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Is it unhealthy to do the overnight switch?

4192 Views 50 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  MichelleC
I'm new to vegetarianism, very new. I just started about a week ago. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to become vegetarian gradually or my body won't adjust and I will go into shock. I'm in college, and from what I've learned this just does not seem true. I eat fish or poultry once a week now, simply because I'm not 100% positive.

Oh, by the way, this is an awesome forum and I'm so glad something like this exists!
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Congrats on going veggie


It is perfectly healthy to do the overnight switch. I say go for it.
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It really varies from person to person; whatever works best for you. I switched from omni to vegetarian over night. Switching from vegetarian to vegan was harder (for me).

I know some people in college have a harder time of it because of what little is offered at school, etc. Since you're not eating that much meat now (fish and poultry) it'll be easier for you to switch, I think.
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Originally Posted by jenna View Post

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I know some people in college have a harder time of it because of what little is offered at school, etc. Since you're not eating that much meat now (fish and poultry) it'll be easier for you to switch, I think.
The switch would be incredibly easy. I love trying new foods, and I was never a fan of meat in the first place.

My college actually inspired me! I go to a small liberal arts university and a lot of people are veg*n here. They actually serve veg*n options at school events. For instance, they held a superbowl party and served veggie friendly subs. The real problem is financing meat substitutes. they can be pricey around here because demand is high.
I'm in college too. Honestly, you really don't need meat substitutes... just for special occasions like cookouts or whatever. My school offers next to nothing for vegans... I mean, they usually have something, but a lot of the time it's got non-vegan veggie burger pieces or chicken broth in it! ugh.

Spring for lots and lots of nuts, tofu, beans, and whole grains... and make sure you're eating enough. you'll feel weak if you don't eat enough, not necessarily because of protein issues. Try to go light on the sugar until your body has adjusted to getting protein from nuts, soy, and amino acids.

Also, I went overnight from Omni to vegan. Like, I literally finished off the last of my organic yogurt and chicken noodle soup and went vegan the next day. I've had no issues, aside from a little bit of gas and going to the bathroom every day (which I don't think is actually a bad thing).
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I did the overnight switch about three months ago, and I feel great! Not turning back never never never!


I'm happy you are considering doing the switch
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I did an overnight switch almost 6 months ago. It didn't affect me at all, and I never had a craving.
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Originally Posted by raefactor View Post

I'm in college too. Honestly, you really don't need meat substitutes... just for special occasions like cookouts or whatever. My school offers next to nothing for vegans... I mean, they usually have something, but a lot of the time it's got non-vegan veggie burger pieces or chicken broth in it! ugh.

Spring for lots and lots of nuts, tofu, beans, and whole grains... and make sure you're eating enough. you'll feel weak if you don't eat enough, not necessarily because of protein issues. Try to go light on the sugar until your body has adjusted to getting protein from nuts, soy, and amino acids.

).
thanks for all the info! I'm really sorry your school isn't more supportive. I guess I just got lucky. hopefully I'll make this a permanent life change. I don't know if I could afford to eat vegan. I'll test the waters for now I guess. It's a relief I don't have to completely replace meat with tofu; I was a little worried about that. I'm a little touchy with tofu. It just looks so foreign and strange. One step at a time...
It is not unhealthy to cut out unhealthy things from your diet unless you replace them with other unhealthy things.

Don't stress the tofu, man! Its not a requirement. You may find you come to love it though, if it is well prepared.
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I had no problem with the overnight switch.
I did the "overnight switch" last week, and so far I'm doing fine and feeling awesome ^.^

I'm different from you though, so I dunno for sure.
Generally people switch 'gradually' to make it easier to learn to cook/know what to eat/etc. If you're confident about that stuff, great!
It certainly won't do you any harm to do an overnight switch.
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I tried to do the overnight switch. I struggled with milk for a few months afterwards, but I think that was because I was drinking so much milk before. I have hunger issues, and I used to use milk as my snack, quick fix, etc, so I struggled with that aspect. Now I've just found other foods to replace that.

I think the hardest thing with the overnight switch is fixing/finding new foods and recipes. Personally I preferred the sink or swim technique though, my wife and I got to try all sorts of new foods and become creative rather than using/relying on backups from our previous diet.


Good luck.
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I did an overnight switch and had no problems. The only thing I found was that I was going to the bathroom a lot more than usual which apparently is no bad thing. The important thing is to make sure your new diet is healthy and full of all the nutrients you need. I have a vegetarian food chart stuck to my fridge which tells me what foods I need to eat for which nutrients. I find that helps me a lot because I notice when I've not eaten many foods containing a particular nutrient.
I made an overnight switch, and I've never felt better (literally). You also say you are worried about eating tofu. You don't have to suddenly eat tofu for every single meal...I have only eaten tofu once (in a smoothie) in the two weeks and a day I've been strict vegetarian. There are SO many inexpensive dishes you can eat, and still be satisfied. I haven't felt deprived at all, since I've been eating vegan.
as far as cheap meals go, I've discovered that the ethnic section of the grocery store has a lot to offer.

Thanks for all the tips and advice!
I'm not really a strict vegetarian yet, I just don't eat meat for now. I'm going to be ovo-lacto until I get the hang of cooking differently. That will be my next big challenge; learning how to bake without eggs. I don't even know what I would do without milk, but that's much easier to replace. (You can get soy milk just about everywhere here.)

Thanks again for helping me out and making me feel so welcome!
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I switched from ovo-lacto-pescatarian to vegan overnight. No problems.
Sounds like a myth. If you give your body what it needs, it won't go into shock.

Some people have trouble with the extra fiber that comes along with eating more fruits, grains and veggies, such as bloating and gas. This resolves with time. I'm not sure what they mean by "shock".
I switched overnight and I was fine! After about a week I started feel very light and healthy. After a couple weeks I went through a period of low energy, which I'm guessing is just an adjustment to a new diet, but from then on I've been great. And *knock on wood* I haven't been ill since.
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