Making a switch to a plant-based diet can initially be quite challenging.
There are constant reminders of your previous lifestyle everywhere, whether at the store, restaurants, in conversation with friends, or even on food channels on TV.
It’s not easy when society is pushing meat at you from all angles, providing us with obscene “facts” and throwing weird scientific studies our way.
But we’ve done our own research and we know what’s true.
We know that, at the end of the day, our healthy choices are making us feel, look and live a whole lot better!
So don’t give up! Here’s a definitive guide on how to maintain self-discipline on a plant-based diet to make a prolonged change that much easier.
Let’s get into it:
Meal preparation is your best friend:
If there’s one tip I can give you when transitioning to a plant-based diet, here it is: MAKE A MEAL PLAN!!!!!!!!!
This can change everything for you and it’s the difference between maintaining a new diet and simply giving up.
How do you avoid giving up? Once a week, sit down and plan out your meals for the upcoming week. I’m talking breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks—plot out your entire eating schedule.
You can always include one day where you go out to a restaurant for dinner, or you know you have a busy work day so you’ll grab a lunch out. The main thing here is to prepare as much as possible to make sure you have the food you need at home and minimize any opportunities to cheat.
This point is probably the one I’ll stress the most: You need to educate yourself on exactly why you’re switching and how to do it safely.
Veganism, while being good for you, is a big change in your diet so it’s important you learn about what to expect as you may experience some symptoms of detox.
There are countless health benefits to veganism, don’t get me wrong, but the only way to truly benefit and maintain your diet is if you learn everything you can about it. The best way to continue with a change is to educate yourself on the matter and make sure you’re changing your diet for the right reasons. Once you’re educated, it makes it 20x easier to maintain that self-discipline.
There are hundreds of books, videos and TV series all pointing out the benefits of veganism for any of the reasons you first considered changing. Check out this list of 15 must-watch documentaries if you’re thinking of transitioning to a plant-based diet.
Take it slow and reward yourself:
Change doesn’t happen in a heartbeat.
It’s like the old saying: Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s all about continuously moving forward, and not regressing.
So instead of quitting cold tofurkey, ease yourself into it. Try having only vegan dinners for a week, then extend it to an all vegan week, and before you know it you’re going everyday eating vegan.
Cheat days are perfectly fine when transitioning, just make sure to view it as more of a pit-stop than a slip-up. Once you start viewing veganism as a new normal diet, it’ll become easier to maintain the vegan lifestyle and the rewards will come from the change.
Budgeting yourself is just a general life tip, but when you’re trying to switch up your diet, it becomes imperative.
If you’re not budgeting yourself, you’re putting yourself at more risk at slipping up or having multiple cheat days. It also guarantees a balance in your diet and your wallet.
Now I’m not saying, when budgeting, that you can’t go out for an expensive dinner or pick up some snacks on your way home. It’s all about keeping everything as planned as possible, similar to the meal plan as both generally go hand in hand.
Writing out your grocery lists before going to the store, meal prepping once a week, learning how to buy in bulk, and keeping your pantry packed with the staples are the easiest ways to budget yourself financially. Check out this list on other ways to budget yourself while eating vegan.
Focus on your motivation:
Whether your reason for changing is for health, ethics or weight loss, keep that reason top of mind at all times.
If you come across a time where you find yourself wanting to cheat, or craving non-vegan food, recall your motivation for switching.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your motivation to make a change. If you’re not motivated, it won’t happen. But if you’re dedicated, you can make the switch without a problem.
So what do you think? Are you ready for the challenge? Let us know in the comments down below!