In the past few years, veganism has become a pretty hot topic. No longer just the preserve of your lame hippie uncle, it's been steadily gaining popularity, with the backing of celebs such as Beyoncé and Liam Hemsworth only adding to its glamor.
And to be fair, there are a lot of very ethically admirable reasons to swear off animal products, from reducing your environmental footprint to just not wanting to harm animals. Plus, it can be pretty damn tasty.
But that doesn't mean that everyone that tries veganism will stay on the meat-free, dairy-free, anything-with-a-face-free wagon forever. In fact, a study by the Humane Research Council found that well over 80% of vegetarians and vegans will go back to eating meat at some point.
So, what can they expect when they do return to the dark side? Well, it's a mixed bag.
Bloating is a common side-effect of any change of diet, and this is no exception. In this case, it's because it actually takes your body quite a lot of enzymes to break down that all-important protein, so make sure you start with small chunks. And while it can be tempting to chug some water to wash everything down, this can actually dilute the enzymes, making the process take even longer.
A diet high in fat is a major risk factor for heartburn, and while most meat-eaters will already be used to this, it's a different story for our non-animal consuming friends. It's worth noting that meats with higher saturated fat content, such as pork and lamb, will be even harder to digest, so it may be worth starting with something a little more gut-friendly like chicken. Straight to Nando's it is then.
3. Skin flare-ups
As the body adjusts to the surprise influx of new foods, former-vegans can expect to see a few pesky pimples popping up here and there.
That's mostly because in some people, the growth-hormones associated with meat and dairy products can stimulate the production of androgens, a type of hormone which can affect acne levels. Unfortunately, many committed carnivores also suffer with this problem, so it's not necessarily something that will resolve itself either. Sob.
4. More balanced blood sugars
Okay so it's all been a bit rubbish so far, eh? Well the good news is that there are some serious pluses to reintroducing meat too, such as the fact that blood sugar levels tend to level out. This is thanks to the fact that you'll likely be swapping carbs for proteins, which are lower on the GI scale. That said, if you're eating a chunky cheeseburger in a massive brioche bun then it might not have the same effect - sorry!
5. Fewer sugar cravings
As a result of the balanced blood sugars there might also be a drop in sugar cravings, so you can say a much easier so-long to those Oreos. For this little bonus, you can thank to the aforementioned protein hit and the fact that it digests so slowly, meaning that you avoid insulin spikes. With a bit of luck though, the sugar cut might even balance out the dairy-skin!
6. You'll feel full faster
While some people choose to go vegan as part of a weight-loss strategy, it's actually possible that once you start eating meat again you'll feel fuller much faster. However, this will all depend on what your diet was like before.
If you've used being vegan as an excuse to scoff down vegan-friendly candy and carbs, then you'll reap the benefits of adding meat. But if you managed to fill your diet with healthy proteins anyway, then it's unlikely to make such a difference.
All in all, it seems that, like most things in life, there are pros and cons to the decision to retreat from veganism and embrace the meat-life once more. You might get bloated and a little bit greasy, but you might also find that you feel most satisfied and less sugary than ever. Now, pass me the chicken wings.