People have a variety of reasons to begin and maintain a meatless diet. However, a lot of people find it difficult to completely cut meat out of their diet. After all, if you've been eating meat for most of your life, it can be hard to just stop. It can be hard to sit in a restaurant and catch a whiff of the steak that guy the next table over ordered, while you're trying to find an all-vegetable dish.
Luckily, psychologists have found ways to make it easier for you to cut meat out of your diet completely.
Eating can be mindless for most of us. This means that habits and rituals, not us ourselves, are in charge of what we eat. Thus, the solution is taking back control. An effective way to do this is preparing for times when we know we'd be facing temptation.
You can then steel your resolve to not give in when you have the option of eating meat. Remember, being aware of your cravings give you control over them.
A lot of people still eat meat and are quite fond of it. If you're going on a meatless diet, it's possible that you'll find it hard to find others making the same choices you are. You may feel like you're alone in your endeavor, which can make cutting meat out harder than it is. However, there are ways for you to find like-minded people, or to make your choices compatible with those of your meat-eating friends.
Think of a nice, expertly-prepared steak or a fragrant burger sizzling on a grill. These are definitely tempting and appetizing, which can make it difficult for you to stick to a meatless diet. However, psychologists have found a way to make eating meat far less appealing—by visualizing the animals themselves.
If you remind yourself that pork comes from an intelligent animal that experiences emotions just like you can, eating pork will likely be uncomfortable for you. Those baby back ribs will be far less appetizing if you visualize a pig on your plate instead of seeing the dish itself.
Mindfulness can be an important tool in mastering and gaining control over your cravings. Mindfulness, essentially, is being present in the moment and being aware of your surroundings and yourself. Thus, this can also become a way to counteract mindless eating.
This study showed that mindfulness helped people lose weight and get their cravings under control. It's possible that this same technique can also help you avoid eating meat.
Perception is important. While your decision to cut meat out of your diet most likely came from a good place, it can get you down sometimes. Thus, it may be better to put a positive spin on your choices. Don't think of it as “giving something up”. Don't think of a meatless diet as a choice wherein you lost something in your life. You can think of your decision as something that saves the lives of innocent animals, or something that's healthy and sustainable.
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