How To Have Less Meat In Your Diet

April 14, 2024

Over the last few years, more and more people have been thinking about having less meat in their diet - or even entirely giving it up altogether and becoming vegetarian or perhaps taking it a step further and becoming vegan. And the fact is that there does seem to be a good argument for eating less meat (we’ll go into the benefits shortly), but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do, not least because you might simply like the taste of it. However, if you are keen to try a new diet and to enjoy the benefits of being meat-free (or at least consuming less meat), here are some ways to go about it. 

Understand The Benefits

One thing that can be highly motivating when you’re trying something new is to look for the benefits - once you know what they are, and you keep them in mind even when things are a challenge, it’s much easier to keep pushing through. So just what are the benefits of eating less meat in general?

For one thing, it can help to lower your carbon footprint. The more people eat meat, the more animals will be bred for that purpose, and that takes energy, food, and water, which uses up the planet’s precious resources. Then there’s the transport of the meat to stores and homes - when you eat less, that gets less of a problem as well. Plus, eating less meat is better for your health, studies suggest. Diets that contain a lot of plant-based foods are associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, some types of cancer, and diabetes, for example, and by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your meals, you can have a balanced and nutritious diet. 

Start Slowly 

Transitioning to a diet that includes less meat (whether that’s a lot less or a little) should be a gradual process because you won’t be overwhelmed and you won’t miss meat so much. Instead of trying to eliminate meat overnight, try taking smaller steps towards your goal. That could mean designating one or two days a week as meat-free days, and using those times to experiment with different plant-based recipes. 

As time goes on and you become more comfortable with eating less meat and incorporating alternatives into your diet, you can gradually increase how often you bypass the meat choice, until you’re eating an entirely plant-based diet (assuming that’s your ultimate goal). 

Choose Good Quality Meat

Now you might not want to eliminate meat completely from your diet, and instead, you could just want to reduce how much of it you eat, which is perfectly reasonable - denying yourself something you enjoy generally leads to then indulging in a lot more of it when you give in to your cravings, which is a very human thing to do. 

If that’s the case, opt for the highest quality, ethically sourced meat you can find, and in that way, even if you’re having less meat, you’re having better meat - good examples of what we mean can be found on this site

What you need to do is look for labels such as organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised, or certified humane (and so on), which show that the animals were raised in better and more sustainable conditions. It’s true that these options might be more expensive, but if you’re eating less meat, the increased price can be offset, and you’ll be able to prioritize quality over quantity. 

Add Plant-Based Proteins 

One common worry for people when they decide to have a meat-free (or reduced meat) diet is that they won’t get enough protein from their food, and they could become sick as a result. The good news is that there are plenty of plant-based sources of excellent protein to choose from, including beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, quinoa, and seeds. 

If you can add these things to your meals, or even make them the main ingredient, then the protein you miss out on from meat can be made up for with these items. Plus, there are always supplements you can try if you want to boost your protein intake (or any other kind of nutrient, come to that), and that can be a great way to ensure you’re as healthy as possible even without the nutrients that come from meat. 

Plan Ahead

If you want to have less meat, planning your meals ahead of time is a great idea - it means you won’t run out of ideas and grab something quick, easy, and meat-based because you have to eat something. 

Take some time each week to plan out your meals, including snacks, and even do some batch cooking if you have the time. Make sure you include a variety of plant-based foods so that you don’t get bored, and be as creative as you can with your recipes. 

Post a Comment