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Entrepreneur Credits Alcohol-Free Plant-Based Lifestyle For Weight Loss Transformation

Entrepreneur Credits Alcohol-Free Plant-Based Lifestyle For Weight Loss Transformation

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A lot can change in a year 🖤

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A plant-based entrepreneur has spoken out about how being plant-based – and ditching alcohol – transformed her life.

Athena Simpson, a business and marketing optimizer, speaker, writer, and aspiring aerial artist, says she was an ‘unhappy, unhealthy, workaholic’.

While following a plant-based diet, she ditched alcohol, and says she has transformed into a healthy, happy, strong, thriving nomadic entrepreneur.

Losing weight

“Everyone asks me how I lost weight,” Simpson told Plant Based News. “I feel like I cheated since it was so easy for me. I tried a no alcohol challenge to give myself a fresh start to 2019 and I had no idea how life-changing it would be. I was already vegan so I didn’t do anything to change my diet, in fact, I explicitly chose not to put any pressure on myself to change the way I ate.

“I didn’t lose anything for the first six weeks, and then it started melting off. Seven or eight months later, I had lost three jean sizes (44lbs/20kg), gained confidence and loved looking at myself in the mirror but more importantly, was so impressed by what my body was capable of.”

She says a plant-based diet and alcohol-free lifestyle has made her stronger than ever (Photo: Supplied to Plant Based News)
She says a plant-based diet and alcohol-free lifestyle has made her stronger than ever (Photo: Supplied to Plant Based News)


As a result of eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and not drinking alcohol, Simpson found she had an excess of energy – which inspired her to get more active. She believes her plant-based diet has helped with recovery when it comes to physical exercise.

“I got into aerial silks and did that about three times a week,” she said. “I started walking to the train instead of taking the bus and doing a bit of yoga here and there. I didn’t care about losing weight, I wanted to get strong. Silks are one of the most physically demanding activities I’ve ever done, and starting at the age of 35 was certainly a challenge.

“I was never ‘strong’ growing up and now I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life. I think having a vegan diet helped me get stronger faster. Since going vegan four and a half years ago I noticed my recovery time was quicker, aches and pains were less because of reduced inflammation and I felt an overall improvement in my health.

“I would rarely get sick and when I did it was usually gone in a few days. I hadn’t even registered with a GP in almost four years. So when I removed booze, it was like I became a superhuman.”


According to Simpson, people are often surprised by the volume of food she eats. When she first ditched alcohol and started to exercise, her appetite reduced, but she soon realized she wasn’t eating enough to maintain her increased activity level.

“I never craved sugar before but a few months into not drinking anymore and I started craving sugar (this usually happens at the beginning of the detox period),” she said. “I came to realize is that I wasn’t eating enough calories for the amount of increased exercise I was doing. So I started eating more calorie-dense meals and the cravings stopped and my appetite came back.

“When people see how much I eat they can’t really believe that I’ve managed to lose weight. If I didn’t exercise I don’t think I’d be this hungry but being alcohol-free and plant-based means I can pretty much eat whatever I want and keep the weight off.

“I don’t eat tons of processed vegan junk food, but when I want some I don’t stop myself. I see a lot of people giving up booze and frustrated they aren’t losing weight, the difference between them and me is usually a plant-based diet.”

🥦 Chronic Dieter Finally Transforms Physique On High-Carb Plant-Based Diet

🥦 Chronic Dieter Finally Transforms Physique On High-Carb Plant-Based Diet

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Go Jill! 🤯 You’re a ROCKSTAR! Read Jill’s powerful journey👇🏽 Before/After 12 week transformation program with @plantbasedben . So, I've been on a journey. I was unhappy with how I looked & felt & wanted to make a change. I've been food obsessed for decades, & believed I knew a lot about how to be healthy. I even completed a prominent health coaching program some years ago & felt I had the tools to not only reach my goals, but also to help others reach theirs. . I was wrong. . I started my plant based journey 8 years ago after watching @forksoverknives , 100% in on the health benefits. Unfortunately, I gained weight because I fell into the trap of eating processed vegan junk food after formerly eating a pretty clean diet, but one that included chicken, fish, & eggs. . A colleague had exposed me to the animal cruelty aspect of industrialized factory farming through a @peta video titled #themeatyoueat and I knew I would never go back to eating chicken (or start cows or pigs), but I did go back to fish & eggs for a couple of years. It wasn't until I attended an @engine2diet weekend workshop that I was introduced to the documentary @cowspiracy when I learned of the environmental impact of the industrialized farming & fishing industries that I decided I had to commit myself to a lifelong change to a plant-based diet. . I've been plant-based for the last 5 or so years, & do my best to live a 100% vegan lifestyle, but I was on a rollercoaster weight ride due to an overly restrictive diet because of food fads I bought into from a lifelong struggle with body image & dysmorphia (you know, the "bad" foods like wheat, grains, soy, lectins, ANY carbs, etc.), & even adopted a raw diet with great weight loss success, followed by bingeing & weight gain. . I wanted to find a balanced way of eating while maintaining my plant-based diet, & a fitness program that was sustainable & would help me reach my goals in my 40s. I found @plantbasedben on IG, & once we talked I knew I had found the perfect coach. . Through eating MORE foods, counting macros, & following a consistent exercise regimen, I've reached my goals, & am over the moon excited to be posting these result!

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A chronic dieter has revealed how she stopped yo-yo dieting and got over her fear of carbs by following a whole food, plant-based diet.

41-year-old Jill Welch, from Austin in Texas, was originally inspired to go plant-based around eight years ago after a colleague invited her to a private screening of health documentary Forks Over Knives.

According to Welch, whose weight had been yo-yoing by around 20lb over the last few years, watching the film flicked a switch in her head, and she instantly wanted to try a whole-food, plant-based diet. But she revealed that her first attempt at transitioning her diet ‘failed miserably’.

‘Really confused’

“When I went plant-based, I was really confused about how to eat because I was so used to having this meat-based entree, which for me was never beef or pork, but poultry or fish,” she told Plant Based News.

“Seafood was always my favorite. And so, I was so used to having this animal-based protein as an entree and then some vegetable sides. So when I went plant-based, I didn’t know how to structure my meals anymore.

“And I ended up gaining weight, because I started eating things that I didn’t eat before, a lot of filler food-type stuff. And so, I didn’t want to be the person who went plant-based and gained weight. I did not bring poultry back into the mix, but I did bring seafood back into the mix for about the next two years and eggs, never dairy because I just can’t process dairy.”

Another try

After following this pescatarian-style diet for a few years, Welch was inspired to give plant-based another go after watching environmental documentary Cowspiracy, saying that the health and environmental impacts of eating animal products became ‘too big to ignore’.

But she faced the same challenges as before: what should she eat?

“When I removed that animal protein entree from the mix, it was just like, what do I put there,” she said. “And for some reason, it didn’t click for me that it’s okay just to eat vegetables. That didn’t resonate. I was like, where is the entree? And so, structuring my meals was the biggest challenge.”

90-day program

It wasn’t until Welch started working with a vegan coach* that she became comfortable with eating foods like whole-food grains, pasta, and rice. She said: “I am now eating things that I previously had labeled as bad foods.

“I never would have eaten rice. I hadn’t had rice in years. I hadn’t had bread in years. I hadn’t had pasta in years. And now, I can eat those things and know that as long as I’m doing the, staying on my exercise plan and staying within my numbers, I can eat whatever I want.”

Among the foods she now enjoys are rice bowls, pasta dishes, and lentils, as well as fruit – particularly mangoes. She has some foods she limits a little. “I love, love, love, avocados,” says Welch. “I love them. I don’t think there is anything wrong with avocados and I do believe in their health benefits, but they are really high in fat.

“Nut butters are really a slippery slope for me because I can make a meal out of a spoon and a tub of nut butter. Things that I watch out for now when I’m pre-planning my meals and making sure that I’m hitting the numbers that I want to meet are vegan sauces that are made from tahini, or made from peanut butter. Again, nothing wrong with those foods, I tend to over-consume when I’m exposed to things like that.”

Health benefits

Before the end of her 90-day plan, Welch had dropped 22lb and was already experiencing a slew of health benefits. She said: “I’m 41 and I am running faster now than I have in almost 20 years. The last time I ran as fast as I could run now I was a competitive athlete.

“I feel stronger. When I go out for a run or a bike ride, or I go to the gym and I’m on one of the cardio machines, I get this burst of energy and it surprises me sometimes where I think I could keep doing this for hours, where I’m not getting tired, I’m not getting winded.”

In addition, Welch said she has felt some mental health benefits from the change too: “I have a history of struggling in and out of depression and none of that has come up for me. I’m not saying I’m without anxiety, or without doubt…but the deep, dark feelings are not there.

“I just feel really happy and healthy and fit and strong. Definitely stronger and in better health than I was in my 20s by far.”


Welch has advice for people who are interested in going plant-based, but who have fears around eating carbs. She says she can empathize, as she felt the same, but looking at her results now, her diet worked.

“I’m not a dietician, a nutritionist. I’m not a doctor. I can’t explain anything from those perspectives. But, I can explain it from the perspective of, ‘I tried something new and it worked for me, so maybe if everything you’ve tried isn’t working, maybe you try something new too’.”

*Jill Welch worked with vegan fitness coach Ben Raue and followed his dietary plan.