5 top tips to help you stop eating meat and go Vegetarian

Whether you want to become vegetarian for moral or health reasons, there are numerous benefits like lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

But taking the plunge and suddenly transitioning to a meat-free life isn't always easy and it can take a toll on your body.

Take a look at our top five tips to help you become a Vegetarian and say goodbye to meat for good...

1. Start steady

If you normally eat three steaks a week, eliminating all meat overnight will be a drastic change. Instead slowly remove meat from your diet over a period of weeks or months. Start by eating one meat-free meal per week, then increase your veggie meals until your weekly meal plan is completely meat-free.

Planning meals in advance and experimenting with new foods should also help to make the transition smoother.

2. Don't forget your protein!

Meat is a fantastic source of protein, so when cutting this out you need to find an alternative source. Beans, lentils, nuts, eggs, cheese and tofu are packed full of protein and will help towards your 46 gram per day quota.

3. Learn your proportions

Try and balance your evening meals so you have half vegetables, a quarter whole grains and a quarter protein to achieve your daily nutritional requirements. Although this may sound like a ton of veggies don't forget pasta sauces filled with onions, courgettes and tomatoes are also working towards your intake. Try chopping up mushrooms and avocado into scrambled eggs or whisking up smoothies for an extra boost.

4. Don't forget your favourites

Just because you've turned Vegetarian doesn't mean you can't still cook your favourite meals. If you're a pie fan, swap the steak for wild mushrooms or use Halloumi cheese in wraps for a chunky lunchtime meal. Don't forget Quorn and meat alternatives that will help you make a full English fry up and a spicy Chilli Con Carne that's still veggie friendly.

5. Get everyone on board

Don't keep your friends and family in the dark about your lifestyle change. It's more embarrassing to have to turn down food at the dinner table than it is to make a quick phone call explaining your new diet. Be upfront, honest and accepting that some of those closest to you may try and offer you a bacon sarnie for the rest of time...

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