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A family has revealed how they lost a staggering 1000lb after switching to a plant-based diet.

Three members of the LaJaunie family shared their story on PCRM’s podcast The Exam Room, which is hosted by Chuck Carroll – who is known as The Weight Loss Champion after losing 280lb himself after going plant-based.

Carroll describes the LaJaunie family’s story as ‘one of the most incredible stories you will ever hear’, with the family becoming ‘healthier and happier than ever before’.

Going plant-based

Josh LaJaunie, who started out at 397lb, was the first to adopt the new lifestyle, losing a massive 220lb and eventually being featured on Runner’s magazine as the cover star. His mother Ramona and brother Dustin appeared alongside him to discuss their transformation. While the family has lost 1000lb, more than 500lb of that was lost by just the three of them.

They weren’t instantly on board though, as Ramona told Carroll. She said: “I wasn’t on board at all [at first], I thought he had lost his mind. But by example and [through] perseverance he made me want to try the whole food plant-based diet. It took me about three months and once I got on board I saw benefits within six weeks.

“I was able to get off my blood pressure medicine and I started losing weight. I have scoliosis so I have a lot of trouble with arthritis. [The diet] minimized a lot of my issues with arthritis and I just felt a lot better. I felt like getting up to exercise and I had a lot more energy.”

‘I thought he was crazy’

Brother Dustin said he thought Justin was ‘crazy’ when he first proposed a whole food plant-based diet, but admited that ‘at least he was putting out feelers and trying stuff’.

He added: “What really got my attention was results, and when he turned me on to a few documentaries that I watched and kind of educated myself, it made too much sense not to not to at least try it – and then the results got me hooked as well.

“I [had done] plenty of yo-yo dieting like a bunch of people have done in the past, and you know if you lose 20lb, you put back 40lb. You lose 40lb, you put back 60lb.

“I’d done everything else so gave it a shot and just kept going…I can do it consistently which is one of the differences from all of the other diets. Not only is this working for me, it has given me a new found health. I’m off of three different medications and now I’m an ultra-marathoner – I finished two ultra marathons last year.”

‘Being the change’

Josh LaJaunie said the thing he is most proud of is ‘being the change in [his] family’s health’ after learning about the connection between food and health.

He now supports others in their health and weight loss endeavors, as a community builder and author of Sick to Fit, which details his transformation journey.

He said: “The big picture for me is to have a happy healthy sustained family, and that has been the most rewarding thing of all.”

You can listen to the full podcast here and find podcast host Chuck Carroll on Instagram here

You can find out more about Josh LaJaunie on his website here

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of 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.