It’s January 2nd, 2023. Two friends named Andrew and Marie are big into fitness, and want to up their nutrition this New Year by following a plant-based diet after learning all the health benefits the diet has when it comes to athletic performance.
Andrew decides to set the goal of eating 100% plant-based meals with the objective of hitting his goal weight in 6 months. Marie takes a different approach. She decides to focus on creating a system, without concrete outcomes in mind. In her system she learns the science behind plant-based diets, and finds an easy way to make eating plant-based obvious and satisfying.
Who do you think will be more successful?
According to behavioral psychology, Marie who builds a system will be more successful than Andrew focusing on a singular goal.
While both Andrew and Marie did have a similar theme to their new years resolution: eat plant-based to improve their athletic performance, building a system is a way to create sustainable habits for life, and not to simply achieve a short-term goal.
So, how does one stick with a plant-based performance nutrition diet? If you didn’t guess it already, you need a system.
1. Find Evidence-Based Resources on Plant-based Performance Nutrition
With an unlimited source of information at our fingertips, knowing what is fact and what is cap can be treacherous territory.
Make sure sources are reliable by researching the author. Articles written by registered dietitians or registered nutritionists (like this one!) are good places to start. Be wary of claims that sound too all-or-nothing, like drinking soy will decrease muscle gains or you need 8 different supplements to thrive on a plant-based diet (Spoiler alert - both are false).
Here at FireRoad Foods, we’ve created ample credible resources to help guide your system to sustainably follow a plant-based diet.
We recommend starting with learning about the best sources of plant-based proteins and how to get enough of the important nutrients, like vitamin B12, iron, and calcium.
2. Take Advantage of Your Environment
Your environment plays a large role in shaping your habits, especially when it comes to food. If your kitchen has cookies on the counter with fruits and vegetables tucked away in the fridge, which one will you reach for first? If you guessed the cookies, you're right.
Structuring your environment to work in your favor is known as choice architecture. Having readily available plant-based foods can increase the likelihood of choosing these foods over others, reinforcing the habit you are trying to create.
For example, try:
- Keeping a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter
- Preparing overnight oats to grab first thing in the morning
- Prepare cut up vegetables (carrots, cucumber, peppers) and store in the fridge
3. Invest in A Plant-based Meal Delivery Services that is Delicious & Satisfying
Part of building a sustainable system is finding a way to make plant-based eating obvious, easy & satisfying. This is also part of building the habit into your choice architecture, as mentioned above.
With a plant-based meal delivery service, food arrives at your doorstep and the cue to eat plant-based is obvious. It’s easy to prepare (microwave, heat on the stovetop, or blitz in the blender) and chef-prepared meals will leave you satisfied - all while fulfilling the nutrients you need to thrive on a plant-based diet.
Proper nutrition is important for everyone, but becomes more critical for athletes or those getting started on a new exercise regimen as requirements for nutrients like protein are higher. Lacking nutrition can compromise performance, and stall results.
Our suggestion? Try a 3-week bundle of meals, and choose your favorite foods to be delivered each day. During this three week period, having expertly prepared, nutrient balanced, plant-based meals will free up the mental space to educate yourself about plant-based nutrition, test out your own home-cooked meals, and maybe even get an extra workout in.
4. Measure Your Success, but Don’t Get Discouraged
Remember our fictional friend, Andrew? His goal with following a plant-based diet was to hit his goal weight in 6 months. He measured his success with an inevitable end, which often leads people to starting at square one once the goal is reached.
Instead of measuring your success by a concrete goal, measure your success by how consistently you stick with your system.
For example, base your metrics around:
- How many articles or books you read about plant-based nutrition
- Preparing pre-cut fruits and vegetables each week
- Finding your favourite plant-based meal delivery service
- Learning how to cook plant-based versions of your favourite meal
By basing your metric of success around your system, outcomes (like hitting your goal weight) are more likely to come and stay for longer.
In fact, the reason why most people fail their New Year's resolutions is because they fail to see results. When you take results out of the immediate equation, you can see success at any time during your journey in following a plant-based diet to achieve the best you.
Are you ready to jump start your plant-based eating journey? Here at FireRoad Foods, our performance plant-based meals are expertly prepared by chefs and delivered right to your doorstep.
Don't know where to start? Check out our 21JumpStart Bundle to get started---
This article is based on the principles from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear
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