Going Vegan Tips: How to Start a Vegan Diet
Going vegan is becoming one of the most popular diet trends in the country. In fact, more than 9.6 million Americans currently follow a vegan or mostly vegan diet each day.
If you’re thinking about making the transition to a plant-based diet, you’re in good company. Doing so may help you improve your health, reach your ideal weight, and live a lifestyle you can feel proud of.
But figuring out how to go vegan can be a bit more challenging than you might think. Here are a few great going vegan tips to help you make the switch from omnivore to herbivore once and for all.
Decide How Dedicated You Want to Be
There are many different ways to go vegan and each way is just as valid as the other. Some people focus on eliminating animal products from their diets entirely. Others follow a vegan diet and progress to getting rid of animal products in their daily lives.
Whatever you choose, think about how dedicated you want to be during the beginning.
When you’re first becoming a vegan, you may find it helpful to transition into the lifestyle by embracing a plant-based diet a few days a week. Once you get used to eating those foods and understand how they make you feel, you can start following a vegan diet every day more easily.
Research Recipes Before You Go Vegan
Cooking vegan meals can seem challenging at first. Before you decide to make the transition, do your research.
Look for vegan versions of your favorite recipes online and see what you’ll need to do to recreate your favorites.
Start saving the recipes that sound interesting or ones you’re confident you can handle. This way, you’ll already have a good selection of meals to help you stick to your new vegan diet while reducing your cravings for the foods you used to eat.
Prioritize Vegetables, Not Meat Substitutes
The world of vegan convenience foods and meat substitutes is growing by the day. There are vegan alternatives for everything ranging from gummy candies to sliced sandwich meat.
Though those alternatives make going vegan more convenient, try not to rely on them heavily. These products are still made from highly processed ingredients and, though they’re vegan, won’t do much to help you live a healthy lifestyle.
Instead, try to prioritize eating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes each day. If you need a meat substitute, look for more traditional, less-processed options like tofu, tempeh, and seitan.
The more fresh ingredients you can eat, the healthier you’ll be. That said, you can incorporate meat substitutes and vegan junk foods into your diet as long as you do so in moderation.
Take the Right Supplements
Even the healthiest vegan diet won’t give you all of the nutrients and vitamins you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You’ll need to take regular vitamins and supplements each day to help your body be as healthy as possible.
Unfortunately, many vitamins and supplements available at grocery stores and big-box retailers aren’t vegan. They contain nutrients derived from animal products or use food colorings from non-vegan sources.
Look for vegan multivitamin gummies, capsules, or tablets that have clearly labeled ingredients. Read through the ingredients and concentrations of each supplement you consider taking. If you’re comfortable with the ingredients, incorporate them into your daily routine.
Don’t Pay Attention to Criticism
It’s normal for non-vegan dieters to criticize, complain, and otherwise try to derail your commitment to veganism and healthy living. Don’t take it personally.
Instead, be ready. Let the naysayers know that your diet is your own and doesn’t impact their choices. You can even offer to let them try some of your favorite vegan foods to show them that the diet isn’t weird.
On the flip side, remember that your decision to follow a vegan diet doesn’t mean you’re superior to others. If your friends aren’t interested, don’t criticize their decisions or try to force them to follow in your footsteps.
Keep Experimenting as You Go
The key to being successful in any diet lies in avoiding food boredom. Instead of falling into a rut and eating the same dishes week after week, keep experimenting.
Commit to finding and trying at least one new recipe each week. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new ingredients and vegetables as often as you can.
When you do, you’ll stave off boredom and keep yourself from falling back into your old dietary habits.
Always Remember to Pack Snacks
When you first transition to a vegan diet, it’s normal to feel hungry throughout the day. This is because the foods you’re eating are more nutrient-dense but tend to have fewer calories.
That means you’ll want to pack snacks when you’re away from the house, especially at first.
Fresh fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, and other hand fruits are ideal for eating on the go. If you need something a bit more substantial, pack some of your favorite vegan crackers and peanut butter.
Forgive Yourself if You Fall off the Wagon
Being vegan all the time is hard. And sometimes you just really want cheese.
Rather than beating yourself up if you eat something that’s not vegan, forgive yourself. Remember, your diet is a journey and as long as you’re trying your best, the occasional slip-up isn’t something you should punish yourself for.
Follow These Going Vegan Tips From the Beginning
If you’re thinking of becoming a vegan, congratulations! It’s a big step toward living a healthy, plant-based lifestyle. Just make sure you follow these going vegan tips as soon as you start your transition.
When you do, you’ll increase your chances of success from the very beginning.
Sticking to a plant-based lifestyle can still be challenging years down the road. Check out our latest posts for more tips and inspiration to help you stay true to your vegan lifestyle for good.