Become Vegetarian: 10 Tips to Stay Motivated
It can be difficult to become vegetarian. It can be even harder to stay motivated to sticking with a vegetarian diet. Changing your habits is notoriously challenging at first, but not impossible.
From personal experience, I can tell you that sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated to stick with a vegetarian diet after awhile.
Even if you have been a vegetarian for awhile. Try some of the following advice to help you stay motivated to become vegetarian:
1. Determine why you want to become vegetarian.
Why do you want to become a vegetarian? This is a question that you need to consider seriously. If you are considering it more out of curiosity than any other reason, that's fine and a pretty good reason by itself. However, if you want to stick with it, think about why you feel motivated.
If you have trouble with this, try journaling about it or talking it out with someone you trust.
Not to mention, in my experience, people ask why you are a vegetarian a lot. It is nice to have a solid answer that you feel good about.
2. Write down your reasons and display them in a place where you will see them often.
It's not enough to just know why you want to become vegetarian. Write it down on a piece of paper and hang it somewhere that is very visible to you.
This doesn't have to be fancy. Even just a sticky note on your desk that says something like, "I'm a vegetarian because I love animals and I no longer want to eat them."
When you are starting to feel unmotivated, having this reminder can help keep you on track and remember why you decided to become vegetarian in the first place.
3. Tell your friends and family about your decision.
It's important that the people in your life are aware of how important your decision to become a vegetarian is to you.
While they may not understand it, many will at least respect the fact that something is important to you.
It's important that the people in your life are aware of how important your decision to become a vegetarian is to you. While they may not understand it, many will at least respect the fact that something is important to you.
At some point, you will likely share a meal with family or friends. If you know that you are going to be the only vegetarian at a party or family get-together, it is usually a good idea to bring a vegetarian dish with you. Just let the host know before you arrive.
4. Join a vegetarian club, activist group, or group that regularly meets for dinner.
Having a support system while in the process of making a significant change in your lifestyle is extremely helpful and valuable. If you already have friends who are vegetarian, make an effort to ask them for advice about
how to become vegetarian.
If you are shy, that's fine don't rush into anything you aren't comfortable with. Consider looking for forums dedicated to discussions about vegetarianism.
In addition to support, it is nice to spend time around people who understand why you are a vegetarian and don't make annoying comments about how you won't get enough protein or how the animal is already dead anyway.
They will also be able to give you useful advice and help you come up with ways to respond to odd questions from non-vegetarians.
Of course, not all non-vegetarians are going to ask questions like this. Some are very supportive and will even make an effort to eat vegetarian meals when they are around you
5. Think about how much you are helping animals, the environment, and your health.
These may or may not be your reasons for becoming vegetarian. However, whatever your reasons are it is a good idea to remind yourself of other benefits of being vegetarian.
Consider posting a sign somewhere that says, "As a vegetarian, I'm doing my part to help end the suffering of animals, reduce my impact on the environment, and improving my health so that I can live a longer, healthier life."
Posting this sign near your list of more personal reasons for vegetarianism is probably a good place for it. Again it doesn't have to be fancy.
Just jotting a few thoughts down on a piece of notebook paper or even a napkin can be helpful. As long as you see it regularly, it can be a helpful motivator.
6. Try out new vegetarian recipes.
When I first decided to become vegetarian, it seemed like my diet had just become quite limited. Then, I did some research and realized how many recipes are available vegetarian meals and snacks.
Particularly if you are preparing them at home. Checking out the recipes on this site is a good place to start. There are also many excellent vegetarian cook books to consider buying or checking out from the library.
Ok, I may be a bit biased. After all, I run a recipe site and obviously enjoy cooking, but really try out some new vegetarian recipes whenever you can.
Not only will you avoid getting bored, you will see how much variety is available to vegetarians. If you come up with a tasty recipe that you think other people might like, submit it to Recipes-for-Vegetarians.com.
7. Avoid restaurants when you are first starting out.
Most restaurants, especially fast food places, aren't exactly vegetarian friendly. Sure, they might have a few vegetarian options, but they normally aren't very nutritious and only a few to choose from. Again, this is from personal experience, so this may not always be the case.
Anyway, my point is going to restaurants where you have limited options can make it unnecessarily difficult to stick to a vegetarian diet.
Not to mention the fact that you may be tempted by some of your old favorites, which can make you feel discouraged or even guilty at times. Avoid this bad situation all together and try cooking at home while you are getting used to being vegetarian.
9. Escape all or nothing thinking.
Small changes can have a huge impact. This is why people collecting donations for charity don't mock or shoo away people who only donate a handful of change.
Making tiny, gradual changes when you become vegetarian, particularly at first, is beneficial, effective, and actually is more likely to last.
Even if you are not completely vegetarian, just a few vegetarian meals a week makes a huge difference. I have a friend who says she follows a vegetarian diet, except for tacos.
Is she a vegetarian? I would say that she is at least a semi-vegetarian and that her efforts to avoid most meat is a good thing.
You don't have to be perfect. Avoid comparing yourself to others and do what works for you.Habit change can be difficult and takes time.If it were easy to make big changes in your lifestyle all at once, then New Years Resolutions would be a piece of cake!
Considering that research has shown that most people give up on their New Years Resolutions by February, which suggests that habit change is more complicated than we like to think.
10.Don't take it personally when people don't understand why you have decided to become vegetarian.
Every once in awhile, a friend or acquaintance asks a question or comment along the lines of "Why bother being vegetarian?" While people ask me why I'm a vegetarian all the time and I'm happy to talk about it.
However,when someone is rude or judgmental, it can be frustrating. Especially, if you have recently decided to become vegetarian and are in need of encouragement.
Over time, I've found a good way to respond to rude comments, especially ones that are critical. It goes like this: "Well, that may be true, but I'm doing what I can." This line works well for me in almost every situation.
Try not to get defensive. I know it's way easier said than done. Besides, not everyone will agree with me, no matter how hard I try. So I don't stress about it.
Just do your best to accept that not everyone understands vegetarianism and to deal with criticism tactfully.
Some of these tips on staying motivated to become vegetarian may work well for you. Others may not be useful or may not apply to you. Take what is useful to you and ignore the rest.
More About Becoming Vegetarian
Types of Vegetarian
Vegan vs Vegetarian
Vegetarian Protein Sources
Back to Become Vegetarian
Return to Vegetarian Recipes