First off, eating meat or being a vegetarian is one’s personal choice and must be respected. This post does not aim to criticise the vegetarian lifestyle. This is simply a post that hopes to educate recently converted vegetarians on what they might expect and look out for now that they are on a meat-free diet.
Vitamin and Nutrient Deficiency
When going vegetarian, people assume they are make a healthier choice and so often do not realize that they are more susceptible to deficiencies, especially that of iron and vitamin B12. So always watch your iron levels and take supplements to keep your iron and vitamin B12 levels high. Even when you are eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, your body could still become low on a particular nutrient, so never assume that just because you’re on a vegetarian diet, you do not need supplements.
Not eating meat and sticking to a plant diet should make you lose weight, right? Well, not necessarily. The main reason for weight gain is due to the intake of carbs, and chances are that when you go vegetarian, you might find yourself in situations where the only vegetarian option available to you is bread. In such instances, your carb intake will definitely be a lot more than it would have been when you were eating meat. This could result in some serious weight gain. So make sure you’re not eating a lot of rotis and rice and terming it as vegetarian. That is not going to help with weight loss. The only way to lose weight in a vegetarian diet is to keep your intake of starchy carbs to a minimum and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables instead.
It Is an Expensive Lifestyle
This is another thing you probably would not have anticipated. Becoming a vegetarian can put a hole in your pocket. This is because you will need to buy a lot of vegetables and fruits on a weekly basis, and I do mean a lot. While meat can be expensive, the quantity of meat needed to fill you up and the quantity of veggies required are not the same. Since vegetables are much more easily digested than meat, you are going to need a lot of fruits and veggies to sustain you through each week and this would add up to be quite a high amount.
You’ve probably heard that becoming a vegetarian will make your skin glow. But what is hardly ever mentioned is the adjustment or transition period that your body goes through. Before your skin becomes healthy and glowing, you may experience a period of medium to severe breakouts. This is when your body is adjusting to a complete vegetarian diet. While this might initially be quite depressing to deal with, be assured that this will pass on and your skin will eventually start show great results.
Less PMS Symptoms
One of the greater perks of becoming a vegetarian is that your periods become much lighter. If you suffer from heavy bleeding, you can look forward to enjoying a lighter flow during your periods. Your PMS symptoms will also vastly reduce. This means that you will be experiencing milder mood swings, cramps, water retention, and back ache. Now isn’t that reason enough to convince any woman to become a vegetarian?
Planning Your Meals Is Difficult
Planning your meals can be quite a tedious process. Unlike meat recipes that only involve a few key ingredients, vegetarian dishes can be quite complex. Apart from salads and smoothies, if you want a more elaborate vegetarian meal, you will have to plan and prepare in advance. The best thing to do is to keep a weekly meal planner and do your weekend shopping and stock up on all the fruits and vegetables that you will need for each of your meal.
While these are some of the short term effects/consequences of becoming a vegetarian that you might not have considered, the fact is that you will encounter a lot of other positive changes in your body and its mechanism in the long term. Being aware of what to expect will help you make the transition to a vegetarian more smoothly, with lesser hitches.