Reading Time: 3 minutes James Newbury has won the title of 'Australia's Fittest man' four times (Photo: Instagram/James Newbury)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Australia’s Fittest Man has revealed that he is now plant-based – and has shared the reasons why.

James Newbury, who has won the title of ‘Australia’s Fittest man’ four times, has also clinched the title of ‘Fifth Fittest on Earth’ at the Crossfit Games. He is also an Ironman finisher.

Newbury took to Instagram to detail the rationale behind his decision to go plant-based – revealing that the idea has ‘been on [his] mind since about 2013’.

Plant-based diet

The athlete said he had tried to make the transition before, but as he was unprepared, and ‘didn’t take the time to make good eating habits’, he stopped. He added that his motivation at this time was ‘performance benefits rather than ethical reasons’.

“I guess since then I’ve almost turned a blind eye to a lot of what you see on YouTube with how animals are treated, and I avoided videos like that like the plague because it made me so sad,” Newbury wrote.

“Then I started to think to myself by not watching the video because it makes me sad, this doesn’t actually contribute to a solution, yet it actually supports it. No matter the size of the contribution, it’s still a contribution, so I made the choice to do it properly. Not only for the animals but the environment too.”

‘Looking forward to sharing the journey’

According to Newbury, he stopped eating 99 percent of all animal products at the beginning of October, before the CrossFit Games. He kept taking an animal-based collagen supplement as he ‘wanted to ease my way into it’.

He added: “Three weeks later, I fell off my bike and broke my back, ribs, and punctured a lung. I continued eating 99 percent animal-free through this period. Two-and-a-half weeks later I went in for follow up Xrays. I then received a call later that arvo from the cardiothoracic doctor saying there were no fractures left to be seen. 

“Not to say the way I was eating is the cause of this because I’m sure the shape I was in played a role, and my [attention] to recovery is almost obsessive.” 

Quitting all animal products

The sportsman concludes that he quit 100 percent of animal products on November 12 – and since then, has completed some impressive sporting feats.

“[On] December 1, I completed my ever full distance Ironman and then finished a seven-day fast in Bali. I’m now back in the gym, and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey of getting back to CrossFit weight from here,” he said.

“At no point am I going to push this choice upon anyone else, but hopefully it allows everyone to keep an open mind just like anything in life regardless of the stigma attached.” 

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.