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Plant-based diets? Do they really work?
Firstly, what is a plant-based diet? Well, a plant-based diet is any diet that derives from plant sources. These usually include fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, legumes, nuts and meat substitutes such as soy products. However, some people that do follow plant-based diets also have some animal products or meats, such as eggs, meat and fish. However, while focusing on main food that caters to a plant-based diet – this is referred to a semi-vegetarian or a flexitarian.
However, people that follow plant-based diets are consuming a wide variety of fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains, will find it much easier to reach the five-a-day target. Due to this, they will consume more nutrients, therefore have good intakes of fibre, vitamins and minerals that are present in plant-based foods. However, it is worth noting that “plant-based diet” doesn’t automatically mean “healthy” especially if the individual is consuming processed and packaged foods.
But how can you ensure that you are getting all the nutrients that you need?
When following a plant-based diet there are some key nutrients that you should focus on. These include protein, vitamin B12, the vitamins and minerals needed for bone health including calcium and vitamin D as well as the essential omega-3 fatty acids. As many of these nutrients if not a “flexitarian” they will be hard to incorporate into your diet; due to the lack of meat – which is nutritious to the body in terms of protein, fibre, omega 3 fatty acid and numerous other nutrients. However, if following specifically to a plant-based diet you may need to source nutrients from fortified foods such as fortified plant milk, spreads and cereals. However, sometimes supplement support is a good way in which to receive these nutrients – these can also be plant-based supplements so you are “sticking” to your diet! But if this is something that you are taking into consideration please contact your GP before you do so.
How easy is it following a plant-based diet!?
Plant-based Diets are like any other diet - Hard to follow unless you are motivated! However, replacing foods and easing into diets will be the perfect way to get involved in a plant-based diet! But we know following a Diet is a tough task! Especially if you are busy and always on the go! Therefore we have some tips to help you stick to you plant-based diets, Please find them below and happy dieting!
Tip #1 – Find the motivation to start your diet!
Since you made it to our blog post, you must be at that stage in your life where you are ready for some major changes, something new! Now, set some goals, clear goals that you are able to achieve when hopping on a plant-based diet. Why is a lifestyle change important to you? You may want to improve your health, mental clarity or try to treat a kind of disease. This doesn’t matter however clear goals and a bit of determination will help you through the toughest of times.
Tip #2 – Start small and make your way up the ladder
Diets are hard, there is no doubt about it. The cravings for chocolate or the evil voices in your head telling you to get a takeaway – But starting small is a brilliant way to ease into the lifestyle. If you are changing your diet drastically you might want to start small. You can do this by incorporating more plant-based foods in your diets, such as fruit and veg or flaxseeds and brown rice. However, we don’t restrict, we replace! Replace Junk food with fruit and veg during the day, experiment and you will reap the benefits of a plant-based diet!
Tip #3 – Educate yourself!
Learning more about your body and the different variations of foods that you can incorporate in your diet will improve your lifestyle and will in hand allow you to stick to your diet easier! There are also amazing documentaries like Forks over Knives, Food Inc. or Hungry for Change. This will also motivate you and makes you remember why you’re doing this.
Tip #4 – Keep things fun and exciting!
The same old diet can get boring from time to time, sticking to the same 4 meals a week will reduce your motivation. So next time you are in the supermarket look for assortments of fruits, look up plant-based recipes on the web – Look at numerous documentaries on dieting! Use your imagination and you will be on the right track for your diet!
In conclusion, a plant-based diet is like any other; for the means of a diet to work, you need to be motivated by the external and intrinsic factors. Like many diets, plant-based diets are hard to stick to, but with the rights mentality and use of our tips, you should be in the right spot to smash it! But do they work? This is a vague question, it all depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to improve your lifestyle with an increase in nutrients and vitamins, yes, it does work! But with this again comes problems. However, all diets will “work” in the right circumstances – Stick to a diet that is both rewarding and fun and exercise alongside and you will reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle!