Eating Red Meat & Losing Weight

Eating lean cuts of red meat in moderation can help you lose weight.
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Red meat is often associated with high levels of fat and weight gain. The Weight-Control Information Network reports, however, that lean cuts of red meat can be a healthy source of protein in a successful weight-loss diet program. Knowing what cuts of meat to choose, how much to eat and how to prepare them will help you shed pounds without sacrificing your favorite steak. Consult your doctor before beginning any new diet program.

Choosing the Right Meat

The first step toward losing weight with red meat is choosing the right red meat to eat. Look for the leanest cuts available — reach for flank steaks and sirloin steaks over ribeyes and roasts that contain more marbling and integrated deposits of fat. For ground beef, look for the leanest varieties available; 97- or 98-percent lean is preferable. Most of the calories in meat come from fat — so by choosing meats with low fat content, you help reduce calories.

Balanced Caloric Intake

One of the keys to successful weight loss is balanced caloric intake. By reducing the number of calories you eat, you promote weight loss through your body's own metabolic processes. Because red meat is a dense source of calories, it is easy to overeat and prevent weight loss. Cutting 500 calories from your daily intake can result in weight loss of 1 pound per week, according to the MedlinePlus online medical encyclopedia. Cut these calories from other food sources and maintain your lean meat choices to encourage weight loss while retaining red meat.

Balanced Nutrition

Balanced nutrition is an often overlooked part of healthy weight loss, but it helps provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to maintain healthy metabolic function necessary to dropping pounds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends daily servings of protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables and grains. Eat lean red meat for your protein, supplemented by plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which can help reduce the impact of red meat on your cholesterol levels.


Before cooking, trim any excess fat from your red meat. Choose healthy cooking techniques such as grilling and broiling. These don't add fat, because they do not require the use of additional oils as frying or sauteing do. If you do fry or saute, do not use breading materials and always remove the excess cooking fat before consuming. Avoid fatty sauces with your red meat such as Bearnaise over steaks and mayonnaise on hamburgers.