There is nothing more tragic than taking a major lifestyle decision simply to follow a fad. If you are thinking of becoming a vegetarian, hopefully it is not because some celebrity has recently switched over to this new food routine either to lose weight, or simply to have a more glowing skin! Becoming a vegetarian is undoubtedly one of the healthiest decisions one can take, considering the countless benefits of vegetarianism, but you also need to know that there is more to vegetarianism than changing food habits. Becoming a vegetarian: why do people opt for this switchover

Changing from a meat-based diet to one that is solely dependent on plant foods is a major switchover. But millions round the world are deciding to abandon animal foods not just for the immense health benefits of vegetarianism (including reduction of cholesterol, weight loss, etc), now endorsed by most health authorities round the globe, but also because of two other important reasons:

Vegetarianism offers immense flexibility in terms of foods you want to have. Depending on your individual health and calorie needs, you could choose to become a flexitarian (have organic meat); piscetarian (continue to have fish); fruitarian (live on fruits only); lacto ovo vegetarian (include milk and eggs in your diet) and so on.

To show their concern for environment, including preservation of precious animal life and preventing animal slaughter.

Becoming a vegetarian: take your pick

Over and above the various categories of vegetarianism as mentioned above, you could even decide to follow a stricter form of vegetarianism and decide on becoming vegan, if you are really keen to show your concern for preservation of animal life. A typical vegan not only shuns meat, fish and eggs but also refuses to use accessories made from ingredients derived from animal sources like fur, silk, leather and wool. All this goes to prove beyond doubt that before deciding on becoming a vegetarian, you need to revise and revisit the precise motivating factors that are responsible for making you take the decision. Or else, it might be very difficult for you to continue on your chosen path. Raw food lifestyle: yet another option within vegetarianism

Raw food lifestyle is a unique category of vegetarianism that not only relies on eating raw for sustenance, but also takes a holistic approach to overall healthcare, including mental and physical health. In fact, raw food diet (foods not cooked beyond 116 degrees F) is only part of the total lifestyle which includes taking extra efforts to maintain mental well being as well. Opting for this lifestyle undoubtedly calls for immense motivation and the readiness to change many of your beliefs and values.

Becoming a vegetarian: not to forget nutrition

For diet planning, vegetarians as well as vegans firmly rely on the vegetarian food pyramid and the vegan food pyramid two handy guides that not only tell you what foods to have, but in what quantities, so that at the end of the day, your individual calorie needs are met ably and successfully. Depending on the category of vegetarianism that you have opted for, you can always substitute the foods mentioned in the relevant pyramid, making sure that the calorie values match and there is no calorie deficiency in your meal planning.