6 Reasons to Try a Plant-Based Diet

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Before starting my plant-based diet, I didn't know what being healthy truly meant. I was more than 300 pounds and I was miserable.

When I found running, I dropped a few pounds, but I was still indulging in food that was harming me. I would gain weight after every race by using food as a reward for finishing.

I needed to find something that would permanently change my relationship with food. When I heard about Engine 2 Diet, a 28-day plant-based challenge, my wife and I decided to try it. We haven't looked back since.

Here are five reasons you should give a plant-based diet a try to boost your weight loss and improve your fitness:

1. To Lose Weight

I have lost more than 46 pounds since choosing a plant-based diet and have kept it off. When most of your meals come from a base of vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes, it makes it hard to eat unhealthy. You can still be unhealthy on a plant-based diet, but it's harder.

2. To Improve Fitness

Eating plant-based can make you a better athlete. You can grow stronger, faster and lighter. I became an ultra runner this year and have found that many top ultra runners eat plant-based or vegan.

3. To Eliminate Junk

In the past, I was always grabbing the easiest thing I could find to fill my belly—the more packaged the better. A plant-based diet prevents this. You learn to read labels and think about what you're eating. Many packaged foods aren't vegan or plant-based.

4. To Improve Digestion

What goes in usually comes out not long after you have eaten. Your body is able to get rid of waste easily, and constipation is a thing of the past. You can keep weight off and experience a boost of energy when your body is not holding on to excess waste.

5. To Boost Food Knowledge

You can learn about where your food comes from, what its ingredients are, and how to tweak some of your favorite dishes to make them healthier. Almost any dish can be made into a vegan recipe. You also learn that you can get all your nutrients through plants—even protein.

6. To Learn About Yourself

Be prepared to examine your relationship with food. Learn what emotions you attach to eating. Do you eat as a reward? To escape? When stressed?

A plant-based diet also lightens your guilt. You no longer need to beat yourself up after a meal. Imagine not sitting there and dwelling on what you just ate.

Many people think they can't change. I'm letting you know—as an obese individual who became an ultra runner—that you can. Try a plant-based diet for weight loss and a cleaner lifestyle.

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