Let me say right now, a plant based diet is scientifically the most beneficial diet on the plant for your health and the environment and this article is not about changing your mind on eating right. Last time I did a eye catchy tag line, I was roasted because people didn’t even read the article. Read on please because we all know there are factors in all the choices we make that can lead in a wrong direction even when we are walking the right way.
The first danger in keeping any diet, even a healthy one, long term is getting into a rut. Eating the same foods day after day with limited variety is usually not a safe bet for optimal nutrition. When we first start a diet, we are excited about the positive change we are making. We learn all kinds of new recipes, trading them with friends, and posting them on social media. Then we start to get overwhelmed by all the options or we just get so busy we just recycle a few chosen favourites. We can avoid this danger by refreshing our recipe box. Another way to bring newest to life to a diet stuck in a rut is to share it with someone else. When we share the benefits of a healthy diet, we become rejuvenated ourselves.
The second danger in keeping a diet is the guilt or emotional stress when you make a mistake or if you get bored or tempted to cheat. One study revealed many vegans return to their old diets. It’s not just because they become disenfranchised with it’s benefits but rather they feel bad when they fail, they and eventually just give up all together. When we put undue restrictions on ourselves and others, we create a poor environment for change. Some are even mean about those who fall of the diet wagon and criticize them.
That leads me to the third danger in keeping a diet, getting married to the idea of it. When we make a diet part of who we are, we can becoming pretty critical of others who have a different view. We can find ourselves putting down other healthy diet options that may not be as good but are still better than most. There is NO ONE diet that meets everyone’s needs. When we make food a god, we are in real danger of hurting those we love and even ourselves.
The best way to deal with the last two dangers, is to keep the long term objective in focus. Why did you start the diet in the first place? What benefits does it have? Are you eating it in the best way, i.e. with variety, proper calorie intake, etc.?
I fell into all three of these traps. I am refocusing and recommitting myself to eating a plant based diet. Many of my long term viewers know I’ve been a flexitarian for a couple years, but today I am renewing my resolve to finding more variety in my low FODMAP diet while keeping it plant based.