Embracing a plant-based diet is great for your health. Numerous countries are becoming vegan-friendly, making it possible for tourists and residents alike to dine out without having to starve themselves for the lack of vegan options. If you wonder why the vegan diet is growing popular, it is more than just because a few celebrities are vouching for it. The reason for its popularity could be traced back to the research evidence that suggests that a vegan diet can help you lose weight, reduces the risk of heart diseases, and prevents colon cancer, among many others. Here are six more tips to help make the transition an easy one!
If you are someone who cannot go even a single meal without meat or animal-based products, switching to a plant-based diet overnight could do more harm than good. So, make the transition easy by changing one meal at a time. Have one meal a day for a week without any meat or animal-based ingredients.
Preferably choose the largest meal of the day so that the transition is easier and a significant impact on your system. After a week to ten days, slowly make even the smallest meal you take into a plant-based one. This way, two out of your three meals are plant-based. Your body would soon be conditioned to an all plant-diet without depriving you of the nutrition or the taste.
Subscribe to a Vegan Meal Service
So, if you are planning on hopping onto the plant-based diet, too, be sure you understand how to follow the diet religiously. You could sign up for a vegan meal delivery service to bring you your food every day until you get a better picture of what you could eat and what you cannot. This is important because a plant-based diet is different from a vegetarian diet. You could still consume milk, cheese, and yogurt in a vegetarian diet to get your daily dose of calcium and vitamins. However, in a vegan or a plant-based diet, you would have to switch to almond, soy, or tofu for your nutrition. And once you get the hang of what you can eat and what you cannot, sticking to the diet would be easy.
Prepare a Meal Plan
Have a meal plan ready for the whole week and shop accordingly. This way, you know what you are going to have and will not fall into the temptation to have meat. Switching to a plant-based diet should not mean a dull, boring, flavorless meal. So, make sure you have a colorful, tempting, and tasty meal for the whole day. Planning ahead would help you do this effectively. There are numerous food bloggers and nutritionists online who can help you get some meal inspiration.
Join an Interest Group
This could be a simple group on Facebook or Whatsapp. But joining a group of vegans will not just give you interesting meal ideas, but will also keep you motivated to stick to your goals. If you are someone who eats out often, a peer group could come in handy. This is important as the lack of dietary options in most restaurants might want you to give up. However, if you are a member of a vegan group, you could dine out with them, or get restaurant suggestions that are vegan-friendly, this way, eating out wouldn’t be a pain!
Grains to the Rescue
The biggest concern that most people have while switching from a meat to a plant-based diet is their proteins and vitamins. However, you have nothing to worry about, because a vegan diet can be rich in nutrients if you load it with ample amounts of nuts and grains. Everything from walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts from the nuts family to the legumes like chickpea, pinto, lima, to kidney beans, you could include them all in your diet. They are rich in proteins, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals that your body needs to survive and grow.
As you would be cutting out on bad cholesterol and fats from meat, you are more likely to develop muscle strength from a vegan diet. However, you might have to add in a few hours at the gym to achieve this goal.
Avoid Processed Foods
One advantage of eating a plant-based meal is that you could consume fresh food. Most of the meat dishes include processed foods at some stage. However, this does not mean that vegan foods are not processed, there are options for processed foods that you would find in the plant-based section, but the key is to avoid them.
Every time you feel the temptation to buy canned food, have a carrot, apple, or any other food that makes you feel full and fresh. Stick to whole foods and resist the temptation to consume processed foods, this way, you would avoid gaining weight. Imagine switching to a plant-based diet and realizing you have gained more weight than you did while eating meat. It doesn’t sound nice, right, so avoid it!