Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Hi all,
I'm wondering if I should stop being a vegetarian. I mean here are the reasons to consider doing so:

- Ever since I became a vegetarian in 1990, I've gained weight and lost muscle mass. I used to be stronger and believe it or not, was able to beat most guys my age in arm wrestling (when I was a teen). It may be that due to lack of protein, I felt less full and so ate more carbs in the form of rice, bread, cheese, cookies, cakes, pasta, popcorn, etc. which cause more weight gain.

- I felt more sluggish and had less energy after I became a vegetarian. It was hard to exercise and work out because I had no endurance. Maybe it was due to lack of protein?

- I think girls found me more attractive when I ate meat and flirted with me more. When you eat meat, you have more testosterone and seem more complete. As a vegetarian, you probably give off a different vibe or have less testosterone and thus aren't as attractive to women.

However, on the other hand, here are the drawbacks to consider:

- Not all vegetarians are fat and sluggish. Many are thin and healthy too. So perhaps I am not doing it right or eating too many carbs? If so, could it be my fault rather than the vegetarian diet's fault?

How are other vegetarians who are thin and healthy getting enough proteins? Can proteins in eggs and beans compensate for protein in meat?

- Many endurance runners, even in the Olympics, are vegetarians, so there must be benefits to it.

- By eating meat, I would compromise my morals against the killing of animals. That may affect my conscience. And it may bring me back karma too.

- When I stopped eating meat in 1990, my mind and consciousness became a lot clearer. And my spiritual awareness level increased and expanded as well. That's how I became a good writer. Before that, I could not write at all and had nothing to say in writing and had no opinions. I was just a follower who was trying to follow and fit in somewhere.

So, if I go back to eating meat, my mind and awareness level may decrease and I may not be as good of a writer anymore.

- My mental health improved after I stopped eating meat too. I had better control over my mind and did not sink into depression and my OCD symptoms did not control me as much. Perhaps this is because my karma improved after not eating meat. What this means is that eating meat again may result in lower mental health again, as well as bad karma.

- Also if you haven't eaten meat for many years, how can you start again? Won't it make your stomach sick to even try?

What do you all think?

Responses (12)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Raydoggy at 07/23/13 17:10:31

    Hmm, an interesting problem, I sympathize with you, because that happened to me at first, but what I realized is that just eating vegan food doesn't make you healthy, unless you are eating the right type of vegan food.

    I find that by nibbling on a small palm full of mixed nuts three times a day, takes away my cravings for carbs. And yes, you do need some extra protein, but not as much as you would expect. Protein is for building muscle, not for energy. Tofu has plenty and so does lentils and tempeh. Don't believe the meat and dairy industries propaganda about needing their products, until you have studied unbiased reports, I would highly recommend that you read The China Study, it will help put into prospective the idea of a balanced diet. Also, start here and do some more Google searches using the following search handles Vegan Muscle Protein Diet.

    Remember that this site is for body builders, if you are nine to five desk bound you won't need anywhere near as much protein.

    Remember that any group or association who tolerates torture and cruelty to animals for profit, cannot have a very highly developed conscience.

    I must admit, I don't eat enough leafy greens, but when I do, I really feel on top of the world on my vegan diet, and I'm trying to eat more, especially celery, spinach and lettuce. Also eat peas, kale and beans. So give that a try.

    Instead of using bread for a sandwich, use a lettuce leaf to wrap your ingredients up in. Much tastier and healthier. If you do have some carb food, try and make it wholegrain, it releases energy slower and so you don't get the rush for more carbs like you will with refined grains etc, because they boost you up quickly and then drop you down.

    Try freezing the tofu, then thaw it, squeeze the moisture out and then marinate, this way the flavor will go right through it, because there will be air pockets where the ice used to be. Like an Aero chocolate Bar ( from my non-vegan days). Someone please make a vegan Aero Bar, pretty please, I promise I'll only have one a month.

    I hope some other people can shed some light on your dilemma and that you try some alternatives before going back to meat. Also, try inverting your pasta ration, instead of 70-80 pasta, and 20-30 sauce, try it the other way around, much more flavor. Also, don't try to quickly to give up too much too soon, just have slightly smaller servings each day, wean yourself off the carbs and sugars, because they are very addictive. One way I find useful is to not have any carbs in the house and only have them outside as the occasional treat.

    I hope this helps.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by vtraveller at 07/23/13 18:04:34

    Raydoggy- he said he;s a vegetarian NOT a vegan.
    WWu777- if you're serious about asking this question, do this:
    1) Weigh yourself
    2) Stop consuming dairy (liquid meat) and dairy based products
    3) Stop consuming eggs (pure cholesterol) and all products like cakes & cookies that contain eggs
    4) Stop eating a lot of fried foods and avoid oil as much as possible
    5) Find a friend you can start an exercise routine with and make a habit of doing it 3-5 times a week
    6) Do this for 90 days.
    7) Weigh yourself again. Report back.
    Feel free to ask here for guidance.
    Suggested post to read:

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kenvegan at 07/23/13 20:20:56


    I have been vegan for over 21 years, and am now 42. I never noticed anything that you said. I do know that when I look around at most other 42 year old men, they seem to have much more body fat than I do. I have always had plenty of energy, and women find me as attractive as they ever have.

    Based on what you mentioned you switched to eating that is vegetarian, I can see that you probably had many vitamin/mineral deficiencies in your diet. Have you had blood work done to see if you have any deficiencies? Were you getting complete proteins from quinoa or soy? Have you ever tried spirulina, chlorella and hemp in a smoothy? These have plenty of high quality protein.

    Nutritional facts from the USDA National Nutritional Database:

    (Amount of calories from protein.)

    Watercress 84%, Mushrooms 56%, Spinach 50%, Sprouts 35+
    Kidney Beans 58%, Navy Beans 37%, Soybeans 35%
    Wheat Germ 26%, Rye 18%, Oatmeal 17%, Peanuts 18%
    Pumpkin Seeds 18%, Sunflower Seeds 16%, Cantaloupes 10%, Peaches 9%, Oranges 8%

    According to several studies I found, vegan men have HIGHER testosterone levels than even omnivores:

    It seems like perhaps you went on a junk food/empty calories carb diet after you stopped eating meat, and this may have caused some of your issues.

    Have you tried following a caloric rich vegan diet for a period of time before?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by happycowgirl at 07/23/13 22:37:20

    First, we have to clear up some misconceptions you have. I'm afraid you're buying into both the testosterone and the protein myths. First, it's not true that when you eat meat, you have more testosterone. In fact, vegan men have higher levels of testosterone than vegetarians and meat eaters:
    The testosterone issue is a complicated one that could be a book in itself. Long story short, your diet, sleep schedule, workouts all effect testosterone production. When it comes to diet, the key is balance, and higher testosterone comes along with a balanced diet rich in all macro-nutrients.

    Next, don't fall for the protein myth:
    This is the protein you should eat:

    As to your question, yes, you should stop being a vegetarian. And become a vegan. Seriously, it is the dairy you're consuming that is causing your problems.

    I can speak from personal experience. I was a vegetarian for 22 years, then I went vegan. It was like a switch flipped. When I was a vegetarian I thought I was as healthy as I could be. I ran, biked, I did triathlons. But I have never in my life had such a feeling of extreme health and fitness as when I went vegan. I really think you have to experience it first hand to believe it. I used to have asthma, since becoming vegan my asthma is gone. My energy increased and my overall well-being, I could go on and on.... listen, you just have to go vegan. Try it to believe it.

    Dairy is a very strong addiction. Giving it up will not be easy. You may suffer withdrawal symptoms (I did). But after 2 weeks you'll feel better and after 3 weeks any cravings should be gone.

    You need to be on a healthy vegan diet (not a junk food vegan). If you are an athlete, check this out: Thrive: Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life

    No matter what, go to the doctor and get a blood test. Then once you know your starting point, ditch the dairy. Go vegan. You can do it!

    (Go back 6 months after being vegan to get another blood test and be amazed at the good results -I was!)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by DanielWebber at 07/25/13 08:48:08

    HappyCowGirl has it exactly right. Make sure you're doing adequate research and eating enough of the right foods. Ditch the dairy and avoid the processed foods.

    Good luck!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by alaina616 at 07/25/13 15:14:57

    I am vegan and actually have more muscle tone than as a vegetarian. i think like others have said it is protein, but that doesn't mean you go back to eating meat. And it doesn't seem like you really want to either.
    You said you eat lots of carbs, but the ones you listed are not really good carbs, popcorn, cake? Look instead into eating quinoa, millet, different beans, barley, oats and other whole grains. Add tofu, wheat gluten and tempheh to your diet. I live on tofu, quinoa, lots of veggies and moderate amounts of nuts. you just need to reevaluate your diet.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by fogtime at 08/05/13 00:01:02

    I too have been gaining muscle after switching from a vegetarian diet to a mostly vegan diet. I used to exercise a lot and never gained any muscle. I was drinking cow's milk and eating a lot of milk chocolate back then. Now that I'm mostly vegan, I've been drinking almond milk, eating oatmeal with almonds, and eating sunbutter. I still exercise and have been gaining quite a bit of muscle.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 08/28/13 05:05:51

    Diet is critical, but by itself does not guarantee good health. Exercise is equally important.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by WWu777 at 09/19/14 01:10:37

    Thanks for all your responses everyone. But after doing some research on health sites, the consensus of most health experts seems to be that everyone has different nutritional needs and that diet and nutrition is not a "one size fits all" system. They also say that there are no studies proving that health conscious vegans are healthier than health conscious omnivores (meat eaters that eat only organic meat).

    For example, Dr. Mercola, one of the most knowledgeable and respected health experts says in this article that only one third of people can do well on a vegetarian diet, and that everyone has different nutritional needs. See here:

    What do you think? Is that true?

    Also, he quotes Angelina Jolie as saying that she almost died from being a vegan.

    What do you all make of that?


  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 09/20/14 04:32:35

    I responded to WWu777's questions yesterday, but my comments were apparently rejected. ???

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by happycowgirl at 09/20/14 21:17:02

    hi Ahimsa, Not rejected by me & I can't imagine by anyone else here. I know sometimes ill type in the wrong security code and my comments will not post. Could that be what happen? In any event, I would love to read ur response. Your replies are always insightful. Could you please take the time to try again?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 09/21/14 05:46:54



    Basically, I said that I would not consider Dr. Mercola "one of the most knowledgeable and respected health experts" despite what it may say on his website.

    Quoting Mercola is kind of like when the tobacco industry quoted "experts" in the field of medicine who denied that smoking is bad for one's health.

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