Will I Lose Weight If I Stop Eating Meat?

Many people eat much more meat than is really necessary for their health. However, giving up meat does not necessarily mean you will lose weight. You cannot lose weight by eating potato chips, cheese pizza, ice cream, soda, and cookies. None of these foods have meat within the ingredients. But if you eat sensibly and consume other sources of protein such as beans, giving up meat could benefit your health as well as your weight loss efforts.

Giving up meat is probably one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, especially if you do not have deep religious beliefs that will help you give up meat. Start slowly and at first cut all processed meat out of your diet. Processed meat is chock full of fat, sodium, and fillers. These meat sources are also rather high in fat. Thus, it is one of the biggest diet killers to begin with. Processed meat includes sausage, hot dogs, lunch meat, hamburgers, ham, and bacon.

Next, try to go at least one day a week without eating any type of meat including poultry and seafood. Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health started a “Meat Free Mondays” initiative to encourage people to stop consuming too much meat. If you are weak when it comes to eating meat, make sure you do not have any in your house. Resist the temptation to eat bread and butter and other high fat foods. If you are eating buttered bread by the loaf, you are better off eating meat for the nutrients. Snack on healthy nuts, seeds, beans, chickpeas, fruits, and vegetables instead. Do not eat canned vegetables because these are usually a high source of added sodium that can derail your weight loss efforts.

Some people do really well with their weight loss efforts by eliminating red meat and pork but still eating lean poultry and fish. Others give up all sources of meat and use vegetarian substitutes such as soy and tofu. Experiment and know that as you change your eating habits, your tastes will also change.

Once you reduce your meat intake or give it up entirely, you will likely experience health benefits in additional to weight loss. Giving up or reducing meat consumption can dramatically decrease your risk of cancer, diabetes, gallstones, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.  Likewise, eating more fruits and vegetables will decrease your risk of such diseases. Also, eating less meat will probably save you a lot of money.