There are many reasons to adopt a vegan diet. The treatment of animals by the food industry is just a start. Farming animals requires far more resources than farming fruit or vegetables.58% of greenhouse gasses we produce comes from farming livestock. Finally, a plant-based diet is proven to improve health and reduce obesity
Whatever your reason, you’re ready to start transitioning to a plant-based diet. In this post, we’ll give you tips on how to do so effectively.
Do Your Homework
Before you start to make the change, do as much research as possible. Many would-be vegans give up because they don’t know what to do and what to eat. As a result, they find the diet too limited or that they don’t have the energy to do what they need to. Under those circumstances, it’s easy to give up.
There’s a lot of support for the vegan lifestyle today, so take full advantage of it. Establish:
- Your personal motivation for the transition.·
- What you can and can’t eat.
- How to get your body the vital nutrients it needs.
- Where you’ll source your food.
- What additional costs to budget for.
Join a vegan community and get advice from those who’ve already transitioned. You’ll get practical advice and support that’ll help you on your journey.
Decide How Far You’ll Go
Strict veganism means cutting out all animal products. Some people choose to allow themselves to eat eggs and dairy. Make up your mind about what foods you can and can’t live without. Try not to drive yourself into anything that you’re not prepared for. Vegetarianism, for example, is less strict and might prove a better option for you.
Don’t Cut Anything Out Yet
Going from eating meat one day to not eating it the next is difficult. Psychologically, it’s the same as putting yourself on a restrictive diet. You’re bound to crave the foods that you don’t allow yourself to eat.
You don’t have to transition in one step. Doing so gradually is better because it allows you to gain experience before committing yourself fully.
Start off by adding nuts and seeds as snack foods. Add an extra piece of fruit to your meals. Switch out dairy milk for non-dairy milk. Substitute wild rice or brown rice for white rice. These are little changes that are not difficult to make.
Once that’s settled, incorporate more vegetables and meat substitutes by finding delicious ways to prepare them.
Instead of suddenly cutting out food groups from your diet, you’re adding more options. This makes it easier to accept the so-called restrictions of a vegan diet. You’ll get to put a toe in the water and make sure that you enjoy yourself.
Incorporate Lifestyle Changes
As you’ll know if you’ve ever been on a diet, it’s easy to maintain an eating plan when your motivation levels are high in the beginning. Maintain that motivation by reminding yourself why you’re making the change.
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If it helps, research what goes into that breakfast sausage that you enjoy so much. To further improve your motivation, get temptation out of the way.
You won’t have to do this forever, but in the beginning, it’s better to avoid potential trigger situations. While you may feel motivated right this second, it’s hard to maintain your resolve when you’ve had a rough day at work.
Work out ways to avoid those fast-food restaurants that don’t fit with your new lifestyle. Consider meal-prepping so that you always have something quick and easy to pull out and eat. Keep your stock of healthy alternatives high. Finally, work out some staple recipes that you can cook up in minutes in case you’re caught out.
Now You Can Start Cutting Out Foods
Again, the idea here is to avoid feeling like you’re missing out on something. Choose to cut out whatever is easier for you—eggs or dairy. Once you’ve cut out one and have lived with the decision for a few weeks, cut out the other one.
You might feel that the speed of the transition is too slow. We understand that, but you’re changing the way you’ve eaten your whole life. If you change too much at once, your body is bound to rebel. Keep in mind that whatever you believe consciously, your body thinks it knows best.
The subconscious mind is quite capable of tricking you off the right path.
Start with the foods that you find easier to give up. As you grow more accustomed to this lifestyle, you’ll find that you naturally gravitate toward better options. Then it becomes much simpler to give up the foods that you’ll miss more.
Start replacing the animal products in your diet with tasty vegan alternatives. Have a meat-free Monday and gradually increase the number of meat-free days a week. As you start to see the health benefits, you’ll become more motivated to make the change final.
Good luck with your transition. If you clearly define your motivation upfront and make the transition slowly, you’ve got a far better chance of a successful transition. You don’t have to change the habits of a lifetime overnight. Give yourself a break, and your lifestyle changes are more likely to stick.