If you’re vegan or vegetarian and want to reintroduce meat into your diet, this article will show you side effects of eating meat after being vegetarian.
Most people hesitate to eat meat after being vegetarian for many years. Morality is always the biggest concern. And folks are also worried that eating meat may have negative side effects on their health.
Realize that most of the physiological changes that occur when you eat meat after being vegetarian are only temporary. As you continue to eat meat, most of these side effects will disappear.
As for morality, I can see why most people are not comfortable eating with all the cruelty in the meat industry. But remember that, we humans, evolved eating meat and plants. And nowadays it’s easy to find meat that has been raised and pastured in a humane way.
Note that the side effects may vary from person to person. For some folks, life goes on normally after eating meat for the first time. So don’t let the possible side effects mentioned below stop you from eating meat. Try it for yourself and see if you like.
As it is the case when trying anything new, go easy. Don’t eat a large steak if you’re eating meat for the first time after many years. Eat a few pieces of meat to see how your body reacts.
Side effects of eating meat after being vegetarian
1. Stomach pain
Most people who eat meat for the first time experience stomach pain. But this also happens when meat-eaters become vegetarians.
Even though much research hasn’t been done on this topic, some people argue that the stomach stops producing meat digesting enzymes after going vegetarian. As a result, people who haven’t eaten meat for a long period can’t digest it properly.
For some people the pain disappears after eating meat regularly but others have to quit meat again because the symptoms get worse.
2. Skin problems
You’ll probably experience skin changes within a few weeks after eating meat for the first time. Some people experience acne outbreak on the face and chin. Your arms may also start feeling itchy.
Note that skin changes go both ways. Others experience acne outbreaks when they become vegetarians. Surprisingly, for some people the skin clears up after they start eating meat.
3. Tiredness and aching
Some people feel instantly tired and achiness all over the body after eating meat. This could be due to the fact that meat is harder to digest compared to most plant-based foods. Therefore, the body uses more energy to digest meat, leaving you feeling tired.
4. Hormonal problems
Eating meat after being vegetarian may cause hormonal issues for women. One common problem is that postmenstrual symptoms get worse.
If you notice that your cramps are getting worse a few months after you start eating meat, lay off meat for a while to know for sure if meat is causing the problem.
Guilt is a common psychological effect of eating meat after being vegetarian. This makes sense because most vegetarians are animal lovers.
The earlier you learn to deal with these feelings the better. Feeling guilty can make it virtually impossible for you to enjoy meat even when you like the taste.
You may feel like vomiting the first time you eat meat, especially if you’ve been vegetarian for many years. It’s even worse for others because the smell of meat makes them want to vomit.
Some may argue that this effect is psychological but it’s also possible that the stomach won’t react well to meat after many years.
7. You may love it
Some people don’t experience any negative side effects after they eat meat. In fact, they love it.
This is mostly true for people who have never tasted meat before. If you’ve been vegetarian for a few years you know how meat tastes like, and the taste definitely hasn’t changed.
8. You’ll be more energetic
You’re probably confused because earlier I said that eating meat can cause tiredness. Well, as I said at the start of the article, the effects of eating meat after being vegetarian vary from person to person.
It’s common for people to become energetic and feel good when they eat meat. This makes sense because some people feel weak and tired when they become vegetarian.
9. Higher risk of diseases
As you may know, red meat has been linked to cancer, heart disease and so on. Therefore, eating meat increases risk of these diseases. In fact, vegans and vegetarians have lower risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease compared to meat eaters.
This is not to say that eating meat will make you sick. However, excessive intake of meat can definitely increase the risk of diseases mentioned above.
It’s important to practice moderation after you start eating meat. Skip eating meat 1-2 days a week.
The truth is, you may not experience any of the side effects mentioned above. Just eat meat and see what happens. You may like it and become a regular meat eater or find it unappealing, in which case you’ll stick to your vegetarian diet.
Don’t quit too fast though, remember that most of the side effects are only temporary.
Do you know other side effects of eating meat after being vegetarian?