The issue of losing "too much" weight on the OMS diet is a frequently-asked question by those who follow the program. Although specifics vary according to individuals' circumstances, this topic is worth addressing nonetheless.
What is “too much” weight to lose?
We know that the average weight keeps on rising, with the USA leading the way; the average weight for women in their 20s has increased by 13kg (29lb) since 1960.
A Gallup poll found that the average American man’s weight was up 7kg (16lb) since 1980 to 88kg (196lb), and women’s up 6kg (14lb) to 70kg (156lb).
But the really interesting finding from that poll was that people’s perception of normal has also moved. The weights people stated as their ideal had shifted almost as much as their actual weights – men’s were up by 6kg (14lb) and women’s up by 4kg (11 lb).
And despite being over their ideal weights by these figures, most people reported that their weight was ‘about right’.
(2) In our culture we’re used to seeing skinny models – in a weird stylised magazine world – but not skinny normal people, unless they’re unwell.
But thin does not necessarily mean weak or unwell. Plenty of people around the world, in a variety of countries, cultures and life circumstances, manage to be physically strong and durable whilst appearing to be quite skinny. Perceptions aside, another thing to remember is that weight loss will probably stabilise.
Increase your good fats
Firstly, remember the OMS diet is not a low fat diet – it’s a low saturated fat diet. Here’s what George Jelinek once said:
“There is no real limit to the amount of fat we should be consuming. Remember it is not a low fat diet, but a low saturated fat diet. That said, if you eat a plant-based wholefood diet with seafood, it will be really hard to eat a high fat diet, almost impossible unless you eat bucket loads of avocados, nuts and oily fish every day. Most people just physically can’t eat that much of that sort of food because it fills you up so much.”
So it’s okay to double-up on the flax seed oil, increase your nuts, seeds, avocados and oily fish if you feel you are losing too much weight.
Eat protein-rich food
If you’ve been used to eating ‘meat and two veg’, it’s important not to slip into just two veg. This is a common way of feeding a large, hungry family, particularly in western cultures, but we can look to countries around the world for ideas.
For example, India has around 500 million vegetarians, and perhaps the most sophisticated and ancient vegetarian cuisine, based on the ancient medical understanding of Ayurveda.
Dishes often use anti-inflammatory spices and flavourings which complement the flavours of vegetables and grains. Vegetarian Indian meals will always include a dhal or pulse dish, rice, a vegetable dish, and a chapati or pure. Always try to include a source of protein - pulses are a cheap and filling way to do this.
This may seem obvious, but is very important for keeping your strength up nonetheless.
Exercising for muscle mass
This subject deserves its own post, so here is one called ‘No Meat Athlete’ by a vegan athlete Matt Frazier. Here he talks about the method he found effective to increase muscle mass as a vegan, managing to put on 7kg (17lb) in six weeks. It’s also really important, especially if you are new to a veggie/vegan diet, to maximise your digestion. For the time being, all the best!