Updated: Apr 4, 2019
By: Scott E. LePor, D.O.
Making the transition to a plant based diet can vary significantly for every individual as to how they feel, the time interval required, and what support they will require for success.
There are multiple factors that will play into these variances including how healthy the person has been with their previous diet in regards to the amount of whole foods versus processed foods and refined sugars that they are used to consuming as well as to regular exercise patterns and levels of activity.
A person who is more whole food omnivorous as opposed to someone who eats junk food and frequents fast food chains will typically transition much differently to a whole food plant based diet. Having addictions to processed foods or dairy can play a role in regards to how fast that person is capable in making the transition as well as to how they feel throughout the transition. A person’s ability to readily absorb nutrients can vary and will also play a role in how much need for supplementation that person will require to maintain optimal health while making these dietary changes.
People may experience symptoms of detoxifying/withdrawal especially as they come off of the dairy and refined sugars which can be biologically addictive for the body. These withdrawal symptoms can complicate how a person feels with their transition and can be discouraging as they anticipate feeling healthier but instead may feel achey, irritable, have poor sleep and feel sluggish. Having a trained professional prepare you for these variables and knowing what to look for and how to fortify your transition can be a significant factor for success. It is also an excellent time to obtain baseline labs and biomarkers to make the most out of visualizing the positive changes that your body will be experiencing from making these lifestyle changes.
This article has been contributed by Scott E. LePor, D.O., a whole food plant-based physician by practice and in his life.