There are so many different diet types it can be hard to know which will be most beneficial for you. We are all different and our bodies have their own specific nutritional needs. Another obstacle we face with diets is the feeling of restrictions they can carry. Enters the flexitarian diet. In short it is a flexible vegan/vegetarian diet that allows for small portions of dairy and meats.
There are many health benefits to flexitarianism, one of these being weight loss. Flexitarians tend to weigh less than those on the typical omnivorous diet. They also have a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to the lowered saturated fat in their diet. However flexitarians don’t always consume vegetables; oftentimes people end up eating high calorie food such as french fries or desserts which can counteract any positive effects that come from following this way of life. To counteract this you must make sure the majority of your meals consist mainly of fruits and veggies and keep processed foods at a minimum . The flexitarian lifestyle is very flexible so there isn’t too much structure involved which makes it convenient if you travel frequently or are constantly on the go.
If all of this sounds like something that would work for your lifestyle, then flexitarianism might be right for you! It’s a great way to transition into a vegan diet or vegetarianism if it isn’t already part of your life. However do not make flexitarianism become an excuse to eat whatever unhealthy foods are available. Because even though flexitarians tend to weigh less they don’t always have healthy habits which can lead them down the road towards cardiovascular disease and obesity just as easily.
What do you eat on a flexitarian diet?
A flexitarian diet is a semi-vegetarian diet. It’s primary focus is plant based but allows for some animal products, mostly dairy and egg. Ideally, you would mainly eat whole unprocessed foods and lots of fresh fruit and veggies. You would enjoy meatless meals the majority of the day. Plant-based foods are the foundation for any healthy diet, since they provide fiber, antioxidants, polyphenols and other phytonutrients that protect you from many chronic diseases. They are also relatively low in calories but high in volume.
Can you lose weight on a flexitarian diet?
Yes. Research shows that people whose diets are high in meat and animal products are more likely to be obese, have higher risk of heart disease, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes than people on a more plant focused diet. There are many health benefits to eating less animal protein including lower risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Increasing plant-based foods in your diet can also help lower you calorie intake ,while still feeling satiated, to maintain a healthy body weight.
Is flexitarian a fad diet?
There are definite benefits to flexitarianism, and the flexibility of it allows the diet to be suited to an individual’s unique needs. Rather than a “fad diet” it’s more of a different perspective on balance and moderation.
A flexitarian diet has many benefits and can be a great way to transition to a full vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. If you’ve been considering going fully plant-based, or lowering your meat consumption, following a flexitarian lifestyle can be a great starting point. Finding a diet that’s right for you can be a daunting task. You don’t have to go it alone! Get in touch so we can discuss your health goals and create a plan that works for you.