The Effects Of Going Meatless For A Day
What does going meatless one day a week really do for you?
The ‘trend’ of going meatless one day seems to be a trend no more, as movements such as ‘Meatless Monday ‘ have rooted themselves in over 40 countries, promoting going one full day without eating animal products. More and more people are adapting this way of eating, often increasing it to more days in the week as they realize the benefits of reducing the intake of animal meat and animal based products.
But what does going meatless one day really do for you? Is one day enough to have any benefits?
First off, it’s important to know that going meatless for one day is something that is bigger than yourself. Your body and mind will certainly feel certain benefits, but before I go into that, I would like to point out that doing this seemingly low impact change in behavior is bigger than yourself. Over 50% of food produced in the world are used to feed animals, not people. We actually have the land mass and capacity to produce food for the people of the world, we just aren’t eating it directly from the source; instead, food production to make meat from animals involves a laborious, expensive and environmentally detrimental process.
Organizations such as One Meal a Day for the Planet calculates that by having ONE plant based meal a day over a year, you save 200,000 gallons of water over the course of a year. You would also be saving animal lives and reducing the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere, as the meat industry is the third largest cause of greenhouse gasses.
I understand that concepts of greenhouse gas and carbon footprint seem abstract when you are looking for benefits to yourself, but it’s important to know that you are contributing to a much larger solution. In terms of tangible results, here are some benefits to your mind and body that you will feel by going meatless for one day.
1. Your mental state becomes clearer
This effect is twofold as eating meat causes ‘brain fog and food coma . This ‘fog’ and ‘coma’ is actually the lack of circulation to your brain, as the heart and digestive system are working hard to breakdown your meaty meal. A plant based meal on the other hand is easily digested, so your body still has energy to make the rest of you function properly without diverting energy to just one place. Second, you become more mindful of your food choices. You will realize that you don’t actually need as much food as you think you do to survive in a day.
2. You will get a clean sweep
Removing meat means you will be adding more vegetables, whole grains and fruits to your meal. This is also adding fiber to your diet, something that goes missing when you eat a lot of meat. Fiber is necessary to clean out your system as it picks up harmful carcinogens and excess cholesterol in the body.
3. You will eat more
As your body and stomach are used to feeling full at a certain level after eating meat, you will find that you will eat move volume of food, more often. The food you are consuming however, will be lower in caloric value as you will eat more vegetables . The result is the same full feeling as you eat up to the 'fullness’ level you are used to, but with more fiber and less calories. Eating MORE with less calories? Sounds like a win win situation.
4. You may bloat
Eating a diet high in fiber after consuming a diet with animal products then suddenly loading it with fiber may cause gas and bloating. Loading with fiber is adding roughage to your system, as fiber does not completely break down. Imagine your undigested steak from last night ( meat takes about 3 days to break down) sitting with the celery, carrot and bean fibers in your stomach- that is sure to create bloat! Before starting your one day veggie feast, cut back on meat at least 24 hours before you plan to stop to lessen the effects of bloating.
5. You will discover a whole new world
Ditching meat for one day doesn’t mean you’ll be eating tasteless salads all day long. Quite the contrary! Plant based eating has become so popular, there are so many different kinds of meals to choose from! You can have plant based food from any kind of cuisine; Mediterranean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai , Italian—you just have to look at the menu! Also check out mesanimisis.com for international dishes made with local ingredients!