Even though the term “cold turkey” was originally coined when people meant a dish that would required little preparation, a later comparison was the way skin looked when people went through heroin withdrawal. For most of us, quitting meat should not be likened to heroin withdrawal, but hey, we recognize that for some of you, the thought of grilling vegetables rather than steak could be rather disheartening. But there are some big advantages of quitting meat all at once, and here are some:
You get the benefits quicker! If you have diabetes, heart disease or cancer, it is imperative that you get your nutritional house in order as quickly as possible. Some heart patients with angina have had their symptoms subside after only 2-3 weeks on a strict low-fat, vegan diet! Many ex-carnivores have complained of withdrawal symptoms during the first few weeks (stomach discomfort, mental anguish when passing a Burger King), but these discomforts can’t compare to the discomfort you could feel when going through bypass surgery or chemotherapy because you didn’t make the important lifestyle changes earlier. After the first week off meat (and eating healthy replacements), you should feel better.
You retrain your tastebuds. Your body can be retrained to enjoy plant-based foods! Many diet plans that focus on all the bad that sugar can do will tell you that after a few weeks without any sugar, even a small amount of sugar will taste too sweet. The same is true for high fat meat eaters. Your body first adjusts to the change in diet and then you can begin to ENJOY the healthy taste of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains.
You’ll take Advantage of the “Willpower Effect”. Recent studies have shown that you have a finite amount of “willpower” (apparently a blood sugar thing), so why not put it all to use in one week to quit meat! Ok, we may be stretching on this one, but the Willpower Effect may be why so many diets espouse an extreme calorie reduction the first few days of a new weight-loss diet.
Quitting meat cold turkey may be something you decide to do right away, but some planning may be in order beforehand. Get rid of your favorite meat in the house. Find some meatless menus on this website and others. And go shopping for some tasty fruits, veggies and whole grains!