Top 5 tips for starting a plant-based diet you will absolutely love
March 28, 2024

Top 5 tips for starting a plant-based diet you will absolutely love

Lauren Littlewood

Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in people following a plant-based diet. We've seen everyone from celebrities, to professional athletes, to your next door neighbor decide to give the plant-based diet a try. Is it just another fad, or is there something to it that benefits health?

If there's a part of you that wants to try it and see if it's for you, but you’re not sure where to start, you've come to the right place! Have you wondered what exactly a plant-based diet consists of? Have you questioned the benefits of eating this way, or pondered whether there is there an ultimate source of plant-based protein?

Well, we’ve got you covered! 

What is a plant-based diet?

You might be intimidated by the idea of going plant-based, confusing it with becoming vegetarian or vegan. The truth is, you don't need to be either to follow a plant-based diet. 

Going plant-based just means you eat as many plant foods as possible. Sometimes you may have a piece of wild-caught salmon or some eggs, but for the most part, you avoid as many animal-based foods as you can. 

A plant-based diet is much less strict and rigid than a vegan diet but carries many of the same unique health benefits. Some people use a plant-based diet as a stepping stone toward a vegan lifestyle, and others are just trying to be more plant-forward. It’s really up to you. 

This flexibility is part of what has made a plant-based diet increase in popularity so much in the last few years. 

Benefits of a plant-based diet

Health benefits

In recent years more studies have shown several health benefits to going plant-based. Some show a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes

According to The National Kidney Foundation, a plant-based diet may reduce the mortality rate for people with chronic kidney disease. 

Several studies have shown a benefit to the cardiovascular system for people who follow a plant-based diet. You're also more likely to have better cholesterol levels and are less likely to develop major cardiovascular issues like heart disease.

There is also newer evidence that a plant-based diet may improve your gut health and reduce your risk for some cancers.  

The environment

One of the most common reasons for going plant-based is that you're doing a little extra to help improve the climate crisis. As meat consumption and the human population increases, so does the environmental impact of animal agriculture on the environment. By reducing your animal food consumption, you're reducing your carbon footprint. 

Athletic performance

From surfers to tennis pros, the amount of athletes supporting the plant-based diet just keeps climbing. Many of these athletes report improved endurance and recovery with their training routines, whether they are participating in weight raining or cardio workouts.

With increased studies, demand, and results, a plant-based diet is beginning to look like the way of the future. Only time will tell if this trend continues. 

If all of this has you thinking, “Well, with all of that information, it’s worth a shot… but how can I start?!” we have 5 tips to start a plant-based diet that you'll absolutely love!

Tip 1 - Know your why

The first tip for starting a plant-based diet is knowing your why. Why are you choosing to change your diet to a plant-based one? Are you going plant-based for health, ethical, environmental, or athletic reasons?

Understanding your reason for making a life-changing decision can help you stay true to your commitment. When it feels like it would be so much easier to return to your old habits, your why can be your shining light guiding you forward on your path. 

Tip 2 - Plant-based protein options

One of the most common comments you'll hear as you venture into the world of plant-based diets is… What about protein? 

Lucky for you, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources. Many new brands offer meatless alternatives, so almost any meat you usually eat can be replaced by a meatless option!


Tofu is so versatile when you know how to cook it. You can make anything from an alternative to scrambled eggs to a plant-based fan with it. It just takes a quick Google search, and you can find thousands of delicious tofu recipes. For example did you know silken tofu can be tossed into a smoothie to thicken it up?

Beans and legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and minerals. They are also super cheap and easy to through into most dishes. With the combination of fiber and protein, they will also leave you fulling full and energized. 

Plant-based protein powders

Nowadays, you can find plant-based protein powders to add to a smoothie that is tasty and smooth. The days of chalky protein shakes are long gone, baby. You're living in a world that is stocked full of options!

Tip 3 - Eat the rainbow

Don’t forget about fruits and vegetables! They can actually be packed with protein all on their own. Broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, blackberries, oranges, and bananas have 3-8 grams of protein per serving. 

A plant-based diet is typically lower in calories, so eat up the rainbow! Fruits and veggies of all colors will not just help you get enough food in your body but will supercharge your nutrient intake.

One of the main reasons for all the health benefits listed above is because of the increased fruit and veggie intake when you start eating plant-based. These foods are full of healthy amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. 

The more fruits and veggies you eat that vary in colors and types, the more exciting and full of nutrients your diet is. And enjoying a wide range of foods prevents boredom with eating the same things over and over again. 

Tip 4 - Find your favs

Throw out the idea that your plant-based diet has to consist only of salads (you’re not a rabbit). Salads are great, but why eat them all the time— not to mention the rebound effect that this type of deprivation causes. 

If you follow the salad-only path, you’ll soon find yourself losing control because that isn't changing habits for a healthier and happier life. That's a straight-up crash diet. 

Say you're a food lover or maybe you love to cook… GREAT! It’s adventure time! Exploring new recipes for your favorite dishes or finding new ones to try can be one of the most fun parts of going plant-based. 

If you love tacos— like every Taco Tuesday lover— you need to find a killer plant-based taco recipe that you love to cook and eat. This way, you don’t have to eliminate your tradition. BTW there are some incredibly delicious meatless versions out there that your family will love. 

When you begin to change your eating habits, it is helpful to have recipes ready for your favorite foods so that when you want to eat them, you have a recipe aligned with your new healthy habits and goals and never feel deprived. 

Tip 5 - Have some staples

Sometimes life gets busy. When starting a new way of eating, it's easy to fall back on old habits when you're short on time. Here is where some staples come in handy. 

If you’re the type of person who becomes so entrenched in work that you accidentally skip lunch, keep some plant-based snacks in your desk drawer or with you when you’re working. These can be your backup while trying to build better time management skills. 

If you're the type of person that doesn’t like to cook that’s okay too. There are a lot of simple options that don’t need to be cooked, are quick to make, or come pre-packaged in the freezer aisle. 

Try a protein smoothie instead of your sugary cereal for breakfast. Add spinach and garlic to your grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. How about a veggie-loaded pasta with chickpeas and marinara instead of mac n’ cheese for dinner. 

Wrap up

Changing your habits can be challenging, whether you are looking to improve your nutrition or focus on your overall health. Sometimes you need the support of a professional to help you get back on track after you get a little derailed, or someone who can give you advice as new obstacles arise. 

If you need that extra guidance (like we all do sometimes), trainwell (formerly CoPilot) trainers can support you along the way. These trainers are highly educated and certified, so you can trust the guidance they give you. They work with you to design a plan to help you reach your goals by changing your habits and behaviors. Not only can they give you advice on developing a plant-based diet, but they can help you integrate a consistent workout routine into your schedule to support your overall health. Whether you're interested in light training like yoga and stretching, strength training with heavy weights, or cardio workouts to develop lean muscle, trainwell personal trainers will help you reach your goals.

Try trainwell's 14-day free trial, meet your trainer, and start building a plan to build better habits for a better life.

Get your trainwell personal trainer now!

Written by Lauren Littlewood

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