People choose to become vegetarian for many reasons. Some do it for their health, while others decide to stop eating meat for ethical reasons. While a vegetarian diet certainly has many benefits, suddenly giving up meat can lead to some unexpected and rather unpleasant side effects.
As with any drastic change in diet, giving up meat is very stressful for your body and may cause some withdrawal symptoms at first. We decided to dig into this question and discover the different ways your body might react if you suddenly stopped eating meat.
Your Skin Might Break Out
If you dream of having perfectly clear skin, suddenly cutting meat out of your diet can bring some nasty surprises. Red meat is rich in amino acids that are vital for collagen production, and not getting enough of these essential nutrients can leave your skin looking dull.
Meat also contains zinc, and although vegetarians eat many beans and grains that are also rich in zinc, certain compounds prevent the body from absorbing it. Not getting enough zinc can affect your skin in many ways, including acne.
You May Feel The Urge To Snack More
Meat is one of the main sources of protein, and if it is suddenly removed from your diet, your body may respond by going into survival mode. When you suddenly stop eating meat, you can end up stuffing yourself with every unhealthy snack you can find.
Your body needs time to adjust to this sudden change in diet, and if you decide to go vegetarian or vegan, keep some healthy snacks on hand, like nuts or fruit, to avoid the temptation to reach for a bag of chips or pretzels.
You Might Experience More Mood Swings
When you embark on a new diet, even if it means good changes for your body, in the long run, you can go through an emotional roller coaster at first. Everything you eat has a powerful effect on your stress level because the microbiome in your stomach releases neurotransmitters that communicate with your brain.
While this unpleasant side effect is temporary and goes away once your body adjusts to the changes, some new vegetarians and vegans may experience more anxiety than they were used to.
You Might Notice More Hair Falling Out
While there are many good plant-based sources of zinc, such as vegetables, nuts, and seeds, it is a protein that helps the body absorb zinc, and vegetarians and vegans may be at risk of not getting enough of this essential nutrient.
When you’re not getting enough zinc on a regular basis, it can affect your hair and even lead to long-term hair loss. If you’re determined to stop eating meat, be sure to get up to 50% more zinc than the recommended amounts.
Your Stomach May Hurt
While eating vegetables definitely makes your gut happy, suddenly switching from too much meat to nothing can upset the unique composition of bacteria in your stomach.
When you drastically change your diet and start eating different foods than what you are used to, it can cause an upset stomach and indigestion at first.
How often do you eat meat? Have you ever tried to be vegetarian or vegan?
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