5 Myths of Plant-Based Diet
What comes to your mind when you think of a plant-based diet? Let us debunk some of the myths associated with such a eating-habit.
#1: It is the same as vegetarianism or veganism
A plant-based diet focuses on eating foods primarily from plants. Foods eaten include fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, wholegrains, legumes and beans. It does not mean that one does not consume meat, it simply means one chooses to focus primarily on plant-based food. On the other hand, a vegan diet completely excludes all animal products in the diet and often lifestyle while vegetarian diet can include eggs, dairy and sometimes fish.
#2: It is difficult to consume sufficient protein on such a diet
Consuming less amounts of meat does not mean that you are going to suffer from protein deficiency. Protein is found in all food. Food like whole grain pasta, fruits and vegetables also contain some amount of protein. It is impossible to not get the required amount of protein if one is eating a balanced diet.
#3: It is expensive
If your diet is mainly made up of foods such as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds then it can actually be cheaper than a typical meat heavy based diet. Ultimately, this has got to do with choices and budgeting. For example, only indulge in expensive plant based food like vegan cheese, faux meat and yogurt occasionally and in small amounts. This will not only assist in keeping cost low but also getting the necessary nutrients from the natural plant based food.
#4: All plant-based food are healthy
Not all plant-based foods are healthy-healthy. If something comes in a package, we ought to read the ingredient list carefully. The more C.R.A.P (chemicals, refined sugar/flour, artificial additives, preservatives) it contains, the less healthy it is. Hence, what we can do is to look into consuming more whole food.
#5: It is not very filling
In fact, people feel less hungry on a whole food plant-based diet than a typical diet people normally consume which is low in fiber and high in sugar. A plant-based diet can be satisfying and makes one satiated provided it is a well balanced one.
Do you perhaps feel like making a switch to try out Plant-Based diet?
We know starting is always the most difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some ways which would make your switch to a plant-based diet as easy as ABC. Consider this as a fun challenge so it wouldn’t seem like a chore to you.
#1: Substitute plant-based for animal based product, don’t eliminate
If I were to ask you to go away with your plate of chicken rice, you might be upset. Instead of removing the protein entirely, substitute with plant based protein like legume. Legumes contain beans (all kinds), peas, peanuts, lentils, soybeans and other soy based products like tofu or tempeh. They are not only good sources of protein but high in fiber as well.
#2: Surround yourself with healthy food
Most of the time, our willpower will never be stronger than our environment. We cannot eat what we don’t have. Browse through the kitchen, give away the food that does not fit in your diet plan. Don’t keep it just because you bought it because our body is not a trash bin. The next step to take would be to stock up your kitchen with heaps of fruits and vegetables, potatoes or rice, beans or nuts so healthy foods and snacks are always a few steps away from preparing.
#3: Surround yourself with like minded people
As aforementioned, our environment is such a strong determinant towards our success. We are highly influenced by the people around us. One can go onto social media for example to join facebook groups to start to interact with people of the same frequency. One such group that we can join is Bulbs Healthy Eating Group where all things healthy are shared such as healthy food and exercises that other people do.
#4: Create new habits
Keep your dream and vision in mind but accept yourself where you are at. Life is about perspective and our thoughts have a huge impact on our actions. Our life is predominantly determined by our belief systems that we have built over the years. In order to adopt a new set of habits, we need to discard our old belief system and that means learning, relearning and unlearning. We need to educate ourselves with a new set of information. It starts by taking baby steps and slowly but surely, one is sure to achieve what one set out to do.
#5: Free yourself from counting your calories initially
When your body is getting used to a plant-based diet, some people may experience an increase in meal size. Depending on what they used to eat and what kind of plant-based food they switch to. Especially if they are on a high protein processed food diet and they are eating those lesser density vegetables or fruits. Counting calories might not help and you might feel deprive instead let your natural hunger and satiety be a gauge for you to see how much you will eat. The main point about plant-based diet is to switch out the unhealthy processed food for more natural goodies.
At the end of the day, don’t forget your why. When you feel like not sticking to your plan, ask yourself this question, why did you start it in the first place? When your why is strong enough, you can find your how’s and sticking to the plan would be a much bearable process. Most importantly, enjoy the process!