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weight concerns

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Old 07-29-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
enver rhysen
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enver rhysen HB User
weight concerns

I have a BMI of 16.2. I'm 5'0 and I currently weigh 83 lbs. I've always been thin but over the last 4 years my diet changed from being a carnivore to a vegetarian and finally to a following a vegan diet and lifestyle. My family and friends are concerned that I am "too thin" and may be placing my health at risk. I'm wondering if its possible to still be healthy and maintain a weight of 80-85lbs while following a vegan diet. I personally think my health is fine but out of respect for those I love I thought it best to get some advice.

Last edited by enver rhysen; 07-29-2009 at 02:13 PM. Reason: incomplete

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Old 08-13-2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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Re: weight concerns

Being underweight is generally considered to be an increased risk of health problems, such as lower resistance to infections, slower wound healing, heart problems (not generally the same ones that obese people have), thyroid problems, hair loss, lack of fertility for women, bone loss / osteoporosis.

The usual guideline of BMI 19 to 25 suggests that, for your height, a weight of 97 to 127 pounds is the "healthy" range.

However, when gaining weight, include some muscle building exercise so that you gain some muscle, instead of putting it all on as fat, which can result in the "skinny fat" condition ("normal" weight, but high body fat, which is not healthy either). However, some body fat is necessary; the American Council on Exercise suggests that the minimum essential body fat for women is 10-12%, usually only approached by athletes; the amount in women with good fitness goes up to about 24%, though up to 31% is "acceptable".

A vegan diet is likely to be deficient in vitamin B12, which (in modern rich countries) only comes from animal source foods, fortified foods, and supplements. Vegan food sources of vitamin D other than fortified foods are uncommon, so if you do not get enough sun exposure on your skin, then that may be a concern. Vegan calcium sources include several types of green leafy vegetables and tofu made with calcium sulfate. Women have a higher iron requirement than men, but are less prone to eating high iron foods; eating vegetable foods with iron along with vitamin C containing foods increases the iron absorption.

Last edited by tjlhb; 08-13-2009 at 08:15 AM.

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