Personal development

5 tips for transitioning to a plant-based diet

I used to eat meat. Lots of it. I love food, and my motto used to be “meat with every meal”

But now I’ve gone vegan, cut down on oily and sugary foods, and stopped eating biscuits and cake for 14 days. Woohoo!!

How did I do it?

Have a powerful ‘WHY’ and constantly remind yourself of it 

In order to do anything successfully in the long term, we have to start with why we want it. Anything new will be difficult. Lets not kid ourselves. I gave in some times and ate a cookie or a handful of sugar coated nuts here and there (perhaps once every other day), but remind myself that going vegan is my commitment to eating for vitality and improving how I feel about myself. That way I managed to quickly forgive myself and immediately get back on track.

Don’t try and convince others to follow suit…yet.

You are just beginning your journey. Yes you do know it is a better way of eating otherwise you would not begin the transition. However, give yourself some time to adjust and produce positive results before preaching your ways to others. Live by example.

What about your family and close friends? For the first week I was preparing my own meals, sitting down with my family and friends for meals but eating what I want to eat, separate from the family meal. This way I am honouring them for what they do but committing to my new ways of eating. Eventually when they notice the positive change in you (mood, energy, appearance) they will want to join in too.

Stock your fridge with plenty of greens

It is ok for you to put in a bit more effort preparing your meals for your new way of eating but make sure it is not too much more effort. Adjusting to a new habit is difficult enough, so you want to make the transition as easy as you can. But be reasonable. Don’t buy 7 days worth of veg. You are meant to be eating fresh veg and a 7 day old lettuce hardly fits the bill.

Do not go hungry but don’t overdose on snacks

Eating fresh green veg is less calorie dense than eating meat, therefore you might find yourself eating more food in volume at meal time than before. Don’t worry about that as long as you are eating veg. Have easy access to good nutritious foods. Snack in between if you feel hungry (physical hunger not emotional hunger, I always remind myself), but go easy on the nuts. They are very calorie dense.

Track your progress

Nothing is more reassuring than observing progress in yourself. We are all doing this to improve something, be it your blood health, weight, energy levels, digestive health, your contribution to a greener future. Whatever your reason, make it measurable. Find something within your control that you can easily monitor to track your progress. My example is improving my physical appearance. Since I began the transition my weight has fluctuated slightly but the net weight has increased! But I have lost centimeters off my waist,hips,thighs and arms. So now my clothes fit better!

I hope these 5 tips will assist you in your transition to a plant based diet. Keep at it, share your experiences with me and lets strive for a better, happier self 🙂

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