Tips for Starting a Vegetarian Diet

Going on some sort of diet is something that a lot of people will aspire to do at some stage in their life. However, it is much easier said than done. To completely cut out some of your favourite foods from your diet is extremely tough. Not to mention when these foods can often be replaced at times with less favourable options. However, dieting is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are trying to lose weight or just improve your general health, there are plenty of benefits to going on a diet.

One of the most popular forms of diet is definitely vegetarian. This diet involves no consumption of meat including poultry or fish. A vegetarian diet includes a diverse mix  of fruit, vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. There are plenty of health benefits to this diet, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular. It can improve your heart health, reduce the chances of cancer, and improve the health of your bones. But how do you start a vegetarian diet? If your diet currently consists of a lot of meat, it can definitely be a tough transition. Fear not, however, here are some tips on how you can start your vegetarian diet.

Start Slow

One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make when they are starting a new diet is jumping in the deep end. Completely cutting out all of the foods that you eat daily can be a massive change. Especially when you are still trying to find out what you should eat in your new diet. Don’t be afraid to take your diet slowly.

This can even mean just having doing Meatless Mondays and sticking to vegetarian snacks while relaxing and  playing the likes of casinos online. Have a stock of healthy snacks available – oatcakes, rye crackers spread with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese, fruit, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Then ease yourself into the diet, and it will become far more sustainable in the long term.  Planning your meals before shopping also helps to ensure that you stick to your planned diet.

Work on Finding the Foods You Like

Of course, if you have never been a vegetarian before, you probably aren’t too familiar with the dishes at your disposal. For the average diet, the meal is usually centered around the meat item. However, this obviously isn’t the case for vegetarian meals. It can often be slow trying to figure out what meals will be your new favourites, but it is also a fun journey to go on.  These days, supermarkets also have a huge range of vegetarian ready foods in the freezer and fridge sections.  Large supermarkets like Tescos and Waitrose also share their vegetarian recipes in their magazines and recipe cards.  The curry is Britain’s favourite dish so if you are used to the flavours of a curry, just adjusting the recipe to make them vegetarian helps. To replace the protein provided by meat in your diet, include a variety of protein-rich plant foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, tempeh, tofu and seitan. Products like Quorn make meat substitutes which can be used to make dishes you had enjoyed.  This will help your transition easier.

This blog is full of vegetarian and vegan recipes for anyone who wishes to become creative.   If you are  interested in learning to cook vegetarian and vegan meals join my Cookery Classes.

This article gives a good guide to beginners of a vegetarian diet.

Eating out

Most  restaurants offer vegetarian or vegan options. Some may even be able to alter a meal to make it vegetarian if you ask.  You can ask for the non vegetarian ingredients to be left out of the dish or substituted for a vegetarian ingredient.  Also look at the restaurant menu online and call them to ask if they are able to create a vegetarian meal for you.  I have learnt this from experience as I have often been left with eating fries and a salad as I hadn’t researched the restaurant before going to it. Most Indian restaurants will have a large selection of vegetarian options so if you like curries etc. do give them a try.

If you’re invited for a meal at a friends place, do inform them that you are now a vegetarian before showing up. This gives them time to prepare something for you.  You may even offer to take a vegetarian dish to share with them.

Be Patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your vegetarian diet be. You are going to need to be patient while working on your diet. This applies in a number of different instances. For example, your preparation of these new meals is, of course, not going to be flawless at the start. As well as this, your taste for certain foods might take some time to develop. This is why you shouldn’t be too rash when it comes to disregarding new foods and dishes. It might take some time for you to develop a taste for vegetarian dishes, but if you are able to stick with it, then it can really prove worthwhile.

If you are considering changing your diet to a vegan diet, read this helpful post. 

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