Most people go into a new diet with one of the following intentions:
- to lose weight
- to gain muscle
- to have more energy
- medical issues
But unfortunately, despite trying for a few weeks (or even months), research shows that the majority of those people fail.
Making the transition to becoming a pescatarian is no different.
If you’re not doing it for the right reasons, it’s going to be tough.
I feel confident in the fact that you’re here right now.
Most people coast through life blissfully unaware of what they’re putting into their body until illness hits and they’re forced to make a change.
Since you landed on this post of mine, I feel confident that you’re aware and open a lifestyle change.
That’s really what this is after all.
Here at Fishy Vegetarian we don’t prescribe to any sort of “diet” – oh no – just like Rome wasn’t built in a day… your lifestyle need not be either!
With that said, let’s get to it shall we?
In this article I’ve prepared for you my ten best steps for making the transition to a pescatarian lifestyle much smoother, more manageable, and perhaps even more inviting!
Step 1: Baby steps
If you’d like to cut meat from your diet, then it may be tempting to go cold-turkey.
Even though the pescatarian lifestyle we advocate will naturally have you consuming less meat, dairy, and even gluten… doing it all at once almost never works out.
It certainly didn’t for me!
Best thing is to take it slow, go day by day …
Remember, you’re not going on a pescatarian “diet”
You’re changing your lifestyle.
What you can do is make a pledge to your whole self, and not just to the bikini body you’d like to have by the coming summer.
Breaking it down in smaller, manageable steps is best.
You’ve probably heard of “Meat Free Mondays” right?
It’s where you commit to eating meat-free meals every Monday.
Now that’s a great starting point!
In order for it to work, you need to take action right now.
Find the calendar app on your phone, or if you’re old school (like me) grab your calendar off the wall.
Now write down “MEAT FREE” on every Monday for the next month.
If you’re saying “But…I’m already doing Meat Free Monday’s”
Then try going meat-free all week then like Treehugger founder, Graham Hill :
Step 2: Keep yourself accountable
No, I’m not talking about simply mentioning it to a friend.
I mean, saying it loud and proud.
Like sharing the pledge on right on Facebook or Pinterest.
Not only does making a public statement like this hold you accountable, it’ll also give you social support from your friends and family.
AND it might even encourage them to go meat-free!
Step 3: Go easy on the detoxing
Processed meats, white bread, dairy, and sugar all take a toll on your body.
There’s no better way to actually see how bad these foods are for you than doing a detox.
Detox simply means removing foods from your daily diet and slowly reintroducing them.
Some people do drastic detoxes like all water fasting, but if you’re just starting out this may not be the best decision for you.
When you go through detox you’ll start to experience mental and physical effects such as haziness and physical fatigue.
These effects will eventually weaken, but it is different for everybody.
A safe way to help your liver detoxify daily is to simply add foods like cranberry juice (with no sugar added), turmeric, bananas, and beet greens to your daily diet.
One of my favourite daily liver detox drinks is super simple to make and I sip on it throughout the day: 1 part cranberry juice to 4 parts filtered water.
You have to be safe when doing any type of detox, so consult with a nutritionist or your doctor if you’re unsure.
Here are a few more resources on safely detoxing:
Drinking enough water throughout the day is essential for reaching your health and fitness goals, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Water will help speed your metabolic rate, which in turn will leave you feeling fuller and less likely to overeat.
If you find it hard to sip on water throughout the day, infuse it with some fruit like berries, lemon, or oranges.
Or, you could even try some mint and cucumber. Yum!
While 2 liters of water are typically recommended for an average adult, the amount of water you should be drinking each day will depend on your weight, and activity levels.
Use this daily water intake calculator to help you figure out how much water you should be drinking.
Step 4: Have fun in the kitchen
Most people who eat a lot of meat think that they will be limited when it comes to just eating vegetables and fish.
It’s not all salads all the time.
We all know that’s not a sustainable way to live!
Removing meat from your diet will allow you to discover meals you never even knew possible.
The important thing is to be to open this discovery.
Something I love doing is taking one of (what used to be) my favourite meat dishes and swapping the ingredients to make it pescatarian friendly.
There’s nothing I used to love more than a juicy burger with savoury and sweet flavours.
So instead of the meat, we used salmon in this BBQ Salmon Burger recipe.
A little bit goes a long way when you add some fresh herbs and spices to a veggie or fish dish.
Certain flavours can instantly transform you to an exotic place on earth, even though you may never have been there!
Italy, India, Ethiopia, Thailand, France!
Go wherever your taste buds take you.
A few fresh herbs I tend to favour are:
And some of my favourite dried herbs and spices are:
- Red pepper flakes
- Turmeric (we put this on everything!)
- Chili powder
- Curry spice
- Nutritional yeast
Step 5: Get lots of sleep
Getting enough sleep makes sure that your metabolism stays healthy.
If you constantly find yourself with little to no sleep, this can leave your body with a lower ability to properly manage blood sugar.
As a result, you will begin to find that you are hungrier and crave high carb foods more often.
This may also lead to weight gain.
So get your zzz’s!
Step 6: Exercise
When you make any change to your diet like eating less meat, dairy, or sugar, you’ll want to make sure that you’re staying active.
It doesn’t matter which level you’re at, try to get moving for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week at least.
Choose the type of exercise that works for you whether than be swimming a few laps (great for your joints), walking in your neighborhood, or doing some weight training.
If you can only manage 10 minutes – that’s a fair start.
Like my favourite Yoga teacher says when exercising you should:
“Find what feels good”
Step 7: Accept your unique journey
Meat-free living initially takes a toll on everybody.
It’s normal to feel a lack of energy, nausea, fatigue, irritability and… cravings.
These are all related to detoxing foods previously in your body.
This is the critical time when most people think “this isn’t worth it” and give up.
If you’re truly in this for the journey, and not just for a “quick fix” then I’d encourage you to stick to it.
Even if you end up quitting (like I did) once or twice before committing, it’s important you stay the course if you believe this is the right lifestyle for you.
I can honestly say the best way to stick to it long term is having your meals planned.
At least for the first year or two as you adjust to your new lifestyle.
A simple way to do it is to buy a small notebook and write down your meals for the upcoming week.
You’ll wake up each day knowing what you’re eating that day and trust me, you’ll thank yourself for doing this.
If meal-planning sounds a bit daunting for you (or just takes too much of your time), why not try our pescatarian meal plan instead?
Why Should I Change My Diet?
Listen, I’m not saying going meat-free is for everyone.
Changing your way of life is a personal decision that has to be made by you.
Note how you feel after constantly eating fried, fatty foods like burgers and hot dogs.
You probably won’t feel very good at all.
If you do continue to eat meat, there are better options than what is typically found at the grocery store.
But, if you’re still interested in becoming a pescatarian, then changing your diet to one that includes whole, natural foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish will change your life in a very positive way.
And these 7 steps I just shared will help get you there.
PS. There’s no better day than today to get started on the pescatarian diet. Try this 3 (or 7) day pescatarian diet plan I put together for you: Get The Pescatarian Plan