22 votes

What is the biggest change you've ever made to your diet?

In mid-2012 I decided to become a vegetarian, both for health and ethical reasons. Before then I had mostly been on autopilot when it came to food - I just ate what what was the norm in my family. My choice forced me to get out of my comfort zone, to try out new foods I had never considered before. For this reason, the change has been incredibly positive to me; I'm much more conscious of what I eat now. And by setting a precedent it later helped me make more changes, like cutting down sugar. I'm currently testing to see if the bloating and stomach aches I suffer daily are because I am lactose intolerant; if it is indeed the case, that will require another drastic change, although this particular one will be by necessity rather than choice.

What is the biggest change you've ever made to your diet? Was it by choice, or did you feel obligated to do so, for example because of health issues? What did you get out of it? How much thought do you put in your daily diet, in general?

16 comments

  1. [3]
    Amarok
    Link
    Sugar for me. I didn't completely give it up (I'm not terrified of potatoes, white bread, rice, fruits etc) but I did reduce the amount I consume dramatically and it's all from non-refined sources...

    Sugar for me. I didn't completely give it up (I'm not terrified of potatoes, white bread, rice, fruits etc) but I did reduce the amount I consume dramatically and it's all from non-refined sources now. Soda and desserts are history, just a rare treat. Over the course of about three years I deflated by 150lbs and am at a heavy-end-of-healthy weight now. My blood pressure was borderline hypertension, now it's perfect. Being on my feet for longer periods doesn't bother me anymore. I've also started including more plants in my diet, because they are tasty. :)

    14 votes
    1. feigneddork
      Link Parent
      I also cut out sugar from my diet a few years back and I honestly could not be more happier. I first started out of university drinking energy drinks, and then moved onto black coffee with lots of...

      I also cut out sugar from my diet a few years back and I honestly could not be more happier. I first started out of university drinking energy drinks, and then moved onto black coffee with lots of sugar (I have phenylketonuria, so I can't have milk as it has too much protein).

      After a while I realised I was getting miserable after a few hours of drinking coffee and energy drinks, so I completely cut out sugar from the drinks and stuck to plain black coffee. Ever since then I've been feeling much better at my work and I can work longer without any immediate crashes.

      1 vote
    2. Ranger
      Link Parent
      Yup, I cut out sugar out as well. I feel much better knowing a soda/candy is a rare treat.

      Yup, I cut out sugar out as well. I feel much better knowing a soda/candy is a rare treat.

  2. [6]
    moonbathers
    Link
    I became mostly vegetarian a couple months ago. I knew that eating meat takes a lot of resources to produce and that was my big reason for switching. I had seen a random comment on reddit at the...

    I became mostly vegetarian a couple months ago. I knew that eating meat takes a lot of resources to produce and that was my big reason for switching. I had seen a random comment on reddit at the end of the summer saying veggie burgers were actually halfway decent so I picked a few up next time I got groceries and I was really surprised. I still eat meat when I'm at other people's houses and occasionally when I go out to eat, but I don't buy any meat for myself and can go a week+ without eating it.

    12 votes
    1. [3]
      Octofox
      Link Parent
      I'm heading the same way, mainly for environmental reasons. I heavily avoid beef and have chicken less often than I used to. One day I plan to go full vegetarian but I haven't put in the effort...

      I'm heading the same way, mainly for environmental reasons. I heavily avoid beef and have chicken less often than I used to. One day I plan to go full vegetarian but I haven't put in the effort yet to find good vegetarian foods

      6 votes
      1. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        That's basically how I've done it too, just replace one thing in your diet at a time.

        That's basically how I've done it too, just replace one thing in your diet at a time.

        2 votes
      2. Nmg
        Link Parent
        Eat more beans!

        Eat more beans!

    2. [2]
      ruspaceni
      Link Parent
      Same here, but my change came out of poverty. I was looking around Tesco for the cheapest things and kept noticing that their vegan/vegitarian stuff was nearly always on sale so I just went for...

      Same here, but my change came out of poverty. I was looking around Tesco for the cheapest things and kept noticing that their vegan/vegitarian stuff was nearly always on sale so I just went for it. Turns out that I love the selection of vegan/vegi foods. They've got way more breaded burger-y things and that's my absolute jam. Plus they preserved for longer.

      Then before I knew it, I'd spent 2 months without really eating any meat and sans a few meals with cheese and whatnot; I was basically vegan too. Now I don't really avoid eating meat but I decide to buy it less often, if that makes any sense. It's at like a 90-10 vegi;meat split most of the time. Sometimes I can't turn away from chorizo slices, popcorn chicken, and whatever else I wind up occasionally impulse grabbing off the shelves.

      But I'm always pleasantly surprised how good meat free food can be though. I found some cauliflour, spring onion, and cheese chunky burgers, some jalapeno rice burgers, and these vegetable 'fish finger' things and that's basically all the variety my cravings need.

      2 votes
      1. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        It's really refreshing being able to eat things like burgers and tacos again and not have to worry about the impact meat has on the environment.

        It's really refreshing being able to eat things like burgers and tacos again and not have to worry about the impact meat has on the environment.

        1 vote
  3. [2]
    clepins
    Link
    I became vegan for ethical and environmental reasons about six months ago. I've always thought as food as more of an obligation than anything, so not eating meat, dairy, etc. wasn't a huge task....

    I became vegan for ethical and environmental reasons about six months ago. I've always thought as food as more of an obligation than anything, so not eating meat, dairy, etc. wasn't a huge task. Plant-based food is great, and I've rarely had cravings since I've sort-of mentally compartmentalized meat and diary as "non-food," if that makes sense. Worst part about it has been navigating a non-vegan food culture, and I sometimes am left with no choice but salad for dinner when I go out to eat with friends to a place that isn't vegan-friendly.

    11 votes
    1. Nmg
      Link Parent
      It's just so sad that restaurants think that salad greens can be a meal for vegans. Yes, they're part of a healthy diet, but grains and legumes need to be there too!

      It's just so sad that restaurants think that salad greens can be a meal for vegans. Yes, they're part of a healthy diet, but grains and legumes need to be there too!

      7 votes
  4. harrygibus
    Link
    I grew up in a rural area eating meat nearly every meal and washing it down with about 12oz of milk. Most meals were pretty simple meat and potatoes affairs but my mother was quite a good cook -...

    I grew up in a rural area eating meat nearly every meal and washing it down with about 12oz of milk. Most meals were pretty simple meat and potatoes affairs but my mother was quite a good cook - mostly from scratch for economic reasons. She limited our sugar intake (no sugar cereals or candy) but we did get the odd soda here and there and she usually baked some sweets. I rarely ate breakfast once I became a teenager.

    In college I started cooking for my self and expanded my diet quite a bit
    went through a phase of eating out a lot in my early thirties but around that time I did stop drinking soda altogether. I phased in plain (or essence) soda water. By the end of my thirties I had gotten off soda water due to worries about potential long term tooth enamel issues. I traded that for a tea habit. Usually with milk and a small amount of sugar.

    At 41 I started noticing digestive issues and finally narrowed it down to certain dairy items. Cutting back on dairy made my symptoms even worse when I did have it. Finally realized at 41 that I had probably been lactose intolerant my whole life. Switched to lactose free milk and saw a huge improvement. At this point I can find a lot of lactose free options, and can still handle hard cheeses and a few other items low in lactose. I haven't found any huge red flags about industrial lactase enzyme production but I do have a fleeting trust in methods the food industry often employs to meet their bottom line.

    I started trying to eliminate added sugar and have completely eliminated high fructose corn syrup after watching a talk called "The Bitter Truth About Sugar"

    The most recent thing I (mostly) eliminated is caffeine. I had gotten to the point of drinking about 6 cups of black tea every day and was noticing I was getting huge headaches if I wasn't able to have some tea in a certain period of time. Went cold turkey on that one and suffered nasty withdrawals that pretty much incapacitated me for about a week. I still have decaf tea (daily), and also chocolate and a Mexican coke with tacos every so often, so I haven't completely eliminated it.

    I have always been pretty trim my whole life and after learning about intermittent fasting I realized that I have mostly been doing that my whole life. I have found that Including a whole grain wheat bread with a small source of protein for my first meal really helps to keep me satiated throughout the day.

    6 votes
  5. Troll
    Link
    I restrict my sugar to no more than 38 grams per day. I try to stay under 25 grams per day if I can.

    I restrict my sugar to no more than 38 grams per day. I try to stay under 25 grams per day if I can.

    4 votes
  6. ReapersGale
    (edited )
    Link
    When I'm not time-poor I've been doing keto since ~ august 2017 as: A) It makes managing the old BSL and hba1c much easier and decreases the amount of insulin I need to buy/use B) The resulting...

    When I'm not time-poor I've been doing keto since ~ august 2017 as:
    A) It makes managing the old BSL and hba1c much easier and decreases the amount of insulin I need to buy/use
    B) The resulting lack of processed foods and most alcohol makes losing a bit of the belly easier (also from what I understand the combination of those categories trails animal products in second place for environmental impact)

    There does seem to be some outside perception that all I would eat is meat and cheese with no fruit and vegtables (though I won't deny I love the cheese kransky my local grocer sells) - in reality my usual meal if I go out is something like a rare steak with extra salad replacing the fries instead of Parma and fries I used to get.

    Edit: added date/slightly rejigged the first sentence to accommodate it

    2 votes
  7. just_a_salmon
    Link
    I was diagnosed with celiac disease right around my first year of high school, which forces me into a gluten free diet.

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease right around my first year of high school, which forces me into a gluten free diet.

  8. Emerald_Knight
    Link
    I significantly limited my junk food intake. I didn't have money for it. I had to focus on getting the basics to keep myself fed. As a result, sugar started tasting too sweet and I started being...

    I significantly limited my junk food intake.

    I didn't have money for it. I had to focus on getting the basics to keep myself fed. As a result, sugar started tasting too sweet and I started being able to better taste the natural sugars in foods like tomatoes.

    I still eat junk now, just not nearly as much.