There are numerous reasons people choose to radically overhaul the way they eat. For some, it’s a desire for weight loss, perhaps by experimenting with ketogenic or paleo eating plans. For others, health is the governing factor; a diagnosis of diabetes, for example, will result in the need for a strict adherence to a low-sugar diet. Alternatively, the change is based on lifestyle choices or environmental concerns, which inspires a switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet. However, whatever the reason, the change can be rather disconcerting.
If you are contemplating a significant dietary change soon, it can be helpful to know what to expect from the experience. In order to assist you in this effort, below, we’ve put together a simple guide to get you through the early stages of transition, so you can make the change as smooth and stress-free as possible.
1. You will get cravings
The vast majority of dietary changes involve eliminating certain foods, or types of food – if you’re going keto, you’ll need to say goodbye to carbs. Veganism means no animal products of any kind. Sugar-free tends to mean no fruits, and so on and so forth.
Unfortunately, when you remove anything from your diet, the chances are that you’ll experience a fair share of cravings in the first few weeks. It’s important to know that this is entirely normal – and, despite internet forums often suggesting otherwise, it’s not a sign that your body “needs” the food you are no longer eating – so just be prepared for the initial cravings as best you can by reminding yourself that cravings are transitory, and your body will soon adjust accordingly.
2. Be cautious of the need for speed
While cravings can be troublesome, the toughest challenge your new eating habits will face will actually come from time, or more particularly, the lack of it. If you’re in a rush, or worked late and want to grab something quick before heading to bed, sticking to a significant dietary change is tough. All you want to do is eat, which can be difficult when you need to research what you can eat, log calories in a tracker, or prepare a meal from scratch. In these scenarios, grabbing something quick – even if it breaks your new diet – will be overwhelmingly tempting.
To avoid such a scenario, ensure you have access to suitable quick, easy meals and snacks that align with your new diet. If you’re switching to keto, pork rinds and cheese make great snacks. Options such as vegan ready meals are the perfect choice for those opting for an animal-product-free diet. Paleo and sugar-free switchers could try meal prepping in order to ensure they always have something quick and easy on hand.
3. You’ll be glad you did it
Finally, it’s important to note that even taking the facts as mentioned above into account, your dietary change will almost certainly be worth it. After all, you’re making this change for justifiable, well-researched, and medically-approved reasons. Sure, there may be a few blips and surprises along the way, but ultimately, you’re setting yourself on the road to a bright, exciting future of newfound culinary delights.
The initial phase of any dietary change can be challenging, but having read through the guide above, you should have a better idea of what to expect from the process.