Yogi diet: Is soy the reason for those few extra pounds?

Tim Miller has a gentle way of suggesting a person could use a pound or two.

He always brings out the Guruji voice, which is disarming to begin with. And it always has to do with the ability to get into a pose (usually a twist):

“Ah… some reducing is necessary.”

Now, I’ll go so far as to say that I don’t think Bobbie nor I need much reducing. Wait, let’s take a few steps back. Two months or so ago, I would not have said that Bobbie or I needed much reducing.

Now, fast forward to today, and what do we find. We’ve both lost somewhere in the neighborhood of five to seven percent of our weight. (I.e. a low of 5 pounds if you weighed 100 to a high of 14 pounds if you weighed 200. Neither of us was at those extremes.) It’s a fair amount of weight, especially given — as I just mentioned — that I don’t think we were carrying a lot extra.

Or so I thought. Why else would the weight drop?

Those of you who have read earlier posts are, I hope, jumping immediately to one answer: “No wheat!”

Yes, as we’ve been chronicling, we’ve cut wheat from our diet. And the weight loss has continued during that.

But here’s the curious thing: It had started before we cut wheat out. When I weighed myself within the first 24 hours of cutting wheat, I was down already at least half of the weight loss. So… it seems like it was something else.

Over the weekend, Bobbie and I think we figured out what had changed: We’d cut way back on soy, particularly in the form of soy milk. And, just as an offshoot of the no wheat diet, that lack of soy milk has continued. (Mainly, less cereal, plus the ongoing switch to water- and vegetable-based smoothies, rather than fruit- and soy milk-based ones.)

Well, a little checking — and we haven’t done anything even close to exhaustive — suggests that humans don’t break down soy very well. Like seemingly everything, maybe soy isn’t so great for you after all. (Sound familiar, wheat?)

Now, do we represent some kind of scientifically valid study? Not even. But it definitely seems like soy is the X factor in our weight loss.

So, if you were thinking about whether you should cut soy out, I’m just saying… it might be worth a try. And if you have do this, did you experience the same result?

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

9 thoughts on “Yogi diet: Is soy the reason for those few extra pounds?”

  1. We were vegetarian for 6 years and for the first 4 or so years, we simply replaced our usual meat proteins with soy. I felt kind of off, and it just exacerbated by migraine headaches. I felt way better when we stopped eating all non-fermented soy. Tempeh, which is fermented, doesn’t have the same ill effects. But tofu is just bad news.

    1. Damned typos!… “my” migraine headaches.

      I think it’s safe to say that the three main monocrops in the US — wheat, corn and soy — which are the basis for most processed foods, are just bad news for our health. No wonder Americans are so unhealthy.

  2. Very interesting, you guys.
    I’m off wheat (well anything that scores high on the glychemic index, really) too, but without soy I wouldn’t really know what to have for breakfast.. I’ve considered going back on dairy… (Uh, poisen!) Any experiences in that department?

    1. Hi Thilde. Bobbie here. Soy has, actually, never been good for eating, except when very carefully fermented (tofu–but I know people who will only eat tofu they make themselves). Soy milk was a good way for us to get off dairy. Now, we soak a cup of nuts (your choice; they’re all good), add 32oz. of water, blend the crap out of it. Presto! Nut milk. Stays good about 3 days. Coconut milk (from flakes) is particularly tasty. If the grittiness bothers you, you can strain with cheesecloth.

  3. thank you both, this is one of the best blogs of ashtanga “out there”. so much valuable information written in amusing way. i’m so happy i found you! personally totally raw food diet does not fit me that well, especially considering the climate where i live in (scandinavia) and the food often works also as a warming up element, but otherwise i try to eat rather healthy and sattvic way. however, due to my intolerance to milk, i have my daily americano done with soy. that’s pretty much my only add-on of soy, occassionally i might eat a tofu meal in restaurant if that’s the only alternative. i’d like to hear your opinion of this as I know soy is the big evil and also as I know you also crave for your cup of joe. hence I consume probably like 1 oz of soy, but I do that every day. is it bad and if, what would you recommend instead as I need my coffee and I prefer it with some milk blended…

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