WEIGHTLINE 082: 85Kg
My son has recently expressed an interest in adopting a Vegan diet. But his main concern is to be healthy & he's worried that he can't eat some of his favourite foods any more. So he is starting to be driven down the "you will follow this dietary regime absolutely or we will shame you into thinking you are a failure" type route.
This is the thinking that has got so many of us, including me, into trouble. And this is why 'diets' are such huge business around the world. Apart from becoming vegan or vegetarian on conscientious grounds, which I cannot argue with, there is absolutely no reason to be hounded into only eating, or not eating, specific things for the rest of your life. So many of us have problems controlling our weight & it is mainly because we like the wrong types of foods & eat them, too much of them. Not exclusively, as there are medical reasons for obesity, but giving in to temptation is the majority issue. So don't follow a 'diet' whether it is vegan, vegetarian, mormon or atkins. Create your own personalised diet that really works for you. OK, this entails understanding what is good for you & what is not & this is a complete minefield as there is so much conflicting advice & very strong opposing opinions. So you need to read, absorb & make up your own mind.
The advice I gave my son I think works for most people, although the starting point might vary a bit. I told him to start with a vegan diet because that was his starting point anyway (which is probably the simplest, but not necessarily the most healthy) & then work in two different elements. Discover all the things that his body would be lacking following that diet (protein is supposedly quite a big one for vegans) & then find foods that he liked that would add those elements back into his regime. So, in his case, eggs and / or fish would give him the protein he needs. Note that neither of these are vegan, but that is exactly the point. Then examine all the foods he liked to eat & if they weren't particularly bad for the body, add them back in. Lastly, don't worry about occasionally having 'bad' foods as a treat, so long as they do not become habitual in any way. Please note, the key issue here is foods he enjoys eating, irrespective of whether they 'belong' to a defined dietary regime.
As long as we avoid processed foods & sugar & eat mainly fresh, local, free range, organic & well-nourished food sources, we'll be fine. But the key element to the success in all of this is enjoyment. Do not force yourself to eat things you don't like. You'll be unhappy and / or it won't last. Don't give in to the 'Dietary Regime' monsters, do it yourself. Be free!