I’m often asked why I eat a mostly plant-based diet. My husband made that change almost five years ago when he was diagnosed with early prostate cancer. Rather than follow through with the conventional medical treatment options, he chose to improve his health by first changing his diet.
But my story is a bit different. When I met my husband, I outweighed him by 25 pounds. When he first asked me out on a date, I decided that I either had to lose some weight or just not date him. I opted for the former.
But I’ve always had to work at managing my weight.
When my husband made the decision to eat differently, I was determined to continue with the fairly healthy way of eating that I’d developed over the years. I would make our meals, then proceeded to add my chicken, cheese, or other dairy to what was served. Pretty soon, I began forgetting to add the chicken, was too lazy to get up and get the cheese to sprinkle on my entrée, and all but gave up making eggs for breakfast.
As my husband says, I messed around the creek bank and fell in.
Slowly and carefully, I started losing weight—without even trying. Over the course of a year and a half, I finally lost that dreaded final fifteen pounds that I could never take off.
Somehow, making the shift wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. In fact, it’s much easier as far as the meal prep goes. Even more important, though, are the other benefits I’ve experienced:
- Managing my weight is no longer a problem. That doesn’t mean I can eat whatever I want, but I don’t find myself wanting to eat excessive amounts of anything—even the foods I used to love. And my weight almost never varies by more than a few pounds.
I have more energy than I used to. I rarely feel the sluggish feeling that I used to when I would indulge in processed foods. Which then makes me tend to want to eat those foods less often.
Plant-based foods ARE satisfying. I used to think that people who ate mainly a vegetarian diet ate less because the foods they were eating just didn’t taste good enough to eat much—that they were bored with eating plant-based foods. It wasn’t until I was eating the same as my husband that I realized my body felt more satisfied with less. When I ate more processed foods, my body actually wanted more because I wasn’t getting the nutrients I needed.
These were just a few of the benefits I experienced. It’s amazing what happens to your body when you shift to a plant-based eating plan.
I still break from total plant-based eating from time to time, but I find I enjoy my food much more when I am following a plant-strong eating plan. Knowing that I am making healthier choices gives me a great feeling—not deprived—and is very motivating.
Question: What healthier eating choices have you made and how have you benefitted? Share your answer in the comments below.