There’s no shortage of scientific research illustrating the benefits of healthful plant-based diets, but there’s something even more compelling about hearing directly from people who have put this knowledge into practice. That’s probably why Success Stories—firsthand accounts from people who have changed their diets and changed their lives—are consistently among the most popular posts on our website. 

To offer inspiration as we head into 2022, we’ve rounded up the 10 most popular success stories of the past year. Read on for inspiring testimonials from people who have lost weight, reversed diabetes and heart disease, improved their moods, and experienced other remarkable health transformations after adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Have you improved your health after adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet? Share your story here!

Conquering Addiction to Processed Foods on a Plant-Based Diet

Evon Dennis was a vegetarian who subsisted on vegan imitations of meat and cheese and other highly processed foods. Struggling with excess weight, fatigue, and brain fog, she decided to try a whole-food, plant-based diet. “I noticed changes—some immediate, some gradual,” she writes.

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From Cheese-Loving Vegetarian with Sky-High Blood Pressure to Whole-Food, Plant-Based and Healthy

Like so many people, Anurag Darshan knew that cheese wasn’t good for him, but he found it difficult to resist. “I was a vegetarian who loved eating dairy, and I had no real interest in actually making a change,” Darshan writes. But after being diagnosed with a slew of chronic health problems—including fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, and acid reflux—and prescribed myriad medications, he was ready to try something different. Then a friend suggested he watch Forks Over Knives.

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From Unmotivated to Unstoppable: My Transformation on a Plant-Based Diet

For years, Melissa Matthews Allen used alcohol, cigarettes, and junk food to try and cope with stress, but they only left her feeling worse off. In late 2017, she’d had enough. “I decided to stop slowly killing myself and start living the life that I deserved,” she writes.

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From Obese Vegetarian to Fitter Than Ever on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

Justin Weber weighed 375 pounds in his early 30s. His doctors told him that he wouldn’t live to see his 40s because of the strain the excess weight was putting on his body. “Then my son was born,” he writes, “and I realized that I needed to make a change in order to be the active dad I wanted to be and to be alive to watch him grow up.”

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A Diabetes Diagnosis Shocked Me Into Changing My Diet. The Results Have Been Incredible

Already struggling with fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, eczema, and kidney stones, Miranda Haes discovered in late 2019 that she also had type 2 diabetes. “I was devastated,” she writes. “I never thought this would happen to me.” She started to rethink her meat-heavy diet.

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As a Rheumatologist, I've Helped My Patients and Myself with a Plant-Based Diet

Rheumatologist Micah Yu, MD, had firsthand experience with joint pain, having suffered from gout at just 17 and unexplained inflammation for many years after that. His wife, Dr. Melissa Mondala, MD, helped inspire him to try a whole-food, plant-based diet in 2018. “I noticed that, with each passing week on a WFPB diet, my pain and stiffness were lessening,” he writes.

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I Dropped 100 Pounds in One Year by Ditching Animal Products, Processed Foods

At 335 pounds, Dave Wegener had tried every weight-loss method he could think of, from fad diets to testosterone injections. “I never lost more than 20 pounds, and I’d gain it all back, with a little more,” he writes. “I got used to being called ‘Big Guy.’” Then he discovered a WFPB diet.

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I Suffered a Widowmaker Heart Attack at 45. Today I’m Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet

In December 2019, after suffering a widowmaker heart attack at just 45 years old, Shane Brooks was convinced he was headed for an early grave. But after getting home from the hospital, he was browsing Netflix when he stumbled across the Forks Over Knives documentary. “It turned out to be the perfect message at the perfect time,” he writes.

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My Journey from Junk-Food Vegan to Whole-Food, Plant-Based

When Nellie Vance was diagnosed with melanoma, she switched from a diet heavy on processed vegan foods to a WFPB diet. Now 50 pounds lighter, with more energy and better moods, Nellie writes, “I’m like a walking billboard for this lifestyle. I look so different now compared with how I looked only a year and a half ago.”

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A Carb-Centric Diet Helped Me Recover from Type 2 Diabetes

Amy and Rod Horn made the switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet together, after Amy was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and Ron suffered a widowmaker heart attack. They were pleasantly surprised by how quickly their palates adapted: “After two weeks on the diet, we began to savor the wonderful flavors of food without all the butter, oil, and rich sauces,” Amy writes.

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