No Meat Diet For 30 Days As A Less Restrictive Short-Term Version Of A Vegetarian Diet
One of the main staples of good health and a successful weight loss is a well-balanced diet. Such a diet includes a great variety of essential nutrients in adequate proportions. Although meat is often an important part of a diet, there are lots of people who avoid it. Most of the time such people stick to either vegetarian or vegan diets. These diets can require more effort, and if followed incorrectly, may cause serious health problems in the long run.
However, in some cases, it can be very rewarding, and there is evidence that adopting such a lifestyle leads to weight loss (15). But you don’t necessarily have to go vegetarian or vegan and stop eating meat forever if you want to shed a couple of pounds. For such cases, there is a special no meat diet for 30 days which may be a great option if you are considering going vegetarian or vegan, and may use this experience as an initiation phase for easier integration in those diets in the future, or just want to experience some of the benefits of cutting out meat for some time. Read on to find out more about the health benefits of meat, no meat diet for 30 days results, and no meat diet plan for 30 days.
What Is A No Meat Diet For 30 Days?
No meat diet for 30 days is a month-long nutrition plan that excludes the consumption of meat. Unlike previously mentioned vegetarian and vegan diets, a no meat diet for 30 days allows you to eat fish and animal-source products, such as eggs, dairy products, honey, and others, which makes it more sustainable and balanced. You need to make sure that throughout the whole course of this diet you consume a proper amount of protein, as meat is one of the main sources of that macronutrient in your regular diet.
No meat diet plan for 30 days includes calorie restriction, which depends on your initial energy requirements. You can calculate how many calories you require daily with this calories burned calculator. After that, subtract about 500 calories from that number, to get the number of calories that you can consume in order to lose weight healthily. This weight loss pace will allow you to shed 1-2 pounds (0.45-1 kg) a week (4), adding up to around 4-8 pounds (2-4 kg) a month.
What To Avoid On No Meat Diet For 30 Days?
The answer to this question is pretty obvious. You should exclude all types of meat and meat products from your menu. It includes the following (11):
This type of meat is of mammal origin, and compared to white meat, contains more iron-rich protein myoglobin. You can include red meat into your menu after you’re through with the no meat diet, but it is recommended that you cut its consumption to 70g (around 2.5 oz) a day (10). Examples of red meat are beef, pork, lamb, veal, goat, and game, including bison, elk, and venison.
White meat is considered healthier than red, and often appears as a part of a weight loss diet. It has a lighter color than the red meat and comes from small game and birds, such as chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and wild birds.
Processed meat is the least weight-loss friendly, as it goes through such preparation processes as salting, curing, smoking, drying, or other methods which enhance its flavor and increase its shelf life time. These include bacon, hot dogs, sausage, jerky, salami, pastrami, bologna, and others.
What To Eat On No Meat Diet For 30 Days?
Let’s delve into “What to eat on no meat diet for 30 days?”. This nutritional plan is significantly less restrictive than vegetarian and vegan diets, so it is easier to make sure that you get all the essential nutrients when you follow a no meat diet for 30 days. Since this dietary plan is somewhat similar to the previously mentioned two, you can stick to their plans, while consuming some of the foods that are forbidden by them. Here are the main nutrients that are present in meat, and alternative food-sources in which they can be found (16):
As meat is often the main protein provider in your diet, you will need to find other rich sources of that nutrient. You can consume protein with dairy products, eggs, and fish and seafood, and consume plant-based protein, which is also a good option but may lack certain specific amino acids that can only be found in animal products. Rich plant sources of protein include soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame), lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, almonds, spirulina, quinoa, chia, and hemp seeds, beans with rice, potatoes, and others (14).
Iron is also very important for the proper functioning of your body, and often appears in your menu in the form of red meat. Luckily, there also are other sources of iron, which you can and should include in your diet. These foods are canned clams, white beans, dark chocolate, fortified plain dry cereal oats, oysters, spinach, lentils, tofu, chickpeas, tomatoes, potato, cashews, and others (8).
You already know that calcium plays one of the main roles in your bone health, which is why you should consume a proper amount of this mineral every day. One of the most famous sources of calcium is milk and dairy products. You can also find calcium in such foods as sardines and salmon, fortified dairy alternatives, tofu, green leafy vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals and fruit juices, nuts and seeds, legumes and grains. (2).
Another mineral that is essential for your body and comes mainly from animal products is zinc. You can get your daily dose of zinc from seafood, eggs, dairy, soy products, beans, and nuts.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in red blood cell production. Besides meat, it is present in eggs and milk, certain fortified cereals, fortified plant-based milk, and nutritional yeast.
Health Benefits Of Meat
To figure out whether you should follow no meat diet for 30 days, and start cutting out red meat or avoid all types of meat, first, you should answer the question “Is meat good for you?”. Of course, meat consumption has its health benefits, otherwise all people would have switched to plant-based diets a long time ago. So, let’s look at the nutritional value of meat, and what it has to offer you.
A 100g (3.5oz) serving of lean beef contains the following nutrients (1):
Fats: 10.06g, of which saturated – 3.85g, monounsaturated – 5.22g, polyunsaturated – 0.36g
It also contains such micronutrients as calcium, zinc, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, vitamins B6, B12, and others.
The same portion of grilled chicken fillet can offer you the following (3):
Fats: 5.2g, of which saturated – 0.84g, monounsaturated – 2.64g, polyunsaturated – 1.27g
As you can see, chicken meat is lower in calories and fat, and therefore is often recommended for a weight loss diet. Both meats are a great source of protein, and also contain other vital nutrients. Here are the main benefits that meat can provide you with (11):
Increased metabolism and reduced hunger
Meat is packed with protein, and high-protein diets that include meat may increase your metabolic rate, suppress your appetite, and prolongate the feeling of satiety.
Improved bone health
Animal protein may add to your bone health by improving bone density and strength. Another component that is found in meat and also promotes better bone health is calcium.
Preserved muscle mass
Animal protein is the right option for those who are trying to burn fat while preserving their muscle mass. Furthermore, protein can not only help maintain your muscles, but also promotes their growth (13).
Improved iron absorption
Meat contains heme iron, which your body absorbs better than non-heme iron, which comes from plants.
Consumption of meat allows you to experience the above-presented benefits, but there are some things that you can do to maximize all the benefits of meat and reduce its negative effects. Here are some recommendations on how to do that:
- Avoid overcooking
- Remove all visible fat before cooking / eating
- Eat non-processed meats
- Consume organic meats
- Choose grass-fed beef
Benefits Of Not Eating Meat
Now that you know the benefits of meat consumption, it is time to look at the other side of this medal and check out the benefits of not eating meat. So, what happens to your body when you give up on meat? This knowledge will help you deliberate what is more important to you, and whether you should avoid eating meat for a month, or side with meat lovers, and enjoy a juicy steak this evening. So, without further ado, here are the main benefits of not eating meat:
Compared to its plant-based alternatives, meat is quite high in calories and fat (12). Decreasing your meat consumption will reduce your daily energy intake, thus promoting weight loss.
Inflammation affects every aspect of your health and often causes various diseases. If you avoid eating meat for a month, you should notice a decrease in your overall inflammatory markers. This happens due to the anti-inflammatory properties of plant-based foods that you consume instead of meat (5). They are rich in fiber and antioxidants, and low in toxins and saturated fats.
Reduced levels of cholesterol
Following a no meat diet for 30 days may positively affect your cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol add to the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and increased consumption of meat, which contains a considerable amount of saturated fats, only adds to the cholesterol in your blood. Sticking to a plant-based diet may lower your cholesterol levels, thus reducing the chance of heart diseases (7).
Improved gut health
Your microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms and bacteria, many of which play a prominent role in the digestion process. Meat products promote pathogenic bacteria growth. Following a plant-based diet, on the contrary, adds to the healthy bacteria, improving the microbiome health.
Lower risk of serious diseases
Your diet may be your enemy or savior when it comes to the risk of various diseases. Red and processed meats may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (6), due to their ability to worsen inflammation, cause weight gain and impair the way the insulin functions. So, avoiding meat may decrease the risk of contracting that disease.
Another benefit of not eating meat is the reduced risk of cancer. Following a plant-based diet may lower the chance of having this horrible disease thanks to antioxidants, which are known for their protection effects.
How long does it take to digest meat?
In a normal omnivorous diet, meat is digested in around 12 or 48 hours, just like everything else (9).
Will I lose weight if I stop eating meat?
There is a high possibility that you will lose weight if you stop eating meat while following a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle (17).
It is solely your choice whether to consume meat or not. If you want to experience the benefits of not eating meat or are considering becoming a vegetarian and want to try if that is your thing, you can try following a no meat diet for 30 days. If you feel like meat plays a very important role in your diet, and you would like to keep eating meat, know that there is nothing wrong with that, but a balanced diet with a broad variety of food is always better. However, remember, that before making any modifications in your nutritional plan you should consult a dietitian.
Diets are great, but your body will thank you if you supplement your healthy nutrition plan with a good workout.