Happy Herbivore Blog

This Week's Q&A: Exercising & Weight-Loss, Butternut Squash Rinds, Lowering Cholesterol On A Plant-Based Diet & Dealing With Gas

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

You've got questions...

Q: I bought your 10 day immersion plus the 3 day reboot and I only lost 3 lbs. I even worked out the whole time!!! Is that normal? It's super upsetting.

A: Working out + calorie restriction can often derail weight-loss attempts, but even still, 3 lbs in 2 weeks is a normal, healthy loss. Most medical professionals recommend individuals only lose 1-2 lbs per week, which would be 2-4 lbs in a 14-day period. 3 lbs is smack in the middle. Also, the scale isn't the best indicator for weight-loss.

See this post:

Why you can't lose weight from exercise combined with caloric restriction

and these might help too:

Throw Away Your Scale! 10 Common Mistakes You Make Weighing Yourself

What Weighs More: A Pound of Fat or Pound of Muscle? (& Why the Scale is a Frenemy!)

Q: I bought some butternut squash for the first time this week. Do you eat the rind?

A: Don't eat the rind :) It's not poisonous or anything, but it's bitter and so fibrous it may cause digestive upsets. Butternut is yummy :)

Q: Do you have any links to articles explaining the benefits of a plant-based diet as it relates to cholesterol levels? My mom has high cholesterol, but doesn't want to take meds. She eats fairly well, but still eats meat and shellfish.

A: Cholesterol is only in animal foods -- esp. shellfish (they tend to be particularly high), but all meats (as well as dairy, and especially eggs) have cholesterol. Plants don't have cholesterol. The only way to lower cholesterol is to stop eating animal products :) The meds artificially lower cholesterol levels. Basically, people still die every year, just with good "faked" numbers thanks to the medication.

There are a bazilion links online but here are some from McDougall:

Dr. John McDougall Medical Message: Cholesterol (video)

Do Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Cause Cancer?

Fat & Cholesterol: Primary Poisons

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol & Triglycerides: Risk Factors

and Essy:

In Cholesterol Lowering, Moderation Kills

Q&A with Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

and

Foods to Eat

Books:

Dr. Essy's book is great:

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure

Dr McDougall's is also good:

The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!

Q: In Happy Herbivore Light & Lean you mention that your stomach issues went away after going plant-based. I'm a plant-based wannabe, but I’m lazy and my husband's answer to me not cooking is ordering a pizza. I’m 95% plant-based, I’ve tried all sorts of eliminations and medication over the last 6 months - doesn't help. I can eat the blandest things and be plant-based for days at a time and still have two hours of burping, bloating and gas. I'm desperate for a solution. Could going full on plant-based really help?

A: I'm not a doctor so I'm limited in what I can say -- but I have had a few clients who still ate dairy, or meat, or junk foods here and there, and it messed them up for weeks. I also had a client who found out she was celiac recently, and although she removed gluten from her diet that very day, the effects lingered for months.

You can't expect instant results -- it can take weeks or months.

I'm allergic to broccoli, and if I accidentally eat it, I have digestive distress, pain, and gas for a week, even if I eat nothing but potatoes and rice with no seasonings. The body needs time to recover.

See these posts for more info -- and talk to your doctor. Sounds like something more serious than food intolerances might be going on :(

Flatulence

and

Elimination (Let's Just Talk About It.)

and

Herbie 101 Series: Pregnancy, Kids, and Bodily Functions

and this one especially:

How Long Does it Take to Feel Great on a Plant-Based Diet? (Beating Failure to Thrive)

Don’t forget to pay attention to how you're eating and swallowing -- swallowing air leads to burping in most cases, and sometimes gas.

Feel better!

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