Home Living Sustainably How to Easily Reduce Your Meat Consumption

How to Easily Reduce Your Meat Consumption

by Lola
person holding sliced vegetable

Are you trying to become a vegetarian? Or maybe you are just trying to cut down on meat? Whatever your goal, reducing your meat consumption is a great way to lead a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

person holding sliced vegetable
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Pexels.com

Why Is This a Good Idea?

It is a well-known fact that animal husbandry has an extremely negative impact on the environment. Meat production releases harmful emissions, such as methane and carbon dioxide, which exacerbates perhaps the biggest problem associated with climate change – namely the greenhouse effect. Furthermore, it is directly linked to the pollution of water and the destruction of natural ecosystems to be turned into farming land amongst others.

But the modern intensive farming practices have not only grave effects on the environment but also on our health and I am not talking about getting high cholesterol. To be able to produce high volume and low costs, many farmers use hormones to stimulate fast growth and antibiotics to reduce the risk of diseases in the high populated stables. And yes, you guessed it right, all of those artificial chemicals end up in our bodies when we eat that meat. If you want to learn more about sustainable agriculture follow this link, where we talk more in depth on this topic.

Studies show that hypothetically if everybody removed the meat from their diet, our health would improve and greenhouse gasses would drop by 70 percent. That is why reducing your meat consumption, would help create a better future for ourselves and our planet. And it is also super easy!

Here you can find 5 useful tips to start eating more sustainably:

1. Start Slowly

First, you can try to make a weеkly meal plan, where you will write what dishes you will cook and eat. This will help you to stay on track and not lose focus on your meat reduction goal. What is more, you get a bonus because you will put an end to your every-day wondering about what to eat the following day!

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Every new beginning is hard and creating new habits take time, that is why you should start adjusting to your new diet slowly. You do not want to overdo it! This can only lead to you getting frustrated and giving up. If you are so used to the taste of meat that you cannot go a day without eating bacon with your eggs or a juicy steak for dinner, try small steps like preparing meatless meals once a week. When you feel ready and confident that you can go one whole day with no meat, then try removing it from your diet twice a weеk. Gradually reducing your meat consumption is the key to a more vegetarian lifestyle.

On the other hand, on the days when you do eat meat, do not let it be the main “character” on your plate. Instead, use meat as a complementary ingredient or a side dish – the vegetables should be the real star in your meal.

Do not try changing your diet abruptly because it will not be efficient. Be patient and take your time. Step by step you will successfully reduce your meat consumption.

2. Don’t Forget Your Protein

No meat does not mean no protein. It is commonly believed that when cutting out meat, you cannot get the protein you need. Well, this is far from the truth. Grains, beans and legumes are all high-protein foods and from this point of view, they are a perfect substitute for meat. Tofu is also a great alternative and nowadays easy to find in every supermarket.

In general, eating more whole foods is always a very good idea, if you want to reduce your meat consumption. This also includes nuts and seeds, which are full of nutrition, rich in fibre and help you regulate your body weight. Basically, there really is no reason why whole foods should not be present regularly in your diet.

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3. Try Plant-Based Meat

If you are all for the taste and you cannot give up meat so easily, try some plant-based alternatives. Not only are they similar in taste and texture to real meat, but they are also rich in vitamins and minerals. What is more, plant-based meat has a high protein content too.

The downside is that such plant-based alternatives tend to be slightly more expensive than regular meat products. However, “fake” meat is known to be beneficial for health, preventing, for example, the development of diabetes. To sum up, if you want to reduce your meat consumption, plant-based meat is worth a try.

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4. Experiment and Enjoy Your New Diet

It is quite possible that some whole foods are not to your liking. Then simply don’t force yourself to consume them – eat what you actually enjoy. Explore new vegetarian recipes and find out what you like and what you do not. The key to reducing your meat consumption is not only to eat healthy, but also to enjoy it and make it tasty.

You should not think of the meatless diet as an obligation, but rather as a journey. Be prepared to have some difficulties in the beginning. It is perfectly normal to fail cooking once or twice but remember: Do not be afraid to experiment in the kitchen, especially with seasonings. Well-seasoned meals are always delicious.

5. Be Patient

Changing your diet is always a process and not something that happens instantly. For this reason, you need to be patient and motivated because with the right motivation you are more likely to stay committed and not give up. Know your goal and keep on chasing it!

Perseverance is the key to success

Not being patient is one of the biggest blunders you can make while adjusting to your new meatless lifestyle. Here are some other common mistakes that you should not make when starting the green adventure. And, of course, if you find it hard to make your diet more vegetarian on your own, you can always sign up for a course to guide you through this journey. The UN has a great Sustainable Diet course that can help you reduce your meat consumption and start eating more environmentally friendly. Follow this link to find out more about it.

And one last thing: Reducing your meat consumption can be fun, so do not be afraid to try it out. Just follow these tips and enjoy your new, more sustainable lifestyle!

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