If you’ve recently fallen off the vegan wagon and eaten meat, you’re not alone. A study has found that most people who choose a vegetarian lifestyle have a relapse after just one year of sticking to their no-meat diet.
The study was conducted by the Humane Research Council and it surveyed 11,000 people in America. It found that 84 per cent of vegetarians - and vegans - end up eating meat again within a year of starting their lifestyle changes. Sadly, up to a third of people who were surveyed don’t stick to their lifestyle choices for three months before returning to their previous diets.
Vegan diets can seem pretty drastic to someone who has not restricted themselves before. Taking it on can feel daunting and it might not be easy to commit to all the changes, especially if you take into consideration how animal products are in so many things - and some surprising foods, too, such as sugar, orange juice and some types of beer.
The important thing is to take a meat relapse in your stride. Just because you slipped up, it doesn’t mean you can’t dust your diet off and get back on track. Here are some tips to help you along.
- 1. Refill Your Cupboards
It doesn’t help your vegan decision if your cupboards are still stocked up with animal products. The temptation will still be there and they'll be especially difficult to resist if it’s been a long day and you just want a fast meal without fuss.
- 2. Planning is Key!
As with any lifestyle change, if you make plans for yourself that’s already half the work done. Write down plans for the week’s upcoming meals, packed lunches and snacks to get you through the day. Then go to the store and stock up on these goods so they’re in easy reach when you need them.
- 3. Stay Inspired
The thought of delicious, satisfying meals is an important part of sticking to your goal. Make it a weekly habit to go online and check out various vegan recipes and tips so that you see how many yummy meals can be vegan. Even something that seems dairy-packed without any alternatives, such as creamy hot chocolate, can actually have satisfying vegan options. So get inspired and try the recipes at home.
Your body might feel a little 'off' during the first few weeks of choosing a vegan diet. That's not necessarily because you’re doing it wrong - any big change will have an effect. Filling up on delicious, creative meals makes you feel better, while ensuring you get all your required nutrition.
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons