Thoughts after switching to plant-based
Before anyone reads this just know that I did not switch to plant-based by choice I had to cut out meat because I developed an allergy to certain meat proteins. I didn’t do it to lose weight!!
I have been paleo/low carb for over three years
I still think that the low carb/paleo lifestyle is the most efficient way to lose weight. I lost around 30lbs and kept it off with this lifestyle (I am 5’8 and fluctuate between 125-130lbs).
that being said, after switching to plant-based (mostly vegan with occasional dairy yogurt) I have noticed certain benefits of this lifestyle and can safely say I enjoy it as much or more than being paleo. So for any of you wondering what diet is best for you, I can give you certain pros/cons of both that I have discovered from personal experience.
Pros of being plant based:
- More energy: This is the biggest thing I realized when I started to eat more fruit/veg- people can say what they want about fat being used as fuel when eating low carb and what not but I have never had as much long-lasting energy as I do now.
- More variety: Veganism SEEMS very restrictive but in fact I’ve found more of a variety eating vegan than eating paleo. Yes there are many different types of meat/ways to prepare meat but there are also so many more varieties of fruits/veg that are constantly going in and out of season and are changing. Plus, on a plant-based diet, you don’t have to be wary of high-carb, starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans and legumes which adds a whole new dimension to the foods you are eating
- Able to eat more: In order to get full off a plant based diet, you have to eat A LOT of fruits/veggies. I’m talking a full watermelon, giant bowls of salad, tons of grapes/cherries/blueberries/raspberries, a bag of carrots/a cucumber/a bunch of bananas etc. which are full of vitamins/minerals to nourish your body.
- Don’t have to be afraid of carbs: While I was eating low-carb I got into this carb-phobia phase where I was afraid if I ate too much fruit/too many starchy vegetables I would spike my insulin and ruin my diet. While this is true, it’s not something you have to worry about on a plant-based diet. As long as you are sticking to low GI fruits/veggies and making sure to stop eating when you are full, there’s no fear of ‘knocking yourself out of ketosis’ or over-eating, which is pretty much impossible to do.
- Digestion: The main thing I noticed when switching to plant-based was digestion improvements. The increase in fibre really settled my stomach, anyone looking to become more ‘regular’ should consider a plant-based diet.
- Cheaper: Meat is one of the most expensive things you can buy at the grocery store. Before going vegan I would spend 70-90 dollars per week on groceries (I loved my steaks) but that number has reduced to almost half (30-40) since adopting a plant-based lifestyle.
Pros of being paleo
- Protein: You get A LOT of protein when you’re eating meat 2-3 times a day, this is AWESOME for building/maintaining muscle and minimizing fat gain. For anyone trying to bulk up/gain definition a paleo diet is for you
- Satiety: Meat/fat in general is VERY satiating. You don’t need too much to feel full for a loonnggg time. Just make sure you are listening to your body and not over-eating or eating huge amounts
- Simple: The paleo diet is restrictive but because of that it is simple. Meat nuts, water-based vegetables are go-to’s and make it very easy to plan out meals. There is always something paleo to eat at restaurants and going to other people’s houses to eat is not a concern at all, paleo staples are usually available anywhere you want a meal
- Badass-ness: Okay let’s be real, there’s nothing more bad-ass then showing up your guy friends by downing a 16oz. steak… Just saying…
- Water Weight: Because carbs bind to 2x as much water in your body as protein, you will notice a large decrease in water weight when initially going paleo. It’s satisfying to see a lack of bloat and more defined muscle, at least for a time. Going low-carb a few days before a beach day is a foolproof way to look your best