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Why Do Many People Lose Weight When They Stop Eating Meat?

If people have always eaten meat and then (at least temporarily) do without it, they lose weight quickly. Various factors play a role in the phenomenon.

For many people, carbohydrates are notorious for being fattening foods. The pounds can also tumble off quickly if you stop eating meat. He did not intend a diet effect at all – but could not be overlooked. Eliminate meat from the menu – and lose weight promptly: Many others feel the same way as Flavio. What’s behind it?

Less Meat, Less Protein

The body needs sufficient protein to build and maintain muscles. On the one hand, this applies to shapely muscles that may be desired for aesthetic reasons – but on the other hand, to those that perform essential bodily functions. Last but not least, the heart muscle must also be adequately supplied.

Protein can be obtained through diet. In addition, there are dietary supplements such as protein shakes and bars to cover an increased need. Those who want to consume animal products in moderation are turning more and more to plant-based protein sources and supplements.

Different Biological Value

There are differences in the so-called biological value between animal and vegetable protein. This tells you how well the body can convert the corresponding protein. Vegetable protein’s biological value (also: bioavailability) is not ideal. On the other hand, animal protein has a more favorable amino acid composition. This doesn’t have to be a problem if you get information and sensibly combine different vegetable protein sources.

Those Who Do Without Meat Usually Automatically Consume Less Protein

But even if you don’t become a vegan straight away and continue to eat animal protein (e.g., eggs and dairy products), you will consume less protein than you did as a meat-eater.

Cottage cheese and eggs are among the protein-richest vegetarian foods. Both provide about 13 grams of protein per 100 grams – barely half of 100 grams of chicken breast. It’s a proud 27 grams of protein and superior biological value. One hundred grams of beef still brings between 25 and 26 grams of protein to the table. This means that you would have to eat significantly more vegetarian food to get the same amount of protein.

Weight Loss Without Meat – What Else Could Be The Cause

However, the apparent weight loss often has something to do with the high-calorie presentation of meat dishes, which suddenly disappears.

“Meat is often eaten with rich sauces,” says a nutritionist. You usually save yourself “all the accessories” if you do without meat. Knop lists high-sugar ketchup, fatty mayonnaise, and “fried fries, roasted or fried foods, and bacon-wrapped foods.” “Also, not a few calories!” In addition, meat is often breaded itself—a form of preparation that significantly increases the content of carbohydrates (in the breadcrumbs) and fat.

The Feeling Of Fullness Also Plays A Role

“Vegan foods, in particular, are often deficient in calories and have a low energy density,” says Müller. Excludes nuts, seeds, kernels, and oilseeds (e.g., olives and avocados). “Compared to meat, the saturation of high-fiber vegan products such as legumes, boiled potatoes or cabbage is extremely high.” You eat less, feel full for longer and achieve a negative energy balance more efficiently, leading to weight loss.


It has not been scientifically proven that not eating meat leads to weight loss. It still happens frequently, then, in case of doubt, due to an overall lower calorie intake. In the case of very active people – especially those who have previously eaten a lot of meat – a lot of easily digestible protein is lost. The muscles miss that; as a result, fat-free mass is broken down.


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