7 Most Dangerous Mistakes People Make When Becoming a Vegetarian – Part 4
An increasing number of people are turning toward a vegetarian lifestyle, but that task isn’t always as easy as it sounds. In fact, for most, the world of vegetarian diets and making the switch toward that world can be incredibly frustrating. It’s typically filled with setbacks, but many of them are completely avoidable if you understand what the problems are at the outset. Throughout this series, we’ve discussed three of the most dangerous mistakes individuals can make when choosing this lifestyle, but there are others that are not only aggravating, but downright dangerous in many cases. One of those seriously concerning mistakes is a lack of meal planning.
Why Bother Planning?
If you didn’t carefully plan your meals before you became a vegetarian, it’s an absolute must that you do once you’ve switched to this new lifestyle. There are many ways meal planning can truly be of help to novice vegetarians, but two of them are very important to your success.
One of the biggest reasons to carefully plan your meals is to avoid boredom as you continue on in this eating trend. The last thing you want to happen is to continually be stuck eating the same green salad night after night because you simply can’t think of anything else that fits into your new lifestyle. Sooner or later, you’re going to get sick of that same green salad, and when you turn back toward your old eating habits, a fall like that can be hard.
Careful meal planning, though, can help you completely avoid this hassle. For example, perhaps on Monday you start your day with a whole wheat apple pancake. For lunch, you have some quinoa and black beans, then for dinner, you enjoy a veggie burger. Tuesday brings a smoothie for breakfast, lentil soup for lunch, and a pasta dish for dinner. Variety like this can help you avoid boredom as well as the need to stray from your diet.
The other major reason you have to carefully plan your diet is to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you require. While some anti-vegetarians may argue that you simply can’t get a balanced diet when you’re a vegetarian, that’s a complete myth. What is, however, true is the fact that you can experience some nutritional deficits after you initial switch, and this is often due to poor meal planning on your part. You have to find the right balance to meet your needs, and it’s completely possible, but you must pay attention.
Wondering what the price is for not carefully planning? Here are just a few of the most common. A lack of protein can cause your body to have problems building the new cells and tissues it needs to function, and this is a huge problem if you’re an athlete as well as a vegetarian. A lack of iron can lead to anemia which may lead to lacking energy, poor blood pressure, and ongoing pain among other things. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to decreased mental clarity, depression, and sleep problems. There’s absolutely no reason vegetarians can’t get the right amount of nutrients on a daily basis, but that’s one essential reason behind meal planning. New vegetarians don’t always realize how to balance out the right choices, and meal planning is one way to avoid any ongoing health complications.
Unfortunately, poor planning isn’t the only mistake that you can make as your diet begins to change. There are still others, and while we’ve covered some, there are still three others you should probably take the time to learn a bit about as you work your way to becoming meatless.