Become a Vegetarian
When deciding how to become a vegetarian, there are many options to consider. Some recommend gradually changing your diet while others advise you to dive right in and correct course along the way. Regardless of your strategy, there is a way to succeed with your new meatless diet by following six simple steps.
Although they are simple steps to take, they may not be easy. Some of them apply more to people who make a gradual change to a meat-free lifestyle while others are more suited to those who make the change more rapidly. Most of them apply to both.
If you are undecided about how to become a vegetarian, consider applying these steps as you go. You could apply one to your live each day or every week, depending on your preference and what works for you.
Step 1: Identify the reasons why you want to change your diet.
Carefully consider your main motivations for following a meatless diet. Do you want to end animal suffering? Save money? Help the environment? Improve your health?
All of these are great reasons to go vegetarian. However, it is important to know which ones mean the most to you.
Give your reasons serious consideration and write them down. This list doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t matter if you are already a vegetarian or not. Keep it in a place where you will see it often to remind yourself why you are making this change in lifestyle.
Repeat this process periodically, as your reasons may and probably will change over time. It is also a great way to stay passionate about following a meatless diet.
Step 2: Find social support.
Whether it is from friends or just an online vegetarian forum that you visit regularly, it is important to receive support when you go vegetarian. Others will be able to give you advice and tips for how to become a vegetarian. They can lift you up when you feel down and frustrated.
Support from others, especially vegetarians and vegans, is important for you success at a vegetarian lifestyle. It also makes the change much more fun!
Step 3: Research recipes and nutritional information. It is a good idea to know what you are undertaking before you get started, or at least shortly afterward. Look up information about how to become a vegetarian in a healthy way. Consider setting up an appointment with a nutritionist or dietitian, if you can, to talk about a diet that will meet your nutritional needs.
Also, find vegetarian recipes from cookbooks or online. Keep a variety on hand for meals and snacks. This makes the transition easier because you won’t have to wonder what you can eat. You already know a few options!
Step 4: Evaluate your diet.
As you change your diet, think about how it makes you feel. Do you have more or less energy?Are you getting adequate nutrition? Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables?
Make a point of evaluating your eating habits on a regular basis. You may need to make changes or focus on consuming enough nutrients.
Step 5: Make changes based on your comfort level.
There are many ways that are recommended for how to become a vegetarian. Do what feels right. Don’t think you can stop eating meat all at once? Cut back on how many times you consume meat each week. Eager to dive right in? Go ahead, but do some research as you go.
No one way is the “right way” to become a vegetarian.
Step 6: Track your progress and reward yourself.
Note when you have met a major milestone. Haven’t had any meat for a week, month or even longer? Celebrate your progress. Going vegetarian can be challenging, so take the time to reward yourself. Go out for a movie with friends, get a manicure or buy that new outfit you’ve been eying.
Whether you already follow a meatless diet or you are just considering it, these tips can help you feel more motivated and keep you on track when you feel discouraged.
Deciding how to become a vegetarian can be a bit overwhelming at first, especially with the wide variety of contradictory advice. These simple steps are beneficial no matter how you decide to go about making the change in your lifestyle!
About the Author
Linda Newell of Recipes-For-Vegetarians.com is a member of the Vegetarian Resource Group and the North American Vegetarian Society. She shares information such as vegetarian protein sources