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4 Common Mistakes Vegan Newbies Make

There are a handful of mistakes that almost all vegan newbies make. What are these and how can you prevent them? Let’s take a closer look.

More and more people are choosing to switch over to the vegan eating style these days. They’re focusing on eliminating animal products from their diets for a variety of reasons. Some people choose to do this because of personal beliefs they have, because of the health benefits that can come from doing so, or simply to help sustain the environment better.

Whatever your case for going vegan happens to be, it’s important that you approach this nutritional philosophy the right away or you may end up with some undesirable side effects. Fatigue, malnutrition, and weight gain are just a few of the unwanted symptoms that can occur.

So which mistakes do too many people make? Let’s take a quick look at the common mistakes often made by vegan newbies.

Lack Of Planning

The first big mistake is a total lack of planning. It’s a must that just like with any other nutritional approach, you plan your meals ahead of time. This is perhaps even more important when following a vegan plan because getting sufficient healthy protein in will be harder, so if you don’t plan ahead, you may be stuck with levels that are far too low to keep you healthy.

Make sure at the very least, you have each protein source planned out for your meals and snacks. Good vegan-friendly protein sources include chickpeas and lentils, beans, tofu, tempeh, as well as soybeans, nuts, and seeds.

Insufficient Energy Intake

Another common mistake that many vegans make is insufficient energy intake. They think that eating a vegan diet means primarily eating fresh fruits and vegetables. And while that is very true – those foods definitely do need to be included in your plan, they are not the only foods you should be eating.

If you only eat those, it’s very likely that you’ll consume fewer than 1,000 calories per day, which isn’t enough to sustain anyone.

You need to make sure that as you cut out all the animal meat based foods, you replace those calories with an appropriate amount of vegan-friendly foods. Otherwise, you’re always going to suffer from low energy and a general sense of feeling unwell.

Processed Carb Overload

It’s also important to note that just because you are going vegan does not mean you can eat all the processed carbohydrates you want. Some people think that being vegan means a free pass to eat all the bread, pasta, potatoes, granola bars, and otherwise that they desire all because these foods are "allowed" on their plan.

These foods lack nutrients and can lead to weight gain in any diet, vegan diets included. Make sure that you don’t forget that.

Improper Balance

Finally, the last mistake often made by people is simply not achieving proper balance. You don’t want to be eating a diet that is about 80 percent carbs, 15 percent fats, and 5 percent protein. But yet, some vegans manage to achieve this.

You should still aim to get around 20-25 percent protein in your diet, 25-30 percent fats, and then the remainder from healthy carbohydrate sources. This is what will keep you feeling your best at all times and make sure that you get in the nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

So keep these points in mind. If you are starting a vegan plan, make sure that you aren’t suffering from these same mistakes.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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