How To Lose Weight and Be Healthy With a Vegetarian Diet
I first met with Giri at the end of December, 2010 when he came to me as a part of the Biggest Loser Contest in Woodmont. Giri told me that despite being a vegetarian, he was struggling with borderline diabetes and his doctor had prescribed him medication. He also had high LDL (bad) cholesterol which I would expect with high sugar levels in the blood. You might be wondering how someone who is a vegetarian can develop diabetes and high cholesterol? This is a perfect example of how eating the right type of carbohydrates and being sure to combine them with lean protein and healthy fats is crucial for blood sugar control and therefore weight loss.*
I quickly determined that his diet was mostly carbohydrates and not just whole grains, fruits and vegetables but any type of carbohydrate from white noodles to nacho chips. Giri often ate out with clients and found himself at restaurants that really didn’t offer a good vegetarian option so he would have an Italian meal like spaghetti or a Mexican meal like refried beans, cheese, chips or even just nachos if there was nothing else offered. So eating out was definitely a huge problem.
Giri was also not exercising but had a desire to become a runner again. He was anxious and motivated to do his weight training and cardio that I told him would be part of the program.
So January 1st, Giri began his new exercise program which included 3 weight training sessions per week and at least 2 sessions building up his running on the treadmill. I also made out a Personal Lifestyle Diet Plan for him which included a high quality protein or healthy fat and a low glycemic carbohydrate at each meal or snack. His carbohydrate sources were to be whole grains, vegetables and fruits and he was supposed to limit the portions of these and ALWAYS combine them with his lean protein and/or healthy fat options.
Giri jumped right into the exercise portion of the program and he would see progress each month. He started out at 192 lbs and went to 187.5 after 1 month. The entire time he was logging his food and my comments would be, “you need more protein at meals!” Month 2 Giri continued to work really hard at the gym and again saw a loss of about 3.5 lbs and was down to 184. During the 3rd month Giri said he finally “got” what I was saying about protein during the month and the weight started to fall off! Giri lost a total of 13 lbs in the 3 months and continued to lose an additional 10 lbs since the end of March! Giri went from a size 38 to a size 34 pants! Giri tells me he now runs 15 miles per week and has dropped 90 seconds off his time per mile! WOW!
Giri came in first place in the Biggest Loser Contest for the men and second place overall. I do believe that if he had been able to grasp the concept of the importance of more protein at his meals and snacks he would have seen the weight come off faster but regardless, Giri is no longer a prediabetic and his cholesterol is back to normal.
When I asked Giri what helped him be successful:
1. Logging my food and being accountable to calories was key.
2. Once I determined the importance of what Mary was telling me about protein I incorporated it into every meal and snack and the weight fell off
3. Weight training allowed me to build muscle and the cardio allowed me to burn fat and both made me feel great!
4. My health was my biggest motivation – to get off my medication for diabetes and improve my cholesterol numbers
Giri continues with his exercise program and diet plan. His plan is his new Lifestyle and wasn’t just a program to get him to his goal. I am very proud of his success and wish him the best of luck and good health going forward. Congratulations Giri!
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!