Wondering exactly how to become a vegetarian? People make the decision to give up or reduce the amount of animal meat that they consume in their diets usually for either health or ethical reasons. It is well known that a vegetarian diet has a number of benefits for human health and the worlds environment. But often it is not entirely clear how to become a vegetarian or even what that means.
Vegetarian can mean a lot of different things
First, decide on what type of vegetarian you want to be. Do you want to give up all meat including fish? Do you want to stop eating dairy products such as cheese and ice cream, as well? There are many varieties of vegetarianism and you can tailor your version to meet your specific needs and goals.
It is often best to choose an ultimate goal, such as becoming a vegan (who does not consume any animal products), and then take small steps in that direction a little at a time. Trying to to become a full fledged vegan, for example, is often too drastic to accomplish overnight. You will find it much easier to slowly decrease the amount of meat in your diet over time, and you will be less likely to just give up and revert back to your old diet.
You will need to educate yourself on nutrition and learn about healthy substitutes for meat and dairy. Meat is the main source of protein in most peoples diet, so proper substitutes must be found to maintain a healthy diet. There are many great tasting sources of plant protein that are suitable replacements for meat such as nuts, soy milk, and even protein shakes.
Making a gradual transition to vegetarianism is easiest
Understand that it is not going to be easy to become a vegetarian. Your body has become acclimated to a certain diet over the years and it is going to initially fight the change. You can expect to have strong cravings for the meat and dairy products that your body is used to getting.
It is even likely that you will give up on becoming a vegetarian at some point and then later mount another attempt– it is normal. If you are determined and persistent, your body will slowly acclimate to your new vegetarian diet and it will get easier. Over time, your body will be so accustomed to it that you will then feel sick or even repulsed if you eat meat again.
In our society, sometimes vegetarians are still subjected to teasing and even ridicule by people who do not understand your dietary decisions. You need to be strong willed and determined, and understand that you will most likely face this at some point. Be strong and keep in the forefront of your mind the reasons you chose to change your diet in the first place.
Begin to enjoy the health and mental benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle
As you may know, there are many wonderful health benefits to eating vegetarian. After you have you have eaten a vegetarian diet for a while you are going to start seeing some improvement in your health such as lowered cholesterol and lipid levels, reduced weight, hair and skin complexion will be improved, and blood sugar levels will stabilize.
You will probably also find that your mental alertness and mood has improved as well. Becoming a vegetarian is not easy, but the initial struggle is more than worth it in the end.