Vegetarian newbie here - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-24-2012, 07:47 PM
 
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Hello. I'm interested in becoming vegetarian for a couple reasons. one of the main reasons is health and weight loss. also just trying something new and different. my current diet is obviously not doing much for me so i'd like to change it up. I'm going to slowly make the transition to becoming a vegetarian. (i'm not sure i can just give up meat cold turkey*no pun intended*) One of the main goals in my transition to vegetarianism is i would like a healthier diet filled with lots of veggies and fruits and a healthier life style. 

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#2 Old 09-24-2012, 09:01 PM
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Vegetarian diets can be just as unhealthy as meat-based diets and they aren't going to promote weight-loss unless you commit yourself to a diet of whole plant-foods without adding a bunch of fat/oil to them.   

 

As for as the "transition method", you should cut out one meat out at a time.  Start with cutting out pork and beef, then cut out poultry and lastly fish.   If you just try to eat "less meat", its unlikely you'll ever cut it out.  

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#3 Old 09-25-2012, 04:40 PM
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Welcome! most veg*ns here do it at least partially for animal rights, so you'll probably be seeing animal rights issues as much as health issues. You are perfectly welcome here though. I know a lot more about vegan nutrition than vegetarian but dairy and eggs should not be making up a big part of your diet anyway. Lots of saturated fats and cholesterol. And that is an issue for when people build their vegetarian diet sometimes. You cannot rely too much on eggs and dairy, but as you said, eat lots and lots of fruits and veggies. There is a little bit of argumentation on how many grains/beans you should eat. They are high in protein and so will make your meal fuller and hardier. You should be eating about .45 grams of protein per pound (usually around 50 grams). This is after factoring in plant proteins being absorbed differently and pretty liberal. Some people like to go lower, but just see what works out for you. If you are feeling hungry a lot, even after large meals, it means you either need to be eating more proteins or calories (or both). This is another common stumbling block, and one that sadly turns people away. They make salads (or something else similarly light) and eat them as their primary food source. But since salads are usually light in calories and/or protein (unless I made it) they have a persist feeling of hunger. Point is, don't be afraid to tweak your diet if it doesn't seem right.

 

Logic is right in that a vegetarian diet doesn't necessarily mean a healthy one, but I found the chance to completely rebuild my diet a good one to build a healthy one. Protein rich foods (nuts, legumes, and grains) should be a part of your diet. Veggies should be the other big part. Don't force yourself to eat veggies that you don't like. Find ones that you do like, cook them how you like, season them like you like, and learn to love them. I noticed a real shift in my taste buds as veggies became one of my major food groups. I started to really love them, and now I drool at the idea of them. Fruits also need to be there, right along side veggies as a major food group. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains usually make up the bottom of our food pyramid in some way. We also need some fats, which can be gotten from oil and nuts. Here is one example:

 

 

 

As for how quickly you should give up meat is dependent on you. I did it cold turkey and it wasn't that hard. I guess it really just depends on how you work mentally. I couldn't drag it out because I would have just kept on saying "I'm not a full vegetarian yet" and end up never giving up meat. But if you can do it slowly, then however it can get down. Maybe set up a schedule? Like, week one, go meatless one day of the week. Week two, two days, and so on.

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