I’ve been a vegetarian for over 27 years. For most of that time, I never focused much on my diet and I remained fairly healthy. Over the last decade or two, my weight slowly crept higher – not to the point of obesity, just to the point where I wanted to do something about it – and I occasionally would fit regular exercise into my schedule until something happened to disrupt that routine, like a new schedule constraint or a short-term minor injury.
Over the last six months, I’ve discovered that I have a much easier time achieving and sustaining a healthy weight by focusing more on what I consume. In particular, I’ve found that by consuming more protein and more water, my appetite is greatly reduced. This isn’t surprising; thirst is easily confused with hunger, and protein is widely understood to be satiating, and also something that carnivores naturally get in higher numbers through casual, unplanned eating. I’ve found a few vegetarian protein powders that work well for me. My current favorite is Platinum Hydro Whey. I found it’s also important to have a water bottle which I really like and which has measurement markers on it. I use a 32oz Classic Blender Bottle, which I fill to 24oz and drink halfway before mixing in one serving (41oz) of the powder. I had a colleague or two who had the same bottle and wanted to easily tell mine apart, so I ordered a few “replacement lids” in UMBC black and gold (technically, it’s Blender Bottle’s “Batman Black” color). After a few months of using a kitchen scale at both home and the office to weigh the powder each time to get the right amount, I’ve switched to a simpler approach of batching the action of weighing the powder; I now fill several 100cc BlenderBottle GoStak containers with 41g protein powder each (which just about fills the containers). This also makes it simpler to mix the powder into the water on the go.
I’ve found this to be an easily maintained and fairly pleasant approach to satiation, and I feel healthier – probably because of the water.
I’m currently experimenting with setting a repeating three hour timer through the day to make sure I’ve had enough protein and water, to curb any buildup of hunger to which I would respond less responsibly.