The abs expert, Scott Colby has been asking me all kinds of fat loss questions over the past week, and today is no different. But first, if you find you’re constantly short on time but still want to transform your body, then you’ll definitely want to go back to part 6 of my interview excerpt and learn how to get maximum results in minimum time.
For today, however, we’re swinging the pendulum back to nutrition, specifically vegetarianism. It seems there are still quite a few people out there with the misconception that a vegetarian diet will hinder your body transformation results – faulty thinking – and I’ll explain why below…
Scott Colby: Donna in Atlanta says, “I know you’ve been switching to a vegetarian lifestyle.…
- How difficult is it to know what foods to blend to get the proper amount of protein per day?
- How easy is it to have variety and keep it exciting?
- Does following a vegetarian lifestyle alter your workout at all? More energy? Does it affect your stamina, etc.?”
Now I know you talked some about the different kinds of grains and pastas you’ve been eating, Craig, but maybe you can shed some light on proper amounts of protein and if it affects your workouts at all.
Craig Ballantyne: Yeah. It certainly HASN’T AFFECTED the workouts at all.
I was very healthy eater before; it just included more animal products, and now it doesn’t include that many. And people are often disappointed when I say there’s been really no difference.
But if you take a look at what I was eating before, I was still eating 15 to 20 servings of fruits and vegetables before I went on the vegetarian diet, towards a vegetarian diet. And so it hasn’t really been that much of a change, and again, I wasn’t eating fried foods or anything.
So I think it’s MORE IMPORTANT if you cut out sugar and you cut out fried foods and you cut out poor quality foods, than changing whether or not you eat meat in your diet.
Often vegetarians aren’t really excited when I say that it’s not really that important, but that’s what I’ve found. I just haven’t really noticed any physical differences.
As for the variety and the protein, if you are really still concerned about protein there’s still plenty of Vegan-type protein powders. There’s Sun Warrior protein powder, which I just started trying out, and there’s also Vega, which is another very popular one. They’re a little more expensive than the cheapest whey protein that you can get, but you can also use whey protein if you’re simply just concerned about cutting out meat and you don’t mind other types of animal products.
If you’re still consuming milk, cheese, and eggs, you’re gonna have NO PROBLEM at all getting enough protein.
But if you’re NOT CONSUMING ANY ANIMAL PRODUCTS at all, then you may need to go to the Vega or Sun Warrior protein, or any type of rice protein or pea protein. There’s soy protein, which I don’t use, but there’s also I think hemp and I think there might also be rice, if I haven’t mentioned that one already. But there’s certainly plenty of non-animal product-based protein powders that you can get at a health food store. So if you’re concerned about not getting enough protein.
But me personally…
…I will get first thing in the morning probably 10 to 15 grams of protein in the first thing that I consume. Actually I’ll probably get close to 20, because most people don’t realize that there is a lot of protein in stuff like oatmeal, bread, the pasta that I talked about. Most of it comes in the form of that gluten, which personally I have no problem – I could eat that stuff all day – but I have no insensitivity to it. But some people are sensitive to it – sorry, have no sensitivity to it and no problems with it, so I don’t have any problem with gluten.
But if somebody has a problem with gluten, then they’re gonna have to be a little more particular about what they consume for protein.
They won’t be able to get protein from bread and from some of the pastas that I may consume. But beans – one can of beans is probably gonna be 30 grams of protein, if you eat half a can of that, which I usually eat half a can of that on a salad. You’re gonna get a lot of fiber, so that’s another issue with some people is it’s too much fiber for the trade-off.
Again, you may have to go the protein powder route where you’re getting protein without the fiber. But again, depends on your level of vegetarianism. If you’re going Vegan, probably gonna have to go protein powder if you wanna get over 120 grams of protein per day.
But if you’re still consuming some animal products, such as eggs or cheese or milk or whey protein, you’re not gonna have any problem at all getting enough protein.
And then VARIETY. It will take you a little while to kind of – I recommend getting some nutrition books or going online. First two or three weeks when I was doing it I was kind of like, “I gotta find something else to do.” Which eventually you just go and you spend a little more time in the health food store or in certain areas of the grocery store. I mean if you’ve got a Whole Foods you’re not gonna have any problem at all. Again, it’s gonna be a little more expensive.
But even if you go around and look in there, and then maybe you can go for cost savings to a cheaper grocery store and find some similar alternatives. Then you’re gonna be able to consume a larger variety of vegetarian-type foods without the cost of going to a Whole Foods, obviously. But I think just a little experience, like anything else, and eventually you find out.
First time someone goes from eating fast food all the time to trying to eat healthy, they probably are there thinking, “Okay, chicken and broccoli four days in a row – there’s gotta be something else,” and eventually you find that there’s plenty of alternatives.
And the fact that there’s raw food restaurants – which I’ve actually been to a couple of them – and they serve all their food raw. The fact that those exist, and they actually make pretty impressive meals, it just shows you that there is a lot of variety out there. You just do have to put some effort into finding it.