Is it best to start slowly?

thisnthat

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Is it a weaning process, where you should slowly begin eliminating select foods from your diet, or is it best to try to do as much at once as you can. I ask because the term transition itself seems to imply a process rather than a more "cold turkey" (no pun intended) type of thing.

It seems like it's more difficult to make lots of changes at once, at least for me. For example, I decided to get really stringent about my sugar intake lately, and shortly thereafter, I decided to quit smoking. It's hard to do both at once.

So, should you try to eliminate one food or one food type at a time, or does it really just depend on the individual?
 
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Alexia

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It does depend on the individual, but a gradual transition is a good idea because you learn how to adapt your meals. The main thing is protein and making sure you have enough each day or some with each meal, so that does take some planning to begin with.

Also there are foods that aren't classed as vegetarian, but may seem to be so you may spend more time reading labels. If you already have vegetarian meals then the transition may be easier and quicker, especially if you have had a vegetarian week or weekend, but I find going out to eat as a vegetarian easier and then planning meals always helps.
 
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I think that going into it slowly can only be good for you. You never know how your body will react to the foods that you stop giving it. If you're giving up meat then that can be a pretty big step for your body. But then if you decide that you will also give up dairy, that's even bigger. It's all depending on the diet that you are switching to. I know that I didn't just stop eating meat one day. I started by cutting out certain meats and then went from there.
 
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Josie

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If it's going to be hard for you, take your time. You don't want to give up on something so important, so do what it takes.. ease into it, small changes are still big changes to your body and the animals.
 

Alexia

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Planning your meals can also help as you then can balance your food groups more effectively. If you have a cupboard of staples, you are more likely to use them and incorporate them into your meals. Another idea is to always make a packed lunch or some snack so then it helps you to decide what you want and need to eat rather than having to settle for something convenient.
 

Andy_T

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Please allow me to present an alternative opinion here: I would (and did) stop using animal products completely, at once (Eating meat for a month initially and then forever 25 years ago, and then, when I learned the truth about eggs and dairy, consuming eggs and dairy some 5 years ago).

Yes, the "cold turkey" phase might be a challenge, but if you slowly reduce the amount of animal products in your food, then how to you mentally make the change? Also, your bodies dependency on the stuff might just continue.

You also would not suggest to a rapist that he should slowly reduce the number of persons he assaults every week, right, to get to not raping anybody at all in, say, 3 months?

Please apologize if that comparison is seen as too crude, but once you understand and accept that eating animal products is wrong, how to "slowly reduce" that behaviour?

Best regards,
Andy
 
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NanouHammie

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If you try to go cold turkey... you may end up becoming the grumpiest person in town. Your body is oin to crave what it is used to, there are ways to satisfy the cravings with substitutes. There are many videos online about it. Going cold turkey is not the best idea.
 
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It completely depends on the individual. Some people need to be eased into the lifestyle. Slowly ramping down the amount of meat you're consuming is very helpful to a lot of people. On the other hand, some people might not ever make the switch doing that. They could say to themselves "well, I don't eat very much meat anymore so that's good enough." Some need the shock of going cold turkey so that they see this as a commitment. Others might cheat while going cold turkey.

I think what's best is realizing that you're attempting to make a change and to not be too hard on yourself if you backslide at first. If you end up taking a long time to stop eating meat, or you just have to eat a burger and mess up your diet, just remember that you're at least trying, which is more than most people do.
 

Mickella18

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Of course!

Rome was NOT built in a day. Any lifestyle change should be slow and gradual. Allow your physical self to grow accustomed to the new you. Overtime it will wean into the newness. Don't just shove a bag of cabbage down your throat. Start in bites, mouthfuls and progress to meals. That's how you know the change will be long and lasting.
 
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Andy_T

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Of course substitutes are a good way to reduce the cravings.

When I suggested to stop eating all meat and dairy, I did NOT mean that you also should not consume soymilk or vegan burgers....
 

sharla86

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Going vegan is like quitting a really bad habit. But instead of thinking of it as 'giving up' something think about replacements.

Replacing as much unvegan stuff with vegan stuff is the best way to go. Alternative dairy, fake meat, maple syrup and jam instead of honey ...

I was mostly dairy-free before I'd even thought about going vegan. Once going vegan I went meat-free, then, I started looking at all the other stuff that doesn't fit into the meat, eggs and dairy aisle but is still animal-based. I'm still learning.

But at the end of the day be compassionate toward yourself as well as the animals. A slip up is a slip up, just try not to do it again.
 

Daya

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I'm not vegan yet, but I think it is the same process as cutting out any other group of food, so when I was going sugar-free, I had to do it gradually because I would get bad cravings.
So advice I always get is to at first cut red meat from the diet, then dairy, eggs, other meat... go vegan only one day a week, then make it two days a week, then three days, until it becomes your every-day routine.
 
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Sally

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I was vegetarian for three years, that was 'cold turkey' and then became vegan also 'cold turkey'. It was only because I didn't know about all the vegan alternatives out there that I did not become vegan sooner. I went to a vegan roadshow put on by Viva and realised how easy it was and was vegan from that moment on. I don't eat cheese at all now, even vegan. I have various milks, oat, rice, almond, etc. I use Pure sunflower spread, or you can get a soya version. I eat the odd meat alternative, but mostly eat vegetables. Get a good vegan recipe book and you can make wonderful meals. Sugar is vegan. Which is more important, the animals or having some sugar? If you are craving it you might need more protein or carbohydrates, or oil. Sometimes we want sugar because we are tired, try eating something healthy and filling or have a nap and see if you still crave sugar.

Maybe I've been lucky but the only thing that happened to me is that I lost weight, not a problem in my case, oh and I'm really happy.
 
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Jules86

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I went from eating pizza, 1,5 liter of cola, cookies, candy etc.. everyday to vegetarian the next day. Ive been doing that for 2,5 week now and since a week i also cut out dairy and eggs out of my diet. I feel better then ever and looooovee the food! I doubt i will ever go back. For me this worked, everyone is different.
 
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