Thinking of trying vegan?

Veganuary inspires and supports people all over the world to try vegan for January and beyond. Millions of people have already taken part. Will you join them?

About 1 billion people around the world follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. The reasons include animal protection, the environment, and general health. A vegan diet is a plant-based diet that avoids all animal products.

These are:

● Meat and meat products

● Fish and fish products

● Milk and dairy products

● Eggs

● Honey

When it’s done right, a vegan diet is easy, delicious, varied, and best of all: healthy!

You might be wondering whether you can lose weight following a vegan diet. Eating only vegetarian or vegan food appears to have a bigger impact on weight reduction than diets that include animal products. However, this shouldn’t be the only reason you decide to eliminate animal products from your diet. People who eat vegan food have a lower risk of developing Type II Diabetes, have lower cholesterol levels, and a lower body mass index than people who eat animal products.

A plant-based diet is rich in a wide variety of colourful and fresh foods.

The focus should be on the variety of foods rather than on restrictions in your meals.

Here are a few tips to get you on your way!

Firstly, start slowly…

Completely eliminating animal products from your diet and switching to a purely vegan diet can be a big change. Living a vegan lifestyle is a process and it’s ok to start slowly. How about eating one vegan meal a day? Or you can cook vegan at home but be more flexible when you eat out.

Take it one step at a time and find your favourite vegan recipes, restaurants, and undiscovered veggies and grains.

Fill your fridge and pantry with new foods If you want to remove any temptation, it helps to clean out your refrigerator and pantry and fill them with plant-based foods. Whether you decide to finish up any animal products you have left or give them to family and friends is up to you.

Avoid dairy and meat alternatives

There is, of course, the option of including dairy and meat alternatives (vegan cold cuts, vegan cheese, vegan yoghurt, etc.) in a balanced vegan diet. However, these heavily processed foods are usually very high in calories, low in nutrients, and contain a lot of additives. You always have to read the ingredients to see whether they are high in sugar, added sodium, or preservatives.

Just because something is labelled vegan, doesn’t automatically mean it’s healthy. So, make sure processed vegan foods are not the foundation of your meal plan, but an exception to the rule.

Eat enough

Studies show that vegans consume fewer calories than those who consume animal products. This is good news if you are trying to lose weight. But if you want to maintain your weight and just eat a healthy diet, then make sure you are getting enough calories even if you’re following a plant-based diet. Fresh vegetables contain fewer calories. Depending on what your diet was like before, you might have to eat larger meals or snack more often to keep getting the same amount of calories. If you don’t eat enough, you might experience food cravings.

Remember that switching to veganism is a big change. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. That way you’ll have the right attitude and be able to successfully transition to a healthy, vegan lifestyle.

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