We just celebrated ‘National Vegetarian Week’, so if becoming a vegetarian has ever crossed your mind, now could be a great time to give it a go! Whether it is due to your compassion towards animals or simply because you want a change in your diet and lifestyle, it can be good to experiment with what you eat and therefore to find out what foods are good or bad for your body. While the idea of becoming vegetarian looks easy, it is harder than you think, and you need to understand how to supplement meat and fish for something else that has flavour, variety and nutritious value. Granted, becoming a vegetarian is much easier in today’s generation, as it embodies itself as a food fad across the UK and plenty of restaurants and pop up concepts are embracing a halloumi stick or too.
So if you’re considering becoming a vegetarian, here are 5 simple ways to make the transition as easy as possible.
Variety is key!
New vegetarians tend to make the huge mistake of not consuming enough calories, so instead of feeling good, they become sick, tired, look paler and less energised. The key is to consume a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. When you are a veggie, you should consider the size of your portions as they should be a lot bigger than when you eat everything, as you need to compensate the calories by eating a lot more food. You also need to make sure you are getting all your vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, Iron, vitamin D, Vitamin B iodine and omega-3 fats, so be sure to good your research.
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Take it slow
While some people don’t like the taste of meat and becoming a vegetarian would be a piece of cake to them, for others it is not that easy. If you are a meat lover, you need to give yourself some time to adjust to the new diet, by slowly cutting out the amount of meat you are eating. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day! You will soon realise, by cutting out meat slowly, you will adjust to vegetarian life a lot more easily.
Eat your protein
As mentioned before, variety is key. You also need to make sure you are getting your recommended protein intake daily, and that means you need to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. Before becoming a vegetarian, you used to get your protein from meat products, but there are plenty of vegetables and other vegetarian products that are packed with it, such as beans, eggs, nuts, lentils and tofu.
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Explore different cuisines
The vegetarian diet, like any other diets, can become quite dull if you keep cooking the same dishes all the time. You can make it more exciting by trying out different cuisines from around the world. Spice things up with some Indian dishes or indulge in some Eastern European cuisines. The world is your oyster (just don’t eat it unless you’re a pescatarian)!
Get checked up
After becoming a vegetarian, it is important to consume the right variety of foods to make sure you are not depriving your body from all the nutrients it needs. It is important to make sure you are doing so in a healthy way, but if in doubt, pay your doctor a visit and make sure everything looks okay. By doing this you will know if you need to make any changes in your diet or not and if your body is able to cope with what you are eating day in and day out.