How to Stay Motivated on a Whole Food Plant-Based DietsWritten by Lisa Q Lorimer
Losing your motivation is a very real roadblock many folks face when they're trying to make a healthy change. Luckily, there are ways to sail through the rough patch and get on your way to change. If you're losing steam on your whole food plant-based diet, read this.
The Full Story
You’ve been eating a whole food plant-based diet for months now. And you’ve seen the results, first hand. Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels dropped, you cut back on your meds, you stopped having to take your daily ibuprofen, your jeans fit better, and you’ve been sleeping through the night for the first time in years…and waking up rested!
But this change didn’t come without its challenges. It can be difficult to go out to eat with friends and order the vegetarian or vegan diet option while they enjoy an old favorite: a cheeseburger and fries. And it can be trying to come home after a long day and have to prep and cook a fresh, unsweetened plant-focused meal when you know you could just order takeout.
But don’t fall for these excuses.
You’ve made it this far; the hard part is over. Most people make the same mistakes over and over again. When their shoulder starts to feel better they stop going to physical therapy and relapse. When their cold symptoms dissipate they stop resting (and it takes 5 times longer to heal). When they drop 10 pounds, they stop eating healthy and gain the weight back in a matter of weeks.
And then comes the “it didn’t work for me” excuse, when it DID actually work, you just stopped when you started seeing results.
So how can you stay motivated on whole food plant-based diets? Here are a few of my tried and true tips and tricks:
1. Get inspired by others
When it comes to keeping up with plant-based diets, the first line of defense: spark your inspiration. Watch plant-based transformation stories on YouTube. Whether they survived cancer or dropped 50 pounds, each story will help remind you WHY you decided to go whole food plant-based — to heal, to thrive, to prevent. After all, WFPB diets really do work, and seeing how well they’ve worked for others can give you the motivation you need to let them work for you.
2. Inspire yourself
Record a video or write a letter to yourself. This is most effective when you speak to yourself from a point of sickness. Explain to your future self how you feel, what you struggle with, and why you want to get better. Is something driving you towards change? Perhaps you want to be alive to see your grandchildren graduate. Maybe you want to walk your dog without running out of breath. Say what you need to fully express your qualms with your current state of health. Then when you are feeling uninspired because making dinner seems overwhelming and fast food sounds much easier, watch your video or read your letter.
3. Educate yourself
Movie night! Cuddle in and watch an inspirational movie about the benefits of a whole food plant-based diet. Movies like What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, Cowspiracy, Plant Pure Nation, and Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue are not only educational, but entertaining.
Not much of a movie buff? Read a few chapters from a book like How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, The China Study, How Not To Die, Whole, The Cheese Trap, Forks Over Knives, and Proteinaholic. All great reads. All chock full of inspiration to keep you plant strong.
Just have a few extra minutes? Watch a Youtube video by Dr. Garth Davis, T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn, or Dr. Michael Klaper to get more digestible content on the science and statistics behind a whole food plant-based diet. Or use these resources to chase down answers to whatever questions you might have regarding plant-based foods and vegan diets. Learn about animal food vs. plant food, the dangers of refined grains and processed foods, or anything else that interests you. These facts may come in handy later when your brother-in-law asks you where you get your protein if you don’t eat animal products...
4. Get creative
A lot of the time, food is our biggest motivator. If you’re computer savvy, go to Pinterest or plant-based recipe blogs to find some delicious new (non animal-products based) recipes. Use Google to help you find exactly what you are craving and learn to make it with healthy plant-based ingredients! If you’re more of a book person, buy or rent a vegan or vegetarian cookbook and get to it! Once you satisfy those cravings, you may find it’s not so hard to stick to a whole food plant-based diet after all. Feel accomplished, feel proud, feel satisfied.
5. Join an online support group
Always remember, you’re not in this alone! Veganism in America has grown by 600% since 2014. Thousands of people are going through a similar lifestyle change. Even if your friends and family aren’t supportive, you DON’T have to do this alone. There are hundreds of online support groups designed specifically for those transitioning to a WFPB diet, where members share recipes, stories, articles, struggles and success stories. Do the MamaSezz 2-Week Plant-Based challenge with a close friend or family member! That way you can lean on each other for support, and create some amazing dishes together.
It's normal to experience a slump when you're first transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet, or making any major lifestyle change
Get inspired by others
Get support online!
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