There are currently so many diet hacks that it’s hard to keep track of: Raw to 4, Keto to 5, Vegan to 6, Dry to Five. (Okay, so we ignore the latter.) But if you want to eat healthy long-term, lose weight in the near future, and try a vegan or plant-based diet, the best way to get back on track is to follow this simple rule: Go Vegan before 6.
Created by Mark Bitman, a former leading food writer for The most New York Times and author of 16 foods and cookbooks in all, Vegan before 6 was a book that came out in 2013, as his answer to the question: How to lose weight when the doctor told him that he was 40 pounds overweight and needed to make a change in life. There is a reason it is popular again. It allows you to eat a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds until dinner, when you start indulging in your usual favorite foods, so you end up going about 75 percent vegan. For many people, this is a great way to start being vegan, try a plant-based approach, and lose weight and heal.
Part-time vegan as an approach to a healthy lifestyle and weight loss only works if the rest of the time you stick to healthy habits and choose to eat whole foods low in calories, simple carbohydrates and fats ̵
The key to Bitman’s method is to start your day eating vegan – defined as vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds and without meat, dairy, poultry or other animal products – until 6pm, or dinner when you can eat the usual favorite dishes. In addition to filling your diet with as many plant foods as possible and eliminating processed junk, the 28-day plan shows how when you stay happy, structured and healthy for most of the day, you make better choices at night and still reap the benefits. that come with a reduction in meat and dairy products.
Plant-based diets have been known to fight heart disease for years. A 2019 study found that those who followed a predominantly plant-based diet had lower levels of cancer, probably due to the fact that phytochemicals in plants help protect cells from free radical damage. The study found that consuming just 10 grams or more of fiber a day (and remember, fiber is only in plant foods) is proving to reduce the risk of certain cancers. New research has supported this. The more fiber in your diet, the lower the risk of breast cancer.
While it may seem daunting to go 100 percent vegan at once, know this: Mark Bitman thought he would be the last person to jump on the bandwagon. As a food writer in New York Times for 30 years he has been involved in nutrition and recommendations everything types of food. That was until at the age of 57, in his doctor’s office, feeling depressed by his health, he had to make a decision.
With his blood counts as cholesterol out of control and 40 pounds to lose, he discussed with his doctor what steps to take. He had sleep problems and constant knee problems and remembers not wanting to become a statistician, someone middle-aged in heart medications for the rest of his life. His longtime doctor and friend had the words to answer: “You should probably become vegan. This will take care of all your problems. “
Bitman knew he was the type of person who wouldn’t do well with a vague intention to “eat more healthy food.” He needed more structure than that. So he set a strict diet, which started at breakfast and continued shortly before dinner, thus following 3/4 of his day on a vegan diet. His book proved that as long as you start your day without animal products, as well as without packaged or processed foods, then you can indulge in what you like to eat while healthy, for dinner.
His opinion: If a middle-aged food lover and a writer who has grown meat and processed can go mostly plant-based, then why not you? Just try it as your day begins, and determine the rest as the day goes on, you never know, you may inadvertently become a full-time vegan.
Here are Mark Bitman’s secrets to the success of a predominantly vegan diet:
Start your day on the right
Avoid any kind of animal product for breakfast and lunch. Saturated fats and processed sugars are the main ingredients in common breakfast foods, but while everything can be made vegan by skipping dairy, the best option is with complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal with fruit or puree with vegetable protein. For lunch, salads, soups, hummus or wholemeal pasta with tomato sauce. As long as it’s plant-based or full of healthy legume proteins and homemade, you’ll stay on the go. We offer a large salad with chickpeas that are full of protein. For a complete list, Beets has gathered all the best plant-based sources of protein.
Fill your plate with as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible
By cutting out meat and dairy products, it leaves plenty of room to fill your plate with as many fresh plant foods as possible. This can add extra leafy greens to your mix or make your new favorite soup like lentils or a vegan recipe for split peas. Try to supply local and organic vegetables whenever possible to avoid pesticides in your food. See beetroot recipes or a beginner’s guide to seven days of eating. Remember that everything is in the footsteps of the baby.
Avoid processed and packaged foods
Everything that contains processed flours and added sugars slows down our metabolism and if the goal is to lose weight with VB6, then avoiding white sugar and flour is a top priority when shopping at the market (unlike the farm stand). Almost any chronic health problem can be avoided or reduced by observing the intake of saturated fats, sodium and added sugar, which are contained in all processed foods. For starters, enjoy your favorite treat after 6pm, but in small doses, and give your body enough time to digest before bed.
Not everything “vegan” is fair play
The word vegan is not synonymous with healthy and most junk food is accidentally vegan because it does not contain animal products, but neither is healthy. Coca-Cola, oreos and french fries do not contain animal products in them, unless the french fries are cooked in oil that contains beef or chicken, but they are called fast food for a reason. Fast food is convenient and cheap, but we pay for it differently, raising cholesterol, insulin, blood sugar, blood lipids and contributing to weight gain. Like Bitman, this can cost us our health in the long run.
There are no rules after 18:00 – except to eat healthy, wholesome foods – and not to eat
After 18:00, show some form of self-control, even when you crave comfortable food. Allow yourself a small deviation (a glass of wine), but not a big drop from the diet scale (inhale the whole bag of chips or a whole pint of ice cream). This way you can continue the diet for longer.
One change that Bitman noticed as soon as he did this was the change in energy level. Over time, he realized that while a cheeseburger might be in the near future if he decided to take this route for dinner, his body craved more than healthy things at night. And his energy jumped.
Don’t focus too much on the specific time. Vegan to 5:59 is also great
Sometimes dinner happens after 6pm or even before, or maybe you’re suddenly in East Coast Time and your body still thinks it’s mid-afternoon in LA. Six is not a magical time, but just a direction. Dinner is our last meal of the day and it is more social, so when you have a shared experience, this approach is useful to return to the plant base in the morning and see how long you can continue the next day. Try to pass it through dinner if you feel great. Before you know it, you may just not want to eat anything other than vegan.
Eat home-cooked meals whenever possible
It sounds simple, coming from the author of a cookbook, but Bitman advises that not only will it keep you on track, but you’ll also feel happier knowing exactly what went into your meal. It also provides you with plenty of leftovers for breakfast and lunch during the rest of the week.
Everyone is at their own pace
Lifestyle change is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be a big production. For some people, small increments are the way to go, and Bitman’s method is the right step. If you overdo it one night, just forgive yourself, then start again the next day. Or if you eat a non-vegan meal one lunch, make up for it at night and prepare a vegetable dinner.
Small changes can have a big impact
In his Ted Talk, “What’s Wrong with How We Eat,” Bitman explained how the traditional Western diet denies us and our search for meat, milk, and refined carbohydrates is served to us through our oversimplified food pyramid. The USDA is not our ally, and as they review the guidelines every 5 years, we look forward to their latest recommendations coming out soon, which we can only hope will include more plant-based or vegan food.
Until then, we need to take matters into our own hands, not only to advocate for a better diet in a country where 2 out of 3 adults are considered overweight or obese, but also to improve our own health. The more we eat vegan or plant-based meals, the better for our long-term health, for the environment, for the welfare of the animals, for your own weight loss goals – and for all possible reasons.
Switching to a vegan or mostly plant-based diet will help you stay healthy longer.
A new study has found that eating mostly plant-based foods fights high blood pressure and reduces your overall risk of heart disease and premature death. The idea of going vegan or vegetable 75 percent of the time happens easily. Just start the day with vegetables and grains, fruits and nuts, seeds and whole plant-based foods. When evening comes, eat less meat and dairy, less junk and more plants. This is a simple formula, eat real food. “So start your week, day and diet as best you can, stay clean and focused and you may discover how a part-time vegan can be the best way to reverse health.