The time has come. You’ve finally decided that getting healthy and staying that way is in your best interests. Eating right and exercising is the accepted way to accomplish that. The exercise part will take will power, but you can get started by making a change in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are proven to be healthy, nutritious foods, and your new lifestyle should include as much of these as possible, but choosing the right kinds of fruits and vegetables in the right amounts is important. Here are some tips for eating a plant based diet.
What Is a Plant Based Diet?
Eating a plant based diet means the majority of your daily intake of calories comes from plants. It doesn’t mean a strictly vegetarian diet--there is no need to cut out meat completely--simply increase the proportion of fruits and vegetables to meat.
If you begin eating a lot of fruits and vegetables in place of junk food, you’ll more than likely see a tremendous increase in energy. Bulky, fat-filled junk food diets are loaded with saturated fats that literally weigh you down. As you replace those foods with the much healthier fruits and vegetables, your body will begin to rebuild itself. It won’t take long before you notice significant changes in how you feel, and the increased energy level will make exercising easier. Eating a plant based diet will help in other ways, too. There are studies that point to the fact that eating more fruits and vegetables may actually help reduce the risk of cancer.
Limit Processed Food
In order for your plant based diet to be as effective as possible, you should cut back on processed foods as much as you can. The additives and preservatives included in a lot of processed foods are counterproductive to the benefits of eating a plant based diet. Another reason to substitute fresh fruits and vegetables for processed foods is that a lot of the nutrients in those fruits and vegetables that make them a healthy choice in the first place are removed by processing them.
There is no need to make a sudden, complete changeover from your previous way of eating to a plant based diet. It may be better to ease into it by cutting the portion size of the meat you consume and taking an extra helping of beans or having a slice of whole wheat bread instead. Adding a few strawberries, blueberries or sliced bananas, to your breakfast cereal is also a good starting point. A couple of times a week you can replace the high sugar content cereal you’re probably eating now with a whole grain cereal. After a while make the transition complete by eating whole grain cereal every day. Once in a while substitute a nutrition bar for your present mid-day snack, and then gradually replace it altogether with carrots, an apple or some sort of trail mix. Every so often make an entire meal of plant based foods. Going without meat altogether isn’t really necessary, but as the old saying goes, "everything in moderation." After a while you won’t even notice that you’re eating less meat.
By starting small and increasing the amount of plant based foods in your diet, your body won’t complain as much and the transition to a healthier diet will be easier. As you increase the amount of plant based foods, your body will adapt and you can begin to make an even bigger changeover. The result will be a healthier body. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and be able to exercise frequently and more vigorously, which will speed up the process of becoming healthy ever more. The hardest part may be taking that first step, which is making the decision to become healthier, and choosing a plant based diet is a proven method of doing that.