If you think a life without meat is a life of suffering, you’re mistaken. Vegetarian meals can be just as delicious as those with meat—after all, guacamole and hummus are to die for, aren’t they? Besides having more space in your freezer, going meat-free has numerous benefits. For instance, it’s more environment-friendly, as the meat industry destroys water supplies, oil supplies, and causes an ecological imbalance. It’s also argued that vegetarianism contributes to a healthier lifestyle—a reason good enough to go meat free in 2018. If you want to take this step, read on to find out how.

Before you adopt a meatless diet, we need to bust a common myth about vegetarianism for you: meat does not have a monopoly on protein. Yes, you read that right. If you’ve been told that you can’t get enough protein from vegetarian food, you’ve been misinformed. You should know that almost all foods contain approximately the same amount of protein.

How to go meat free

For example, 30 grams of meat and half a cup of beans contain the same amount of protein. So, if you’re hesitant to go meat-free in 2018 thinking you won’t get enough protein, you now know the truth. (Read our full guide here.)

Protein-packed vegetarian foods include lentils, beans, seeds, milk, and nuts. Besides being protein-rich, vegetarian foods are also high in fiber, vitamins C and E, and other nutrients.

Now that you know the benefits of going meat-free, here’s how to give up meat:

1. Prepare yourself mentally
 

1. Prepare yourself mentally

Making a lifestyle change like this can surely be challenging. You may also face a lot of criticism from your friends and your family if they don’t share your views on the subject. That’s why, it’s extremely important to keep reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, and how you will benefit from it. Once you’re determined, nothing can stop you.

2. Research and educate yourself

Before jumping into a meatless diet, it’s crucial to know how much you need to make this change. Read articles in journals, watch documentaries—do all the research you need to and educate yourself on the topic. Once there’s logic, reason, and a whole lot of facts backing your cause, this lifestyle transition will seam easier.

3. Restock your kitchen

By getting rid of all the meat from your refrigerator, you’ll also ensure that there aren’t any temptations in your kitchen. Restocking your kitchen and refrigerator with foods that will encourage your lifestyle will be of immense help. Instead of throwing out these foods, give them away to people who want it—you won’t end up wasting anything.

4. Make the transition slowly

Don’t eliminate meat from your diet in one go. Don’t wake up one morning and decide to go completely meat-free. Instead, slowly eliminate certain foods—maybe on a weekly or fortnightly basis—so the change isn’t so sudden, and you’ll be closer to achieving long term success.