Vegan diets have become increasingly popular over the years as people look to cut down on red meat consumption and improve their health. While plant-based diets have advantages, taking things to the extreme isn’t good either. Vegan diets can cause you to miss out on important nutrients and overindulge in too many carbohydrates and oils.

If you recently decided that being vegan isn’t for you, you probably have questions about how to reintroduce meat. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Research shows that 84 percent of people return to eating meat. And with delicious crispy chicken, buttery steaks and juicy baby back ribs, we can see why!

No, You Haven’t Lost the Ability to Digest Meat

A common misconception about the vegan diet is that you can no longer digest meat properly, causing you to get sick when you eat it. But eating meat again is easier than you think. You might feel a little “heavier” after eating, especially if you have a large portion. But anyone can reintroduce meat after being vegan. Your body can still digest meat just fine.

The key is to start with lighter meats like chicken and poultry as opposed to a big juicy burger or steak. When you haven’t eaten this type of food for a long time, it can make you feel sick to your stomach. This happens because meat requires more digestive enzymes to break it down compared to plants.

The Best Hacks for Reintroducing Meat

As you start to reintroduce meat after being vegan, here are the best hacks we have for making the process move smoothly - inside and out!

  • Start with fish and poultry. Begin with either fish or poultry and work your way up to heavier meats. This gives your body time to adjust so that you won’t feel any discomfort. If you do experience discomfort, start even lighter, such as with a chicken broth.
  • Introduce meats at different times. Don’t make yourself a meat platter with different types of meats. Take things slow and start with eggs or chicken in your salad, then work your way up. This also makes it easier to track any digestive problems.
  • Eat small portions. Diving immediately into a giant steak can cause some digestive issues, so start with small portions. Pay attention to how your body responds. If you’re uncomfortable, you’ll have to cut back. If you’re not, you can keep moving forward with bigger portion sizes.
  • Take a digestive enzyme. Digestive enzymes help break down food so that you don’t feel so heavy and bloated at first. You can pick up digestive enzymes at a local food store or vitamin store.

The best hack for reintroducing meat into your diet is to start slow, eat a small portion and stick to something light like fish or chicken. Take note of how your body responds so that you can adjust accordingly. Other than that, it won’t be long before you’re back to eating meat, which is part of a healthy, balanced diet for most!

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