The Do’s and Don’ts of a Plant-Based Diet

If you are looking for a little more guidance in what to do or not do on your new plant-
base diets, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

Do: Start By Adding More Whole Foods to Your Diet

One thing that is great to do when you are starting a plant-based diet is to begin adding
more whole foods to your diet. This is a really easy first step that doesn’t change your
current diet too much, but helps you understand what your new plant-based diet is
going to be like. Start slow by making sure you have fruits and vegetables with every
meal, or nuts, seeds, beans, or grains if you prefer.

Don’t: Try to Be a Perfectionist

When you try to be perfect from the very first day of being plant-based, you tend to get
stressed out because it can be an extreme lifestyle change. This is where so many
people go wrong not just with plant-based, but any new diet. Get away from the idea
that you have to go all in and be completely perfect. Take slow, steady steps and focus
on your long-term results, not changing overnight.

Do: Focus on Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Just like with any other diet, you want this to be more of a long-term lifestyle change,
and not a quick fix. Why have you decided on a plant-based diet? This can help you
figure out what steps to take in order to change your lifestyle, not just what you eat.
Maybe that means adding in regular exercise, going to the farmer’s market every
weekend, or cooking at home more.

Don’t: Make Weight Loss Your Top Priority

While many people do lose weight on a plant-based diet, you don’t want this to be your
main focus or the only benefit you are hoping to get from it. Even if your goal is to lose
weight, put that to the side for now. First, you want to get used to the plant-based diet
and changes that reduce processed foods and animal products. Once you are
accustomed to this way of eating, you can then look at your calories and portions, and
make adjustments to help lose some weight.

Do: Eat a Balanced Diet with Foods You Love

Try to choose foods you already enjoy with a plant-based diet, instead of incorporating
all new foods you are not familiar with. Sit down and write down all the foods that you
already eat and are also plant-based. Maybe you don’t like dairy much, so you always
have an almond milk latte, or you like to have sliced strawberries with your morning
breakfast. Incorporate more of the plant-based foods you love, instead of feeling like
you’re missing out on what you can’t eat anymore.