So I want to just hit this topic hard and to the point “Keeping it Real” on a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. Many people will struggle to meet their goals on a whole food plant diet and then give up blaming the diet. Whether your goal is to lose weight, get healthy, get lean, improve your athletic performance one thing remains constant; keep it real!
What are the most unhealthy parts of the Standard American Diet? Fat and Sugar are the worst, along with processed foods; that are at a basic level fat, sugar, and salt. So you can fall into these same traps or “pleasure traps” with a whole food plant diet. You can load up on natural sweeteners that are loaded with sugar, snack on nuts and avocados, loading your stomach with fat!
I like to look at it like this…if you have a tall glass of Orange Juice a few times a day, you might as well drink 3-4 sodas! Here is why, when you drink fruit juice or orange juice for this example you are getting the sugar from approx. 6-8 oranges, you most likely will not eat 6-8 oranges in one sitting 3-4 times a day. Now lets look at oil and use good ol’ Coconut Oil as an example. Lets say you use 1/4 to 1/2 cup throughout the day cooking or baking, you would have to eat approx. 4-5 large coconuts in one day to get that amount of fat from actual coconuts. So if you keep your ingredients “whole” then you will not fall into the trap of these calorie dense foods.
So if your goal is to lose weight, get lean, and eat healthy; keep it real! Stick to whole ingredients when you are planning your meal. If you want to lose weight watch your daily intake of avocados, nuts, nut butters, and natural sweeteners. I am not saying avoid these, go ahead and plan a meal and include an avocado, then serve 4-6 people and you are spreading out the fat calories among 4-6 people, same idea with a fruit salad, share it so you are not eating too much sugar in one sitting.
When eating a plant based whole food diet, try to mix things up and eat a variety of Veggies, Fruits, Legumes and Whole Grains…and keep it real! Take an honest look at what you are eating, if you are not meeting your goal, then you are not doing something right. A great idea is to keep a food journal so you can look back on the week and see where you need improvements.
Here is a great article that covers this concept in-depth: