No Meat Diet For 30 Days As A Less Restrictive Short-Term Version Of A Vegetarian Diet

Let’s do this! You already know plant-based eating is good for your health. Famous athletes like seven-time Grand Slam Winner Venus Williams and three-time snowboarding Olympic medalist Hannah Teter are big fans of the plant-based lifestyle. 

Even 2014’s Mr. Universe, Barny du Plessis, became well-known as the world’s first vegan bodybuilder. It turns out you don’t have to eat meat to be strong and healthy. 

Maybe becoming a bodybuilder or Olympic medalist isn’t part of your five-year plan. That’s okay. If you just want to dip your toes into a vegetarian or vegan diet without all the commitment, this 30-day diet challenge is perfect for you.

Eating no meat for 30 days is a great, short-term plan to test the waters. You can see for yourself how your body responds to eating more plants and fewer animal products. In just one month, you’ll start to see and feel some of the amazing benefits it offers.

One thing you’re probably going to notice first is that you have more energy. We could all use a little more of that, right?

What Is A No Meat Diet For 30 Days?

As the name implies, you’re choosing to not eat meat for 30 days. Why 30 days? New habits take time. A month-long endeavor is a great starting point. 

If you give up early, you may not see the full benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet. But you can try anything for a month, right? 

This month-long, meatless challenge is a great way to show commitment to a healthier lifestyle. After you finish the month, you just may realize it was easier than you expected. And in the end, the results are worth the temporary sacrifice of not eating meat. 

Your body is craving the vitamins, minerals, and proper nutrition of a plant-based diet. So instead of focusing on what you can’t eat in this meatless diet, shift your focus to what you can eat. 

You’ll probably find yourself planning meals that are way healthier than your old patterns of eating. You may even find a few new recipes you absolutely love. 

This 30-day challenge just might inspire a new way of life. And the next thing you know, you’re choosing plant-based foods over animal-based alternatives. Who saw that coming?

What To Avoid On No Meat Diet For 30 Days?

Red meat

Avoid eating ground beef, steak, lamb, venison, veal, etc. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, there’s a link between consuming red meats and having an increased risk of developing cancer.

Red meats are full of saturated fats, which cause higher cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. 

White meat

White meats include chicken, turkey, duck, goose, etc. According to Harvard Health Publishing, white meats are just as bad for your health as red meats. Both cause an increase in cholesterol levels, which are linked to heart disease. 

Processed meat

Whenever possible, avoid processed meats like pepperoni, salami, canned meat, jerky, and hot dogs. There are strong connections between eating a diet that contains processed meats and developing various chronic illnesses like cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 

One of the problems with processed meats is how they are preserved through curing, salting, smoking, drying or canning. This processing often includes harmful chemicals that aren’t found in fresh, organic meats.

Ready to jump into a more plant-based way of eating? You don’t have to commit to becoming a lifelong vegan to get the benefits of plant-based foods. Let’s take a look at what you can eat on this 30-day meatless challenge.

What To Eat On No Meat Diet For 30 Days?


Okay, so meat is off the table. How will you get enough protein without it? Easily.

There are lots of plant-based protein options. Some of the best plants with high levels of protein include quinoa, nuts, seeds, tofu, nut butters, and beans. 

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Americans already consume more protein than necessary. In fact, they found that on average, men eat 101.9g instead of the suggested 56g, and women eat 70.1g instead of the recommended 46g. 

Those extra grams mean extra calories. 

If you’re worried about getting enough protein in a plant-based diet, you can give a sigh of relief. When you try this plant-based challenge, you can still get all of the necessary nutrition for a balanced diet. Trust me. You’ll be just fine. 


Iron is an important part of a healthy diet. It helps your red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. Without it, you’ll be tired, sluggish, and short of breath. 

Excellent sources of iron can be found in a plant-based diet. Try adding some spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, beans, peas, quinoa, etc. to your meals. 


The Got Milk Campaign of the ‘90s and 2000s really pushed the importance of milk. Dairy is full of calcium, which promotes strong bones and teeth. 

Some of the most commonly consumed calcium-rich foods include dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. (Okay, technically, ice cream has calcium too.) But there are other dairy-free, calcium-rich foods. 

Some of the best, plant-based sources of calcium include dark leafy greens, like kale, spinach, collard greens, and turnips. Soybeans and fortified cereals are other great options. 


Zinc is a mineral needed for healthy growth and development. It helps with metabolism, digestion, cell growth, and lots of other bodily functions. It’s really important to get daily doses of zinc in your diet each day for proper nutrition. 

Some of the best plant-based sources include legumes (chickpeas, lentils and beans), seeds, nuts, and eggs. 

Vitamin B12

Lots of vegans and vegetarians struggle to get enough vitamin b12 in their diet. Some of the best sources of it come from animal-based foods. That’s why many plant-based eaters take a daily supplement to make sure they’re getting enough each day.

Let’s take a look at some of our options for getting enough vitamin b12 on this meatless diet:

  • Eggs
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese

Health Benefits Of Meat

When it comes to your health, you want to make informed decisions. There are some health benefits of eating meat. Let’s take a look:

Lean Beef

Lean beef is full of protein and iron. 

Serving size: 4 ounces of lean ground beef

Calories: 140

Calories from Fat: 40

Total Fat: 4.5g

Saturated fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 70mg

Sodium: 70mg

Total Carbohydrate: 0g

Protein: 24g

Iron: 15%

Chicken Fillet

A boneless, skinless chicken breast is a great source of protein. 

Serving size: 4 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast

Calories: 130

Calories from Fat: 25

Total Fat: 3g

Saturated fat: 0.5g

Cholesterol: 80mg

Sodium: 50mg

Total Carbohydrate: 0g

Protein: 25g

Iron: 2%

Increased metabolism and reduced hunger

Meat and other protein-rich foods can increase your metabolism, at least for a few hours, because they require more energy to digest them. Not only do they increase your metabolism, but they can also reduce your hunger. The protein helps you feel full for longer. 

Feeling full can keep you from snacking your way through the day. The perk of consuming enough protein in your diet is that you’re less likely to feel hungry between meals. Avoiding snacks means you’re avoiding the extra calories that go with them.

Improved bone health

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, getting enough protein in your diet is an important part of good bone health. Consuming appropriate levels of protein through meat or plant-based proteins can help strengthen your bones and keep you from developing osteoporosis. 

Preserved muscle mass

According to the National Library of Medicine, there is a connection between beef consumption and muscle mass in older adults. Protein is a building block of muscles. But keep in mind eating meat isn’t the only way to get proper amounts of protein in your diet. 

Improved iron absorption

Iron helps oxygen move throughout the body. Animal products, like beef, poultry, and seafood, contain heme iron, which is more easily absorbed into the body than non-heme iron found in plant-based foods. 

Vegetarians and vegans only eat foods containing non-heme iron. This is why some plant-based eaters choose to take an iron supplement.

Benefits Of Not Eating Meat

Okay, we’ve gone through the benefits of meat. There are some. If there weren’t, people wouldn’t eat it. 

Now, let’s talk about the perks of ditching meat and sticking to a plant-based diet. You never know—after a few weeks of experiencing these perks, this 30-day challenge may just turn into a new way of life for you. 

Weight loss

Plant-based diets are really great for helping you lose weight. Whether it’s one of the main reasons you decide to start a meatless diet or not, you may notice a change on the scale. Focusing on plant-based alternatives to meat will lead to eating fewer calories and, therefore, help you lose weight.

Reduced inflammation

Processed and red meats contain high levels of saturated fat. Saturated fat leads to inflammation in the body. And that inflammation can lead to an increased risk of all sorts of chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. 

Reduced levels of cholesterol

You should avoid foods that contain high levels of cholesterol if you’re at risk for heart disease. You’ll find cholesterol only in animal-based products. Plant-based foods do not contain any cholesterol, even high-fat foods like avocados and olive oil. 

Improved gut health

One of the best things you can do for your belly is to consume lots of plant-based fiber in your diet. Fiber-rich foods help with digestion and feed the “good bacteria” in your gut. 

People on plant-based diets are often more intentional about what they’re putting into their bodies. They tend to avoid sugar-filled, over-processed, unhealthy foods. 

You’ll want to fill up with fiber-rich whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit to give your gut a good balance of healthy foods. 

When your gut is happy, your whole body is happy.

Lower risk of serious diseases

Plant-based eating is good for your overall health. Starting a vegetarian diet can lower your risk of developing serious chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. 

Focusing on healthy, whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains is a great way to take your health into your own hands. Making good choices for your body will pay dividends as you age. 

Take good care of your body by making sure it gets all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. 

Meal Ideas and Recipes

Here are a few meals, recipes, and plant-based foods to get you started on this 30-day meatless challenge. Try something new each week.


Ready-to-Eat Meals

Disclaimer: As always, before you make changes to your diet, be sure to get professional, medical advice about your specific needs. This article should not be used as professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.