3 Ways To Stop Eating Meat

The decision to stop eating meat is a very personal one. Perhaps you are concerned about the welfare of animals, the impact on the environment, or your own health. Regardless of your reasons for giving up meat, you’ll find it easier to respect your decision by creating achievable goals, replacing meat with nutritious foods, and finding a diet that works for you. Keep in mind that you may need to make some adjustments, so keep trying if you relapse or feel like eating meat.

Set yourself up for success

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Make a list of the reasons you want to stop eating meat. Perhaps you have a vague idea of ​​why you no longer want to eat meat, or you have more specific reasons. Take a few minutes to write down your reasons and create a list that you can review when you have difficulty respecting your decision and to remind yourself why this is important to you. Some examples of reasons may be:

reduce your cholesterol levels or inflammation

reduce the impact on the environment

contribute to animal welfare

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Set small, achievable goals that will lead you to stop eating meat. If your ultimate goal is to stop eating meat, think of all the smaller steps you need to take to get there. Write your goals or obstacles that you have to overcome and celebrate when you achieve it. This will give you a boost to reach your goals.

For example, you can start by challenging yourself to stop eating junk food for a week or reduce the amount of meat you eat to three times a week.

Some gradual goals might be to cut back on red meat for two weeks, go chicken-free for three weeks, and go pork-free for a month.

Make some of your goals fun. For example, you can challenge yourself to try two new vegetarian ingredients or recipes per week.

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Set a time frame for adopting a completely meat-free diet. As you set your goals, try to make them more and more challenging so that you can reach your goal of not eating meat. It’s a good idea to have a deadline in mind so you know you’re working toward a specific goal.

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For example, you can state that you want to give up meat completely within three months. Your goals will be to gradually eliminate meat until you reach your goal.

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Create a plan to deal with the cravings. At some point, you might feel like eating meat or at least think about it more. Instead of giving in to temptation, think of alternative ways to satisfy your desires. Perhaps you feel like eating meat because you are looking for a specific flavor. In this case, try these simple replacements:

If you feel like eating something buttery and filling, eat avocado instead of meat.

If you feel like eating protein, have a peanut butter sandwich instead of a chicken one.

If you are looking for an umami (savory) flavor, choose mushrooms, miso or Parmesan cheese.

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Don’t give up if you have a relapse and eat meat. You don’t have to completely stop eating meat. Even a reduction in your consumption can have a positive impact. Quitting meat can be difficult, especially if you grew up eating it in all preparations. Remember that you can work towards your next goal, and at some point, you can quit completely.

Gradually eat less meat

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Plan your meals for a few days or weeks. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to decide what to prepare or order. Instead, plan nutritious vegetarian meals so you don’t have an excuse to choose a meat dish. Reserve a few hours to make a list of the meals you can prepare during the week and all the ingredients you will need.

If you have time, you can also prepare some of the ingredients. Cutting up food ahead of time will make it easier for you to prepare a vegetarian dish in no time.

It’s also a good idea to plan some tasty snacks that will allow you to reduce the urge to eat meat. For example, you might have smoked nuts in the pantry, roasted or roasted chickpeas, or vegetable chips.

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Eat small portions of meat to flavor your meals, rather than making it the main food. If you eliminate meat from your diet, you may experience cravings at some point. To reduce them, you can eat a small portion of meat as an additional ingredient, instead of making it the main food of the dish. For example, you can buy a package of bacon and cook a few slices to crumble into pasta with roasted vegetables.

For example, instead of cooking lasagna with ground beef, make a vegetable lasagna but include a few slices of prosciutto (ham) cut up for meat flavor.

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Incorporate vegetarian ingredients and recipes into your diet. Missing meat is normal, but you can distract yourself and your taste buds by trying new flavors. For example, instead of eating rice a few times a week, make quinoa or farro.

Replace the traditional meat and potato dish with a noodle and vegetable dish, such as vegetarian udon.

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Try meat substitutes while eliminating meat from your diet. If you really miss the taste and texture of meat, buy a substitute. Today, there are many high-quality products, so you can try a few options to see which one you like best. You can buy burger, crumble, or binders made with textured vegetable protein, tempeh, or seitan.

Don’t forget to check the frozen section at the grocery store for some of these meat substitutes.

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Incorporate plant-based protein sources into your diet. If you normally get most of your protein from meat, you’ll need to make sure you’re still getting the recommended amount through the foods you eat. To incorporate a variety of nutrients, consume plant-based proteins throughout the day, such as:

nuts and seeds

Beans

lentils

whole grains

try a new diet

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Talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs. It’s always a good idea to consult a health professional about your diet, especially if you want to adopt a vegetarian diet to improve your health. You may be advised to take supplements of:

vitamina B12

Omega-3 fatty acids

iron

vitamin D

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Try a flexitarian diet if you want to eat fish or meat occasionally. Some people miss eating meat or want to get it back into their diets. Decide if you want to go back to eating meat in much smaller portions. For example, if you want to eat meat a few times a week, a flexitarian diet might be the best option for you.

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Remember that you are not forced to follow a specific diet. You can transition from a meat diet to a flexitarian before fully adopting a vegetarian diet.

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Determine what type of vegetarian diet you want to follow. Once you’ve stopped eating meat, you’ll need to decide if you want to continue eating animal products. Some lactovegetarians consume dairy products (such as milk and cheese) but not eggs, while ovovegetarians consume eggs but not dairy products. Simply decide which animal products you will consume and which ones you will avoid.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat meat, but do consume dairy products and eggs.

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Follow a pescetarian diet if you want to consume fish. If you live in a place with easy access to seafood, you may decide to preserve this source of protein while reducing your consumption of red meat, poultry, and pork. You don’t have to eat fish every day to follow this type of diet. However, you will need to include plenty of plant protein sources, fruits and vegetables.

Incorporate a variety of fish into your weekly diet to get plenty of nutrients.

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Consider adopting a vegan diet if you don’t want to consume any animal products. If you’ve been following a nutritious vegetarian diet for some time, you may want to cut out all kinds of animal products, such as eggs, dairy, and honey. Do a search to find out which foods you need to eliminate from your diet to make the switch.

Keep in mind that some food products are not vegan even if they do not contain meat. For example, powdered sugar is not vegan because it is refined with bone char.

Some vegans also avoid all kinds of animal products, including clothing and household items like chairs and leather belts.

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