John Riley shown before and after adopting a plant-based wfpb diet and losing weight

I’m 30 Pounds Lighter and CPAP-Free Thanks to a WFPB Diet

By John Riley,

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Before discovering the whole-food, plant-based lifestyle, I spent many years as a truck driver, and I didn’t eat well on the road—a lot of breakfast burritos, McDonald’s and other fast food, and truck-stop junk food. After years of eating this way, I ended up with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The doctor put me on medication to bring it down.

Progress and Setbacks

In 2013, I had time off work and took up hiking on trails and going for daily walks. Around this time, I met my now-girlfriend, Mary. She was on a weight-loss diet, and I started to eat some lighter meals with her. Between eating a little lighter and getting more physical activity, I managed to lose 50 pounds over the course of about a year, getting down to 200 pounds. But soon after that, I went back to work, and I found myself relying on truck-stop convenience foods again and exercising less, and I gained back about 25 pounds. I eventually developed sleep apnea, and my doctor had me start using a CPAP machine nightly.

Making the Switch to WFPB

In January 2022, Mary and I decided to transition to a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet at the urging of her daughter, who had been plant-based for eight years at that point. Mary and I supported each other as we made the switch. I started fixing meals at home. I came to enjoy cooking things like banana-zucchini pancakes and snacking on snap peas, carrots, and all kinds of fruit. We learned to always be prepared—e.g., to bring WFPB food whenever going to dinner at a family member’s house.

Losing Weight, Gaining Energy

I weighed 213 pounds when we started a WFPB diet. In eight months, I lost 30 pounds. I’ve kept the weight off since then, weighing around 175 today. My doctor has significantly reduced the dosage of my blood pressure and cholesterol medications, and I no longer need a CPAP machine! I have way more energy and am back to exercising every day. Relatives and co-workers are happy to see me getting healthier. I encourage everyone to give this way of eating a try. I’m so glad I made the switch!

Ready to get started? Check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path. To learn more about a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit our Plant-Based Primer.

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