What is the Flexitarian Diet
The flexitarian diet plan is a plant-based diet with the occasional addition of meat, Flexitarians are also known as flexible vegetarians or casual vegetarians. Some flexitarians will have a meal without meat once a week while others will only eat meat on rare occasions.
The flexitarian diet plan is increasing in popularity especially with people who do not want to commit to a full vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. The diet allows them a flexibility that they can adapt to their lifestyle, social life or health conditions.
It also promises that if you go meatless most of the time you’ll lose weight and get healthy easily.
For every detail on the Flexitarian Diet here is book and ebook which walks you through it all step by step: The Flexitarian Diet book
Benefits of the Flexitarian Diet
Type 2 diabetes is a global health epidemic. Eating a healthy diet, especially a mainly plant-based one will help prevent and manage this disease.
This is likely because plant-based diets aid weight loss and contain many foods that are high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats and added sugar.
Research showing this can be found here.
many flexitarians aim to buy less meat but buy organic or free range meat (from a local butcher) where the animals have been raised to higher standards of welfare.
Diets rich in fiber and healthy fats are good for heart health, Research was done which followed 45,000 adults over 11 years and found that vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of heart disease, compared to non-vegetarians.
This is due to the fact that vegetarian diets are rich in fiber and antioxidants that reduce blood pressure and increase good cholesterol, they had an average blood pressure seven points lower than people who ate large quantities of meat.
Flexitarian eating is primarily plant-based and will have the benefits similar to full vegetarian diets which also means the benefit of reduced risk of heart disease.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes all have nutrients and antioxidants which help prevent cancer.
Research conducted shows that vegetarian based diets are associated with a lower overall occurrence of all cancers. Therefore, incorporating more vegetarian foods by eating flexitarian may reduce your cancer risk.
From CO2 emissions to the increasing need for space to grow animal feed crops (resulting for example in the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest), meat consumption takes a high toll on the environment.
Research shows flexitarian eating is also be good for your weight, This is partially because flexitarians limit high-calorie, processed foods and eat more plant foods that are naturally lower in calories.
If you highlight the plant-based component of this diet – eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains – you’ll feel more full on fewer calories than you’re used to. With that calorie deficit and a little physical activity, you’ll shed pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you.
Many studies have shown that people who follow a plant-based diet may lose more weight than those who do not. One of the study’s had 1,100 people total and found out that those who ate a vegetarian based diet for 18 weeks lost 4.5 pounds more than those who did not.
Since the Flexitarian Diet plan is close to a vegetarian diet, it will help with weight loss but possibly not as much as a vegan diet would.
Drawbacks of the Flexitarian Diet
Eating less meat can potentially have downsides, especially if you don’t replace the meat with nutrient-rich foods and plant-based sources of protein. poorly planned vegetarian diets may be low in nutrients such as iron, protein, zinc, calcium, vitamin oD, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fats. Researchers state that a well-designed eating plan can avoid those deficiencies.
However, another way to get the nutrients you need can be through multivitamin tablets, if you need one you can purchase one here:
What to Eat on the Flexitarian Diet
Flexitarians highlights plant proteins and other whole, minimally processed plant foods while limiting animal products.
Foods to eat include:
- • Proteins: Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, legumes, lentils.
- • Non-starchy vegetables: Greens, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, cauliflower.
- • Starchy vegetables: Winter squash, peas, corn, sweet potato.
- • Fruits: Apples, oranges, berries, grapes, cherries.
- • Whole grains: Quinoa, teff, buckwheat, farro.
- • Nuts, seeds and other healthy fats: Almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanut butter, avocados, olives, coconut.
- • Plant-based milk alternatives: Unsweetened almond, coconut, hemp and soy milk.
- • Herbs, spices and seasonings: Basil, oregano, mint, thyme, cumin, turmeric, ginger.
- • Condiments: Reduced-sodium soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, ketchup without added sugar.
- • Beverages: Still and sparkling water, tea, coffee.
When adding animal products, choose the following when possible:
- • Eggs: Free-range or pasture-raised.
- • Poultry: Organic, free-range or pasture-raised.
- • Fish: Wild-caught.
- • Meat: Grass-fed or pasture-raised.
- • Dairy: Organic from grass-fed or pastured animals.
What not to eat on the Flexitarian Diet
The Flexitarian Diet plan not only encourages limiting meat and animal products but also limiting highly processed foods, refined grains and added sugar.
Foods to limit include:
- • Processed meats: Bacon, sausage, bologna.
- • Refined carbs: White bread, white rice, bagels, croissants.
- • Added sugar and sweets: Soda, donuts, cakes, cookies, candy.
- • Fast food: Fries, burgers, chicken nuggets, milkshakes.
Easy Flexitarian Meal Plans For 1 Week
These easy flexitarian meal plans provide you with the ideas you need to start eating flexitarian.
For a book and ebook full of 101 detailed menu plans and how to make them click here: The Flexitarian Diet cookbook
- • Breakfast: Oats with apples, flaxseed and cinnamon.
- • Lunch: Salad with greens, shrimp, corn, black beans and avocado.
- • Dinner: Lentil soup with whole-grain bread and a side salad.
- • Breakfast: Whole-grain toast with avocado and poached eggs.
- • Lunch: Burrito bowl with brown rice, beans and vegetables.
- • Dinner: Zucchini noodles with tomato sauce and white beans.
- • Breakfast: Coconut yogurt with bananas and walnuts.
- • Lunch: Whole-grain wrap with hummus, vegetables and chickpeas.
- • Dinner: Grilled salmon, baked sweet potato and green beans.
- • Breakfast: Smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, spinach, peanut butter and frozen berries.
- • Lunch: Kale Caesar salad with lentils and tomato soup.
- • Dinner: Baked chicken, quinoa and roasted cauliflower.
- • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with blueberries and pumpkin seeds.
- • Lunch: Chard wraps with mixed vegetables and peanut dipping sauce.
- • Dinner: Lentil stew and a side salad.
- • Breakfast: Over-easy eggs with sauteed vegetables and fruit salad.
- • Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich with crushed berries on whole-grain bread.
- • Dinner: Black bean burgers with avocado and sweet potato fries.
- • Breakfast: Tofu scramble with mixed vegetables and spices.
- • Lunch: Quinoa salad with dried cranberries, pecans and feta cheese.
- • Dinner: Stuffed bell peppers with ground turkey and a side salad.
Does the Flexitarian Diet work?
The flexitarian diet plan can help guide you toward a well-balanced, nutrient-dense eating plan. You’ll never need to eliminate meat on this diet though; you can incorporate it into your lifestyle in a way that works for you.
Eating flexitarian does aid weight loss and reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. It may even be good for the planet. However, planning your flexitarian food choices is important to prevent nutritional deficiencies and reap the most benefits.
The diet’s strengths are that it can help anyone eat a more healthful, plant-based diet. This in turn will help you manage your weight and improve your health.
It’s very likely that you’ll lose weight on the Flexitarian Diet.
But this diet may not be for you if you are happy with your meat-eating ways though it does offer flexibility. however, if you’re looking to add more plant-based foods to your diet gradually without the commitment of becoming a full-fledged vegetarian, this is the ideal plan for you as the recipes are simple and aimed toward beginner cooks.
If you are still considering trying the diet here is a book and ebook which will walk you through it all to help you make up your mind: The Flexitarian Diet book
But remember the only person who can make change happen is you, so I highly recommend you at least try it for yourself.
Anyone who is considering a major change to their diet should always talk to a doctor first.