Adam Sud Before and After Adopting a Plant-Based Diet and Overcoming Addiction

Type 2 Diabetes, Addiction, Depression, 130 Pounds—Gone in Three Years on a Plant-Based Diet!

By Adam Sud,

Last Updated:
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My weight didn’t become a problem until I was about 24 years old, but I have always had an unhealthy relationship with food and a poor self-image. Unfortunately, those weren’t the only things I struggled with. I was also a drug addict and suffered from severe depression, and by the time I was 30 I had developed a severe fast food addiction and weighed 300 pounds. I basically never left my apartment except to go get fast food or drugs. I was never suicidal, but I also didn’t care about living anymore. I remember waking up one morning and just being sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I called my father and asked for help with my addiction to Adderall (a prescription drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy).

I checked into rehab in August of 2012, and while I was there I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Interestingly enough, the diagnosis affected me more than coming to terms with my drug addiction did. Luckily, I had attended one of Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Immersions a year or so prior to rehab, so I knew that I could reverse my diabetes with a plant-based diet. There and then, I made that my mission.

Once I left rehab, I moved into a sober-living home in Santa Monica, California. While there, I put myself on a strict plant-strong diet and never cheated. I also started going to the gym four times a week. Within the first two months I had lost almost 40 pounds, and my blood sugar level had dropped from 300 to 120. What this showed me was that I am the one who changes my life! If I accept responsibility for my situation and do the necessary work to change it, my life becomes better (even if it’s uncomfortable at first). Recognizing that, I applied the same method to my emotional recovery, which for me was the hardest part, and I saw the same results. Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is the essence of recovery, whether physical or emotional.

I reversed my type 2 diabetes within six months, and I lost over 100 pounds in a year. I have since become a holistic lifestyle coach, and I teach nutrition as a tool for recovery and relapse prevention to recovering addicts. I have had the honor of being a speaker at Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Immersion and have been a guest on the Rich Roll podcast.

Today I am three years sober, I weigh 170 pounds, and I am in the best shape of my life. Plant-based eating has not only saved my life, but it has allowed me to create an entirely new one. Everything has changed: the way I see the world, how I perceive people, and how they perceive me. It’s an incredible feeling. I can say for sure that the struggle is real, but the rewards are immense. I love my life, and I look forward to every new day!

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.

This article was originally published on Oct. 26, 2015, and has been updated.

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About the Author

Headshot of Adam Sud, founder of Plant-Based for Positive Change

About the Author

Adam Sud

Adam Sud is the founder of the Plant-Based for Positive Change, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the research on diet and mental health and addiction. In 2020 he ran the very first controlled research trial to investigate the effects of a plant-based diet intervention on early addiction recovery outcomes. As an international speaker on plant-based nutrition and addiction recovery, he has been a featured speaker at the Whole Foods Market Tribal Gathering, Nexus Global Summit, The Food Revolution Summit, and Plant-Stock. He is a diabetes and food-addiction coach with Mastering Diabetes, a program that helps people reverse insulin resistance through the use of low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition. Adam has worked in recovery centers using plant-based nutrition as a tool for strengthening recovery and preventing relapse. Adam has been a guest on The Plant Proof Podcast with Simon Hill, The Darin Olien Show, and The Rich Roll Podcast. He has been featured in magazines including Forks Over Knives, Austin Fit Magazine, Naked Food, and Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine, and in the documentary film Diet Fiction. Find him on Instagram and Facebook.

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