This is what happened after I dropped red meat from my diet
If you’re a fan of red meat and like to enjoy a delicious steak every once in a while or you completely stay away from meats altogether you still have to know that eating well is a very important part of your overall health.
Even before the term “foodie” was born I enjoyed tasting different dishes and exploring the culinary diversity offered by the region we live in. I have also been relatively aware of the importance of having a good diet to ensure proper health and longevity in my life.
Now, I am not claiming to be a health and nutrition expert, but I have always paid attention to the risks of consuming foods that can cause health issues in excess. Also, this is not a pitch for you to change your diet but merely a detailed description of the changes I encountered after making a change in my diet.
Having a disability and a pretty sedentary life has forced me to be even more vigilant of my body and the stuff I put in it. That being said, I have also been known to indulge in the deliciousness of non-healthy food especially after the end of the year holidays.
What forced me to make a change
Last year, in January, as I came back from a long holiday period, I went through some digestive system problems as I did in the past. This time, however, they were altering my routine and were causing plenty of discomforts. I felt bloated, I was having all sorts of digestive issues and worst of all I was gaining weight.
So, I decided to stop eating red meat. I decided to exclude meat and chicken from my diet. I really didn’t have a clear Idea why and how I was going to do it, but I did. I was tired of the problems I was having and rather than consult a doctor I just figured that I had to make some drastic change to see what was causing my issues and if meat and chicken were the problems.
The first few days were awful. It was worse than going on a regular diet where your portions are smaller and you have a plan. Maybe that was the problem, I had no clear plan. Regardless, I continued on, and eventually I figured out ways of substituting red meat in my diet and started to feel exponentially great.
This change allowed me to create some awesome changes in my body and mind so I continued for a while until I felt much better. It fixed my digestive problems but it also brought some extra benefits to my life and realizations. It was not the read meat, but the quantities and the way I was eating them.
The five things that I learned after 180 days.
1- It helped me improve my digestive track and metabolism.
By not eating red meat I was forced to add more grains and vegetables to my diet which accelerated my metabolism and digestion. Very soon, I was going to the bathroom regularly and the feeling of being bloated subsided. Speaking with my doctor she said it was not precisely the meat that caused me to have issues but that an increase of vegetables and legumes in my diet made for a better digestive track.
2- At my yearly physical all my numbers were stellar.
Only four weeks after starting my new diet I had already noticed changes in my body. But the most exciting changes happened internally and chemically. I went to do my physical like I do every year, and when the results came back my doctor told me that all my numbers were fantastic and better than prior years. My blood sugar was excellent, I had great cholesterol numbers and according to my physician all my organs including liver were performing flawlessly. Without a doubt, this was my most exciting change.
3- I lost weight
It was not the main reason I started cutting meat and chicken from my diet but it was a welcome change. I never ate so much that I thought it was a problem in turns of raising my body weight, but somehow it made a difference. I truly believe that it was not as much the red meat that made me gain weight but the side dishes that accompany it. Many of the foods that I was eating included red meat, and although many were lean cuts, I often accompanied those dishes with carbohydrates. The reduction in carbs was probably a bigger reason for my weight loss and you can’t go wrong with losing a few pounds.
4- I learned that there are plenty of diet options
It only took a few days for me to start being creative with my options even while eating out. In no time I was ordering salads with no chicken and getting an extra side of vegetables or pasta salad to compliment. Regularly, I also carried nuts and fruits to snack between meals so when I ate I didn’t feel completely empty. I was so used to my regular dishes and due to my busy life, I always ate the same things over and over. The lack of red meat helped me discover healthier options. It was fun to go to the grocery store and purchase different foods.
5- I learned a human mind is a powerful tool
The most beneficial change I experienced was the realization that it’s all in the mind and we can mold our habits and body the way we want to. By this, I mean that if you really want to create change in your diet you can do it as soon as you decide to commit to this change. You really need to want it and you will get it if you commit. The idea that you can’t go without some type of food is just that, an idea. You have to replace it with the thought that your mind governs your impulses and food cravings. Nothing will change if you don’t believe it will change.
Now, if you’re vegetarian or vegan you’ll probably be disappointed a little after you read this next sentence. I went back to eating meat after the first six months. Yea, I did, but not because I needed it, but because I really enjoy eating certain meats and having a glass of red wine.
That doesn’t mean I did not gain an appreciation for the benefits of an all vegetable diet. Even though I ate fish, I still kept it mostly vegetables and the changes were spectacular. Now, though, I am more mindful because of it of the things I put in my body.
The change also opened my eyes and made me realize that you have to eat these foods like meat and chicken in moderation. I now try to limit my red meat intake to maybe once per week and my diet consists of mostly protein from the sea, some chicken and lots of grains, nuts, and plenty of vegetables.
While these are the most important changes I experienced, I do have other positive changes that I experienced like feeling better about myself, learning about the food industry, having more confidence in my dietary goals.
A simple recommendation
I do have to say that don’t recommend you making any drastic changes unless you have done your research and have consulted your doctor. But, if you ever decide to cut red meats from your diet I am sure you will experience positive changes as long as you have a balanced diet in terms of proteins.
Have you ever made a drastic diet change in your life? What was it and how did it change you? Share your experiences in the comment section below. Or reach out through social media.