How to Pull Yourself Up After Falling Off the Plant-Based Diet Wagon

desperate-manEating a plant-based diet is not as easy as it sounds.  All you have to do is eat some plants; how hard can that be?  Easier said than done.

When you have eaten an animal-based diet for most of your life, it is hard letting go of those foods that you once enjoyed.

You decided that eating a plant-based diet is something that you will do.  You do well on the diet for a while, but then you fall off the wagon.

You ask yourself, “How did I fall off the wagon?”  You are so hard on yourself, that you do not believe that you are worthy of getting back on the wagon.

Today, you will learn why some people fall off the wagon and you will also get tips on what you can do to pull yourself back up.

Reasons Why Some Fall Off A Plant-Based Diet

There are many reasons why someone might fall off the wagon of plant-based eating.  Never think of yourself as a failure, because you are not a failure.

You are a person who grows, learns and discovers things about yourself everyday.  Making changes is a process and remember changes do not happen over night.

Reasons why some people might fall off the wagon:

  1. Failing to Plan.  Planning how you eat a plant-based diet is very important.  If you have a plan, it is easier for you to have success.
  2. Made the change too fast.  Most people do better by gradually adding more fresh vegetables and fruits to their diet, but when the change is made too quickly it can result in you giving up on your diet.
  3. Not enough money.  Money is very important and when the money is limited, it leads to stress.  The stress of not having the money to buy what you need can cause you to give up on the diet.
  4. A life changing event.  Something happened in your life that shook the very foundation and essence of who you are.  You are not thinking about eating healthy, instead you are doing all you can to handle the change.
  5. Not eating enough whole foods.  When you do not eat enough whole foods, the body lets you know.  As a result of the body letting you know, you might have a taste for those foods that you had not planned on eating.
  6. Family and friends are not supportive.  When you tell your family and friends that you do not eat meat, they think that you will starve.  If they stay on you, which some will do, you will feel like you are doing something wrong.

Tips on How You Can Pull Yourself Up

Falling off the wagon can cause you to have feelings of failure.  You never want failure speaking so loud that you do not get back up.  It is okay to be down, but never stay down.

  1. Have a plan.  You cannot move forward until you know the direction in which you are going.
  2. Never beat yourself up.  Some people are so hard on themselves, that they are resigned to never get back on the wagon.
  3. Learn from the experience.  Find out what triggered your fall and have a plan for how you will conquer what caused the trigger.
  4. Surround yourself with like-minded people.  Interact with people who eat a plant-based diet.  The interaction and connection will help you stay motivated.
  5. Learn all you can.  Do not stop learning because learning is the driving force that keeps you on your path.  It motivates and encourages you to continue striving.
  6. Do what is best for you.  Everyone has an opinion on which diet is the best.  Do not let anyone make you feel that the diet you chose for yourself is the wrong diet for you.

Discussion:  Have you ever fallen off the wagon?  How did you pull yourself up?  Please share.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

10 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Mike says:

    Hey Evelyn,

    Could part of the temptation to fall off the plant-based diets be not getting enough protein and fat from veggie food sources? Maybe adding foods like avocado could be helpful in sticking with a plan.


  2. Zengirl says:


    These are some great suggestions. I have been life long vegetarian, so I do not know any other way to eat, so its makes it easier in a way for me to stick to it.

    I do have an issue as I am trying to go vegan though. I will try that.

    On side note, I was unable to find your educational video, I am curious to see that.


    • Hi Preeti,

      The best thing is to start off vegetarian. I would consider my daughter a vegetarian. She has no desire to eat meat. I hope she continues on her vegetarian track.

      Hang in there with going vegan. It takes time, so you take your time and don’t be so hard on yourself.

      What video is this? Are you referring to the video where I shared the materials I use for teaching my daughter? If so here is the link.

      Thanks and have a great day!


      • Zengirl says:


        Yes, the same educational video. I thought it was here on your blog somewhere. Thanks, I just saw it.

        I think these are great ideas. With my son, I kept teaching him sight words, flash cards and it seemed he was not getting it and I felt helpless but then one day he said everything we read together, so he was indeed paying attention. Kids are like that..amazing.


    • Aqiyl Henry says:

      I agree with Evelyn about starting off as a vegetarian and then moving towards eating a plant based diet. I cut out meat in stages, first pork, then beef, then poultry, the fish and dairy. Some people can jump straight to a plant based diet, for many of of this is an extreme change. I think it makes it easier to do things in stages. Don’t think of this as a race, but a journey. Peace and Blessings be with you. 🙂

  3. Aqiyl Henry says:

    I love feeling the way I do, and it is because I adopted a plant based diet. For the last week I have not been getting enough sleep because of working late into the night. In the past this would have made me tired all day. Now, I am still on high energy all day. I know getting sleep is vitally important so I will be forcing myself to get some more sleep. But since eating this way makes me so energized, I don’t think about eating any other way. I love the part about not eating wholefoods. I think this point must be focused on. My eating of wholefoods cleanses me of any desire to eat processed foods. Processed foods have an evil hold on people. 🙂

    • Hi Aqiyl!

      You know, I don’t get enough sleep, but I always have energy. I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier, but I still am an early riser.

      Yeah, processed foods are not good. I agree with you, with eating whole foods. They are full of what our bodies need and that is why there is no desire for the processed foods. I love that!

      Take care and thanks for stopping by!


  4. I never felt tempted to go back to meat badly enough to suffer, but I still love the smell of bacon. So maybe smelling your former favorite food might be another way to fall off.

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