Page by Emma Anderson
How to Stay Motivated on a Plant-Based Diet
Going from the standard UK 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’s easy to lose motivation when trying to make the 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. In reality, the diet is actually helping their bodies to heal and recover by eliminating the waste within the body. You’ll feel worse BEFORE you feel better.
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 Diary
Keeping a food diary 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 good 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 leaves 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 very easy to whip up tasty vegetarian dishes at home. You’ll find out that it’s not very 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 for the most part. You’ll discover that vegetarian dishes are much faster to prepare and are very gentle on your wallet too.
It would be a good 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’s 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.
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?
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 21 Day Challenge
Last but not least, commit to a goal of 21 days. Don’t panic if you don’t see results in the first week or you think it’s not working out for you.
Give yourself 21 days. Contrary to popular belief, a good habit takes longer than a week to form. 21 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 21. You’ll have more energy, and experience a sense of ‘lightness’ and youthful zest.
Once you get to day 21, you’ll realise that adopting a plant-based diet was one of the best moves you ever made and you’ll never look back.