Common Mistakes with Plant-Based Diets

Switching to a plant-based diet is such a wonderful way to live a healthy, balanced
lifestyle. It is good for your health, cost effective, and even helps save the environment.
However, some people rush into this diet change too fast, and don’t realize some of the
mistakes they are making.

Here are some of the more common mistakes of starting a plant-based diet that you
want to avoid.

The All or Nothing Mentality

The first mistake people often make with a plant-based diet is thinking they have to go
all-in, or not at all. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Unlike a vegan diet, there is a
lot of flexibility with the plant-based diet. You don’t have to make a decision to either
remove all animal products from your diet, or follow a standard American diet.

Many people who are on plant-based diets still consume meat, fish, or eggs, but far less
than they used to. The most important thing is that you incorporate more whole, plant-
based foods into your diet, and that it is healthy and sustainable for you.

Failing to Balance Your Nutrients

This is not just a mistake made with plant-based diets, but most major dietary changes.
You are not used to choosing a completely different category of foods, so you often
leave out important nutrients. It is yet another reason why instead of first removing
foods from your diet, focus more on adding them. Maybe you decide to add kale and
berries to your morning smoothie instead of just protein powder and almond milk, or you
add a side salad to your dinners so you can get more greens and veggies.

With a balanced diet, you are getting a good amount of all nutrients. You don’t just need
to worry about getting enough protein and iron from your plant-based diet, but also
vitamins like B2, B12, folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, and so much more.

Eating Too Few Calories

Make sure you are eating enough calories! Many people switch to a plant-based diet,
and don’t realize how much less they are actually eating compared to their traditional
diet. Meat and fish tends to be higher in fat and calories than plant-based counterparts,
so even though you will be eating more carbs, you also need to focus on getting enough
calories to fuel your body.

If you begin to feel lethargic, low energy, or moody when you switch to the plant-based
diet, try tracking your calories for a couple days to see where you are at.

Using Too Many Processed Foods

If your new diet consists of a lot of convenience and processed foods, it is not really a
plant-based diet. Plant-based does not just mean to eat less animal products, but to
incorporate more whole, clean foods that are plant-based. Plus, you will save a lot of
money when you focus more on whole foods and cooking, as opposed to packaged and
convenience foods.