If you are looking for a diet that suits your requirement, your hunt stops here. It is true that every time you look for a diet plan that will help you stay fit, healthy and prevent unwanted diseases, you will get a huge list you probably won’t feel like reading.
That is why we have come up with the ultimate diet plan for you, and the experts call it the flexitarian diet. This is the guide you have been looking for! In this article, we will tell you everything you must know about the flexitarian diet.
What Is the Flexitarian Diet?
The flexitarian diet is a simple diet that encourages you to increase the intake of plant-based food and moderately manage the consumption of animal-based food products.
Moreover, what is the flexitarian diet and who can follow it, then the answer is- everyone. People who are vegan, vegetarian, as well as non-vegetarian, can adopt this diet plan. All you need to do is polish the habit of consuming more plant-based food items.
How does The Flexitarian Diet Work?
The flexitarian diet was designed by Dawn Jackson Blatner. The diet was planned for those who wished to gain the advantages of being a vegetarian, alongside consuming animal-based products.
Perhaps that is precisely why the diet is a combination of the terms ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’ was issued. It is a flexible diet that lets you eat your favorite food while keeping your body healthy.
While vegans and vegetarians consume more plant-based items, non-vegetarian people restrict daily consumption of meat or other animal-based edibles while increasingly adding more vegetables and fruits to their diet.
Foods to Eat on the Flexitarian Diet
The flexitarian diet plan is a flexible diet overall. However, it has a few restrictions and a list of items you can/should regularly consume while following a flexitarian diet.
We have mentioned the food items below for a more straightforward overview:
- Fruits like cherries, grapes, apples, oranges.
- Whole grains like teff, farro, and buckwheat.
- Protein-based food like lentils, tofu, legumes, soybeans, and tempeh.
- Starchy veggies like cauliflower, carrots, green beans, brussels sprouts, green bell peppers.
- Nuts, seeds, and healthy fats like peanut butter, olives, coconut, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds, pistachios, cashews.
- Beverages like tea, coffee, sparkling water
- Condiments like apple cider vinegar, salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, reduced-sodium soy sauce.
- Herbs, seasonings, and spices like basil, cumin, thyme, mint, ginger, turmeric.
Foods to Minimize on the Flexitarian Diet
Thankfully, in a flexitarian diet, you can moderately consume items you love. However, make sure you minimize the following for effective diet results:
- Food products with added sugar like candies, cookies, donuts, cakes, and soda.
- Fast food items like chicken nuggets, burgers, milkshakes, french fries, etc.
- Refined carbs like bagels, croissants, white rice, and white bread.
- Processed meats like bacon, bologna, and sausages.
Sample Meal Plan for 7 Days
The following is a sample meal plan for 7 days with a few flexitarian diet recipes that you can try at home:
- Breakfast: Cinnamon and milled flaxseed, and apples topped on steel-cut oats
- Lunch: A salad made with green veggies, black beans, avocado, corn, and shrimp
- Dinner: A side salad with wholegrain bread and lentil soup
- Breakfast: Egg poaches with wholegrain toast and avocado slices.
- Lunch: Brown rice, Burrito bowl with beans and vegetables.
- Dinner: Zucchini noodles made with white beans and tomato sauce.
- Breakfast: Bananas and walnuts with coconut yogurt.
- Lunch: Vegetables and chickpeas with hummus and wholegrain wraps.
- Dinner: Green beans, baked sweet potato, and grilled salmon.
- Breakfast: Smoothie made with spinach, peanut butter, unsweetened almond milk, frozen berries.
- Lunch: Kale Caesar salad with tomato soup and lentils.
- Dinner: Roasted cauliflower, quinoa, and baked chicken.
- Breakfast: Pumpkin seeds and Greek yogurt with blueberries.
- Lunch: Peanut dip sauce and chard wrap with a mixture of green veggies.
- Dinner: a side salad with lentil stew.
- Breakfast: A fresh fruit salad with sauteed vegetables and eggs.
- Lunch: a peanut butter sandwich made with wholegrain bread and crushed berries.
- Dinner: sweet potato fries and a black bean burger with avocado.
- Breakfast: Scrambled tofu with spices and mixed vegetables.
- Lunch: A quinoa salad made with pecans, feta cheese, and dried cranberries.
- Dinner: a side salad and bell peppers stuffed with ground turkey.
The Flexitarian Diet Pros and Cons
Just like any other diet, even the flexitarian diet has its own advantages and disadvantages. The following are the flexitarian diet pros and cons you must know about:
The Flexitarian Diet Pros:
- Following a Flexitarian Diet may be good for the waistline. Since this diet limits processed foods, you may lose unwanted weight.
- It is a healthy diet that can prevent as well as manage type 2 diabetes.
- Flexitarian diets include items that are rich in fiber. This means it is a great diet plan for those who have heart problems. People can also follow this diet to prevent heart diseases in the future.
- This diet also includes items like whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits that carry antioxidants and healthy nutrients. These elements prevent the risks and chances of cancer.
The Flexitarian Diet Cons:
- It may cause certain nutrient deficiencies of iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, and Omega-3 Fatty acids.
- It may be challenging for regular meat-eaters to switch to a diet that limits the consumption of animal-based products. However, it is never too hard for you to try. After all, consistency is always the key!
Believe it or not, the Flexitarian Diet is one of the most accessible diet plans to adapt. Thanks to its flexibility, you can continue to eat food items you love. The only catch? You need to consume a moderate amount of items that are not allowed during the diet.
But, overall, the Flexitarian Diet is the best way to kick-start a healthy and wonderful life. People of all ages can begin. Although consulting an expert if you are pregnant or have diabetes is recommended.