Dieting with Obstacles - IBS and vegetable hating

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01-03-2009, 10:51 PM
I'm trying to lose about 40 pounds... My goal used to be 20 until I stopped working for health reasons and gained weight from being inactive. (Didn't help that my mother lied to me and said the scale was off by about ten pounds when it was actually accurate, so I didn't realize how much weight I'd really gained).

Anyway my problem with dieting is that I can't eat vegetables. It's not because I'm picky or because my parents didn't make me eat them. They did force me to eat them until I was 18.

Unfortunately, EVERY vegetable, and I've tried tons of them, makes me gag. I've heard about people who have overly sensitive, or too many tastebuds, so this can be a problem for them. For me to swallow a forkful of peas I would have to swallow a glass of milk with them to cover up the taste.

It doesn't matter how they're cooked, it doesn't matter if you listed 30 different vegetables for me to try. I've tried them. And I've gagged on them.

I eat fruit... apples, strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, etc. But most diet plans and diet meal suggestions have vegetables as a side dish or an ingredient and I can't eat them.

Another problem is that I usually eat once a day (and have one snack) because I have IBS and generally, eating makes me feel sick and have cramps. So I don't take in very many calories a day. And when I do take them in, they're usually all in one sitting. I realize the problem with this, and I've tried to eat more often and take in more than the 800 a day (or less) I probably take in daily.

But if I start increasing my calorie intake now, to a healthier amount... won't that make me gain weight?

(I do anywhere from 40-90 minutes of taeobo or turbojam every day).

So add up the hate of vegetables, the IBS, and the amount of food I eat (or don't eat) I have a lot of obstacles to over come for losing weight. And I can't seem to find a way to get over any of them :(

01-03-2009, 11:31 PM
I really think with so many digestive and dietary obstacles, that I'd recommend, if at all possible (even if only for one visit) to visit a certified dietitian, if it's a hospital-affiliated dietitian, even better.

I also have IBS, and though I love vegetables, they don't love me (at least some of them). For me, the aversion of veggies was because of the pain they caused me. I've learned some tricks (because like many health paradoxes fruits and vegetables worsen IBS symptoms in the short term, but help reduce symptoms in the long term). The secret is in gradually increasing servings. Some folks do better with cooked veggies than raw (assuming you can eat them).

Grinding veggies and putting them in meatloaf, nut breads or mashed potatoes often works for veggie-phobic folks. My hubby hates almost every veggie except cauliflower and broccoli (I've never known any other veggie-hater to like one of the most bitter of veggies). I did a lot of "hiding" veggies in plain sight. I had the advantage of not telling him until after the meal was over (if he didn't ask) that there'd been veggies in the meal. It's kind of hard to do for yourself, because you know what's in there.

Hubby will now eat many veggies in soups, if the veggies are diced small, and the soup has at least some meat in it.

There are several books on amazon for hiding veggies in foods for kids (and adults) who hate veggies. But, because veggies can aggravate IBS, especially if eaten in large quantities, again I'd recommend talking to a dietitian first. She or he might have suggestions and recommendations, both for weight loss and for the IBS symptoms.

01-04-2009, 02:26 PM
Well, if you hate veggies, you hate veggies; so that will be an obstacle, but I do think that you can work around it. Do you like soup of any kind? Like tomato, mushroom, chicken noodle, and so forth; even if they are cream of soups, you can just add water or no-fat skim milk to lessen the overall calories, but you actually don't need to worry about that, since you are eating such low amounts now.

When you say you hate all vegetables; I suppose you mean salads too? When we were children, we had sensitive tastebuds (and I have sensitive smell too) and the bitter taste of many veggies made us gag too. My mother would add a bit of brown sugar and butter to them to make them taste a tad better. As I have aged, my tastes have changed and now I like many more veggies that I hated as a child, but I prepare them in a tastier way too.

Do you like tomato juice or V-8? Many people who hate veggies like these juices and sub a cup of them a day to get some veggies in them and to use as fillers; and soups are great fillers (for low cals) too. I was wondering why you are only eating one meal a day; my sis does that becuz of IBS. I used to have severe IBS, but it is much better now.

I have cut down my dairy amounts (sure this contributed to it); measuring small portions and cutting fat down on everything may have helped and also increasing my fiber intake which soaks up the excess water associated with loose stools has helped too. I made these changes slowly over time.

It took a while, but I only have the fox trots once a week or less now. I have to watch not to eat too much of my trigger foods which are dairy, chocolate, and fat. It's the amounts that make the difference. Yes, I eat many more veggies now, but I have learned to like them and prepare them with seasonings to make them taste better for me.

Many people here have learned from experience that if they eat too little calories, their bodies won't allow them to lose weight. The body kinda fights back trying to preserve itself. You do need to increase your calorie intake; it is too low.

You may need to incease your caloric intake slowly, and increase your exercise to increase your metabolic rate to help you lose weight. Walking is very good for this; you need no equipment and it's free. You can start off just walking and eventually increase to speed-walking later on, to burn more energy when you increase your food intake.

I agree with KAPLODS about seeing a dietician; ask your doctor for a reference to a hospital dietician as they are covered by OHIP in Canada. They often have some great tips that can help you as well. I would suggest taking a daily vitamin with minerals if you don't eat vegetables.

01-04-2009, 02:54 PM
Another thing to consider is that it does pay to keep trying veggies in lots of different ways. I think we think of our taste as being sort of a permanent feature (like eye color), but tastebuds can change dramatically, not only with practice (eating foods that are unfamiliar and even odd tasting to you), but just over time.

I recently discovered (after not having them for many years) that I now like brussel sprouts, after hating them for over 35 years. I also found out that fresh unsweetened cranberries are not nearly as tart to me now as I remember them being before.

Gagging is often a phobic response to "forcing" yourself to eat something against your will (or better judgement), so you might have more luck with vegetables, if you look at tasting them as an adventure. Also, if drowning the raw or cooked veggies in mounds and mounds of dip, dressing, butter, melted cheese, gravy.... allows you to eat the veggies - go ahead and do it. If you find you can eat veggies this way, then start backing off the sauce. Even if it means a few weeks of not trying to lose weight, but rather to teach yourself to like some vegetables (it does make losing weight easier, and definitely has health benefits).

I think the health benefits of vegetables make it worth the effort to keep trying them until you find a few you like. Even if you have to hide or cover them in some ways.

As long as you're eating virtually no veggies, you probably do need more supplementation than a daily vitamin, because a daily vitamin can fill in the gaps of a mostly balanced diet, but they can't compensate for eliminating an entire food group. That's why I suggest you see a dietitian, so she or he can advise you on which supplements can at least partially compensate for living veggie-free.

01-04-2009, 03:08 PM
I will second most of what the other posters have added.

I have Crohn's and colitis so I can literally feel your pain. I was never a vegetable lover but I do tolorate some, but not all. and I enjoy the ones I can eat and I wll eat alot of them (salad for one and I choose field/spring mixes for better nutrition). I think many of us with some form of IBS have dicovered foods that just don't agree or make us feel bad (sick) after eating. My big one honestly is ice cream. I will NEVER eat it while I am out and I can't leave home if I choose to have it at home. So in truth in my old age I almost never eat it anymore because the discomfort associated with it is not worth the taste or frankly the inconvience. I still take the kids to the local farm but I just don't feel the need to participate. Parmasan cheese is another food I just can't eat....

One meal a day is not good for you on many levels aside from slowing down the matabloizm it also is really bad for an IBS gut because the gut needs a steady stream of nutriants and bulk passing through and not eating can cause the IBS to flair up (self digestion) as can over stuffing the gut where it just can't process the amt of food passing through at that one time (uncontroled bowels).

If you are not a big eater, try adding in a suplimental drink, ensure, sustical (dairy free)are both good and have solid nutition, as a full meal relacement skip the slimfast, it has too many chemicals for IBS. If you can tolorate fiber supliments (go slowly) they are a good replacement for the fiber in veggies too. I have trouble with suppliments, some i don't digest at all and some pills I can't break down, gel caps seem to work well and children's chewable vitimins, the kids like flinstones so that is what I am using now.

I am not one for hiding veggies in food but looking at the overall nutrition is a good idea. with some help maybe your GI person/general practitionoer may have a suggestion/referal for a nutritionist that won't tell you you have to eat the things you hate or upset your stomach, but will teach you how to replace them with things that work for you.

I can't tell how old you are but the other thing to pay attention to in how you are feeling is the hormonal cycle. I had to finally give up on birth contol pills because they would set my C and C off, pregnacy was easy but post partum was a nightmare as the hormones went wild. I seem to be steady into my late 30's and 40's but I am not looking forward to menopause.

I don't want to preach, but take some time to listen to what your body needs and what you can digest and find the ballance.

Also calorie counting might just be the right plan for you, Calorie king, fit day, sparks people, all free and you never have to eat what you don't like or what you can't digest.

Good luck and BTW :welcome: to 3FC!!!!

01-04-2009, 05:44 PM
I have IBS and have just been told that I should avoid all raw vegetables and fruits! So what else can I eat? I don't like them much anyway but I could eat them at least twice a day to assisit with weight loss but now my doc says "better to avoid them" AY! Now I'm depressed

01-04-2009, 06:04 PM
Supliment! easily digestable kids vitmines will be essential. you still need the nutriants even if you can't get them from food.

Just so you all know, when the Dr. Ask you to not eat these foods it is to give the gut a rest. it does not mean FOREVER especially if there are things you like. Cooked veggies and fruits should be OK after you are feeling better. if you tolorate that, you can try adding in one raw veggie/fruit at a time and how you see how you feel. remember that seeded fruits are not going to be your friend. think Blackberries, rasberries, seeded rye, course mustard, the seeds tend to get stuck in the infected areas of the gut and cause a lot of pain and even infections.

01-04-2009, 06:20 PM
From what I understand on the colitis IBS boards I've visited, if you've got Crohn's disease, colitis or other inflammatory bowel disease (as opposed to irritable bowel syndrome) the foods that irritate are often more consistent, but with IBS, one person's trigger food can be ok for someone else. You've got to experiement, and sometimes the easiest way to do that, is to eliminate all fruits and vegetables and then start trying them one at a time - first cooked, and then raw.

For example, I know people with IBS that have no problem with lettuce, despite not being able to eat any other raw veggie. While for me, lettuce is a big trigger (too bad I love it so much) and I can eat a small salad occasionally without trouble, but if the salad is too big or I have a small salad too many days in a row - yikes I feel like someone is trying to yank all my innards out through my bellybutton.

My uncle can't eat raw fruits or vegetables, but he can get in his five servings, if they're cooked (but they have to be cooked to absolute mush).

Fruit is definitely a problem for me, if I eat more than two small or one large pieces a day. I recently ate 3 cups of fresh blackberries (hey, the were only $2.99 for a 12 oz box at Sam's Club) for breakfast. I knew it wasn't smart, but they were sooooo good. I had to change my plans for the day (shopping) and stay home to be close to the potty.

01-04-2009, 07:56 PM
From what I understand on the colitis IBS boards I've visited, if you've got Crohn's disease, colitis or other inflammatory bowel disease (as opposed to irritable bowel syndrome) the foods that irritate are often more consistent, but with IBS, one person's trigger food can be ok for someone else. You've got to experiement, and sometimes the easiest way to do that, is to eliminate all fruits and vegetables and then start trying them one at a time - first cooked, and then raw.

This is true, it is because for each person with IBS there is a different area that is "infected" each particular inch of the colon, frm small to large takes care of pulling out specific nutirants. if you can't break down those blackberries/lettuce by the time it "hits" the spot it causes irritation. if small amts work because it is not too much for the body to deal with, all the better.

And another point of interest, one of the reason so many peolple with IBS (crohn's and Colitis too) who are not in an active state, is because we eat a high fat, hi carb diet because it goes down easy and is part of what they call a low residue diet, the problem is it is not healthy long term and it can be difficult to change the way we want and need to eat to stay healthy. I think in the long run it was why WW was not good for me long term and veggies are free, but it was a BFD for me cuse I can't eat that many of them which made me so hungry all the time :)

01-04-2009, 08:06 PM
Lower carb (or maybe a better description would be almost no sugar/starchy carb yet lots of veggies and maybe a little fruit) eating really has helped me get my IBS symptoms get under better control. My digestive tract is still pretty unpredictable, but it now tends to be more often of the inconvenient (must find a bathroom immediately) variety than of the severely painful (please God, just kill me now) type.

01-05-2009, 03:51 PM
I have IBS and have just been told that I should avoid all raw vegetables and fruits! So what else can I eat? I don't like them much anyway but I could eat them at least twice a day to assisit with weight loss but now my doc says "better to avoid them" AY! Now I'm depressed

I'm not sure how much help I will be of to you, since I don't know much about IBS, but I can't eat pretty much any raw vegetables or fruits either. I have severe environmental allergies, and because many fruits and veggies have similar proteins in them to other allergens, I can't have them. I have to avoid apples, bananas, strawberries, bananas, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, melons, lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, and probably a few other things that I'm not recalling right now.

Pretty much every pre-made diet plan out there has lots of salads and fruit for snacks, which I can't have, so I've pretty much made up my own. I still eat fruits and veggies as snacks, but I don't eat any raw, because then my throat swells shut and I get to ride in the disco bus. (My term for feeling better about riding in an ambulance.) I'm sorry if I end up suggesting something that you can't do, like I said, I don't really know anything about IBS.

I eat a lot of roasted vegetables. Most cookbooks have a chart on how long to roast for and at what temperature. I will make a snack or a mini meal out of roasted mixed vegetables. My favorite is a mix of broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini, sometimes with corn or eggplant mixed in. I just toss them in a small amount of olive oil and herbs and spices. Occasionally I shred a little bit of fresh parmesan over them.

Baked apples were good when I could have them. Unfortunately at this point I react to even cooked apples now. But if you can have them, bake a couple up and sprinkle with splenda and cinnamon - kind of like apple pie but without a crust.

I put cooked frozen spinach in a lot of dishes, especially pasta to up my veggie count. Canned pumpkin can be mixed into a lot of things as well. You can make some pretty good muffins by mixing a box of cake mix with a can of pumpkin and scooping them into muffin cups. Pumpkin and squash go well in soups as well.

I get a 100% fruit spread and eat it on low calorie (35 calories per slice) toast.

I know that's not a lot of ideas, but hopefully you can use at least one of them. I know that it seems to be a lot of cooking, but what I do is to cook big batches of things like roasted veggies, baked fruit, soups, and muffins, and then portion them out into snack-sized portions and freeze. In the morning I just have to grab a few from the freezer, throw them in my bag, and then microwave them at work when I want a snack...

Good's hard work!

01-05-2009, 04:06 PM
I think the other posters have given good advice on the veggies. I have IBS as well, and I don't have many problems with vegetables. I do take Benefiber 3 times a day (per doc's orders) and things went from night to day when I started doing that. Before the Benefiber I was on colace, which only helped a little. Now I am on both (because of the pregnancy) and still aren't having any problems with the IBS.

I hear you on the veggies though. Around week 6 of my pregnancy, the thought of raw vegetables and some cooked ones made me want to puke. I only started eating veggies again about 1 week ago!