Experimenting with a Plant-Based Diet for a Healthier Lifestyle? Here Are 4 Tips That Can Help

diet healthy eating Jun 25, 2024


Embracing a plant-based diet can be a significant step towards enhancing your overall health and fitness. However, balancing nutrition and motivation can be tricky, especially when you are also involved in rigorous fitness activities like ballet fitness. In our previous article on how to change your diet, we explained that it is small, impactful changes to your diet that lead to long-term benefits. This starts with thinking of food as nutritious fuel and making minuscule swaps or simply eating more slowly. 


From there, experimenting with a plant-based diet can provide you with the necessary nutrients while supporting a healthier lifestyle. Here are four fundamental tips to help you get started.


Look at the nutritional values


Plant-based diets can be lower in calories, so it's crucial to ensure you're consuming enough to fuel your demanding routines. A good practice is to look at the nutritional values of your meal instead of the label of being “vegan” or “100% plant-based.” With that, you can easily see how trendy fake meat products like Beyond Meat actually fall into the ultra-processed food category, with added ingredients such as palm oil, coconut oil and salt increasing their saturated fat and salt content. Hence, it's better to opt for whole, less processed plant-based proteins such as tempeh or tofu as an alternative to meat. 


Veganism doesn’t have to be boring


One common misconception about plant-based diets is that they lack variety and flavour. On the contrary, veganism can be exciting and delicious. In fact, one of the most popular vegan nutrition and healthcare products in the community is the chocolate truffles by Missionary Chocolates. These were created by naturopath doctor Melissa Berry in Portland and are now distributed worldwide. This example shows that there are plenty of delicious plant-based options available, from savoury meals to sweet treats. Experimenting with diverse recipes and cuisines can keep your diet interesting, ensuring that you stay motivated and committed to your plant-based lifestyle.


Mindfulness can help holistically


Research shows that mindfulness interventions can positively impact both explicit and implicit attitudes toward vegetarian foods. You can mimic this compassion and caring-based mental training by doing breathing exercises and repeating phrases such as  “May you/I be healthy” or “May you/I live with ease.” These can help you foster a more positive and deliberate approach to your diet. Moreover, these mindfulness exercises can also benefit your dancing, helping you stay focused and in tune with your body, which is essential for optimal performance and injury prevention.


Consult with a nutrition expert


Despite constant advice to lose weight, many dancers do not seek professional advice. A 2023 study found that the mean BMI of dancers was 20 kg/m², with 47% of females having a BMI below 20 and some reporting a BMI as low as 14. Additionally, over a third of dancers experienced secondary amenorrhea, indicating menstrual irregularities due to potential low energy availability. Consulting with a nutrition expert like a dietician can provide personalized guidance and support, helping you make informed decisions about your plant-based diet. This will ensure that you are maximizing the benefits of the diet by meeting your nutritional needs, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding issues related to low energy availability.


Whether you're a ballet enthusiast or simply looking to improve your health, these tips can help you make the most of your dietary changes. Pair these healthy changes in your diet with our 7-day free trial of ballet fitness workouts at Sleek, and you can ensure the most long-lasting benefits while maintaining your healthier physique.


Article written by: Octavia Baker

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