Want to go vegan? Whether you’re doing it for health reasons, for the fad of it or any other objective, you should first be sure that you understand what it entails. It’s an interesting pursuit despite many people trying it and dropping out. The biggest reason why a majority of people opt out is nothing more than the desire to enjoy their usual delicacies.
Whatever your reason for going vegan, below are 12 things you need to know before you start the walk.
- Make the Transition Gradual
The best approach to going vegan is by going gradual. If you’re to transition without feeling overburdened, simply start by slowly cutting down on your intake of non-vegetarian foods. Many who drop out do so because of the severity of withdrawal symptoms that result from kicking out all non-vegan foods at the same time.
- Drop the Non-Vegan Meals One At a Time
You already know the foods you need to drop in order to go fully vegan, right? Instead of dropping all of them at the same time or cutting on their intake gradually, consider delisting some of the non-vegan foods out of your diet one by one. Once you get comfortable with a specific change, target the next.
- Switch Between Big and Small Changes
If you go big, big, big, you may find going vegan too demanding. A good approach would be to make a big drop and then follow it with a smaller one. When taking the next change, only do so after your body has become comfortable with the preceding change.
- Don’t Stick to A Difficult Change
As humans, we often quit programs as soon as we feel like they’re demanding too much from us within a very short time. This happens even in the gym. If things don’t grow gradually, you’re likely to give up on your workouts. In the same breathe, if you make a significant change to your diet and you find it difficult coping with it, bring it back and target another one. Only revisit that change when you feel more confident.
- Being Vegetarian Doesn’t Equal Weight Loss
If you want to go vegan in order to lose weight, well and good. But just be aware that being vegetarian doesn’t mean automatic weight loss. If you’re to lose weight, there are some changes that must follow along. The most likely changes that would result in weight loss is discontinuing the intake of processed grains, alcohol, and sugar.
- A Relapse Doesn’t Mean You’ve Lost It
Eating some non-vegan food after making a decision to strictly stick to the diet doesn’t mean you’ve lost it and so you should throw in the towel. Many people have relapsed. It happens. But only those who choose to lift themselves back up and continue the journey turn up into lifelong vegans.
- You May End Up Using Supplements
Going vegan means you could miss out on some important nutrients. If, for example, you stop eating all animal products, your body may end up with inadequate amounts of calcium, iron, and some proteins. In case there are no alternative foods to supply these nutrients, supplements would come in handy.
- Don’t Miss Plant Proteins
We all know that our bodies need some specific nutrients in order to function properly. Therefore, when going vegan, it’s important to establish the kind of vegan foods that will supply your body with all the essential nutrients. Plant proteins are sometimes forgotten yet they form a central part of the vegan diet. Foods like beans, lentils, and nuts are invaluable sources of plant-proteins and thus shouldn’t be omitted from your diet.
- Don’t Go Into A Lot of Soy
Some people go vegan and then just eat anything in whatever quantity believing that it’s all good. However, vegan or otherwise, it’s still important to be mindful of what you eat and in what quantities. Even though not scientifically proven, soy is said to interfere with the normal hormone functions. It’s also believed to have the potential of promoting the development of some type of cancer.
- It’s Like a Spiritual Walk, Get Some Vegan Friends
Going vegan could just be a lifelong journey if you commit to. For the best results, try as much as possible to get some friends who’ve been vegans for years with great success. Such friends would encourage you and give you tips and tricks on how to live a successful vegan lifestyle.
- Identify Vegan Eateries Around You
There are times you’d get home hungry and find your fridge empty. If this is happening at a time you’re really starving, you may end up munching any food you come across, vegan or otherwise. So, before you find yourself in such a scenario, get to know the places around where you stay from where you can get vegan food. Also, mark their hours of operation. Besides helping you to get food whenever you want to, they could also be the places where you can eat out with friends.
- Be Ready to Read Food Labels
Because you’re particular with what you eat and are conscious of the nutrients you need in your body, reading food labels becomes indispensable. By so doing you get to know the exact nutrients and understand whether or not what you’re about to order would add value to your diet and health in general.
Even as you go vegan, know it can be cost effective if you put in proper research. Also, make it fun. Get to know of the specialized recipes that would make your meals yummy and enjoyable.