Are you thinking of starting plant based diet living?
Have you heard about plant-based eating and wanted to learn more?
What are some of the reasons why people shift to this type of eating?
Here are a few of the most common reasons for transitioning to plant-based diet:
- Weight loss: Although a plant-based diet is a lifestyle and not a diet fad, it’s still a good way to lose weight if you need to do so. You can get in shape more easily with this type of diet and boost your metabolism at the same time.
- Prevention of illness: There is some proof that plant-based eating can be linked to the prevention of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more. If you’re looking for a way to get your body healthy throughout, plant-based eating may be the way to go.
- Morals: Of course, if you prefer not to eat animal products based on morals, plant-based is the best option for you!
No matter what brings you here, if you’re thinking of getting started on a plant-based diet, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list of tips below to give you a jumpstart toward your eating goals.
Read on to find out more about how to transition to a plant based diet.
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How to Start a Plant Based Diet
It can be challenging to begin a plant-based diet, and the changes that you can expect may seem fairly big to you. If you’re coming from a traditional way of eating, you should plan to take these changes one at a time rather than transitioning cold-turkey. The more patient you are with yourself and the more time you give yourself to adjust, the better off you’ll be and the more likely you will be to stick to it in the long-term, too.
Keep the following guide in mind to help you transition to plant based diet choices as smoothly as possible:
1. Remember why you chose to make this transition.
Clearly, you had a reason for doing this, and whatever that reason might be, you should keep it in mind at all times when you’re concerned about your success. Did you choose to go plant-based because of your morals? If so, remember that when you’re thinking about eating an animal product. Did you make this decision for your health and fitness? If this is the case, you might want to write down your health goals and keep them with you so you can easily refer to them when you feel tempted to go off your plant-based diet.
2. Arm yourself with information.
The more solid, true information you have, the better off you’ll be. When you feel yourself faltering, remind yourself of everything you know regarding the health benefits of plant-based dieting. And don’t forget to educate yourself about the right food decisions, too! When you know what decisions you should make when you eat, it will be easier to convince yourself to do so—even when you feel like you want to eat something different.
3. Understand how many calories you need each day and make sure you get them.
This is a lifestyle and is not a crash course diet plan. You shouldn’t force yourself to under-eat so you’ll lose weight, because this will be going against your goals of becoming healthy and preventing illness and disease. It also may backfire and cause you to gain weight in the long run. On the other hand, don’t go over your calories for the day, and try to stick to a healthy number—preferably one recommended by your doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian.
4. Start with meals you’re already familiar with.
If you love veggie stir-fry, then, by all means, start with veggie stir-fry! Stick to the foods you recognize and enjoy, and slowly incorporate them more frequently into your diet. This will give you a solid framework for more plant-based eating later on.
5. Learn to eat a wider variety of plant-based whole foods.
As you progress, you can bring more plant-based foods into your diet. If you like veggie stir-fry, you might choose some vegetarian curry next time instead. And from there, you may come up with other dinners you can try that are plant-based in nature, too. It won’t take long for you to have a repertoire of healthy recipes and foods you can choose from so you don’t have to think about eating meat and animal products ever again.
6. Learn how to make your own meals and snacks.
This may go without saying, but you’ll do a lot better on a plant-based diet if you can make your own food at home. Even if the food you make is very simple, you’ll be much healthier in the long run when you aren’t eating processed and packaged foods. Remember that just because something says it’s vegan on the package, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthy option!
7. Learn about quick, easy food swaps.
Change regular milk for soy milk or learn how to replace eggs with bananas or avocados in your baking. You might be surprised at how easy it is to make these changes when you get used to them!
8. Keep your pantry and kitchen well-stocked.
An empty kitchen encourages you to go out to eat, which in turn encourages you to break your plant-based eating habits. Keep your kitchen stocked and at the ready so you’ll be able to fend off any hunger pangs or cravings when they hit. And remember not to buy junk food to keep at home so you won’t be tempted to eat it, too!
9. Make a meal plan and a shopping list, and stick to it.
This is great advice for anyone, regardless of what dining plan you end up choosing for your life. If you don’t have a meal plan, you’ll be at a loss when lunch or dinnertime rolls around, and you’ll be more likely to go out to eat or to pick up something unhealthy just because it’s convenient. And if you go to the grocery store without a list in mind, you aren’t going to have much luck; you’ll wander the aisles and end up buying something bad for you more often than not. Plan ahead for best results on a plant-based diet and on any other diet, too.
10. Pack snacks and lunches for times when you won’t be at home.
When you’re away from home, the temptation to go out to eat is very strong. You might even be tempted to pick up a candy bar for a snack just this once, or to grab something from the office snack room when you get a little hungry throughout the day. This is not a good idea! Instead, bring along some healthy homemade snacks or lunches of your own. This way, you’ll always have something to eat available, and you won’t have to give in to the temptation to snack and eat junk food.
11. Don’t stress about your diet plan, and take it one step at a time.
Be patient with yourself and go a day or a week at a time, changing one or two things as you go. This will allow you to work slowly and adjust to a plant-based lifestyle more effectively than you would if you jumped right into it with no planning.
12. Find fellow plant-based eaters, teachers, and resources online.
Having a great support system for your plant-based diet is one of the best ways you can ensure success. Take the time to find people who can help you live the lifestyle you want and accomplish your goals, too. And don’t forget to study and learn every step of the way!
How much time does it take before eating a plant-based diet feels natural and easy? Does it ever get easier? How can you stay motivated when you’re first starting out?
When you’re beginning a plant based diet start telling yourself that it doesn’t have to be easy right away. It’s going to take some time to get used to the idea, and that’s okay! You may even slip up and eat meat a few times while you’re transitioning, and that’s okay too. Be patient with yourself, give yourself time to adjust, and remember that it takes a while to form healthy, new habits. In the end, however, you’ll be ready to eat plant-based foods any time—and every time—you get hungry.
Remember, too, that different people respond differently to this type of diet plan. Some people may get used to it in a few weeks, while others may take a year or more to really get in the swing of it. Having a good, supportive community both online and off can make a big difference in your success.
With the right information, you can start plant based diet planning and begin your journey easily. Keep our list of tips in mind as you begin your plant-based lifestyle!