How to Start a Plant Based Diet? When you decide to transition to a plant based diet, the first thing that will be difficult is knowing where to start and what to eat. You’ve likely heard many myths like the “protein” myth and how plant based diets are somehow low in protein. The truth is, getting enough protein is easy and there are no such things as complete proteins. Any whole food that you consume your body already knows what to do with it. So, now that you’ve got one less thing to be concerned with, start going plant based by following these steps.
How to Start a Plant Based Diet?
Start Adding in More Plants
No need to rush. Start today by choosing to fill your plate half way up with plants instead of animal products. Start treating animal products as a condiment instead of the main course, and the plants as the main course. For now you don’t have to change anything else. Try ensuring that you’re drinking enough filtered water, and moving a little each day outdoors to connect you with nature.
Add Meat Alternatives
As you get used to eating more plants, start finding substitutes for meat. The truth is you don’t really need substitutes for meat, but it can help you transition by finding them. Today there are many options such as legumes, tofu, and even processed plant based meat alternatives. If you focus on minimally processed alternatives you’ll be healthier, but having a processed veggie burger over a fatty beef burger is still a better choice.
Eat More Beans
Mentioned above, adding in beans as a meat substitute is a good idea, but beans are good as meals on their own. You can make them very simply on top of your stove and also buy canned versions. But making them from scratch is simple. It honestly requires very little work. You simply boil them in water on your stove top until tender. Depending on the bean it could take as little as an hour and as long as two hours. Presoaking over night will increase the speed of cooking.
You would be surprised where animal products and additional fat, sodium and sugar hang out. Be sure to read all labels as you’re learning about eating plant based. You’re safe if you buy plant based food in its whole form but check out the ingredients in dressings, condiments, and any prepared food before buying it. The less processed food that you consume the healthier you’re going to be and the easier it will be to stick to your new way of life.
Finally if you start feeling tired or weak, realize that you may be eating too few calories. Whole foods are a lot less calorie dense than high protein foods. Try to ensure that you eat at least a serving of legumes, tofu, or nuts to your diet each day. If you’re not sure, check your caloric intake by tracking your food for a couple of days. You should be eating enough calories to maintain your ideal body weight at the minimum.