GETTING STARTED WITH A PLANT–BASED DIET (NEXT STEPS)
So you’re gonna adopt a Plant-Based Diet!
Great. Good luck, soldier! Alright, let’s do this. I would encourage you to follow our recommendations here:
#1 Eat Real Food
If you’re going to be a vegetarian, eat actual vegetables. Don’t make it about what you are not eating (meat). Make it about what you are actually eating (plants).
That’s why I’ve been using the term Plant-Based Diet. I want you to actually eat plants. Don’t let the fact that an Oreo is technically vegan make you lose sight of the fact that it’s highly processed and full of sugar.
Eat a Plant-Based Diet.
#2 Calories and Macronutrients Still Count
Cutting out an entire major food group does not guarantee you will lose weight or be healthier. An Impossible Burger has more calories but less protein than a regular beef patty.
Vegan does not equal “less calories.”
Calculate how many calories you will need to make your goals (you can do so right here), and then make a plan on how to follow through.
#3 Prioritize Protein
Animal products are calorie for calorie the best sources of protein. You will have to put in extra effort to think about how you are getting your protein from plants.
Also, you will end up eating a lot more calories trying to match the same amount of protein as found in meat (remember there are more calories in beans but less protein than chicken).
Every meal you eat should have a solid source of protein: beans, lentils, oats, tempeh, etc. If you are strength training (which you should do), this is even more critical.
Consider a protein powder like pea, rice, or hemp to add protein with minimal calories attached.
#4 Meal Planning For the Win!
Everyone should meal plan.
If you’re trying to lose weight or just be healthy in general, knowing where your next meal is coming from is really important.
If you are going to cut out a major food group, this is hyper-OMG-please-be-careful-critical.
I will again mention that the American Dietetic Association’s states that Plant-Based Diets can be healthy if they are “well planned.”
#5 Add Variation
I mentioned earlier, that if you allow eggs and dairy, eating a Plant-Based Diet becomes much easier. You simply have more options to choose from when it comes to what to eat.
Perhaps allowing small concessions with a Plant-Based Diet – like eating eggs – will make your diet more manageable and sustainable. This could be better than going vegan for 30 days and then giving up.
Make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. There are things like B12 that just don’t find their way into plants.
That’s why the Mayo Clinic advises those following a Plant-Based Diet to get checked for “vitamin B-12, iron, ferritin, calcium and vitamin D.” Statistically, vegans come up often as deficient in these vitamins and minerals.
I believe that all of us should eat plants (sorry, Carnivores, you won’t get me endorsing you fully). Fruits and vegetables are packed full of nutrients your body needs to thrive. So no matter which way of life you pick, eat plants!
Do some push-ups.
And, ah, be nice to each other?
Debates on how we should eat can often get heated.
Which can be understandable, because of the passion and ethical considerations driving people’s dietary choices.
However, I’d recommend acting curious towards the other side. I wouldn’t recommend tying your identity to a style of food, but rather tying your identity to “I’m a curious person that learns new stuff and tries new stuff all the time.”
No matter how someone else eats, don’t turn your nose up against them.
Be nice, and let them do their thing. This can be true for veganism, Paleo, Keto, or an Intermittent Fasting protocol. If someone is trying something new, don’t immediately put them down for it. You may legitimately learn something from someone else’s way of life.
Which hey, is a pillar of our philosophy here at Nerd Fitness: “Question everything.” Including the way you eat compared to others.
I think that about does it for my advice on eating a Plant-Based Diet. In summary, stick to REAL food and think about a supplement or two.
Want some help going forward from here? Well, since you’ve been nice this whole time, I’ll give you my top three recommendations for next steps:
#1) Our 1-on-1 Online Coaching program: we have many clients who consider themselves vegetarian/vegan and we’ve helped them make better food choices, stay accountable, and get healthier.
You can schedule a free call with our team so we can get to know you and see if our coaching program is right for you. Just click on the image below for more details:
#2) The Nerd Fitness Academy – This self-paced online course has helped 50,000 people get results permanently.
There’s a 10-level nutrition system, boss battles, 20+ workouts, and the most supportive community in the galaxy!
#3) Join The Rebellion! We have a free email newsletter that we send out twice per week, full of tips and tricks to help you get healthy, get strong, and have fun doing so.
I’ll also send you tons of free guides that you can use to start leveling up your life too:
- Follow our 10-level nutrition system at your own pace
- What you need to know about weight loss and healthy eating
- 3 Simple rules we follow every day to stay on target
Now, I really want to hear from you! I know there are many vegan and vegetarian folks in the Rebellion.
Can you share with us your experiences?
Tips and tricks you follow to make it work?
Any go to plant-based recipes?
I’d love for the comments here to be a place where we can share honestly and openly.
For the Rebellion!
PS: Seriously, be nice. The internet has enough people being mad at other people they’ve never met.