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A Beginner’s Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

by Elsa Stringer

Switching to a plant-based diet is not a new trend by any means. However, it is true that this change of lifestyle significantly rose in popularity over the last couple of years. The reasons for making such a big change vary from person to person but the majority decided to make the shift mostly for health reasons.

Of course, making such a big change doesn’t simply happen overnight. So, if you’re considering giving it a go, be prepared to fail more times than you care to count. But what matters most, in the end, is that – over time – you’ll completely change the way you feed and care for your body for the better.

Moreover, do know that you simply can’t make such a huge change entirely on your own. Instead, you should look for help and support wherever you can find it. The easiest way to start changing the way you approach food and switch to a plant-based diet is by following an easy guide. So, make sure you are paying attention.

Research, research, research


As mentioned earlier, one of the most important things to realize is that changing your diet will require lots of work. If you think about it, you’ve spent your whole life – up to this point – eating a certain type of food. So, when you decide to make the switch, you’ll need to know how to choose, prepare and portion new types of foods you’ll be eating.

That’s why research is key in this stage. You can check out Satia Nutrition to find more information on the overall benefits you can expect to see from switching to a plant-based diet. Additionally, you’ll also need to make sure that you understand how calories work and how much you’ve been intaking them so far so that you avoid underfeeding your body.

Find your motivation


The next thing you’ll need on your road to switching to a plant-based diet is proper motivation. The fact of the matter is that people who just can’t seem to find the right motivation usually don’t get far with their efforts. So, before you begin, take a second and try to answer this very simple question: Why do you want to make the change? But be careful with your answer.

If you’re not doing it mainly for yourself and your own health, chances are you’ll give up more easily when things start to get a bit rough. That’s why you need to determine your own reasons and long-term goals and keep reminding yourself of them every time you feel like your motivation is lacking.

Take things slowly


Again, switching to a plant-based diet is not something that will happen overnight. That’s why you should take things slowly. Not only will this gradual switch be easier on your mental health, but it will be easier on your body as well. Since your organism is used to a certain type of food and nutrition, changing it entirely all of a sudden can have some negative side effects. So, it would be best to start slow.

In the beginning, try to eat an entirely plant-based breakfast. Gradually introduce more plants and plant-based products in your meals and cut back on animal-based foods. If you stay persistent in your efforts, the switch will feel almost seamless.

Be ready to increase your portions


Next, since the food you are used to eating is far richer in calories than plants and plant-based food, you may notice that you feel hungry sooner when you make the switch to a plant-based diet. This is especially true if your previous diet consisted mostly of animal products and highly processed food.

So, in order to stay healthy and avoid becoming malnourished, you need to be ready to increase the size of your portions. Aside from that, you’ll probably also need to increase the number of your meals. However, if you find yourself struggling to finish your now increased portions, you can easily replace some of the veggies with different types of nuts. Pasta, bread, and avocado are also great additions to any plant-based meal as they will ensure you consume enough calories.

Make it easier on yourself


This one is really important and it seems like we can’t emphasize it enough. Changing the way you approach food and nutrition is not easy. No matter how much you want to make the change and no matter how strong your motivation is, you will find yourself struggling. Not only that, but you will fail in your efforts more times than you care to count.

And that’s completely fine. To err is human, and you are just a human after all. So, when you happen to slip up and have a few bits of bacon, don’t be too hard on yourself afterward. Just try to make a conscious effort to avoid repeating the mistake in the future and move on.

Plan your meals


Finally, you will need to prepare yourself for some serious meal planning and prepping, at least in the beginning. When you’re at home, preparing yourself a plant-based meal that’s well balanced and rich in all the nutrients you need is no big deal.

But do know that healthy and well-balanced plant-based meals are not as easy to come by as you’d like. So, what this means is that you should ensure that you have a meal ready to go whenever you’re going out. For instance, if you’re working in the office you will need to prepare yourself at least one meal the day before to ensure that you stay well-fed and follow your meal plan throughout the day. This may sound like too much work for someone who’s not used to it but trust us, you’ll get a hang of it sooner than you think.

These were just some of the basic steps you need to be ready to take if you’re thinking about switching to a plant-based diet. Do know that the process is a bit lengthy and not the easiest thing to do. But once you manage to master it you can expect to see opulent benefits from making such a big change in your life. So, chin up, and start making a difference today.