"I tried being vegan, but I was always so hungry!"
When going vegan for the first time, many of us find our stomachs growling round the clock. It's frustrating, we get it. But, with these simple tips, you'll stop being hangry and start feeling nourished and energized.
1. Increase those portions
Since animal and animal-derived products contain complex protein and fat molecules, it takes about 2 days to fully digest them. While vegetables and fruits, which are high in fiber, take less than a day. This fundamental fact is one of the main reasons why a lot of people keep feeling hungry, or experience digestive issues, when they suddenly change their diet to contain mostly plant-based foods.
When you go vegan, you need to eat more food multiple times a day. You can do this by ensuring you have proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as keep healthy snacks handy for those hunger pangs. Try these Roasted Chickpeas and keep them around for the times you start feeling peckish. You can also check out these 15 budget friendly meal ideas for inspiration.
2. Nourish, don't replace
Generally, when we're making any changes to our diets, our first instinct is to keep continuing what we're eating while substituting what we can't. So, the meats get substituted with meat alternatives.
Instead, we need to take a moment to rethink our diet. You can read and research more about the Plate Method and your basic nutritional needs (we've covered these in our vegan nutrition guide). Each meal should contain a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, fibers, and fats.
So, if your daily dinner consists of meat and mashed potatoes, instead of thinking meat substitute and mashed potato, you pair your mashed potatoes with beans, non-starchy veggies that're sautéd in spices, some nuts & seeds, and an avocado on top. When you have balanced meals, you'll feel satiated.
3. Mix it up!
Another way to ensure that you enjoy your vegan journey while staying full is to add a variety to your diet. Take this opportunity to learn new techniques and cook for yourself. They say you eat with your eyes, so when you cook you start developing a healthy relationship with your food, and you learn how your body reacts to different foods.
Also, start prepping! After a long day, hardly anyone has the energy to cook complex meals. But, if you prep ahead, you can cook your meals in a jiffy. Prepping also helps you to add more flavors to your meal. Just as you use various cooking techniques for your meats... like braising, marinating, BBQing, roasting, and many more... use the same techniques with your vegan ingredients. Just because you're eating veggies, it doesn't have to be boring.