Individuals who are making that switch to a completely vegan diet tend to run into the same struggles initially. Low energy levels and flagging energy, acne, massive cravings for sugar or other strong flavors, and gas/diarrhea can all emerge as basic initiatory rites for a new vegan lifestyle.
But make it past these hurdles, and you’re in for so many rewards—endless energy, a whole new level of feel-good endorphins flowing through your system, a slimmer waistline, a clearer mind, and clear skin—all of these are on the way. You just have to let your system adjust a bit to your new way of eating.
Here’s How to Sail Right over Some New Vegan Hurdles and Right into Your New, Happier Way of Life.
1.) Low energy
When you switch from a meat to plant diet or from a combination vegetarian and egg/dairy protein-based diet to complete veganism, you may experience something much like the keto flu—a feeling of low energy. Make sure you’re getting enough nutrients, especially if you’re working out. Your first weeks as a vegan, you really need to print out a table of the RDA for all the vitamins and minerals you need and how you’re going to meet them with plant-based sources, instead of the ones you’re used to, especially if you’re working out a lot. You need to strategize where you’ll get your protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates and enough of them. A vegan pre-workout energizer/shake is a great idea for new and experienced vegans alike.
2.) Cravings, cravings, cravings
New vegans often confront strong food cravings. What’s happening here is your body is in a state of flux. It's an adjustment period. You’re switching your body to a new type of fuel and while it's used to running on another. Your body just wants that old fuel, so it’s signaling you to eat more as it develops the new digestive enzymes your body needs to digest more vegetable fiber. Don’t worry. Make sure that you’re getting all your vitamins and minerals with your plant diet choices. A vegan green drink can help a lot with these. These tasty shakes are packed with vitamins, minerals, and those trace minerals that our body cries out for via cravings when they’re not being met. Things like a choline deficiency will signal you to crave sour foods, while a potassium deficiency will manufacture as sugar cravings. It’s your body needing mineral and vitamin fuel and energy from food, that’s all.
3.) Gas and diarrhea
It is extremely common for individuals switching to a completely vegan lifestyle to experience a lot of gas, diarrhea, and even some cramping and abdominal pain as your digestive system adjusts to all this new fiber in your diet. Be not afraid.
This gas and diarrhea are actually signs of healthy changes in your body—that your body is detoxifying years of crud out of its system in the form of waste. In fact, you’re getting rid of old undigested remnants of foods and toxins that have been backed up in your system for a long time. Think of the beautiful glow you’ll have when you’re finally rid of all that junk!
Acne in new vegans tends to crop up for two chief reasons. First, you may be experiencing a zinc deficiency.
Zinc is chiefly found in animal sources, whether they’re seafood, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy. But nuts, seeds, and legumes are also good sources of zinc. Take a look at how much zinc you have been getting in your diet and if you’re deficient, work in more zinc-rich seeds and nuts like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and sunflower seeds and more legumes like peanuts, soy, or tofu.
Also, soy can cause hormonal reactions that lead to acne as well because it’s highly estrogenic. Watch your diet and chart breakouts. Eventually, you’ll create the perfect diet for you. One that prevents breakouts instead of ushering them in.
Like all good changes we make in life, whether it’s giving up a high sugar/ high-calorie food that we know is not good for us, to doing HIIT, any and all changes we make for the better are, typically, quite a struggle until we adjust them fully.
Stick with your new vegan way of life and in two months’ tops, your body and mind will be enjoying the rewards of cleaner plant fuel. Plus, as your body detoxifies all the dangerous hormones and chemicals that were in your system because of your old way of life, you’ll get to wake up every day feeling better – and more grateful—for your new vegan lifestyle.
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