So, you have decided to become a vegetarian. Congratulations are in order! You can now look forward to a healthy lifestyle. It’s not easy though, and you have to take things one step at a time. But don’t you worry about a thing. Most of us has made that journey already, and we are here to help you on your way!
There are plenty of benefits you can look forward to as a vegetarian. In fact, you can learn more about how you will benefit in our post about the top six benefits of being vegetarian. But, you’ve probably already done your homework and want some tips on how to make the process a bit easier, right? Let’s jump right in.
#1 Identify Your Goals
This is the first step and is crucial, because without goals you don’t have anything to keep your eyes on the prize. Things to keep in mind is what you envision the transition to bring about, what you want to achieve, and what you envision to include in your diet.
Depending on your goals and needs, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to cut out meat and still eat dairy and eggs (lacto-ovo), eggs but no dairy (lacto-vegetarian) or vegan (no animal products).
#2 Take Some Time
Yes, it is a big transition and a major lifestyle change. It is going to take time to ease into this new way of life. The best advice is to systematically scale down your regular meals to ensure your body gets used to the change. You can start by eating two vegetarian dishes a week.
Slowly start incorporating more and more vegetarian meals until your body is used to the fact that it’s getting less meat. Don’t be in a rush, it’s not going to happen overnight!
#3 Replace the Right Foods
Just because your diet is changing doesn’t mean you are going to leave out certain nutrients completely. In fact, you should replace the foods you wean yourself off with something else that has the same nutritional value.
For instance, you will need to include a lot of legumes and beans, fruits and vegetables as well as grains. The nutrition you get should still be the same, otherwise you’ll end up feeling hungry.
#4 Don’t Starve Yourself
It goes without saying. You will probably lose some weight, but don’t assume you have to eat less or food that’s drab and tasteless. Your diet will most definitely not consist of salads and steamed vegetables alone!
You’ll be able to experiment and have fun with new foods and recipes. Keep at it and follow a healthy meal plan. Don’t end up starving yourself.
If you follow these simple tips you should be fine! Don’t be too hard on yourself and expect that the transition is going to take place overnight. Be proud of your decision and keep at it, you’ll soon experience the value of becoming a vegetarian.