Note: this page has been updated in July 2023.
How to stay motivated on a plant-based diet
Going from the standard American diet to a plant-based diet sounds easy and exciting in theory… until you try it out and discover how difficult it really is. While you’ll gain immense health benefits from a plant-based diet and your spirit may be willing – the flesh may be weak. It can be difficult sometimes, however, to be successful we must work on how to stay motivated on a plant-based diet.
It’s easy to lose motivation when trying to make a change. Very often, you’ll have to battle a sugar addiction that you didn’t even know you had. Your body which is so used to processed food will have sudden cravings for them.
You may even fall ill or experience flu-like symptoms as your body begins the self-cleansing process and tries to get rid of all the toxins that have built up over the years.
Many people falsely believe that the plant-based diet is making them sick. So, they quit. The diet is helping their bodies to heal and recover by eliminating the waste within the body. You’ll feel worse BEFORE you feel better. No matter what, we must stay motivated on a plant-based diet to be successful.
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to take things slowly. Start off by eating more fruit and vegetables with all your meals while you gradually reduce portion sizes for the other foods.
Slowly eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet. Then work your way up to having 1 entire day dedicated to plant-based meals. Over a few weeks, aim for two to five days until you’re able to handle an entire week on a plant-based diet.
From then on, it’s just a matter of maintaining the habit and lifestyle.
Keep a Food Journal
Keeping a food journal to record down the foods you eat, and your meal timings is imperative to making progress. What gets measured, gets managed – and you’ll be able to track your progress.
Do note it would be a clever idea to write down how you feel 2 hours after a meal. While vegetables are good for your health, everyone’s bodies are different.
You may notice that some vegetables like cabbage or broccoli leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable. Some people are allergic to pineapples or other fruits.
Stick with the foods your body agrees with and eliminate the plant foods that negatively impact your body’s constitution.
Use a Recipe Book
A recipe book makes it quite easy to whip up tasty vegetarian dishes at home. You’ll find out that it’s not quite easy to be on a plant-based diet if you’re constantly eating food bought from restaurants, food carts or other eating places.
Seasonings, additives, etc. used in these foods may contain hidden animal fats and so on. So, it’s best to cook your own meals at home. You’ll discover that vegetarian dishes are much faster to prepare and are very gentle on your wallet too.
It would be a clever idea to look for eating places that cater to someone on a plant-based diet. If you’re busy at work and have no time to cook, you’ll be able to buy a meal from these places.
If you’re going out for a social event, you may choose to either eat before you go, or check ahead of time if the place serves vegetarian meals. This will make it a lot more convenient, and you’ll not be caught unaware.
Reducing inconvenience is one of the best ways to stay motivated. You don’t want your plant-based diet to control your life.
What is Your Why?
Sometimes, it may seem like a struggle that doesn’t seem to end. The food cravings and initial struggle may be too much to bear but you must stay to and determine what is your why! If you do not know your "why" it will be difficult to stay focused.
In most cases, it’s a mental game. You’ll need to analyze your thoughts and actions. Why did you get started? To improve your health. Lose weight? Stop feeling lethargic all the time? Overall, you must look at the benefits of a plant-based diet
Once you know your ‘whys’, you’ll know what you’re sacrificing if you quit. So, keep going. If you don’t want to start all over again, do not quit.
The 90-Day Goal
Finally, commit to a goal of 90 days. Aim to be on a plant-based diet for 3 months. Don’t panic if you don’t see results in the first month or think it’s not working out for you.
Give yourself 90 days. Contrary to widespread belief, a good habit takes longer than 21 days to form. 90 days is enough time to make the plant-based diet a habit.
Your body will get used to the diet and you’ll look better and feel like a brand new you by day 90. You’ll have more energy and experience a sense of ‘lightness’ and youthful zest.
Once you get to day 90, you’ll realize that adopting a plant-based diet was one of the best moves you ever made, and you’ll never look back and you will stay motivated on a plant-based diet.
It is time to take control of your diet and your life!
The Forks Over Knives Plan shows you how to put this lifesaving, delicious diet into practice in your own life. This easy-to-follow, meal-by-meal makeover is the approach Doctors AlonaPulde and Matthew Lederman (featured in the documentary) use every day in their nutritional health practice—a simple plan that focuses on hearty comfort foods and does not involve portion control or worrying about obtaining single nutrients like protein and calcium. Now you can make a conscious decision to change your health and why a plant-based diet is beneficial to accomplish that goal.
Whether you’re already a convert and just want a dietary reboot, or you’re trying a plant-based diet for the first time The Forks Over Knives Plan makes it easier than ever to transition to this healthiest way of eating…and to maintain it for life.
Below are other great resources that will help you get on the right track.
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