My 30 Day Vegan Diet Experiment | Final Report

I have now com­plet­ed my 30 day veg­an diet exper­i­ment. Over­all, I would con­sid­er it a great suc­cess.

I have expe­ri­enced:

  • sig­nif­i­cant gains in ener­gy
  • great­ly improved fit­ness lev­els
  • increased social con­nec­tions & activ­i­ty
  • improved con­fi­dence & self-con­fi­dence

and much more.

(I’ve logged my ener­gy lev­els, food intake, phys­i­cal activ­i­ties and more. You can view all of this infor­ma­tion here).

8 benefits of my vegan diet experiment

Higher energy levels

My ener­gy lev­els were con­sis­tent­ly high for my 16–18 hour days (aver­ag­ing 7.5 out of 10 per day on a self-rat­ing scale) & remained steady through­out each day. I observed a notice­able increase in ener­gy as the weeks pro­gressed. There were some peri­ods where I noticed my ener­gy flag­ging. How­ev­er, I was able to eas­i­ly find the cause & link it to either phys­i­cal tired­ness due to great­ly increased phys­i­cal demands or low­er moti­va­tion.

Also of note is that fact that my lev­els of exer­cise great­ly increased dur­ing the tri­al (I aver­aged 13,000+ steps per day and worked out at the gym on 22 sep­a­rate occa­sions).

Fitness gains

I am most pleased with the ben­e­fits that I achieved in terms of my fit­ness while fol­low­ing a veg­an diet. As not­ed in an ear­li­er update, I have pre­vi­ous­ly found it real­ly dif­fi­cult to achieve suf­fi­cient momen­tum at the gym. In recent years, I’ve felt as if I’m always start­ing over and have down­grad­ed my fit­ness tar­gets accord­ing­ly.

Over the 30 days, I was able to (eas­i­ly) get to the gym on 22 sep­a­rate occa­sions & I aver­aged walk­ing 13,000 steps dai­ly. This has allowed me to devel­op some seri­ous momen­tum and I’m now at the point where I (most­ly) look for­ward to my gym work­outs. The inten­si­ty of my work­outs has increased and I have moved beyond a basic reper­toire of car­dio­vas­cu­lar train­ing and lift­ing free weights to also focus on core and sta­bil­i­ty exer­cis­es. I can eas­i­ly envi­sion pilates & yoga becom­ing part of my reg­u­lar exer­cise rou­tine going for­ward.

Weight Loss

Over the 30 days, I lost approx­i­mate­ly 1.5 kg/3.5 lbs in weight end­ing at a weight of 74 kg/163 lbs (BMI — 21.5). This adds to the approx­i­mate­ly 8 kg/ 18 lbs that I lost by fol­low­ing the 5:2 diet over the past 18 months. My hope is that my weight sta­bi­lizes at this point and the signs since the end of the tri­al are that this is the case.

Less mindless/escapist activities

My desire (will­ing­ness & abil­i­ty) to sit down and watch TV great­ly decreased. Pri­or to the tri­al, I would watch approx­i­mate­ly 1 hour of TV per day (with excep­tions for the view­ing of some sports). Dur­ing the tri­al even this lev­el seemed to decrease. The tri­al hap­pened to coin­cide with 2 major sport­ing events of typ­i­cal inter­est to me — The World Cup & Wim­ble­don ten­nis. Rather than sit­ting down to view these events for extend­ed peri­ods (which would be typ­i­cal), my style became to dip into them for short peri­ods of time.

I think there were a num­ber of rea­sons for this change in behav­iour. The most obvi­ous one was the increased ener­gy that I expe­ri­enced which required an out­let. Fur­ther­more, it was as if I expe­ri­enced a shift from being a pas­sen­ger in life as it were to becom­ing more of a dri­ver. Anoth­er way I view this is that the moti­va­tion for a num­ber of my dai­ly activ­i­ties become less about anx­i­ety reduc­tion or anx­i­ety man­age­ment and become more direct­ed towards goal achieve­ment.

Also of rel­e­vance here was that I expe­ri­enced.……

More social connections

I became much more proac­tive in reach­ing out to peo­ple to con­nect either face-to-face or vir­tu­al­ly. Dur­ing the 30 day tri­al, I expe­ri­enced a greater desire to con­nect with oth­ers & as not­ed above a decreased inter­est in time spent alone ‘veg­ging out’.

Improved resilience

I noticed an improved abil­i­ty to quick­ly bounce back from any set­backs which occurred. Frus­tra­tion over unmet expec­ta­tions seemed to be chan­nelled more pro­duc­tive­ly and with­in short peri­ods of time I was able to con­sis­tent­ly get back on track.

Stable mood

Over­all, my moods remained con­sis­tent­ly sta­ble through­out the 30 days. In gen­er­al, my mood tends to be fair­ly upbeat and sta­ble so I did not expe­ri­ence huge changes in this area. How­ev­er, there were a few instances where I expe­ri­enced what I would con­sid­er absolute peace both with myself and my envi­ron­ment. In these moments, I was able to exist in the moment and be absolute­ly at peace with that place.

Self-confidence (& confidence) boost

Over­all, I would say that my lev­els of con­fi­dence & self-con­fi­dence have improved. It is dif­fi­cult to unpack exact­ly why but a cou­ple of things come to mind.

The most obvi­ous one is the qual­i­ty of the self-talk that is occur­ring. For many of us, the biggest bar­ri­er to suc­cess or hap­pi­ness is the voice inside our head (the grem­lin) telling us that we’re not good enough or get­ting us to con­stant­ly focus on areas of dis­sat­is­fac­tion. It seems that I reached a tip­ping point of sorts in the area of pos­i­tive results (that are impor­tant to me) such that my grem­lins were find­ing few­er and few­er things to crit­i­cise me for. Exer­cise — check. Eat­ing well — check. Con­nec­tion with oth­ers — check. Writ­ing my blog — check.

A sec­ond thing that comes to mind is the syn­er­gis­tic effect of all these expe­ri­enced gains com­ing togeth­er. I’ve had an expe­ri­ence of achiev­ing a break­through in a num­ber of areas, a feel­ing of hav­ing dis­cov­ered at least part of my for­mu­la for suc­cess & more impor­tant­ly hav­ing suc­cess­ful­ly fol­lowed this for­mu­la.

It’s clear to many if not most of us that (self)knowledge with­out a sub­se­quent change in behav­iour is mean­ing­less. One of the great ben­e­fits of the inter­net is that knowl­edge is now freely avail­able. So, it is not that we don’t know what to do, it is that we don’t turn this knowl­edge into con­sis­tent action. And it is only through the con­sis­tent appli­ca­tion of this knowl­edge that we can achieve many of the gains we are seek­ing in our lives.

Many of us will have tried unsuc­cess­ful­ly to imple­ment change(s) in the past and those mem­o­ries of fail­ure can often stop us from try­ing again. We may know what to do but will not even attempt to make the changes because that pat­tern of short-lived suc­cess before fail­ure is all too famil­iar and in many cas­es too painful to expe­ri­ence again.

Suc­cess breeds suc­cess is a phrase that most of us have heard. How­ev­er, expe­ri­enc­ing that ini­tial suc­cess for many nev­er hap­pens. My sense is that I was able to build upon a pret­ty good foun­da­tion over the past 30 days to move to a dif­fer­ent lev­el of oper­at­ing and expe­ri­ence some suc­cess in areas impor­tant to me. This then can become a self-rein­forc­ing cycle if one keeps tak­ing the desired actions.

In summary

Over­all, eat­ing a veg­an diet was a lot eas­i­er for me to imple­ment that I had antic­i­pat­ed. It does require more advance plan­ning than eat­ing the stan­dard European/North Amer­i­can meat & dairy-based diet. Eat­ing away from home does add to that chal­lenge (although more and more restau­rants are pro­vid­ing veg­an options on their menu). In my mind how­ev­er, I’ve only com­plet­ed phase 1 of a longer-term tran­si­tion towards a more var­ied, nutri­ent-filled plant-based diet. It is too easy to search for meat replace­ments (usu­al­ly pro­vid­ed by soy prod­ucts, the health of which are still open to debate), and I’m aware that the next phase of this tran­si­tion will require me to expand my food choic­es and my cook­ing skills.

At the time of writ­ing, I have been on this veg­an diet for 7 weeks with 1 or 2 minor excep­tions. I real­ly enjoy the increased & con­tin­u­ous high ener­gy that I’m expe­ri­enc­ing as well as con­sis­tent­ly feel­ing good after eat­ing. I’m excit­ed to exper­i­ment fur­ther with this way of eat­ing and use it as a plat­form for fur­ther gains across the board. And so for now, my plan is to con­tin­ue to fol­low a plant-based diet at 100% or close to it.

Orig­i­nal post: My 30 Day Veg­an Diet Exper­i­ment

My 30 Day Veg­an Diet Exper­i­ment  — Week 1 Recap

My 30 Day Veg­an Diet Exper­i­ment —  Week 2 & 3 Recap

3 thoughts on “My 30 Day Vegan Diet Experiment | Final Report”

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