Veganism: a fad diet or a pathway to healthy living?

Since Donald Watson coined the term vegan in 1944, veganism has been one of the most popular, controversial and fast growing diets in the western world! If you can’t imagine not being able to dive into your big mac at the end of your Thursday night out, well you can scrap that Mcflurry too, if you want to be a vegan. Even though it’s a largely popular diet among people, the question must be asked: is this a fad diet or the real deal, in paving the way to the healthy lifestyle for which we all yearn?  Doing some research it is easy to say that if you do veganism the right way you will be sure to reap the benefits. However, do it the wrong way and you will be in for a shock. Starting a new diet is always challenging and there is always the danger of being too extreme. So what do you do if you want to try your hand at veganism? Believe it or not it is actually quite simple. You do the “do’s” and you don’t do the “don’ts”. Avoid common pitfalls and you too could have a delicious and nutritious experience, like so many others. Now lets get down to the most common mistakes that people make when becoming a vegan.

Your number one “don’t” is not to use the vegan diet as a weight loss program. Why, when you see so many celebrities achieve their body image goals “the vegan way”?  The simple reason is that you will never be able to maintain your weight loss in this way and in no time you will find yourself back to square one within a matter of weeks. Veganism is meant to be treated as a lifestyle and not something you try for a few weeks to shed a couple of pounds. If your body has the capability to adjust quickly it will undoubtedly readjust, just as fast. So don’t rush into something just because it’s March and you want that “bikini body”!   Do it because you want to be healthy, and everything else will fall into place.

Another major “don’t” when it comes to veganism is not to cut out all meats and dairy at once. By doing this you will immediately put your health at risk. If you don’t ease yourself into your new lifestyle you will be sure to fail. Going full on vegan in just a day and thinking you will be able to maintain it, is a notion that you need to put out of your head. Your body needs time to get used to your new lifestyle, so try going vegan for breakfast and lunch initially and gradually ease yourself into this new way of life.

Last but not least don’t forget to stock up on plenty of nutrients and vitamins to keep your body functioning. The big one to stock up on is vitamin- B12. Vitamin-B12 is found in animal products and helps to keep our nerve and blood cells healthy. A deficiency in this vitamin can cause not only anaemia but also neurological problems such as uneven gait, mood swings, decreased concentration and even dementia. So make sure you take this vitamin at least once a day!

Most importantly don’t forget that you need to think of veganism as a lifestyle change and not a fad diet!