Is It Time to Take the Plunge Into a Plant-Based Diet?
Stroll any supermarket aisle and you’ll likely see packaging that proclaims the contents are sugar free, fat free or both. Many of today’s diet trends are all about cutting things out entirely, but that tends to make people feel they’re being deprived. That’s why if you’re thinking about changing your diet so it’s healthier, it may be best to do something other than immediately eliminating things. Specifically, a plant-based diet may be a good option.
Many people who eat plant-based diets still opt to eat meat and fish from time to time, while upping their intake of fruits and vegetables. Scientists have found many reasons to pick a plant-based diet, such as because it may prevent chronic illnesses and help people have slimmer figures. However, there are several things to consider while you’re deciding whether now is the right time to pursue a plant-based way of eating.
Whether You Have Support From Peers
When you first tell friends and family members you’re going to start eating differently, they may ignore all the health reasons behind your decision and just emphasize how hard it’ll be to adopt new habits. However, if you have even one friend who’s on your side and willing to help you stick to your plan, that person could be instrumental to your success.
In the absence of support from your circle of friends, consider that your town may have meetings for people who’re interested in plant-based diets. Stop by the nearest library and see if such groups exist, and check listings in the newspaper. Also, a website called Meetup aims to help like-minded individuals connect. It’s worth browsing the information for your area and seeing if you can find some groups that would fit your needs.
The Amount of Meal Planning You’ve Done
Following a new way of eating undoubtedly requires dedication. That means if you wake up one day and randomly decide you’ll eat a plant-based meal for dinner that night and never return to your old ways of eating, you won’t likely enjoy long-term success. However, if you’ve done even a small amount of planning to see what kinds of recipes you’d like to make for meals, that shows you’re dedicated enough to help yourself establish new mealtime habits and follow them long enough until they become what’s normal.
Whether You’re Informed About Your Choice
Initially, some people think following a plant-based diet means piling their plates full of vegetables. In reality, plant-based diets are based on starches and fruits. While it’s okay if your first inclination to start eating differently comes because your friend just can’t stop raving about how she can fit into clothes she hasn’t been able to wear in years since following a plant-based diet, your sole reason for the mealtime shift shouldn’t be due to peer pressure.
Spend a significant amount of time learning what it really means to follow a plant-based diet, and figure out whether you’re up for the challenge. People will likely ask why you decided to make the switch, and you need to be able to answer them authoritatively.
Furthermore, being as informed as possible means you’re also more able to contradict misinformation about your dietary decision. Some people argue plant-based diets can’t possibly be as nutritious as conventional ways of eating, but once you’ve done your research, you’ll be able to confidently refute that assumption.
What the Future Holds
Plant-based diets are not as restrictive as many people think. Plus, many large retailers are expanding their stock of plant-based alternatives to include popular foods. Hampton Creek is a company that gained momentum in the marketplace after offering egg-free mayonnaise. Soon, you’ll be able to buy more of its plant-based products, like salad dressing and cookie dough, at Target and Walmart.
Even so, it’s still a good idea to look at your short and long-term future plans and assess how a plant-based diet fits into them. If you fear you’ll lack the necessary motivation to stick to the diet because you’re stressed, too busy, or in a new place, now may not be an ideal time to begin your new dietary intentions. You need to do it when you’re in a committed mindset and not overwhelmed by other parts of life.
After weighing the above factors, you should feel well equipped to decide whether now is a good time to start a plant-based diet. That one decision may cause a lifetime of healthier eating.