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The Flexitarian Diet – Semi Vegetarian Dieting For A Healthy Lifestyle

Flexitarian Diet - Semi Vegetarian Dieting For A Healthy Lifestyle

What Is The Flexitarian Diet?

Diet plays an important function for the human body. It provides significant nutrients and energy components. Moreover, it also supports the cells and tissues that are performing vital functions. There are several popular diet options available such as the Paleo diet, keto diet, detox diet, raw food diet and many others. But finding the ultimate solution is essential.

The term flexitarian diet comes from a combination of the words flexible and vegetarian, which provides a more flexible approach to vegetarian diet. You can still reap the benefits of vegetarian eating such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains while enjoying animal products like steak and burgers in moderation.

The term was coined more than a decade ago by a registered dietitian, Dawn Jackson Blatner, in her book, “The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life.” The flexitarian diet plan is considered to be one of the best diets for disease prevention and long term health. Surprisingly, the diet is also regarded as the easiest one to follow.

Vegetarians mostly reduce or limit the use of meat and sometimes other animal foods. On the other hand, vegans completely stop meat consumption including fish, eggs, milk, and all animal foods. People following flexitarian diet are not vegans or vegetarians. Because they consume animal food products, they are somewhat in the middle.

The flexitarian diet plan does not follow a particular set of rules. There are no recommended calorie and macro-nutrient consumption either. It is more about changing your lifestyle in a complete and wholesome manner such as:

  • Eating increased amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes
  • Focusing on plant-based proteins
  • Being flexible while selecting food products
  • Incorporation of meat and animal products in an alternative manner
  • Consuming less processed food items and more natural types of foods
  • Restricting or eliminating sweetened and sugar-related food products from diet

The flexitarian diet recipes, as the name implies, are quite basic. It focuses on what to include in the diet, instead of limiting the intake. Due to this reason, it is a popular choice for many modern individuals wanting to lose weight.

The innovator of this diet has mentioned how to start eating proportional meals. Following the flex effect and other recommendations by Dawn Jackson Blatner, you can find options which work for you the best. Overall, the purpose is to re-shape the way your body processes nutritive components.

What Are Flex Effects?

As the name implies, the diet is very simple, but there are some rules about how much meat you can add. According to the explanations from the book, dieters who are new to the flexitarian diet should take beginner steps. The beginner flexitarian diet recipes refrain from meat consumption twice a week. The remaining five days, the amount of meat consumed should not exceed beyond 26 ounces (oz.) in total. For your reference, a card-deck chicken portion or steak is approximately 3 ounces. On the contrary, a meat portion with the thickness and size of your hand measures in at about 4 to 6 ounces.

The next level, which is the advanced flexitarian diet, limits meat consumption more. It suggests that people should follow a plant-based diet four to five days in a week. The amount of meat allowed for this duration is only 18 ounces total for the remaining days.

The final level, advanced flexitarian diet recipes, reduces consumption of meat even more. Dieters have to consume fruits and vegetables for six days but only have 9 ounces of meat for the rest of the days.

If you are considering the amount of meat which an individual should take per week, using the following ratios will be effective:

  • Beginner level: 6 to 8 meat-free meals out of 21 meals every week
  • Advanced level: 9 to 14 meat-free meals out of 21 meals every week
  • Expert level: 15 or more meat-free meals out of 21 meals every week

These steps and measurements, planned out by Blatner, are quite unique. This is the reason why the flexitarian diet reviews stand out from other meat-inclusive diets. Although an individual on flexitarian diet prefers vegetables, being an omnivore they still eat as much meat as they want. There is no concept of making the major portions of their meals strictly vegetable based.

It is also significant to note that you can follow Jackson Blatner flexitarian diet routine on your own pace. You do not have to go meat-free right away, or bring in imbalanced amounts of fruits and legumes. Gradually changing the lifestyle and designating food products will be more beneficial.

Importance of the Flexitarian Diet

Due to the fact that the flexitarian diet plan involves a group of food components instead of restricting, it is a popular choice for many. People who want to lose weight in a healthy manner can easily opt for it without worrying about the consequences.

The flexitarian diet reviews are always positive because it is a less strict version of a vegan or vegetarian diet. As long as you are not consuming anything unhealthy or damaging, cutting out meat can be constructive. You will most likely be filling your body with phyto-nutrients and antioxidants. These have multiple significant functions in the body such as prevention from heart diseases, stroke, diabetes type 2, and particular types of cancers.

By following the low carb flexitarian diet, you are adding five different food groups into your eating routine. You are not taking anything away essentially. A proper five-week diet plan gives breakfast, dinner, snack, and lunch recipes through which you can gain energy. You can follow the plan as it is, or shift recipes from multiple sources to meet your requirements.

There is a rule involved with the process of food consumption if you really want to see positive results; three-four-five. Breakfast food selections should be about 300 calories, lunch should be 400 and dinner should be 500 calories. If you are taking snacks twice a day, they should be about 150 calories each. This comes up to a daily intake of 1500 calories. This division of calories provides suitable amount of energy for metabolism. You will not feel lethargic or tired. You will also be able to perform any form of workout or moderate physical activity if you are trying to lose weight.

The low carb flexitarian diet works well with people of different activity level, gender, weight and height. You can make changes along the way but the meal plan will still have fewer calories. If you stress on the plant-based aspect of this diet, eating a variety of vegetables, grains, and fruits will fulfill your appetite. It will also make you feel full on less carbs and fats contrary to what you may be accustomed to.

According to the information provided in the nutrition magazines and journals, vegetarians weigh 15% less than non-vegetarians. The rate of obesity in flexitarian dieters is considerably low as well (about 0-6%), according to the research authors. Studies and reviews continue to build on the evidence that is present on the low carb flexitarian diet.

In another research, information from 25 different papers was present. These were published between 2000 and 2016 for the purpose of highlighting a semi-vegetarian diet. The analysis included randomized controlled trials, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials and half of them were dedicated to body weight. The findings, published in 2017, indicated that the body mass index of all participants following a non-vegetarian diet was the highest.

The Jackson Blatner flexitarian diet is quite feasible to follow. The author mentions that you do not have to gain perfection; you just have to follow the regime perfectly.

Benefits Of The Flexitarian Diet

Consuming flexitarian diet may have multiple health benefits and advantages. However since there are no proper rules and regulations, it is difficult to determine the actual application. For a normal individual, it can be challenging to know how and why the mentioned benefits of other plant-based diets integrate with the flexitarian diet. Still, research regarding vegetarian and vegan diets is still supportive in highlighting major positive points of taking semi-vegetarian dietary products.

It seems essential and important to consume vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains with a limited number of processed foods. However, decreasing meat components can bring refined outcomes to your personality. If you are decreasing the sugar and salt content from your diet, the flexitarian advantages will improvise even more.

1. Weight Loss

The Jackson Blatner flexitarian diet is responsible for shedding off pounds. It may also be effective for decreasing your waistline. The reason why you can lose a lot of weight with this diet routine is because your calorie intake is limited. You will not be taking any processed foods and consuming more plant-based products which may cause additional weight loss.

According to the information provided in studies of more than 1200 people, any form of vegetable diet is optimal enough. People who ate a vegetable-linked diet for more than 15 weeks lost 2 kg (4.5 pounds) more as compared to those who followed mixed diets.

Since the flexitarian diet is more like a vegetarian diet as compared to the vegan diet, it can help with permanent weight loss. With an estimated water consumption and workout routine, you can derive useful benefits of complete vegetarian plans.

2. Heart Disease

Food components that are rich in healthy fats and fiber are better for the health of cardiovascular system. According to a research outlining 45,000 adults for 11 years, vegetarians are 32% less likely to go through a heart abnormality, as compared to non-vegetarians. This is possibly because of the fact that vegetable-based regimes are rich in vitamins and fibrous constituents. These also contain anti-oxidants that may increase the good cholesterol level and amount of antioxidants present in the blood.

According to the review of 32 researches on the effect of vegetarian diets on blood pressure, vegetarians had a balanced value of blood pressure. The systolic value was sometimes lower than the individuals who consumed meat products.

Since these studies exclusively involved vegetarian diets, it is feasible to mention that the flexitarian diet plan would have similar outcomes on the blood pressure and risk of heart disease.

3. Diabetes

Diabetes type 1 and 2 are considered to be detrimental and life-threatening across the globe. The condition is a global health pandemic. Consuming a balanced, healthy diet, particularly the one which is plant-based can manage and prevent this disease.

In most of the cases, plant-based diet recipes and routines help with weight loss and contain multiple elements that are high in fiber. Individuals consuming plants and herbs do not take unhealthy fats and unnecessary sugar. This decreased amount of sugar in the body automatically reduces the risk of diabetes.

According to a research involving 60,000 participants, the occurrence of diabetes type 2 was 1.5% lower in flexitarians or semi-vegetarians as compared to the people who followed vegan diet. Additional research has highlighted that people with diabetes type 2 who consumed vegetable-based foods had a lower value of hemoglobin A1c as compared to those who consumed meat-based foods.

4. Cancer

The flexitarian diet recipes include vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains which are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants are active elements which bring about prevention from all types of cancers.

According to the information in different studies, vegetable-based diets have a positive impact. They work particularly well for decreasing the prevalence of all types of cancers. The flexitarian diet is particularly useful for colo-rectal cancer.

Another 7-year research on patients of colo-rectal cancer patients found positive evidence of the diet. It mentioned that semi-vegetarians were less prone to get this type of cancer, as compared to non-vegetarians. For this reason, an incorporation of vegetables, fruits and similar substances may serve as a preventive factor.

5. Increased Immunity

One of the most important aspects of flexitarian diet recipes is that you will take more nutrient-rich food products. Foods products that contain a little bit of everything for a relatively smaller amount of calories increase the production of white blood cells. These structures are vital to fight off common colds and other diseases.

Studies have established that the flexitarian diet recipes have an additional amount of vitamin C and lower amounts of fats. Consuming a low-fat diet can also be supportive and help strengthen defensive systems of the body. Studies also mention that an excess amount of fat may damage function of white blood cells.

The flexitarian diet plan maintains a normal weight which can increase immunity. Obesity and malnutrition has positive links with diseases such as pneumonia and influenza. Following the flexitarian diet plan will save you from these troubles, without adding extra calories for your metabolism.

6. Affordability

Although there is variation in the amount of money people spend on food products, flexitarian diet recipes do not have any special ingredients. The organic and all-natural components are easy to find and relatively cheaper.

If you prepare most of your meals with meat, it is a possibility that you will end up saving money. You will have to prepare the recipes using vegetables, grains, and low amounts of fats which are cost-effective.

Several studies have backed up the estimations too. They have indicated that the flexitarian diet can save up to $750 every year on food. Being a flexitarian, your savings will not be as much as any other diets. But you will still manage on a budget.

7. Additional Benefits

The flexitarian diet can be positive and beneficial for the environment as well. Decreasing the meat consumption can significantly assist with the conservation of natural resources. By reducing greenhouse effect and carbon emissions, this diet plan can have an essential support for the surroundings. It can also preserve land and water that is being cut down for globalization in the present world.

A study review on the sustainability of vegetable-based diets found multiple advantages of the Jackson Blatner flexitarian diet. It mentioned that shifting from the conventional western diet to flexitarian routine, where meat portions are limited, could possibly decrease harmful emissions by 7%.

Following the flexitarian diet plan will also ensure that more land is reserved for growth of vegetables and fruits for humans. Presently, the land is devoted as feed for livestock which can change for good. Growing plants asks for a limited number of resources as compared to raising animals for nutrition purposes. As a matter of fact, growing plant protein utilizes noticeably less energy as compared to producing animal protein.

Flexitarian Diet Design

I. The Five Step Flexitarian Diet

If you are trying to get on the flexitarian diet, you will need to make sure that you know all the basics. Since this diet is more of a lifestyle than an eating regime you will have to take it slow and gradually alter elements. Here is how you can start making the change.

1. Changing the Mindset

It is quite obvious for you to know that vegetable-based meals will not taste like bacon or beef. You will have to tone down your expectations when trying out altered food elements. This does not mean that there are no plant-based meat substitutes available to use. You will have to do some research and watch recipes on YouTube to find something as per your liking.

Getting on the flexitarian diet plan will be much easier if you do not compare the taste of meat with other simple foods! You will have to remind yourself that you are changing your choices. You can even think of it as taking a vacation. Pretend you are in a foreign country and trying out things you have never even heard of!

2. Diversion from Protein

Most of the flexitarian diet reviews are full of questions and queries. People ask questions like ‘how do you consume protein?’ or ‘which foods should I eat that taste like meat?’ It is essential for you to know that meat is nothing but an addiction. You can easily find foods that have protein in them. If you take these healthy things in combination at least five days a week, you will be just fine!

There is a list of soy products which contain protein such as tofu, soy milk, and edamame. You can also take beans and lentils in sufficient amounts to have more energy for workout sessions. If you like rice and quinoa, you can whip up some desserts combining them with fruits such as cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts all have proteins which can be a positive addition.

3. Taking Smaller Steps

Most of the times when people start following the flexitarian diet recipes they buy exotic ingredients from day one. This is where they are mistaken. You do not need to get expensive things! Start with simple transformations then move your way up to organic and completely organic ingredients. For example, you can start by changing cow’s milk with almond or soy milk. You can also try using vegetable broth for flavor in curries and sauces instead of using chicken broth.

4. Scheduling Recipes

Starting a flexitarian diet will be difficult if you consume meat five days a week. It takes a lot of time for dieters to come up with a collection of plant-based recipes.

If you are looking for some delicious suggestions, start by making a vegan chili on Mondays and meat-free vegetable soup for Tuesdays. You can follow the routine by making vegan pasta, broth-based curry, and light sandwiches for the rest of the week.

They key with this step is to keep your pace consistent instead of skipping the routine. In multiple recipes, you can skip the dairy products to keep it simple and tasteful at the same time.

5. Making Your Own Rules

There are different unique and surprising elements which you will notice with the flexitarian diet plan. Like it or not, many recipes have tofu in them! If you do not want to try it out you can use beans and rice for some time.

Tofu is a product which comes from bean curd and it may take you a while to get familiar with the taste. In the meantime, continue with what you like and make your own rules. Instead of consuming tasteless products, go for sautéed vegetables and more traditional guidelines.

II. Setting Your Vision

Whether you are going for the flexitarian diet for weight loss or a general change of routine, you have set a vision. There are several ways to come up with long-term goals that are both inspirational and realistic. But setting a goal for the future can provide the right kind of motivation.

Firstly, ask yourself a fundamental question. Do I really need to follow this diet? A lot of people feel like their diet routine should be different but they do not follow through. It is common to have an unrealistic thinking of what the flexitarian diet may bring. You need to check some important points to determine whether the flexitarian routine is the right option. You are a good candidate if you have the following measurements:

  • Body mass index of a value greater than 25
  • Waist circumference measurement value greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.
  • A higher waist to hip ratio for both men and women

The key to set the weight loss vision is to follow the parameters. You have to be specific about your purpose by mentioning some numbers and information. You also have to keep track of the progress by measuring the weight lost, body-mass index, or general exercise performance.

Before starting different flexitarian recipes, you need to figure out if you have the time and resources to start with it. You also need a considerable amount of dedication to reach your goal. The main thing to remember is that change takes time and it is okay to feel confused and overwhelmed! You have to begin by setting short-term milestones to stay on the right track.

III. Calculating Your Flexitarian Score

Once you have made up your mind on following the flexitarian diet you will need some authentic stats. You will need some appropriate techniques and methods to keep your plan going. It is important to note that consistent weight loss comes with flexitarian diet. But, the progress is slow and the pace is gradual.

It can be helpful to estimate how many calories your body requires in a day. Using a weight loss calculator can be extremely effective and helpful to achieve your goals. The calculator uses your gender, age, height, current weight and level of physical activity to give you the flexitarian score. You can add your goal weight to see if you can complete the rules and guidelines of the diet plan.

You can also calculate how many calories your body requires to carry out important tasks of the day by calculating your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Once you have a suitable ratio, you can apply it to your total daily energy expenditure. You can also consult a nutritionist or get it done in a lab setting.

Five Groups Of Flex Foods

The basic idea of eating healthy is to include a variety of dietary products from the main food groups. These food groups are combined because they have the same ratios of the fundamental nutrients needed by the body. For example, the essential nutritive components of yogurt, milk, and cheese food group include protein, calcium, and carbohydrates. On the other hand, the fruit group is valuable for vitamin consumption, particularly vitamin C.

In order to have a sufficient amount of energy and fulfill the health requirements, you need to take a variety of food products daily. As per the recommended quantities, it is not necessary to follow each group at every meal. In some cases, you can combine the food groups or leave some out.

Here are the important food groups which the flexitarian diet plan follows. You will discover the unbelievable variability and the abundance of selection there is when taking foods from these groups.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

When you are following the flexitarian diet, try taking at least five portions of vegetables and fruits daily. They have essential minerals and vitamins, which will not only keep your energy levels up to the mark but also prevent diseases. Fruits and vegetables can be altered between breakfast and lunch. With the flexitarian diet components, they will keep the cholesterol level low and improve digestion significantly.

Fruits and vegetables have low-fat content, so they are great to start off with the diet. You can make a bowl of chopped bananas, apples, pears, and grapes for breakfast and still feel full without adding calories. You can also enjoy these treats as a mid-night or mid-morning snack.

If you are wondering what counts as a meal for fruits and vegetables, here are some suitable choices:

  • Two plums or fruits of similar size
  • One apple, banana, orange, or pear with any other fruit of a similar size
  • Half a portion of avocado or grapefruit
  • Three stacked tablespoons of vegetables
  • Three stacked tablespoons of stewed fruit or salad
  • A dessert bowl of cherries with other smaller fruits
  • 200ml of fruit smoothie or juice

2. Meat and Protein

Before starting the flexitarian diet, you should know that this food group has the least importance in the regime. However, generally, this group has an important position as being the critical component of the meals, lifestyle, and culture. A wide variety of food products are present in the flexitarian diet recipes from this group. This includes all sorts of lean meat and poultry, eggs, tofu, fish, seeds and nuts, and beans/legumes.

Conventionally, the foods from this food group are responsible for providing the most amount of energy because of the protein content. People do not seem to have any trouble accessing or cooking them also. But, considering the guidelines of the flexitarian diet, a moderate amount has to be present in the routine. You just need to have enough to you can get a group of essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, iodine, essential fatty acids, and vitamins, particularly B12.

You can consume red meats and lean poultry portions on weekends or just one day a week, depending on the stage of the flexitarian diet plan you are on. Iron is an extremely critical component for infants and teenagers, including menstruating and pregnant women. For this reason, you need to ensure that your meals have a balanced proportion of everything.

The zinc and iron present in animal foods are more feasibly digested in the body as compared to other plant-based products such as seeds, legumes/beans, and nuts. Still, you should take some vitamin C in your meal plans. This way, your body will have a sufficient amount of vitamin C, which is necessary for the absorption of iron.

When you are on the advanced stage of the flexitarian diet, you can use legumes and beans as a source of protein. Legumes have the same nutrient composition as poultry, lean meats, eggs, and fish. It is due to this reason that they fall under this category of food products. They are essential in all vegan, vegetarian, and semi-vegetarian diets as the flexitarian diet.

3. Dairy Items

Being on the flexitarian diet, you will need all the energy you can. Because you will be consuming a limited amount of protein through meat products, you can take reduced or low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt selections. Most of the people on a flexitarian diet recommend limited consumption of milk products or alternatives, but still in varieties. Following this routine, you can select particular calories and fulfill the saturated fat amount of the diet.

It is important to know that reduced-fat kinds of milk products are not suitable in combination with work out sessions. You will need an ample amount of energy for lifting weights, and taking fresh and complete food products is necessary.

There are multiple kinds of yogurt and milk products available in the market. Some examples of the products which you can take on a daily basis are:

  • All types of milk including reduced fat or full cream milk, powdered milk, long-life milk, flavored and plain kinds of milk, beverages made from soy, and evaporated milk
  • All forms of yogurts including full cream or reduced-fat types or some flavored and plain soy yogurt
  • All types of hard cheeses, either full fat or reduced, for instance, Gouda Soy cheese, Edam, Red Leicester, etc.

Most of these products can be used on the flexitarian diet. Still, it is a general rule to keep the quantities limited, so there are more fruits and vegetables on the menu.

4. Grains and Fiber

Most people eat less than half of the suggested quantity of wholegrain foods. There is an immense quantity of refined grain present in the diet (cereal-based food), which is damaging and rather harmful for the body. Grains are foods that come mostly from oats, wheat, rye, rice, millet, quinoa, and barley. You can eat these products as a whole or cooked as per the flexitarian recipe requirements. You can also turn them into a variety of cereal foods such as noodles, bread, pasta, or form ready-to-eat breakfast items.

Grains are majorly four important categories of foods. These are:

  • Pieces of bread- wholegrain, whole-meal, rye, pita, focaccia, damper, or crisp-breads
  • Breakfast cereals- muesli, ready to eat store products, high fiber oats, whole-wheat biscuits, or porridge
  • Pure grains- corn, barley, rice, buckwheat, spelt, polenta, rye, sorghum, semolina, or quinoa
  • Additional products such as muffins, pasta, rice cakes, crumpets, bulgur, flour, and popcorn

Being on the flexitarian diet plan, you will need an ample amount of fibers in your diet, which this nutrient component will sufficiently provide. Wholegrain cereals have more vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals as compared to refined cereal foods. For this reason, several nutritionists recommend taking these when you are on the flexitarian diet. Wholegrain foods are specifically essential to get adequate amounts of zinc and iron. Speaking nutritionally, whole-meal foods, and wholegrain food products are quite similar.

When you are starting the flexitarian diet, try to take at least 4 to 6 serves of grains on a daily basis is essential. Although the mentioned amount for adults and children depends on age and gender, these dietary components should not be ignored.

It is vital that you check the labels and ingredients before getting a particular form of the wholegrain product. You can also buy higher fiber foods that come from a combination of white and wholegrain flour.

5. Spices, Salt and Sugar

Many diet-related issues across the globe are because by poor diet routines and bad eating habits. Too many people take higher amounts of sugar and salt in their diet besides alcohol and saturated fats. It is important to realize that cutting down even smaller quantities of these can make you healthier.

Most people who have provided flexitarian diet reviews have an important reason to change their lifestyle. They want to live a healthier life and decrease the risk of ailments. Some important ones include cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, chronic kidney diseases, and major types of cancers. Consuming foods that are high in added salt, sugars, spices, and even alcohol should be discretionary. You should always try to avoid them as much as possible. These food components are low in fiber content and essential nutritive components such as minerals and vitamins.

While you are on the flexitarian diet, taking these foods on important events and occasions will be optimal. On a normal day, you should cook your food with a minimum amount of salt, sugar, or spices.

In short, there are multiple food components you have to include in your flexitarian diet. You can use different resources to plan your meals such as books and publications which talk about the food groups. You can also read articles that assess popular claims about health and food guidelines and work out what is the best solution.

Unlike other diets that have multiple lists of food products that you cannot eat, the flexitarian die provides multiple options. You can decide what you can eat with a focus on wholesome products with a higher nutritive value.

Is Flexitarian Diet A Healthy or Risky Diet?

Although the flexitarian diet is a promising method to change your lifestyle, there are some drawbacks present as well. People who restrict or completely cut animal products from their diet are at the risk of nutritional deficiencies. There are multiple essential nutrients found in animal-based products such as iron, zinc, vitamin b12, and calcium. Due to this reason, people on the flexitarian diet may lack some of the essential elements needed by the body.

Consuming a flexitarian diet is about restricting meat consumption and all animal-based products. At the same time, it also focuses on basic plant-based constituents. Some individuals may prefer to add less or more animal products, as recommended. Regardless of the quantities, the flexitarian diet recipes can be life-changing and extremely effective.

There are different studies that have discussed the positive points of a flexitarian diet, and they weight out to be more than the risk factors. A review of multiple types of research on semi-vegetarian, flexible diets present beneficial results. It highlights that this type of eating behavior results in reduced risk of cancer, improvised metabolic process, and short and long-term weight loss.

There are plenty of studies showing that plant-based products and dietary patterns can decrease diabetes risk. They are also important for the psychological wellbeing and quality of life with individuals that already have diabetes.

Weekly Flexitarian Diet Meal Plan

Following is a sample one-week flexitarian diet plan with 3 meals a day, which will give you an idea of what you need to be eating when you are on the flexitarian diet.

Monday

  • Breakfast – Apples with steel-cut oats, cinnamon, and flax seeds
  • Lunch – Green salad with corn, red beans, shrimp, and avocado
  • Dinner – Lentil soup with whole-wheat bread and simple iceberg salad

Tuesday

  • Breakfast – Poached eggs with whole-wheat toast and avocado
  • Lunch – Brown rice with a bean burrito, vegetables, and salad
  • Dinner – Tomato noodles with white sauce and white beans

Wednesday

  • Breakfast – Banana yogurt with coconut and almonds
  • Lunch – Whole-wheat lettuce wrap with vegetables, hummus, and chickpeas
  • Dinner – Grilled fish with green beans and baked sweet potato

Thursday

  • Breakfast – Smoothie made from unsweetened soy milk, peanut butter, and frozen berries
  • Lunch – Potato salad with bean and tomato soup
  • Dinner – Baked chicken with roasted cauliflower and quinoa

Friday

  • Breakfast – Coconut yogurt with pumpkin seeds and blueberries
  • Lunch – Chard wraps with mixed vegetables and dipping sauce
  • Dinner – Bean stew with a salad side

Saturday

  • Breakfast – Half-boiled egg with whole-wheat toast and fruit salad
  • Lunch – Grilled cheese sandwich with crushed peanuts and berries salad
  • Dinner – Black bean and lettuce burgers with sweet potato and avocado fries

Sunday

  • Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with mixed vegetables and spices
  • Lunch – Feta cheese salad with quinoa, pecans, and dried cranberries
  • Dinner – Stuffed bell peppers with boiled ground turkey and a side salad

According to this meal plan, you should consume the minimum amount there is for meat and dairy products. Although meat is a major source of proteins and is a sign of wealth and prosperity in multiple cultures, the proportions should be limited. Health experts recommend that diets that are high in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lower in processed and fresh meat have the best of health results.

Once you cut down on meat consumption, it will protect you from an environment that promotes obesity. Besides the weight loss effect, you will have a balanced dietary outlook for the future. Indeed, for flexitarian dieters, the option of limiting meat instead of going cold turkey is a compromise that has innumerable assistance.

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Flexitarian Diet

Here are some tips to get you started with the flexitarian diet and make sure you stick to it for years to come.

  • You should start small and have one meat-free day in the week, so you don’t have to stress about consuming vegetables.
  • While you are trying to cut down on the meat proportions, you should go for meat alternatives. Don’t think about cooking tofu, lentils, or beans altogether. Instead of diving into complicated and unfamiliar foods, check out the vegetarian meat-alternatives. You can easily find these products in the freezers and fridges of the common supermarkets. You will be able to find burgers, sausages, nuggets, and fillets, which can be cooked with or without vegetables.
  • If you are having trouble finding the best products for meat-free dinners, try to replace half of the meat portion with a plant-based protein source, such as grains or beans. This way, you will be able to reduce the amount of red meat you are eating and get the hang of other flavors and textures.
  • You can eat tofu by cooking it with multiple recipes. If you are unfamiliar with this ingredient, you can go for some pre-marinated varieties available in the supermarkets. You just have to slice it, add it to the stir-fry vegetables, and have a delicious meal ready!
  • While you are cutting down on the meat portions and recipes, try out a local vegetarian restaurant to get to know more about the tastes and qualities.
  • Sometimes, following the flexitarian diet means cooking meals at home on your own. If you think you are not that skilled, you can take lessons from a local vegetarian cook to get better.
  • You can make multiple plant-based recipes in large amounts, which will be enough to store in the freezer.
  • To get better with the flexitarian diet routine, you can host a plant-based luncheon for friends and family. They can bring a dish over, which will give you plenty of ideas and flexitarian diet reviews.
  • You don’t have to stick to the foods which are popular in your culture. Become inspired by cuisines that mostly use beans and lentils. Try to bring more flavor out of simple foods by adding herbs, spices, and sauces in moderate quantities. Try an Indian curry or lentil recipe with chickpeas or peas or go for Mexican chili, which uses multiple beans and vegetables in the best possible way.

Final Words

The flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diet is one of the most beneficial diets you can follow. It takes a little bit of effort, but it produces wonderful results. It doesn’t only help the followers of this diet, but it also helps our planet as well. When you focus more on fruits and vegetables and less on meat, it reduces the carbon footprint you leave behind.

The flexitarian diet highlights multiple plant-based food products and proteins. There are additional wholesome and minimally processed organic foods present in the diet. But it overall encourages animal and meat products in moderate quantities. If you have any concerns regarding weight loss, risk of heart disease and diabetes type 2, this diet can be a solution to your problems.

Regardless of the type of plant-based products you are taking, adopting a flexitarian lifestyle can improve your overall health and quality of your life. Having a transformed lifestyle, you will be able to think better, perform better, and fight off diseases better.

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