Joseph Claudio before and after adopting a plant-based diet for weight loss

I Went Plant Based (and Dropped 60 Pounds) After Losing My Dad to His Third Heart Attack

By Joseph Claudio,

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In 2021, I lost my dad to his third heart attack. He was just 52, but he was diabetic and obese. I knew that this could be my fate, too. At the time I was eating fast almost every day. I’m talking Supersonic double cheeseburgers, six mozzarella sticks, and a large shake after 8:30 at night up to five times a week. That’s not to mention massive breakfasts and lunches, all containing meat, and candy throughout the day.

One night I was up late snacking and scrolling through Netflix when I came across the Forks Over Knives documentary. I watched it, and then I watched The Game Changers and What the Health. In those days I always stayed up late because I didn’t sleep well. That night I was up well past 3 a.m. watching health documentaries.

The next day, I noticed how exhausted I felt just carrying my 3-year-old boy upstairs. That was it. I decided I wanted to be around as long as possible for my son, and that meant getting healthier. I switched to a whole-food, plant-based diet overnight.

Near-Instant Improvements

After a week, I noticed I had more energy. I woke up feeling more refreshed and less groggy. Even my mood was improving. As the pounds started to fall off, I felt like I was becoming me again. I started walking a few miles each day, and I found it easier to walk long distances as the months went on. My self-confidence was growing week after week. The feeling was amazing.

In the year since making the switch, I’ve lost more than 60 pounds. Today one of my go-to meals is a four-bean salad with sautéed spinach and mushrooms, a squeeze of lemon, and fresh cilantro. It tastes good hot or cold.

People always ask me, “What are you doing? How have you lost so much weight?” When I tell them, they’re often shocked and say something like, “I could never give up meat.” I tell them that they definitely can. If you want to be stronger, faster, healthier, and more confident than ever, this is the way to do it.

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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