The Trouble with Cutting Meat for Weight Loss*

The secret to losing weight and keeping it off long-term is adopting and maintaining a well-balanced diet. Long after having weight loss surgery and coming to the end of your weight loss program, you’ll need to continue making wise dietary choices if you wish to maintain a healthy weight. There are all sorts of popular dietary trends that you can consider adopting in an effort to make eating a well-balanced diet a bit easier to maintain. The Paleo diet emphasis whole foods, for example, while the Keto diet emphasis low-carbohydrate intake. However, there is one dietary trend that is often adopted in the name of weight loss, even though it is proven to not actually provide many weight loss benefits. While there are plenty of benefits to eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, simply cutting out meat isn’t going to make a big difference on your weight loss efforts if you are going to spend a lot of time and energy cooking up fatty and carbohydrate heavy meat substitutes.

Those veggie burgers, faux chicken nuggets and meatless sausages that you see in the grocery aisle all have one thing in common: process. While common substitutes for a meatless diet, these foods are not actually very healthy, and in many cases are actually worse for you than are standard servings of meat. Most of these meat substitutes are filled with a little bit of tofu or tempeh, and a whole bunch of carbohydrates, like wheat, to create the texture similar to meat.

There are plenty of healthy ways to cut meat from your diet, but using popular meat substitutes is not one of them. If you want to cut down on meat consumption, try the following tactics:

  • Grill plain tofu or tempeh, or cook it into your recipe as you would meat
  • Use meaty vegetables, like squash, portabella mushrooms, or eggplant to substitute meat
  • Focus on meat-free entrees that don’t need substitutes, like salads

In addition to there being issue with meat substitutes, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan friendly baked goods out there that are no better for you than the real thing. Any standard cookie is technically vegetarian, and making a cake into a vegan cake is as easy as using substitutes for the egg and butter.

To lose weight, talk to your medical weight loss doctor to find out what dietary changes you should make to your diet, and focus on eating as well-rounded of a diet as possible. Grilled meats can be a great source of protein, and can often be included in a healthy diet that encourages weight loss.

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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.