It is no secret that many people around the world are re-considering their diets. Whether it is because of environmentalism, health issues or animal welfare, people from all backgrounds are consuming less meat and adopting alternative eating practices. Pescatarianism is one such example as this type of diet cuts out meat and poultry. However, like any diet change becoming pescatarian should be done carefully. Below is a short guide to get you started.
What is a Pescatarian Diet?
A pescatarian diet consists of a balance of fish, seafood, vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy. Many people who transition to vegetarianism or veganism will sometimes first adopt a pescatarian diet to ease into eating less meat. However, a pescatarian diet should not be considered just a stage. It is a diet in its own right — one that some people will adopt for their lifetime.
What Can You Eat as a Pescatarian?
While every pescatarian will be different, in general they eat everything except for red meat and poultry. Essentially, this means omitting beef, chicken, pork, and other wild game. Fish and seafood become the main source of protein, along with eggs, nuts, dairy, legumes, etc.
Step 1 to becoming a Pescatarian: Start Slowly
If you are new to pescatarianism and are aiming to try it out, the key thing to do is start slowly. Introducing new foods and eliminating others can be a difficult transition, so make sure you ease into it. For example, rather than go cold turkey (pun intended), aim to only eat red meat and poultry 5 days a week, then 3 etc. Eventually, you will be able to go for longer periods without them. The point is to learn how to eat differently and allow your body to adjust.
Step 2 to becoming a Pescatarian: Learn to Commit
Changing your eating habits is akin to dieting as it takes self-control and discipline. This includes thinking differently about what you base your meals around and how you acquire protein. For instance, if you are used to eating steaks and burgers all the time, excite yourself by finding meals around other proteins such as fish and salmon protein, nuts, eggs, etc. instead.
Step 3 to becoming a Pescatarian: Stay on Top of Your Nutrition
When making big changes to your way of eating, it is important that you stay on top of your nutrition. When you reduce your food options, it can be tempting to overdo some of the unhealthier choices. For example, it can be tempting to load up on carbs such as bread, pasta, and sweet treats if you are still feeling hungry and adjusting to a pescatarian diet. Before you make the transition, create a food plan so that you are getting adequate nutrients in each meal.
Step 4 to becoming a Pescatarian: Check in with Yourself
Any type of diet change will require some adjustments in your body. A pescatarian diet may not change how you feel, but it is a good idea to check in and see how you are feeling during the initial stages. If you start to lose energy or become more fatigued, take a note, and re-evaluate your nutrient intake. Be sure to continue exercising and getting adequate sleep, too.