More on the Slow and Steady Method
In a previous post called The Turning Point I talked a bit about something I call the slow and steady vegetarian method.
First thing’s first – Shout out to my mom as I learned this concept from her.
So the name is pretty self-explanatory, but basically this path involves cutting out one kind of meat at a time until you are ready to move on to removing the next. You pick a date, an animal, and commit to cutting it out of your diet from that day forward. When you take this approach it can be a lot less intimidating than removing everything all at once, cold turkey. Heh.
I’ve already covered off the basics on how to prepare in The Turning Point but here’s a quick recap:
- Define your reason.
- Choose a date.
- Choose an animal.
- Have a last hurrah.
- Say ‘sayonara!’ and commit.
Not so bad right? Anyone could do it.
The Long Term Gain
There are many benefits of taking a slow approach to becoming a vegetarian or vegan, such as:
- It’s easier on your mind and body.
- You can still always find something great at restaurants.
- It gives you lots of time to try new meatless foods and meals.
- You are less likely to cave in (not that it would be the end of the world).
- It’s a bit easier for your friends and family to adjust or cook around your diet.
- You can choose to cut out the next animal when you feel ready.
- And because of all this, you are less likely to quit entirely!
If you are the type that starts a big diet or workout regimen and falls off a few days later (like most people, don’t worry) then this is a great option for you. And the gratification doesn’t have to wait until you’re full-vegan. Your hard works starts at the time you cut out the first meat and you can absolutely use this for motivation.
How I Felt a Week after Cutting out the First Meat, Beef
Honestly? I don’t remember.
Which is a good thing, I think. Only three and a bit years later and I’ve basically forgotten. Which shows to me that it must not have been that bad, right?
There were probably lots of cravings. A bit of disappointment when someone around me ate something of that meat. Food brings us a lot of satisfaction when eating it, so that’s one of the hardest things to overcome. Luckily after a few months that should mostly go away.
If you are worried about the cravings, I suggest you start with a meat you eat the least of all. That way it will be an easier adjustment and you will be most likely to stick with it. Then afterwards when you are ready for the next you can use the last year (or however long it takes) as motivation.
So How Do I Know When to Move On?
There are a few ways to tell. I’ll get into it in more detail at a later date, but basically it’s when you are completely over the last meat, with little to no more cravings. You want to make sure that the next meat won’t be too much for you to handle, so getting as much over the first one as you can is one of the best was to make sure of it.
Always be reminding yourself that this long process is the best way for you to ensure the change lasts a lifetime.