How to Transition to a Plant-Based Diet after Eating Meat All Your Life

An array of vegetables at a market
Photo by Heder Neves on Unsplash

Transitioning to a plant-based diet after eating meat all your life isn’t as challenging as it sounds. If you’re considering a plant-based diet, I’m sure you’ll scoff at me right now. I’ve been there so I understand how you feel.
For most people, before transitioning, they believed eating meat was ‘The Life.’ Meatballs, steak, barbeque, meat pies, and shawarma are enough to send fireworks going up in their head. It’s an indescribable feeling.

But the body doesn’t know!

The first thing you need to remember is that you eat to get nutrients and vitamins. With your eye, you see a mouth-watering chicken wrap, but you know what your body gets? Carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients — or non-nutrient — present. The body is blind to what your eyes can see.
Sad but true!
The best things to consider about a plant-based diet

A plant-based diet is packed with both . More people are eating plant-based foods because they consist of whole plant foods such as herbs, seeds, nuts, legumes, mushrooms, fruits, and vegetables; they’re healthy and nutritionally adequate.
With a plant-based diet, you reduce the risk of heart diseases, age slowly, cut down high cholesterol, reduce your risk of cancer, and aid weight loss. This is why more people are joining the plant-based diet team.

Now to the HOW

  1. Take baby steps

Even if you have 100 percent willpower to transition into a plant-based diet when you’ve eaten meat your whole life, you still have to . Substitute some of your meat-based foods with plant substitutes and rotate them throughout the week.
If there are plant-based meals you naturally love, opt for those. It could be pasta, beans, lentil stew, veggie stir-fry, oatmeal, potatoes, or others. As you get used to it, then you can think of creative ways to build on it and incorporate it fully into your meal plan.

Photo by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

2. Slash meat and processed food

Think of your food in terms of ratio: one part is plant-based and the other is non-plant-based. Work on your food proportions so your mind can adjust and embrace the new diet.
While you’re cutting out stuff, though, remember there’s a trick to it. Many charge in there, taking out all meat and processed food at once. The result: they quickly get bored, can’t keep up, and eventually slip back to their old ways. Remember the first point. Don’t rush. Simply add a portion of salad, veggies, and fruits into your daily meal intake. Search for plant-based substitutes for your meat and take out the dairy products that don’t interest you. Trade your meat for mushrooms or dried bulgur. That’s .

3. Make one of your daily meals plant-based

Once the first two steps are underway, the next step is to . I advise that the meal should be your breakfast. There are wholesome plant-based toasts, parfait, muffins, pancakes, smoothies, and waffles. Your next step would be turning your lunch into a plant-based meal and adding a few fruits and plant-based snacks to your dinner.

4. Watch your protein intake

can be harmful to the body. Our body needs about one gram of protein for every kilogram that makes up our body weight. Many people don’t know or observe this healthy rule.
What the body needs is the essential amino acids and not necessarily protein. The good thing about a plant-based diet is that it is packaged with amino acids in different proportions. Eating whole foods will help you meet up with your nutrient intake instead of excessive protein consumption.

Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash

5. Understand what you’re eating

We’ve gotten to the point where major food companies are keying into the plant-based lifestyle movement and coming up with irresistible product offerings. But don’t be naïve in your quest. everything you plan to feed your body. Go online and check up on the nutritional content. You can also hire a plant-based dietician to help you get started creatively.

6. Never run out of plant-based meals

Sometimes you can have hunger pangs or may want to munch on something so you need to . If you run out, it will be easy to slip back into meat-based meals.

Lastly, don’t forget that transitioning to a plant-based diet takes time so you need to go slow but be intentional. Try to find out what works for you and be flexible about it. You can join a plant-based diet group for support. This is the best way to transition to a plant-based diet and enjoy it.

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Mary is an Editor at the online women’s magazine, AmoMama, and is passionate about improving quality of life for the African girl child.

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Mary Scott

Mary is an Editor at the online women’s magazine, AmoMama, and is passionate about improving quality of life for the African girl child.