I know that switching up your diet can be hard and confusing. Lots of people feel lost when they make an extreme diet change and feel like they don’t know what to eat or where to start. You’re not alone! Here’s my quick tips for going vegetarian today! Good luck and feel free to reach out with questions and concerns here.

1: NOT As Easy As Pie (or… cheese)

Ounce for ounce, cheddar has “four times the calories and nine times the fat of skinless chicken breast”, which is why switching from turkey clubs to grilled cheeses or from beef stew to mac and cheese won’t help you when going vegetarian. So It’s all about diet, and just switching meat out for calorie dense foods will not cut it. Try to limit cheese intake and buy real, organic, or natural cheese and kick the processed junk. Switching to zero percent milk or nut and oat milks is also a huge help when starting out. (Plus, almond milk tends to actually have more calcium on average!)

2: Don’t Skip The Protein!

Vegetarianism isn’t just about cutting protein from your diet, your body needs it and it’s essential to lose weight (if that’s your goal). Some healthy and vegetarian options include lentils, quinoa, tofu, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and about a million other things besides meat! Lentil loaf anyone?

3: Juicing Is Not It.

Do you see a green juice smoothie and think -healthy-? Well cut that out! Lots of vegetable juices are high in calories and filled with extra sugars. Plus, they don’t fill you up nearly as much as raw or boiled produce.

Here’s a quick list of how many veggies you can eat for around 100 calories

Asparagus: 33 spears – 109 cals

Bell peppers: 4 1/2 medium peppers – 104 cals

Broccoli: 3 1/2 cups (chopped) – 105 cals

Brussels sprouts: 14 sprouts – 106 cals

Carrot (baby): 29 – 102 cals

Cauliflower (raw): 3 3/4 cups (chopped) – 100 cals

Celery: 18 (7-inch stalks) – 101 cals

Corn (sweet white): 1 3/4 ears – 104 cals

Cucumber: 2 1/4 cucumbers – 102 cals

Green beans: 2 1/4 cups – 98 cals

Kale (cooked): 3 cups – 109 cals

Lettuce (romaine): 1 head – 106 cals

Mushroom (chopped): 6 1/2 cups – 98 cals

Onion (raw): 2 medium – 97 cals

Would you rather drink some juice that’s 250 calories and feel hungry 20 minutes later or eat 4 and a half bell peppers and 6 and a half cups of mushrooms all nicely seasoned and cooked for less calories? I know what I’m picking. (No, not the juice, come on people!)

4: Aim For Quality Foods

Just sitting in your PJs and eating vegan ice cream and cookies all day (as fun as it sounds) isn’t going to do you much good. Aiming for high quality produce and making a point of getting a well rounded diet is going to be much much better in the long run. (Your body will thank you.)

5: Stay Hydrated!

I know, “what does this have to do with becoming vegetarian?” Well, a lot! Drinking enough water will help curb those cravings you’re having and keep your mind active and healthy! A simple solution to a bunch of problems.

6: Eat Your *Dark* Greens!

These veggies are absolutely packed with vitamins such as calcium and iron, so make sure to incorporate them into your diet as much as you can!

Check out our podcast Better Off Better and listen to us struggle to make ourselves better people

And of course, the author of this post Jenny Whipple

Lastly, our Youtube channel for video podcasts and other comedy stuff

Thanks for reading my quick tips for going vegetarian!