woman measures waist for weight loss with fresh vegetables on foreground

How to Switch to a Plant-Based Diet?

These days more and more people switch to a plant-based diet for a number of reasons. It could be for improving their health with hemp oil, losing weight, helping with environmental changes, or being compassionate to animals. Basically, a plant-based diet means you only eat plants, eradicating animal meat and their other products such as dairy and eggs from your diet.

There are plenty of plant foods that many people don’t eat. So, sticking to this diet means you’re widening the assortment of foods you consume. A plant-based diet is almost the same as veganism except that the former means your diet is basically all plants but with still a few animal products. Nonetheless, many people who practice a plant-based diet also strive to completely cut out any animal products from their eating plan.

If you’re one of those people who want to try this kind of diet, you’d know how it’s not that easy. Food brings the ultimate satisfaction and having to massively change your diet can be surely challenging. But, if your reasons are strong enough to motivate you in making this ultimate change in your diet, you can gradually make changes little by little.

Here’s a guide to switching to a plant-based diet:

1. Gradually remove meat from your diet

fresh vegetable saladIf you’ve eaten meat your whole life you’d know this process would take time. So, you can begin by designating a no-meat day. Over time, you can add more days until such time that you don’t even notice that you’re not having meat anymore. You can also begin cutting out red meat first, followed by poultry, and then seafood, in deliberate stages of a month or this could last a couple of months even.

Don’t worry if it’s taking you a long time, as long as you know you’re making small progress in every milestone. It’s also vital that as you get rid of meat from your diet, you’re also able to replace them with something equally nutritious and not just starches. There are many food options and recipes you can explore.

2. Cut out eggs

After eliminating red meat and poultry, you become a pescatarian. After removing seafood from your diet, you become a vegetarian. While other people who stick to a plant-based diet still eat eggs and dairy, many also opt to get rid of them for reasons of animal compassion.

3. Eliminate dairy

Cutting out dairy completely is tough for most people. Often, it’s not the milk that they find hard giving up but the cheese. Nowadays though, there are more cheese substitutes that are actually pretty good. As for milk, there are now almond and soy milk as alternatives. Perhaps, what makes less difficult is not to focus on what you’re giving up but on the other good stuff that you can eat.

4. Consume whole, unprocessed foods

vegan plant based foodThis means eating more veggies and other food options that are not processed. Dark green leafy vegetables are the best and when eating nuts, go for the raw instead of the salted and roasted ones. Concentrate on eating whole grains instead of refined ones.

Bottom Line

While switching to a plant-based diet isn’t easy at first, it’ll eventually become more doable as long as you focus on your health or weight loss goals. If you’re intent on making this tremendous change in your diet, be sure to do it slowly. Otherwise, you might feel deprived and this could ruin whatever progress you’ve already accomplished. Also, consult your doctor to make sure that your new diet is not making you miss certain nutrients.