“But I feel weak when I don’t eat meat.” is a common response I get from people after explaining to them that a vegetarian diet is the best for health. This is because meat contains a central nervous stimulant chemical similar in makeup to caffeine. It is called hypoxanthine. When people abruptly stop eating meat, they experience withdrawals in the form of weakness because they are no longer getting the stimulation that hypoxanthine was providing them through meat eating.
If you cannot bare the withdrawals from abruptly quitting meat eating, you can try a transition diet: eating less and less meat over time until it is eventually eliminated from your diet. When I chose to give up eating meat, after being a heavy meat eater for 23 years, I did so abruptly. I felt a wavering weakness for a few weeks; but as time went on it got less and less intense. My cravings for meat were the same: Intense at first; but now I don’t crave meat at all. As a matter of fact, I am repulsed by it.
People feel fatigued when attempting to go on a vegetarian diet because meat is stimulating. However, some general knowledge about the stimulating affects of meat and how to overcome them can help people overcome their fears.
Mollenhauer, John Allen. "Is Meat Addictive." NutrientRich.com. Nutrient Rich, 17 Jan. 2009. Web. 28 Dec. 2011.