New Years Resolutions, get-rich-quick schemes and diets all have one thing in common: they are eventually bound to fail. People start them with the best intentions, but after not seeing desired results, they no longer have the will or want to continue. When viewed as a diet, veganism is no different. The key to success is to ditch the word “diet” and opt for a complete lifestyle makeover.
Going Vegan Is “So Cool”
In a society obsessed with celebrity trends and quick fixes, vegan “diets” sound like the perfect answer. If your favorite celebrity goes vegan, or the news says veganism is now a good thing, you may be eager to try it. Good for you! But, beware, because if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, you may end up failing.
It’s said that 95% of people who try diets fail. The word diet sends people into a panic, causing them to gorge on forbidden foods just moments before they start. The idea of giving up things they love and stopping cold faux-turkey is reason enough that diets fail. However, transitioning to a vegan “diet” doesn’t have to be as traumatic.
Most omnivores turn their noses at the idea of giving up meat, eggs, and especially cheese. However, changes don’t have to happen overnight, so don’t be so hard on yourself! The more gradual the transition, the more likely you will stay vegan for the long haul. Do some research, talk to fellow vegans, read some articles and start small.
Losing Weight vs. Gaining Health
Diets are geared toward weight loss, where most vegans are more concerned with long-term health goals and animal rights. Losing weight and getting healthy are just two additional amazing side effects of living cruelty-free. Vegans are more likely to stick to their lifestyle than people trying fad diets because it starts with deeper beliefs, not a desire for quick results. For most, a vegan diet is a lifelong commitment to get excited about. Very few people can mention the word “diet” without the look of fear on their faces.
Many vegans are also into a holistic lifestyle, which may include yoga and other forms of meditation. On the flip side, diets often include pills and harmful weight-loss practices that may work on a short-term basis, but can hurt in the long run. Those diets may not always advocate for a healthy sustainable lifestyle, unlike a vegan diet.
In the end, veganism isn’t a diet; it is a lifestyle. When people go on no-carb or low-fat diets, they are only changing one tiny aspect of their life: the removal of a certain food. A vegan lifestyle encompasses many parts of a person’s life. There are ethical, environmental and health concerns, all which lead to an overall sense of personal growth and change.
Eat Well and Be Well
Let’s stop calling veganism a diet, craze, a fad or whatever fancy label you hear on the 5 o’clock news. It’s not new and it’s not going anywhere. Don’t think of the limitations and all the things you have to give up. Think of it more as an easy, positive lifestyle change with endless benefits. The right perspective can make your vegan lifestyle something that you proudly discuss with those who ask, instead of shielding your face behind a bushel of kale as you whisper, “I’m vegan.”
Be proud! You are now entering a world full of endless possibilities, health and compassion. Now, what’s so scary about that?