Are you no longer vegan? Do you think the peer pressure is too much, or it’s too expensive. No excuse is compelling enough to quit being vegan!
We all want to eat delicious foods and feel healthy at the same time, but there’s no denying the difficulty that many of us have with sticking to a new dietary plan.
This is especially true if you make a dramatic lifestyle change, such as going from a regular diet to a vegan diet. As a matter of fact, quite a few people find themselves unable to maintain a vegan diet and end up throwing in the towel.
But what really causes them to quit? In this article we will discuss some of the reasons behind why people decide to stop being vegan; we will also go over some of the potential benefits of a vegan diet in order to highlight why you shouldn’t quit, even if you’re struggling right now.
We hope you find this article helpful and informative, especially if you are no longer vegan (or considering not being vegan any longer) but thinking about trying a vegan lifestyle again.
Top Reasons Why People Decide To Be No Longer Vegan
Everyone has their own reasons for why they struggle with being a vegan or give up on eating vegan.
But after doing some in-depth research about why people who are no longer vegan quit, we have discovered that some of the most common causes of quitting are an inability to break the habit of eating meats and other animal products, a lack of willpower to stick with a vegan diet, a lack of knowledge regarding the potential benefits that can be gained from eating vegan, peer pressure to abandon a vegan diet, as well as having unrealistic expectations about what will happen if you switch to a vegan diet and then being disappointed when those expectations are not met.
We will discuss all these reasons and more, in the hopes of encouraging you to stick with your vegan diet.
1. Breaking the Habit of Eating Animal Products
For many people, one of the hardest parts of becoming (and staying) a vegan is breaking the habit of eating animal products. Whether it’s meat, eggs, or dairy products, there is always going to be one food item that you will struggle to move on from.
This addiction to eating animal products is often what causes many people to give up on being vegan, especially if they recently changed over to a vegan diet from a regular diet and are still adapting to the new lifestyle.
Furthermore, replacing that meat-eating habit with a new habit (such as eating tofu instead) is not something that can be done quickly.
Despite the common belief that it only takes a few days to form a new habit, some scientific studies show it can take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to form a new habit depending upon the severity of the habit or addiction and the dedication of the person to overcome that habit.
This means that if you are the sort of person who takes longer to break an old habit and start a new one, staying dedicated to your vegan diet and not relapsing into eating animal products might be a struggle and it is very challenging.
You might even feel like you will never get used to not eating meat and dairy items; and if you will never feel like eating vegan is normal, why keep going?
But don’t worry! As long as you stick with your diet plan and remain dedicated to being vegan, eventually you will adapt and break the habit of eating meats and other animal products.
You can also encourage yourself to break the habit of eating animal products by finding delicious vegan alternatives that you enjoy eating.
2. The Power of Willpower: Finding the Motivation To Eat Vegan
Another common issue reported by people who are no longer vegan is the difficulty in finding the motivation and willpower to eat vegan consistently.
We all lead busy lives, and preparing a vegan meal often seems like so much more work when compared to the convenience of simply buying a drive-thru burger or ordering a take-out pizza.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a lack of willpower is what leads many people to give up on being vegan; they feel that eating vegan takes way too much effort and so they quit.
Contrary to popular opinion, being a vegan actually is not a horrendously difficult diet to adopt. It may be difficult at first, especially if you decide to go vegan all at once (some people recommend starting out your vegan lifestyle gradually, to give yourself some time to adjust and avoid unnecessary temptations).
However, as long as you stay consistent in your dedication to be vegan, you will eventually find yourself eating many kinds of healthy vegan foods and not even thinking about the things you can not eat anymore. In a nutshell, consistency is the key to success.
And while you may have to give up items like ordinary cheese and butter, don’t worry: there are actually vegan-friendly equivalents to these.
This greater accessibility to vegan-friendly foods makes finding the willpower to stick with vegan eating so much easier.
3. Knowledge Is Power: Understanding the Benefits of Eating Vegan
Quite a few people will attempt to become vegan without fully understanding what is involved or even what potential benefits eating vegan can provide for them.
This can cause problems later on, because if a person doesn’t really understand why they should be doing something, they will eventually lose the motivation to continuing doing it (in this case, eating vegan).
In fact, a large number of people who are no longer vegan admit that they initially tried to lead a vegan lifestyle without really understanding what such a lifestyle actually entailed; this lack of understanding more or less sabotaged their attempts to be vegan and they subsequently quit.
As a result, it is extremely important for anyone interested in eating vegan to truly do their research and understand what they are signing up for.
Many of us only start off understanding the basics of veganism: don’t eat any animal products. But beyond that, very few people have taken the time to understand all the great health benefits that can come from avoiding those animal products and eating vegan-friendly foods instead.
For example, a vegan diet can contain more natural nutrients than an ordinary diet. Not only will you be cutting down on the amount of unhealthy fats in your diet, a vegan diet will involve eating more fruits and vegetables; this means you will be getting more fiber as well as more vitamins.
In fact, in a Medical News Today article, Megan Ware, a registered dietitian nutritionist from Orlando, FL, observed that, “In general, a vegan diet contains far more nutrients than the average American diet.”
When you take into consideration the fact that the average American diet is loaded with red meats, dairy items, and a wide variety of heavily processed foods (in fact, according to recent dietary information, the average American eats over a hundred pounds of red meats, sixteen pounds of fish and shellfish, and over six hundred pounds of dairy items), there’s no denying the fact that a well-balanced vegan diet contains far more nutrients.
This means that people who are no longer vegan are more than likely actually getting fewer important nutrients by returning to an ordinary lifestyle.
Eating vegan has also been shown to help lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lose excess weight, improve kidney function, reduce the risk of developing several different cancers, reduce painful symptoms of menstruation, reduce your risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, alleviate joint pain, migraines, and certain digestive disorders.
Some studies have even shown that a vegan diet can help diabetics to reduce their blood sugar levels and even potentially reduce how much of a dosage of blood-sugar-lowering medicine they need.
4. Withstanding Peer Pressure
Quite a few people who decide to adopt a vegan lifestyle do so against the advice of their friends and family members.
These naysayers about eating vegan will often try to convince you that a vegan diet is unhealthy; they will probably tell you that you will not be able to get enough important nutrients if you give up meats and other animal products.
While your loved ones may have good intentions with these little lectures, it’s very likely that they are not as well-informed on the subject of vegan eating as you are.
Additionally, by badgering you about their own reservations about veganism, your loved ones are going to be (intentionally or unintentionally) putting pressure on you to give up on being a vegan.
Many of us strive to avoid conflict with our loved ones, especially in certain situations where we feel like caving to their demands is easier and less stressful than sticking to our guns. Because of this mindset, many vegans who are surrounded by meat-loving friends and relatives often give up on eating vegan due to the pressure and lack of support they experience.
It is important to remain dedicated to your vegan diet, however, even if your friends and family members don’t entirely approve.
Not only does eating vegan have many potential health benefits, but you are also the person with the final say when it comes to how you live your life; as long as you are comfortable with your decision to pursue a vegan diet you shouldn’t let anyone discourage you.
And even if you are currently no longer vegan due to peer pressure, it is still possible to try again.
Try sitting down with your loved ones to explain your reasons for choosing veganism
5. Veganism and Health Concerns: Getting Enough Calories and Vitamins
As mentioned previously, some people express concern about veganism and about whether or not eating vegan is truly healthy or not. And it is true: if you attempt to lead a vegan lifestyle without taking the time to learn about which foods can provide you with the nutrients you need, you can run the risk of making yourself unhealthy.
This is what makes many people give up on eating vegan; they don’t understand which foods they need to be eating to meet their body’s nutritional needs, and so they don’t eat the right foods and then eventually give up on eating vegan altogether because they no longer feel healthy.
In reality, it is perfectly easy to both feel healthy and maintain a vegan lifestyle. You simply need to take the time to eat the right foods to ensure that you get enough vitamins (as well as enough calories, so that your body has enough energy for your daily activities).
Some key nutrients to focus on are protein, calcium, and vitamin B12; while all nutrients are important, these three in particular are very important to your overall health and well-being.
When people think of protein, they usually think of meat. But there are plenty of non-meat protein sources, such as tofu, beans, lentils, chickpeas, various nuts and seeds, brown rice, and whole grains. This means that you should be able to get plenty of protein from plant-based sources.
These options should be able to provide you with more than enough protein in your diet, especially when you consider the fact that according to the Dietary Reference Intake, you don’t actually need very much protein a day.
In fact, according to an article by Kris Gunnars, a nutrition researcher with Healthline, the average woman needs only about 46 grams, and the average man needs only about 56 grams.
Besides, chronic consumption of a high-protein diet is associated with a higher intake of saturated fat and low fiber intake, both of which are risk factors for heart disease and some types of cancer.
Moreover, people with kidney problems such as renal insufficiency (kidney failure) or kidney stones should avoid consuming too much protein because the kidneys are required to work harder to get rid of the increased urea produced.
In a nutshell, chronic high-protein intake can lead to higher intake of saturated fat and low fiber intake, increased urea production, decreased glycogen stores, and possible dehydration.
In regards to calcium, most people only think of milk, cheese, and other dairy products as a viable source; we have all heard the saying “milk builds strong bones”, after all! But certain produce items are excellent sources of calcium as well.
According to an article written by Dr. Edward Group, foods such as leafy greens like bok choy, spinach, kale, mustard greens, and collard greens are good sources of calcium (as are broccoli and soy beans).
Vitamin B12 is another important nutrient that can be difficult to get enough of if you lead a vegan lifestyle. According to accumulated medical research findings, low vitamin B12 levels can lead to anemia and nervous system problems; this makes it a very important nutrient.
However, it is virtually impossible to find a good source of vitamin B12 if you are vegan; the only real viable options are special foods fortified with vitamin B12. These food items include (but are not limited to) certain plant milks, certain soy products, and sometimes even special breakfast cereals.
If you are dedicated to your vegan diet and want to keep your body healthy, you will need to eat fortified foods at least two or three times a day in order to get enough vitamin B12; alternatively, you could invest in vitamin B12 supplements instead if you would rather get your full dose of B12 all at once.
Finally, a semi-common occurrence with eating vegan is not getting enough calories to fulfil your daily calorie needs (if you do not consume enough calories, you might not have enough energy to function and get through your day).
This is because a typical vegan diet consists primarily of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens; these foods, while high in vitamins and nutrients, often do not provide much in the way of calories.
Certain vegetables are also high in fiber, which can cause you to feel fuller sooner, which in turn leads to you eating less food overall (and thereby taking in fewer calories).
Some good foods to consider eating if you want to increase your calorie intake are soy milk (as well as soy milk yogurt), peanut butter, tahini, certain fruits such as raisins and dates, as well as fruit juices.
Many people will get enough calories by making smoothies comprised of high calorie fruits in combination with soy milk, but you can opt to eat these items throughout the day as snacks instead if you prefer.
If you have any questions about how many calories you should be consuming daily, make sure to consult with your doctor.
6. Veganism: Expectations versus Reality
There are many common expectations and misconceptions surrounding veganism, such as whether it is a good way to lose weight, if you will always feel hungry when you are a vegan, and whether or not you can actually lead a vegan lifestyle without spending too much money.
In this section of the article, we will break down and discuss some of these common misconceptions in order to clarify the relevant issues.
While there are many people who adopt a vegan lifestyle as a means of supporting animal welfare and enriching their lives, there are also those who do not truly understand the complexities of living a vegan lifestyle and instead choose to eat vegan in the hopes of simply losing weight.
In fact, many people who are no longer vegan gave up on the vegan lifestyle because they initially started it hoping to lose weight but then quit because that weight loss either did not happen or happened way too slowly and their patience eventually wore thin.
This particular expectation (of veganism being a good way to lose weight) does have some basis in reality (eating vegan can lead to weight loss), but veganism is by no means a weight loss program; in truth, most weight loss that occurs for vegans is the result of cutting out fatty foods (like meats and rich cheeses) and eating more vegetables and plant-based foods, which are higher in key nutrients and vitamins.
Therefore, if one of your primary goals in eating vegan is to lose weight, do not be discouraged if that weight loss does not happen immediately.
Obesity itself is something that does not happen overnight; rather, if you are overweight, it is the result of long-term issues like eating too many of the wrong foods and not getting enough exercise.
Therefore, it will take time to reverse that weight gain and start losing weight instead. Rest assured, however, that as long as you stick to your vegan diet and eat the right sorts of foods, you will eventually begin to lose weight and feel healthier again.
Additionally, many people also have the expectation that if you lead a vegan lifestyle you will always feel hungry. This is, in fact, another common misconception among people who do not understand the complexities involved with leading a successful vegan life.
As long as you are eating a balanced diet and getting enough nutrients, you will not experience excessive amounts of hunger.
Many people who begin a vegan lifestyle without doing the proper research do not eat enough of the right foods, and this lack of well-balanced sustenance is what leads to the misconception of always being hungry if you are a vegan.
Another fairly common misconception about eating vegan is that it is expensive. And while this may be the case in certain circumstances (such as when you are trying to find a vegan-friendly restaurant), in most cases eating vegan can actually be more affordable when compared to an ordinary diet.
This is because instead of spending your money on expensive items like meats and cheeses, you can instead buy produce items like vegetables and leafy greens, which can be significantly cheaper (especially if you buy the ones that are in season).
That being said, certain exotic produce items may be more expensive at certain times of the year due to transportation costs, but if you plan your shopping trips to the grocery store carefully, you should be able to successfully eat vegan even if you are on a budget.
Finally, one additional misconception about eating vegan is that it is too time consuming to be feasible for most people. Some people who are no longer vegan cited having not enough free time to prepare vegan-friendly meals for themselves, and so they opted to quit being vegan altogether.
This, like many expectations about eating vegan, does have some basis in truth; eating vegan can take up more of your time because the easiest way to make sure that all your meals are truly vegan is to cook them yourself.
This means taking the time to both pick out vegan-friendly groceries and combine them together to make a healthy and delicious meal.
If you lead a busy and hectic lifestyle, taking the time to cook every single meal yourself might seem like a tall order. Do not lose hope, though! There are a host of vegan-friendly recipes out there, and many of them are quick and easy to make.
As you can see, while there are quite a few reasons that could drive a person to quit veganism (such as peer pressure, health concerns, and a lack of understanding about veganism in general), there are just as many reasons (if not more) to stick with it.
Because not only can eating vegan help to support animal welfare, you can also improve your overall health and wellness by refraining from consuming animal products and instead focus on eating nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Are you no longer vegan? Have you ever thought about being no longer vegan? What are your struggles as a vegan? Let me know on the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform!