Unexpected benefits of going plant-based vegan

As always, this comes with a huge disclaimer attached. There are so many people who go vegan and find after a couple of months “it’s working!”. Only to hit unexpected problems further down the road. We build up high expectations when we embark on a new project. And this leads to disposition bias: facts that support our belief rate more highly than those that don’t. So the initial “I feel so great!” can turn sour when any negatives (ignored at first) really start to nag.

So I’ll try to keep this update subdued. Perhaps there will be some negatives that start to appear further down the line. I am definitely keeping a look out. But at the moment things look positive.

I went vegan plant-based, oil-free looking primarily for weight loss. It was not a decision motivated by ethics. But after four months on the diet, in addition to smashing through a difficult plateau, these are some of the unexpected benefits.

  1. Snow-ball effect. Shedding weight allows more activity. So I’m running and cycling further and faster.
  2. Compliments. Everyone saying: “You’re looking very well!” Etc. Previously people were hinting that I might actually be ill. Or directly saying: “You know, when fat sticks out at the sides, it really is getting bad.” Etc.
  3. Confidence to continue. What others (and myself previously) consider both an extreme diet and a diet that is extremely difficult to maintain has become normal and easy respectively.
  4. Taste bud adjustment. Food that used to taste insipid and bland now tastes exciting, rich and interesting. This is the result of bringing salt usage right down.
  5. Appreciation of the ethical side to veganism as well.
  6. Confidence to take further steps. As a habitual drinker (usually 1-2.5 litres of beer per day and often a bottle of wine thrown in for luck) I finally managed to simply switch this off. And not look back. And of course this returns to point 1 in this list: Snow-ball effect – the daily calorie reduction from not drinking so much alcohol equates to a diet in itself.