What do you think of people that go vegan as a way to lose weight?


I have a friend who is vegan at home as a way to lose weight, and then is vegetarian when she goes out because it is too hard to be vegan…. thoughts?


Answer 1:

To fault her for having a different motivation for her diet is silly at best, elitist at worst.

Since when is there only one motivation for any decision? Since when is one motivation legitimate where all others aren’t? So she’s limiting her intake of animal foods for health reasons. So what? Would you rather take away her right to choose what she puts in her body because it isn’t “the right one”? Of course not, that’s totally absurd.

If a vegan diet is helping her reach her health goals, that’s great and she deserves your encouragement and support. That her motivation is weight loss doesn’t make her any less sincere than someone who is worried about the environment, world hunger, animal rights, or upsetting their spirit animal. 

As for including eggs and dairy when going out, I can’t really blame her. It’s very hard to go to the typical American restaurant when you don’t eat any animal products. Since her motivation is health and not animal welfare, she certainly isn’t being a hypocrite. People make exceptions for their diets for lots of reasons. Maybe there’s a wedding and they’d like to have a slice of the cake. Maybe someone who is on a low-fat diet will make an exception and have some pizza when the boss orders it for the office. I don’t really like chocolate all that much and don’t usually get it for myself, but if everyone is having chocolate fondue, I’ll snag some of it to bond.

One common diet trick is actually to keep “trouble foods” out of the house. Maybe your friend’s “trouble foods” are all animal-based. I know that mine are salty things. Mmmm. Kettle Chips. One of the best pieces of advice I got regarding diet and health is to keep things that you don’t want to eat out of the house. Basically, don’t eat them unless you go out. Only eat them when you go out. There’s no way you’re going to mindlessly eat a whole quart of ice cream if you don’t keep it in the house. Going to B&R for a scoop is much better. Do you get my drift?

In short, I see no problem with what she’s doing, nor do I understand why it’s anyone’s business.

Answer 2:

Well, her choice of diet is up to her, and her motivation is her business – although it would actually be correct to say she ‘eats a vegan diet’ at home, rather than she’s ‘a vegan’ at home.

But neither veganism or vegetarianism is a weight loss regime. There are vegans of all shapes and sizes – from too skinny to morbidly obese – just as there are meat-eaters of all shapes and sizes.

She may have read that awful book ‘Skinny B*tch’, which claims nonsensically that a vegan diet will automatically mean weight loss and encourages its readers to eat huge amounts of processed food.

In my lifetime I’ve been a meat-eater, a vegetarian and a vegan. At different times I’ve gained and lost weight as all three. It depended on how healthily I was eating and – crucially – how much exercise I was taking.

My biggest weight gain was as a vegan; so was my biggest weight loss.

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