It’s not easy to change eating patterns that you’ve developed over decades, and even if you do manage to make the switch to a completely new diet, maintaining the lifestyle can be even harder. Transitioning to a vegan or plant-based diet is no short of a challenge for your mind and body.
In the initial phase of the diet, it is completely normal to undergo digestion changes, intense cravings and fatigue, as your body needs time to get used to the new lifestyle.
The transition is ever harder for hardcore meat eaters who don’t know the best way to replace their love for meat, eggs, cheese, and other dairy products. Surprisingly, there are plenty of nourishing and delicious plant-based options that could soon become your new favorite foods!
After talking to some of the most experienced people in the plant-based community, we’ve put together a few helpful tips that could help you transition to the new lifestyle successfully.
Find Your Motivation
Change is always good, especially if it leads you towards a path of health, success, and happiness. But before you make any major changes in your life, it is important to pause and think long and hard about what has inspired you to take the leap.
People choose to go plant-based for a number of different reasons: some want increased energy and mental clarity, others want to help the animals and environment in some way. Whatever your motivation is for choosing the new lifestyle, use it as a guide to help you move in the right direction and stay on track.
Eat More Food
Increased portion size is one of the biggest changes you’ll have to get accustomed to on your new diet. Since most plant-based meals are low in calories, it makes sense to increase the quantities of the foods to ensure that you’re not undereating.
Start with Breakfast
It may not be possible for most people to switch from a meat-rich diet to a plant-based lifestyle instantaneously which is why it is okay to take one step at a time – and what better way to start than by switching out eggs and bacon for breakfast with a nutritious bowl of chia seed pudding or avocado toast with tofu scramble.
There are plenty of other plant-based options from delicious smoothies to vegan pancakes and chickpea omelets that you can try for breakfast – you won’t even miss your traditional breakfast of eggs and bacon, promise!
Contrary to popular belief, a plant-based diet isn’t just about eating salads and fruits. There are endless meal ideas that you can try on your new diet to keep things from getting boring, and the internet is an amazing place to get inspiration for new plant-based meals that you should introduce to your dinner table.
Look around your local supermarket to find foods that you’ve never tried before and try to find recipes for it online so that you don’t get sick of eating the same three meals every day.
People new to plant-based diets often find it hard to resist temptations from dairy and animal-based foods whenever they’re on the move. To prevent yourself from relapsing into your old eating habits, make sure to have a good meal before heading outside or pack some vegan snacks with you on the go.
There are plenty of great plant-based snack options you can find at a good-quality supermarket including nuts, dry fruits, flavored rice crackers, granola bars, coconut yogurts and vegan chocolates.
Make Likeminded Friends
Change is much easier to accomplish when you do it with others. Having someone who shares your struggles, motivates you to stay on track, and gives helpful advice in difficult situations is a great way for achieving your goals.
If you don’t have a friend who is going through or has been through the transition to a plant-based diet, there are plenty of online platforms where you can connect with likeminded people who have the same goals as you.