We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it – because they do.
The goal of a wfpb diet isn’t actually to diet. Dieting involves restricting and going hungry. Instead, when you have a plant based diet plan, the only goal is to get as many fruits and veggies into your body as possible.
Let’s discuss why you don’t have to worry about overeating when you have a plant-based diet. Imagine in your hands, 300 calories worth of potato chips (my junky food of choice). Three hundred calories would roughly be two large handfuls. I could eat that in 20 seconds. I would probably then eat two more large handfuls. And then one more.
Compare that to 300 calories of broccoli. Three hundred calories of broccoli would be difficult to consume. Imagine three large full-sized heads of broccoli. They would barely fit on a full-sized dinner plate. If the broccoli was cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces, it would fill an entire serving-for-six serving bowl. You would have a very difficult time eating 300 calories of broccoli in a day.
Your body’s fullness chemical processes (that tell your brain that you are full) evolved when people ate only fruits, vegetables, and meat. Maybe in another million years of eating junky stuff our body will evolve to feel full on 300 calories of potato chips, but it isn’t how our body is currently designed. Our fullness-meter is triggered with food volume. Eat MORE fruits and veggies.
Eat More Plant Based
Focus on eating more plant based foods. The goal again isn’t to stop eating junky food. It is to get full, and build a habit and taste preference for eating the good stuff: the wfpb diet with a plant based diet plan.
Right now you may not enjoy eating fruits and veggies. You may be habit-trained to crave highly processed and extremely salty, sweet, or soaked-in-fat foods. The goal isn’t to BREAK yourself of old eating habits. It is to slowly, drip by drip, introduce your body to the good stuff. You do this by having a plant based diet sample menu (enter Card Salad’s Eat Well program!) and using our plant based foods shopping list. It really is for beginners, but it isn’t a traditional plant based diet plan. You start GRADUALLY–eating foods that you are used to eating, and slowly incorporating the principles of a plant based wfpb diet. The key is SLOW! Habit stacking!
It is completely normal to not enjoy the good stuff if it is less familiar to you. Just take a few bites each day. You will be AMAZED at what a daily habit will do for you. Slowly your body will not just get used to the flavor of fruits and veggies, it will grow you PREFER fruits and veggies. Your body will want the good stuff. That is a good day when you realized that you are ordering the veggies on the side over the french fries, not due to discipline or restriction, but because that is what you PREFER!
We also need to introduce one of the basic principles of Intuitive Eating. (For a deep-dive into the topic, read the classic Intuitive Eating book by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole.)
Today you are going to practice feeling your hunger. Throughout the day, regardless of whether you are eating or not eating, eating veggies or lunches or potato chips, check in with your body and ask yourself this question:
1-10, what is my full or satiety level?
- A one would be absolutely starving.
- A four would be, “I’m kinda hungry.”
- A six would be, “I’m neutral.”
- An eight would be, “I’m satisfied.”
- A ten would be, “I couldn’t put in another bite. I feel overstuffed.”
You don’t need to DO anything with your hunger level ratings today, just notice your levels throughout the day.
I don’t know where fruit got its bad name. Somewhere along the decades of dieting news, it was introduced that fruit has sugar in it, therefore is bad for you. Challenge this thinking whenever it crops up. Stop the rules in your head that have you counting calories and restricting and obsessing and weighing.
Fruit is wonderful! Blueberries, frozen peaches, baked apples. Yummmmm.
If you have ever wanted to try a 5 day plant based diet, here is your chance! We invite you to download our 7-day Eat Real Foods Challenge. Enjoy!