Switching to vegan but higher carb concern?

I ha e been thinking about trying a more vegan/vegetarian diet. I'm not huge on meat & never have been. I eat it for the protein. I have been looking into a lot of vegan recipes & while they sound amazing. I'm concerned about all the extra carbs I will have to take in. I know carbs aren't the devil & we shouldn't be afraid of them. But higher carbs & weight gain has been taught to us for so long that it will always be in the back of my head. FYI my goals are weight loss & muscle gain.
«1

Replies

  • Old_Cat_Lady
    Old_Cat_Lady Posts: 1,193 Member
    edited August 2017
    Not vegan. I'm high carb and losing. Tonight I'm having a barley with sweet potato dish. It's all about keeping within your calories. If a problem, I just make the recipe without olive oil. Tomorrow I'm having wheat pasta. Weekend, baked chickpeas.
    If my protein is low for the day, I'll drink a glass of milk or have a protein drink.
  • hannamarie0098
    hannamarie0098 Posts: 85 Member
    That was my concern too. All of my protein sources come with a carb load too, so I aim for sufficient protein and don't worry if I'm having a lot of carbs as long as I'm within my calorie limit.
  • kzooyogi
    kzooyogi Posts: 121 Member
    I've been vegan for 3 years and have maintained my weight without any issues. As you said, carbs are not the devil. However, if you're worried about your carb intake, remember that you can choose more complex carbohydrates (think ancient grains vs. semolina/wheat) and that carbs from fruits and veggies are paired with lots of fiber which helps to slow the absorption. You can also choose lower glycemic sweeteners like coconut palm sugar (which you can sub 1:1 for cane sugar), real maple syrup and agave nectar. There are tons of good alternatives.

    For what it's worth - since being on a vegan diet, I've noticed that a lot more of my calories come from fats than I expected. I always assumed I'd be 75% carbs, but truly on an average day I'm anywhere between 35-45% fats (nuts, nut butters, avocado, etc.). You may be surprised, as you make the switch, that your diet isn't quite as carb-heavy as you may have expected it might be.
  • Gaygirl2120
    Gaygirl2120 Posts: 541 Member
    I really think that I'm ready to give it a try. I'm not happy with the weight I'm at now anyway, so what have I got to lose?
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    I'm a vegan and I get about 50-60% of my calories from carbohydrates. I lost weight just fine.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    cee134 wrote: »
    OP, vegetables have alot of carbs. But you won't gain weight from them (unless you eat a bunch). The carbs you gain weight from are processed carbs, like white bread, cake, enriched pasta, etc. This is because they are high in calories and low in nutrition. Don't think of gaining weight from carbs, carbs are your friend. Think of gaining weight form processed carbs.

    Any carbohydrate can cause weight gain if it leads to someone consuming more calories than they burn. Any carbohydrate can be eating while losing weight (or maintaining weight) if someone hits their calorie goal.

    The carbohydrates in bread or cake aren't different than the carbohydrates in vegetables. Yes, the calories and nutrients may differ. But a carbohydrate is a carbohydrate.
  • WatchJoshLift
    WatchJoshLift Posts: 520 Member
    Higher carb concern? No concern, carbs are AWESOME!
  • misnomer1
    misnomer1 Posts: 646 Member
    edited August 2017
    higher carbs are not a concern. try to keep your protein intake near 0.8 gm per lean body weight in pounds. i cant achieve this (while on a deficit) being a vegetarian, so i use protein supplements.

    i dont think theres any vegan source of protein with low calories per gram of protein (>70% calories from protein) like egg white or fish, so imo supplements are necessary in a deficit. in a surplus of course one can hit the protein goals with a vegan diet.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    misnomer1 wrote: »
    higher carbs are not a concern. try to keep your protein intake near 0.8 gm per lean body weight in pounds. i cant achieve this (while on a deficit) being a vegetarian, so i use protein supplements.

    i dont think theres any vegan source of protein with low calories per gram of protein (>70% calories from protein) like egg white or fish, so imo supplements are necessary in a deficit. in a surplus of course one can hit the protein goals with a vegan diet.

    Seitan would qualify, I think. 100 grams of seitan has about 370 calories and 300 of those calories will be from protein.
  • misnomer1
    misnomer1 Posts: 646 Member
    edited August 2017
    misnomer1 wrote: »
    higher carbs are not a concern. try to keep your protein intake near 0.8 gm per lean body weight in pounds. i cant achieve this (while on a deficit) being a vegetarian, so i use protein supplements.

    i dont think theres any vegan source of protein with low calories per gram of protein (>70% calories from protein) like egg white or fish, so imo supplements are necessary in a deficit. in a surplus of course one can hit the protein goals with a vegan diet.

    Seitan would qualify, I think. 100 grams of seitan has about 370 calories and 300 of those calories will be from protein.

    ok. i didnt know what seitan was until now, but it seems to have 75-80% calories from protein, pretty good.
  • stephnicole1707
    stephnicole1707 Posts: 4 Member
    edited August 2017
    Hi there! Today marks 10 days of being on a plant-based diet lifestyle change! This was my concern as well but after reading a few different articles and getting feedback from other vegans/vegetarians, I found that carbs aren't really an issue as long as you are within your calories. I still have a lot to learn though! and I know, I'm the same way! I was always taught that carbs are bad! But I am learning to leave that in the past. I have lost 4 pounds since I started this new diet and I just started to add exercise in this week. It was a bit scary for me because I come from a family that was raised on meat with every meal, BBQ's every weekend and not too many vegetables but I am off to a great start. It hasn't been easy but it is getting easier! I feel more energized, skin is clearing up, hair is shinier! Give it a shot and Good luck!
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,454 Member
    Jax2120 wrote: »
    I ha e been thinking about trying a more vegan/vegetarian diet. I'm not huge on meat & never have been. I eat it for the protein. I have been looking into a lot of vegan recipes & while they sound amazing. I'm concerned about all the extra carbs I will have to take in. I know carbs aren't the devil & we shouldn't be afraid of them. But higher carbs & weight gain has been taught to us for so long that it will always be in the back of my head. FYI my goals are weight loss & muscle gain.

    FYI the bolded goals are counterintuitive. A calorie deficit is required for weight loss and you won't build muscle while in a calorie deficit.

    You need to ditch what you have been taught for so long that higher carbs result in weight gain. Weight gain results from a calorie surplus - which can come on a high carb, moderate carb, or low carb diet.
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,454 Member
    cee134 wrote: »
    OP, vegetables have alot of carbs. But you won't gain weight from them (unless you eat a bunch). The carbs you gain weight from are processed carbs, like white bread, cake, enriched pasta, etc. This is because they are high in calories and low in nutrition. Don't think of gaining weight from carbs, carbs are your friend. Think of gaining weight form processed carbs.

    Most of this is incorrect.

    Vegetables are comprised of carbs - true.
    You can gain weight from eating vegetables, if you are eating in a calorie surplus overall. There are vegetarians/vegans on this thread who would attest to the fact that they were overweight at one point.
    There is nothing about "processed carbs" (whatever that means) that inherently result in weight gain. You can eat foods like white bread, cake (mmm cake sandwich) and pasta in the context of a calorie deficit and still lose weight. You can also eat them as part of an overall balanced, nutritious diet.
    OP doesn't need to think of any sort of carbs as tied to weight gain. She needs to understand that it is CI<CO that results in weight loss. The level of carbs, and the type of carbs, has nothing to do with it.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,464 Member
    I had to watch my protein levels while on a medically supervised VLCD diet. Low protein has some pretty obvious consequences, which show up about six weeks afterwards. This includes what you can see (hair falling out, brittle nails) and what you can't see (muscle damage).

    OP, carbs will be fine. I suggest you reverse your goals and go for muscle gain first, weight loss second. It's called a "bulk" and then a "cut".