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Attempting a vegan diet, obese, high BP. History of insomnia. Taking magnesium supplement. Suggest?

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I need to get healthy. Attempting a vegan diet, currently obese, blood pressure is (as of today) 148/92. I don't know where to begin. I have had a history of sleeping very little (3-4 hours nightly) but that seems to have resolved itself by taking magnesium at night (supplement). I am currently sedentary, no energy to exercise.
Posted Wed, 7 Aug 2013 in Weight
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 1 hour later

I congratulate you on your effort to get back in track. The fight against obesity revolves around a change in lifestyle, mainly following a low carbohydrate, high protein healthy diet that allows you to eat 3 meals with 2-3 snacks in between. there is a saying that says you should have a kings breakfast, a knights lunch and a beggars dinner, that is very wise in the sense of decreasing caloric intake as the day goes by, given normal cycle of hormones. weight loss is a gradual quest that needs the aid of gradual exercise, initially starting low at 15 minutes a day and increasing by 5 minutes every 1-2 weeks so you can achieve a minimum of 150 minutes a week. 80% of that should be aerobic and you need to leave a little time for muscle endurance since muscle burns fat.

Hope that helps as a jumpstart feel free to ask questions. Yours,

Dr Brenes Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Attempting a vegan diet, obese, high BP. History of insomnia. Taking magnesium supplement. Suggest? 1 hour later
Dr Brenes-Salazar I appreciate your response to my question. My follow up question is this; you mention a high protein, low carb diet, any suggestions for a person who is eating as a vegan? When you mention carbs, do you mean carbs such as pasta, bread, and rice? Vegetables and fruits are also carbs, which carbs do you mean?

Any suggestions for healthy protein? Could you clarify your suggestion for low carbs? How many calories should I eat in a day?

Thank you,

Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 21 hours later

Thanks for the follow up questions. Let me address them:

1) In terms of particular suggestions for a vegan include taking a B12 supplement and good quality vegetable protein (see below)

2) Yes, you are correct, the carbs you need to really cut down are those from pasta, bread and rice; the less you have of these the better; the amount of these types of carbs you go down, try to go up the same amount in terms of salads, fiber and fruits, as well as water, to help your body with satiety. Carbs from fruits and vegetables are healthy and represent a much lower energy source when compared to the other complex carbs

3) For a vegan, high-quality soy products are the best source of protein

4) A diet of 1800 calories should be ideal, while you are already doing aerobic activity gradually; what you want to do is to have a caloric deficit of 500 calories a day (for example consuming 1800 and spending 2300 calories in all your metabolic processes including exercise).

Hope that helps. Wish you the best success in your endeavors, remember to take things one day at a time,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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