To many people, the thought of changing their diet is a daunting task, even though they know that it could improve their health. A few simple mindset changes might be the place to start on a path toward a healthier diet including a whole food plant-based diet (WFPB). This way of eating is centered around eliminating processed foods and animal products, and adding more whole plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and beans.
Instead of thinking about what you are leaving off your plate, make it about what you are adding on. Cut that chicken breast in half and add an extra vegetable or a serving of beans or whole grains onto your plate. Substitute lentils for meat in a pasta sauce or soup, and try to eat a salad everyday. Just about every food has protein in it, so you don’t need to worry about adding a few meatless meals into your week. Chances are you probably already eat a few meals that are plant-based.
Never say never! If you tell yourself that you can never have a certain food ever again, that will be stuck in your mind and could lead to bingeing. If you give yourself permission to have something that you really want, it will keep you from mourning the loss of food that you really liked, and surprisingly you might not feel as tempted. If you are going to eat something that you are trying to avoid, make sure you really enjoy it! After all, it’s what you eat the majority of the time that has the most effect on your health.
Another very powerful step is to think about why you want to make some changes. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to prevent or manage a chronic disease? Maybe you just want to feel better. Knowing your end goal can give you the incentive and the power to take charge of your health. Finding your motivation for making some changes can help you stick with it. Every small change you make moves you toward better health, just take it one step at a time.