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Planning for a 30-Day Vegetarian Diet
Planning for a 30-Day Vegetarian Diet

Eating a strictly vegetarian diet has been proven to be an effective and healthy way to lose weight and improve overall health. A diet consisting of no meat is a great way to reduce the risk of heart disease and add key nutrients to the body. No matter what the reason is, going meatless even temporarily can have a great effect on your body and the environment. As long as you make sure you have the right tools and knowledge, it can be very fulfilling. Start with a simple 30-day plan, and you may never want to eat meat again!

01

Where to Begin

Beef lamb pork raw

If you are someone who eats meat regularly, then you need to be prepared for this diet. You may want to jump right in after devouring a day worth of last burgers. You may also decide to slowly ease into. Take a few weeks before the diet and eliminate meat from the menu. This can help get you used to meals without meat and get you thinking of more recipes. Make it a fun countdown challenge and take one meat meal away each day until the start of the 30-days.

2. Replacing Meat

Meat is full of protein and so many vital nutrients that help the body function. It is important to make sure you are making healthy replacements and eating enough of the right foods. There is an entire section of the grocery store that is stocked with vegetarian mock meats made from wholesome ingredients like tofu. Mushrooms in all varieties are a very "meaty" vegetable and can be used in all sorts of recipes. You can use a portobello mushroom to make a burger even! Since you aren't eating vegan, you can get protein from tons of egg recipes.

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3. Health Benefits

There are numerous health benefits to leaving meat out of the everyday diet. Although lean meats provide necessary protein and vitamins, most meats are not considered healthy. A diet without meat is usually lower in fat and calories which right there has a huge health impact. Cholesterol is also greatly diminished as well as sodium intake. Diets high in plant-based materials are better overall for heart health.  

Multi-generation family cooking

4. Weight Loss

It has been proven in studies that people who don't eat meat weigh less than people who do. It is believed that this is because vegetarians also eat less starchy and processed foods. Of course, this isn't true in all cases and cutting meat out alone may not have that big of an impact unless you ate a lot of high-fat meats. The bottom line is meat or no meat, losing weight is based on calorie intake and exercise. You can eat vegetables all day, but if you are washing them down with chips and ice cream, then it won't mean much.  

Smiling girl decided to cook a delicious and healthy meal

5. Environmental Factors

Eating meat can not only be bad for your health but has been associated with being bad for the environment. Large animal factories are where our meat comes from unless you buy certified organic. These factories use up a large number of resources like land, water, and energy to keep running. The animals themselves also produce harmful pollution through waste.  

Vegetables

6. Finding Recipes

If you are eating vegetarian for the next 30 days, the best thing to do is stock up on your recipes. This will ensure that you are prepared with enough variety and nutritious options for the month. Try certain foods you have never had before to make sure you like them. It is critical that you have foods that you like to be successful in this diet. Otherwise, you will find yourself hitting the drive-thru for that burger. Vegetarian recipes can be found online by the hundreds. Make a meal plan and calendar ahead, so you are fully ready to go.

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7. Staying Full

Keeping the stomach full on a 30-day vegetarian diet is going to be the biggest challenge. Eating enough foods high in protein and fiber are going to be necessary. Make sure to eat three decent meals a day and do not skip them. Fill up on leafy greens, beans, high-fat vegetables like avocados, and add in dairy or eggs if you need the added protein. Snack on healthy things like nuts and seeds in between meals to keep full. Make sure to drink plenty of water as this aids in filling you up as well.

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8. Iron

Meat, especially red meat, is our main source of valuable vitamins like iron. Make sure you add enough iron-rich foods into your new 30-day vegetarian challenge. There are plenty of plant-based foods that can keep your iron levels from plummeting. Tofu, beans, olives, potatoes, and mushrooms are all great sources of iron. If you have an iron deficiency make sure to talk to your doctor before beginning.

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9. Eating Vegan

In a vegetarian diet, the foods are mostly plant-based foods, but not strictly. What this means is that you don't have to eat meat to consume animal products. This could be eggs, milk, or chicken broth. These products are all considered okay in the vegetarian diet, but not in a vegan one. Vegans diets don't allow for any products that come from animals at all. For now, stick to the vegetarian diet and go from there!

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10. Challenge Yourself

There has to be some motivation behind you wanting to complete a 30-day diet challenge. It could be to lose weight, lower blood pressure, or just to see if you can do it. Whatever the reason, make sure you challenge yourself and stick to it. Prepare yourself for success by doing your research. Stock up on foods that will keep you satiated and energized. Find support if you feel like you are going to fold. You could realize being a vegetarian is something you love and adopt it into your life full time!

Vegan sandwich with chickpea patty, avocado, cucumber and greens in rye bread in children's hands.

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