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VB6: Vegan Before 6:00 is a predominantly plant based diet by Mark Bittman, a lead food writer for The Times Magazine and bestselling author of How to Cook Everything.
This book promises a flexible way of eating that provides all the benefits of a plant-based diet with none of the deprivation.
Becoming a Part-Time Vegan
When his doctor diagnosed him as pre-diabetic – six years ago – he gave Bittman the option of adopting a vegan diet or going on medication.
He didn’t want to take pharmaceuticals for the rest of his life. But, his work as a food writer made going vegan a difficult – and undesirable – proposition.
So Bittman made a compromise with himself and decided to eat a healthy vegan diet all day. He also eliminated processed foods, like white bread, white rice, white pasta, junk food, and alcohol. Then after 6pm he could eat whatever he wanted, usually – but not always – in moderation.
He called the diet “vegan before six” or VB6.
Within four months after starting this plan he lost 35 pounds and his cholesterol and blood sugar levels were normal.
The Six Principles of the VB6 Diet
The eating plan is very simple: Eat vegan before 6pm and then you can have anything you want for dinner.
Bittman also outlines six basic principles to help you make choices that will support your health.
1. Eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in abundance.
2. Eat less animal products in smaller portions.
3. Eat (almost) no junk food.
4. Cook at home as much as possible.
5. Consider quality over quantity.
6. See your weight as just one component of good health.
Lentils, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, tofu, brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-grain bread, leafy green vegetables, tomato, pumpkin, corn, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, avocado, tangerines, cantaloupe, cherries, mango, coconut, soy milk, almond milk, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, mustard, miso, herbs and spices, dark chocolate.
Possible Vegan Before Six Meal Plan
Spiced Apple Jam and Whole Grain Toast
Spiked Guacamole with lettuce cups
Baked Ziti with Celery, Red Onion and Pork
Exercise is Vital
Becoming healthy requires not only eating better but also being physically active. Exercise enhances your physical, mental and psychological well-being. It helps you to relax, sleep better and boosts your mood.
You can do any activity that you find enjoyable. Suggestions include:
- Weight lifting
Costs and Expenses
VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health … for Good retails at $26.
Mark Bittman is Interviewed
- Encourages consumption of fresh and unprocessed foods.
- Offers an introduction to a plant-based diet for those who aren’t ready to go completely vegan.
- Lack of restrictions in the evening meal makes it easy to stick with the diet during the day.
- Provides information about the benefits of a plant-based diet, supported by scientific research.
- Includes a 28-day meal plan with recipes and guidance for inexperienced cooks.
- May not be appropriate for people who tend to overeat at night.
- A higher calorie intake in the evening meal could neutralize the potential benefits of the diet.
- Some vegan foods are high in calories, which could slow down weight loss.
- Dieters with serious health conditions may require a more restrictive diet.
- Requires time for preparing and planning meals.
Veganism is a philosophy rather than just a diet, so it’s actually impossible to be “vegan” just before six.
Good Introduction to a Plant Based Diet
Eating vegan before six, while avoiding processed foods, will most likely lead to a reduced calorie intake. This can make it easier for you to lose weight so long as you are mindful of portion sizes.
This plan offers a gentle introduction to a vegan diet for those who don’t want to give up animal foods completely. You can expect to improve your health as you consume a higher intake of fresh and unprocessed plant-based foods.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Bittman, M. (2013). VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6: 00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health… for Good. Clarkson Potter.
- Radnitz, C., Beezhold, B., DiMatteo, J. (2015). Investigation of lifestyle choices of individuals following a vegan diet for health and ethical reasons. Appetite, 90, 31-36. abstract
- Glick-Bauer, M., Yeh, M. C. (2014). The health advantage of a vegan diet: exploring the gut microbiota connection. Nutrients, 6(11), 4822-4838. abstract
- McEvoy, C. T., Temple, N., Woodside, J. V. (2012). Vegetarian diets, low-meat diets and health: a review. Public health nutrition, 15(12), 2287-2294. abstract
Last Reviewed: May 28, 2017