After the documentary The Game Changers piqued his curiosity, Jonne from The Unlaxy Way on YouTube decided to switch to a vegan diet. He ate no meat for 180 days to see what kind of impact it would have on his overall health and fitness, and chronicled the experience in a recent video.
“The first few weeks were pretty rough,” he says. “My stomach was hurting quite a bit, probably because plants have so much fiber and my stomach wasn’t used to it.” He also developed mouth ulcers and chapped lips, which he suspects might have been a sign of iron or B12 deficiency.
After adjusting to the diet (and making more of an effort to develop his cooking skills in order to make his vegan meals taste better), Jonne settled into a routine, starting each morning with a green smoothie, matcha tea, and oatmeal with fruit. A typical lunch and dinner would be pasta or soup with plenty of vegetables, then he would have another smoothie with valerian root in the evenings.
He also closely tracked his calories and macros, using plant-based protein supplements to hit his protein requirements. “I was training quite a lot at the time, so I needed a lot of calories,” he says.
He lost 10 pounds in the first 60 days, with a final weight loss of 20 pounds. “In 180 days, I certainly got fitter than ever,” he concludes, adding that he got down to under 10 percent body fat, and that the diet had a hugely beneficial effect on his energy levels; during the challenge, he was able to run his first marathon and first sub-20 minute 5K, and completed a 5:10-mile.
But diet is only one half of the equation. “It’s not like you’d get the same result just by eating some plants,” he says. “You also need to train a lot.”
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