretty specific solutions for you and you alone.
As far as soy, there is absolutely no reason to eat soy as a vegan. There are just far too many other foods that are out there that you can turn to instead. If you are having some challenges in figuring out how to put together a healthy vegan menu that supports your "no soy" needs, then Get Down With Sass!
can help. The course isn't a one-size-fits-all approach; instead I guide you to choosing the foods which will help to put together menus you love, with or without soy.
Hope this helps. :)
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