Many people can’t imagine a world without meat – steaks, grilled (or fried) chicken breasts, veal. However, studies show that we’re eating too much of it.
Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to give your digestive system a break, gain greater control over what and when you eat, and of course – to lose weight, too!
Yet, overall, most Americans are still eating much more meat than we should.
This means we’re eating more servings of protein than we should, which means we’re not being calorie-conscious in the least.
We’re suffering from diseases and inflammation at unprecedented levels, and it’s ruining our health and weight loss efforts!
So why not take a little break from meat while intermittent fasting?
In this article, you’ll see how to combine intermittent fasting with going meatless for just one day out of seven, and watch how your body and life transform!
What Happened When I Tried Eating Less Meat?
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Being totally honest, deep down inside I’ve always known that I wanted a more plant-based diet. But I could never make it happen.
I achieved some success intermittent fasting while eating pretty much whatever I wanted – just during my feeding window. But when I ate super clean while fasting just 12 hours a day is when I lost the most weight.
I had trouble sustaining it because it was so limiting, however. Yet hands-down I knew that it was the way I should be eating.
What’s Your Biggest Fear About Eating Less Meat?
Many people who are used to the Standard American Diet (SAD) have a few fears about reducing the amount of meat they eat.
What about you?
1- Less Meat Means Not Enough Protein
When you think ‘meatless’ is the first thing that crosses your mind that you won’t get enough protein?
Our culture links protein exclusively with beef, chicken, and fish. But many plant-based foods provide ample amounts of protein. Additonally, they contain fewer calories, and more fiber and nutrients.
“Most portions of meat are greater than the actual protein requirement,” says Sally Warren, PhD, traditional naturopath at Metro Integrative Pharmacy. “A three-ounce serving of beef can be 170 calories. But a portion of beans can be 100 calories and tofu around 70 calories, providing similar nutrients.” And over time, that adds up!
Combine some of these swaps and substitutions with intermittent fasting on occasion, and and you’ll rapidly lose the weight without too much additional effort.
2- Eating Less Meat Is Boring
The idea that eliminating meat from your diet – even for a little while – will mean you’ll have to eat boring foods is a real fear. And you’re not wrong!
I’ll admit that I lost the most weight fasting just 12 hours a day, because I ate super clean. I ate very little meat, mostly plants. I felt amazing, lost over 12 pounds in a month with little exercise, and looked amazing.
But it was SO hard to sustain it.
That’s because I wasn’t aware of all the delicious, unique, filling plant-based creations that were just a few clicks away!
Eating less meat and more plants IS boring if you’re not willing to spend some time researching your options and learning new cooking and seasoning techniques.
But thanks to the internet, all the information you need is just a few clicks away.
I highly recommend starting with these free plant-based recipes.
Or browse Pinterest for easy ideas! Feel free to follow my Plant-Based Recipes board for inspiration ????
3- I’ll Never Eat Meat-Based Foods I Love Again
When you consider making a change like reducing meat, it’s easy to panic and start thinking that you’ll never get to eat foods you love again.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Your goal is to reduce the amount of meat you eat. Not necessarily eliminate it completely (unless you want to!)
You don’t have to commit to anything that feels too extreme. Just a little bit of change can go a long way toward reaching your intermittent fasting and weight loss goals.
High-Protein Plant-Based Substitutions For Meat
Here are a few examples of foods you can use as substitutions for meat on occasion:
- Unsalted nuts
- Peanut butter
Now that you’re aware of a few delicious substitutes for meat, it may be a bit easier to go meatless for a day.
But is it really worth all the hassle of letting go of what you know and are comfortable with, and choosing new types of food you’ve only read about?
Only you can answer that question for yourself.
But the way I look at it when I consider all the major changes I’ve made in my life is this…
You don’t get to where you are today with something that needs repair by repeating the same patterns that haven’t worked for you in the past.
If you want different – be different.
It starts with small, incremental changes.
If you’ve already made the decision to try intermittent fasting for weight loss, you’re moving in the right direction.
But sometimes that’s not enough.
Sometimes even with fasting you must tweak things until you get it just right.
Eliminating meat from your diet starting with just one day a week will help you reach your goals so much faster!
Additional Benefits Of Eating Less Meat
Eating less meat certainly helps you to lose weight, especially combined with intermittent fasting. But that’s not all!
Here’s a list of more benefits you can expect from reducing the amount of meat you consume:
- Lower cholesterol levels (studies have shown that cholesterol levels can drop by up to 35%)
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases and inflammation, like heart disease, arthritis, gout, type-2 diabetes and certain types of cancer
- Lower levels of saturated fat
- Increased consumption of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber
- The weight will melt off without more work
- You’ll have a more balanced pH which means less diseases, lower stress levels and a boost in immunity
- Healthy good bacteria in our bodies helps with proper digestion, keeps our immune system stongs, and maintains the health of our gut tissue
- Clearer skin
- Metabolic boost
- Fueling up your energy levels
- Enhance how your genes work. Just like inreasing antioxidants can optimize how cells repair DNA damage, reducing meat can help boost gene life.
Final Thoughts On Reducing Meat While Fasting
Remember to start small. If you try to do it all at once, you’ll give up quickly and get frustrated. Focus more on reducing red meat first, as opposed to lean meat as turkey and chicken which is healthier in comparison.
Combining these changes with intermittent fasting will help you look and feel slimmer, sexier, happier, and healthier than you have in ages.
And remember, no meal is ever perfect, so find what works for you and enjoy!
Intermittent Fasting Tracker
Though you don’t have to count calories, you WILL want to track your fasting hours, workouts, and take notes on how you’re feeling, what’s working and what’s not.
I personally found many fitness planners that would track one thing but not the other, as they weren’t geared specifically toward intermittent fasting.
Frustrated, I chose to create the perfect intermittent fasting planner to suit my needs, and it’s available on Amazon Prime if you’d like to grab a copy of your own!
It has everything you need to get started losing weight with intermittent fasting, including a place to track your measurements, 12 weeks of sheets to log your daily fasting hours, pages to track your strength training and cardio workouts each day, space for notes, and a slot for before and after pictures.
Plus, it’s small enough to fit in your purse or gym bag.
It really has been the perfect solution for me, and I use it every day to stay on top of my goals. It’s helped me stay focused and organized – which is so important on this weight loss journey.
Read These Intermittent Fasting Tips Next:
- 5 Ways To Burn Even MORE Fat While Intermittent Fasting
- 7 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism While Intermittent Fasting
- 8 Things To Expect In Your First Week Intermittent Fasting