Though some people may become vegetarians due to their personal beliefs about animals, there are tons of reasons to go vegetarian. That's why you need to know how to transition to being a vegetarian.
From consuming less saturated fats and cholesterol, compared to meat eaters, to taking in more vitamin C and fiber, the health benefits alone can be enormous.
But for a lot of people, going vegetarian can seem like an impossible task. After a lifetime of eating meat, how can you possibly give it up and go completely vegetarian?
The answer is to become vegetarian gradually. So, here's how to transition to being a vegetarian.
Table of contents:
- cut out red meat
- make plant-based meals
- quit eating poultry
- stop eating seafood
1 Cut out Red Meat
The first meat product that any aspiring vegetarian should cut out of their diet is red meat, such as beef and pork. Studies have shown that eating red meat can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. So, if you can, this is definitely a good meat to cut out of your diet as you figure out how to transition to becoming a vegetarian.
But if you find you can’t cut out red meat completely, that’s okay! Replacing a couple of meals each week with either white meat or vegetables will still go a long way toward improving your health.
2 Make Plant-based Meals
Another good practice is to have two of your three main meals a day be plant-based instead of meat-based. So even if you don’t go full vegetarian, you’re still getting a lot of the benefits of a plant-based diet.
3 Quit Eating Poultry
Now, if you make it past the cutting out red meat hurdle, you’ve come a long way. The next thing to cut out is poultry. Many people stop after this step and continue eating seafood - there’s even a name for people who only eat seafood as their meat: pescatarians.
4 Stop Eating Seafood
But if you want to go all the way, the final thing to cut out is seafood. You may ask, how do you get your protein? Well, the answer is that there’s protein in everything we eat. You just need to make sure you get it in high enough quantities. You can eat dark greens, beans, grains, protein shakes, dairy such as yogurt or cheese, etc.
It may sound impossible at first, but over time you may even stop craving meat to the point where it doesn’t sound appealing at all! Whatever your goal, know that becoming a vegetarian is possible when done gradually.
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