Many people are realising the benefits of switching to a vegan and plant-based diet, whether it’s to lead a fitter, healthier life, or to be kinder to the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.
But some folk may find difficulty in making the switch to plant-based diets if they have previously been largely carnivorous. How on earth can you manage without that weekly take-out treat of KFC? How impossible is the Impossible Burger?
The most common reason people give for giving up is that it’s too hard to forget their favourite meaty foods. It is difficult, but nothing worth doing is easy! A little extra willpower and the good news is that the cravings will dissipate sooner than you think! Here are some tips to get you going.
1. Try it for a month
Challenge yourself to go for a month without animal products or processed foods. You’ll discover your energy levels increase, you’ll get better sleep, and by the end, you’ll feel fitter and happier. And it will give you the confidence to keep going.
2. Stock your fridge
Prepare your shopping list with a few simple go-to recipes, or a few easy plant-based substitutions. Begin with the foods you know you like, and fill the kitchen with nuts and fruit, veggies, hummus, and peanut butter for the snack cravings.
3. One day at a time
If giving up meat for a month seems impossible, then take it one day at a time, or start with one or two meat-free days during the week, and build it up. Get confident with cooking vegetables well, experiment with spices, and try new things. Make a savoury tofu scramble for Sunday morning brunch. Experiment with a few plant-based mac and cheese recipes online.
4. Cut yourself some slack
Remember, you’re not dieting, you’re making a lifestyle change, so stop counting calories and assigning points to food. Allow yourself to enjoy your new plant-based diet, and give yourself some flexibility. If you’re eating out with friends, don’t kick yourself for indulging a little when the cheese board appears!
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