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How to Go Vegetarian and Avoid Gaining Weight Like Kirstie Alley

How to Go Vegetarian and Not Gain Weight Like Kirstie Alley

If there's one person who has publicly spoken about her weight as much as Oprah, it's Kirstie Alley. After shedding 75 pounds as the spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Kirstie reveals in new issue of People that she's put on 83 pounds. She says her current weight, 228 pounds, is her heaviest weight ever. She blames the weight gain on losing the motivation to work out and her weakness for food drenched in butter. Here's what else she told People about her diet:

For seven months I was a vegetarian, and I can't tell you how much weight I gained being a vegetarian! A vegetarian would probably be eating vegetables. But to me being a vegetarian meant I'm going to eat enchiladas with no meat, and I'm going to eat lots of bread, lots of carbs.

Find out what a healthy vegetarian diet should contain when you


Kirstie is on to something with her comment about vegetarians eating vegetables, and there are plenty of other celebrities who have gotten the diet right. A vegetarian diet doesn't have to be complicated. Relying on mostly vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, and whole grains will enable a vegetarian to achieve balance and satisfaction from food.

There are so many great sources of healthy veggie protein, like tofu (not fried), beans, and lentils, that can be seasoned and mixed with vegetables to create savory and filling dishes that would appeal to anyone, vegetarian or not. Kirstie Alley's vegetarian diet downfall (besides all that butter) was that she lacked balance — enjoy vegetarian enchiladas and bread, but make sure that's not all you're eating.

Alley being on the cover of People made TrèsSugar ponder the media phenomenon of celebrity weight loss as entertainment. Be sure to weigh in on the discussion here: Bad for Women? Celebrity Weight Loss as Entertainment.

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VeeKeeTee VeeKeeTee 8 years
the public attention is not doing her any good. she also needs will power
traciepwns traciepwns 8 years
@tsp I totally agree about the Oprah interview - it was odd. I have no idea how she thinks she's going to be bikini ready in 6 months. I follow her on twitter and she mentions the 'mystery diet' but never comes out and says exactly what it is. Loosing more than 1-2lbs a week is unhealthy, so I have no idea what this 'miracle' diet is.
whyweight whyweight 8 years
I feel Kirstie's pain. Oprah's too. I lost 30 pounds more than a year ago and in the past six months have gained back 22. Definitely emotional eating on my part, and no real portion control. Am making changes though. Developing tools to combat the emotional eating and I'm on an excellent diet plan now (day #5) -- the same one, in fact, that Mel B talks about (& she looks fantastic!!) in the very same People mag issue that Kirstie's on the cover of. It's called Freshology and their foods are amazingly delish. Oh yeah, I'm going to change my language from "lost" weight to "let go" of weight. Might be a total mind game but if it's lost, it can find me again. If I let it go, it can stay gone. At least that's the plan.
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
i agree with deanna024, the first thing she should work on is her self esteem and self perception before anything else. overweight does not equal digusting.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
sundaygreen: It's not psychological hoo hah. And I agree with you on some things more than you realize. If I want cake, it *could* be because the cake is there. What I was saying before is that's not always the case. Personally, if I actually want *cake*, and not just any sugar, then I will have cake - and I will eat as much as I want. By the time I am full, I don't want any more of it. [When I want things, I know why I want them - that's why nutritionists and trainers tell you to keep a food diary about what and WHY you are hungry, so you can tell whether your body is missing some nutrient in food or is wanting a particular food. You eat better when you understand why you're hungry and what you need. Like I said, this isn't junk science.] That's all I'll say about this. Specifically to Kirstie, she's not ready [mentally, emotionally] to lose weight. When you are ready to make those changes permanent in your life [and that's something only YOU can do], you will be successful at losing and keeping weight off. It's kind of sad she has to do it in the public eye, though I guess she thinks it keeps her accountable - like Oprah. *shrug*
TammyO TammyO 8 years
Willpower or no willpower, Kirstie Alley is pretty darn fat and she should get off her keister and start running some laps/eating less butter. End of story.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I'm not going to go into psychological hoo-hah here, but when I said willpower I'm going by the dictionary's definition: Willpower: the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior. Synonyms: self-control, self-will. So, if I wanted to lose weight and I exercised a bit of self control / discipline, I'd choose vegetables over creamy pasta. It's a pretty basic concept, no? And I don't know about you but I don't typically overeat or make bad food choices because I am CRAVING anything specific - I'd eat a piece of cake because it tastes good and it's available to me... but if I'm trying to fit into my favourite pair of jeans, I won't eat the cake. I guess that's something Kirstie Alley just can't do, that was my point.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
miss molly: No, I don't disagree with the word choice. There is evidence to back this up, and the idea just doesn't make logical sense. What people term willpower, as you said in your example, is typically thought of as resisting/denying yourself certain foods while we are craving them. We have cravings for a reason. When you are in tune with your body [and I'm not saying you aren't, this is just a general thing], you know what it actually means when your body wants something. If I ignore what my body is telling me, then I am not "using willpower", I am denying my body what it needs - I am not taking care of my body. We have the same cravings for salty things, liquids, spicy things, etc. If I am craving chocolate cake, I am not actually craving chocolate cake per se [the cake is simply the most vivid way my body can come up with something to satisfy the need], I am craving something sweet and sugary. Because I [and most people, but maybe this isn't everyone] would have the same type of craving with related foods - ice cream, cookies, candy, etc. What you should be asking yourself is "why is my body wanting sugar?" When your body is low on sugar [which it needs for energy so you can do things, with the exception of medical conditions like diabetes], it craves things that have TONS of it. Your job is to manage the craving by giving yourself what your body needs - the sugar. So, instead of getting chocolate cake, which has added fats and other things that are NOT what your body wants, you get it something that is sugary and sweet with no extra stuff - like an apple, or anything else you can think of. Maybe I am strange because I don't crave particular foods, I want what they provide. The body certainly doesn't know the difference between sugar from chocolate cake and sugar from fruits - sugar is sugar, and sugar is fuel. This is the same thing with liquids. People "crave" sodas, and they "resist" the "temptation" to drink one. You are not resisting anything - your body is thirsty. You are probably getting dehydrated. What your body needs is a liquid to replenish itself - what's it made out of? Not soda! You give it water because it's what your body *needs*, not as an alternative because you are denying it soda. Maybe none of this make sense. It does to me, but I can't speak for anyone else. It doesn't take any resistance on my part, I guess, because I don't look at it as denying myself chocolate cake in favor of an apple - what the foods are is irrelevant, it's what I need from food that I am concerned with. I approach it as, "huh, my body wants something sweet and sugary. I must be tired. What do I have on hand that will truly satisfy that need?" It may sound New Age-y or like I'm splitting hairs, but it makes much more sense and is an easier way to keep yourself healthy. You get to a point where you don't want things like chocolate cake much anymore - but if you do, and YOU KNOW IT'S CHOCOLATE CAKE, and not just any sugary or sweet thing, then have it - as much as you want! If that kind of craving happens all the time,'re not listening to your what you body actually wants.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've known plenty of overweight vegetarians. Most of them are that way because they substitute carbs for meat instead of protein, which is what they SHOULD be doing. Nuts, tofu, tempeh, soybeans, lentils, etc. should be what you're eating with your vegetables; not pasta and white rice and cheese. I'm not a strict vegetarian, but I also don't really eat a lot of meat, so I try to get my protein from sources like nuts, beans, etc. As for Kirstie, I think she's just got to admit that she is addicted to food. She even said on Oprah that she moved all her workout stuff out of her dining room so she could have dinner parties again. IMHO, that's like self-sabotage. She talked herself out of having a pretty nice setup in her house that would make staying in shape easier. And by going "off" JC and gaining all the weight back just reinforces the fact that those pre-packaged meal plans do NOT teach you how to eat. Even Valerie Bertenelli says she's still thin because she's still on the program. If she stops buying the food, will she gain some weight back too?
tylergrl33 tylergrl33 8 years
I totally agree w/ lil miss molly. i have been a vegetarian since i was 14 and even then i would come home from school and make myself a gardenburger with no bread and a side of rice pilaf or a vegetable. shes almost 60 and she could easily afford a nutritionist to tell her about this. i think its an incredibly smart lifestyle if you use your head and make the right choices. of course pasta w/ lots of butter & cheese combined w no exercise will make you fat.
deanna024 deanna024 8 years
I don't know if she's done this yet, but Kristie needs to get into therapy. Look at this quote from when she stepped on the scale the first time: "It said 228 lbs., which is my highest weight ever. I was so much more disgusting than I thought!" She labeled herself "disgusting." Yeah, sure, she's overweight. But disgusting? That's extreme and there's a lot of self putdown going on in her head.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
also, i'm a vegetarian and a runner. the key is to keep yourself nutritionally balanced. when i first started vegetarianism, i was just eating vegetables and carbs. i later discovered soy products and the versatility of some dairy. keeping yourself nutritionally balanced is the key to being satisfied, which includes complex carbs, lean proteins, etc.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
margokhal - i have to disagree. willpower totally does exist, and a craving for chocolate cake usually won't be satisfied with an apple. for example, yesterday i had a small bowl of ice cream. it was great - i wanted more. i didn't have any, because i had had some the day before, and i was a little over-full. i did still want more, but i was definitely more than nutritionally satisfied. sometimes i do overindulge, but sometimes i can keep my indulgence to an indulgence. also, in and of itself, choosing an apple over ice cream would require will power. maybe it's just the word itself that bothers you?
stargazer25 stargazer25 8 years
Seems like Kristy didn't deal with the "inside" or emotional stuff she had going on when she was losing and after she lost the weight. Hopefully this time around she will deal with it.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
@michlny - such a good point! I love me some Chelsea.
tsp tsp 8 years
i thought her oprah interview was...odd. she was talking about being bikini ready and doing a tri in the fall. even oprah told her she was being unreasonable. and honestly, she's promoting some big diet plan/secret that she claims she figured out. she'll reveal that in the fall, too. then they shot this whole scene on oprah of her taking the gym equipment out of the garage and putting it back in the house. don't know how much time passed between that and her on-set interview, but oprah asked if she was actually using it again and she admitted she wasn't. the whole interview was just so weird.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
There is NO such thing as "willpower". This has been repeatedly proven in psychological research. It doesn't even make logical sense. "Willpower" is simply denying yourself what you're body is asking for. Your body is not asking for chocolate cake, it's asking for energy and sugar b/c it's tired. So get an apple instead. THAT'S NOT BEING WEAK-WILLED. Just making bad eating choices! Argh, that's one of my pet peeves.../rant. That's not even what Kirstie Alley's story is about. She made bad choices and misapplied what should be a really good lifestyle diet. That's it. Thanks Fit for pointing out that eating a vegetarian diet doesn't mean just cutting out meat and eating everything else you want!
lizzie008 lizzie008 8 years
It's really easy to be a fat vegetarian or vegan. It's also really easy to discover new flavors, textures and ways to cook. Eat the rainbow.
michlny michlny 8 years
Chelsea Handler was hysterical about Kirstie's cover....she questioned why she should be glorified and given a cover of People just because she ate! :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
see that's kind of a common faux pas - that people think that they can sub carbs for meat. i've been a veggie for over 16 years and i've never really had that problem. for me, there are a lot fo foods that you can eat that aren't carbs and fatty cheeses and stuff. maybe if she had a nutritionist to show her what to eat to get protein etc instead of eating carbs...she'd find that a veggie diet is ok.
Sundaygreen - I have to agree. I have often been slightly overweight and I have to struggle to lose and maintain. But when I do lose, as I'm doing now, it's because I've been really on point with my willpower. For some people being slim comes easily, but for many other people it takes hard work. But that's nothing to cry about. Getting an education, a promotion, a house or even your morning coffee all take effort. Unless you have a thyroid problem, the only surefire weight loss is changing your life for the healthier.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
she has no willpower, that's her problem.
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