I was working with a very young client, just out of college. She was in her first full time job and working all the time and eating horribly. She wanted to get back in shape and lose the weight gained after college. I welcomed her to ‘adulting’ and the resulting side effects. She was a vegetarian, which made me very happy. I asked her to give up soda cold turkey and swap it out for water. She did this with full compliance and started to feel better and see some weight drop.
As with any client who is strength training, she started to see the scale stop going down and then go back up slightly. Gaining muscle and tone she was technically heavier. Her clothes fit great and she looked good but she still wanted to slim down scale-wise. I asked her to for a list of all she ate the last 2 days and most of it was pasta. I reminded her that she told me she was a vegetarian. She agreed, she did not eat meat, but she also ate almost no vegetables. I told her she was a pasta-tarian. In my opinion to be a vegetarian, you need to at least consume some vegetables. I asked her to start making one of her meals per day a hearty salad. Preferably dinner, but I would take any meal switching from a starchy grain to vegetables. She did this for a week and came to me complaining that she “can’t eat a salad EVERY day” ….to which I stared at her as if she grew two heads. Not only can you, but you need to. Everybody needs to. In fact, how can anybody meet the daily requirements for vegetables if they do not indeed consume a hearty salad every day or consume green drinks.
I realized that even though she was on team ‘vegetarian’ she was not on board with eating as many vegetables as possible. She was eating rice and beans, veggie wraps and pasta of all styles and flavors. I really don’t have a problem with any of it with the exception of pasta. You cannot consume pasta every day and expect to maintain a healthy weight and definitely not lose weight. It breaks down to sugar in the body and then stores itself as fat. There are no health benefits to pasta that will ever outweigh the negative effects.
I am happy to report that she did consume a salad daily and even started to incorporate vegetables into her breakfast and lunches. She is looking amazing, trim and tone. Her skin has cleared up and her thick hair more lustrous. I am so proud of her for turning around her pasta-tarian ways and becoming a true veggie-tarian.
Sadly, the definition of vegetarian according to websters just means the ‘lack of meat in a diet’…. Very old dated definition and probably why many people try in and fail