A new diet—the flexitarian diet—is on the rise, and slowly gaining a lot of popularity. It’s a comparatively easy to diet to follow, and allows people to take a more environmentally sustainable approach to what they’re eating. Furthermore, while it’s a plant-based diet, it allows for the occasional meat dish too! Sounds interesting, right? Read on to know more…
What exactly is a flexitarian diet?
The word ‘flexitarian’ is basically a combination of the words, ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’. This diet, also known as ‘casual vegetarianism,’ allows you to eat whatever you like—including the occasional meat dish— as long as it matches your very own macronutrient ratio. The flexitarian diet therefore allows you to reap almost all the benefits of a plant-based diet, without forcing you to completely give up meat. So, if pepperoni pizza is your favorite thing in the world, you won’t have to bid it goodbye with this convenient diet! Moreover, as vegetarians consume fewer calories than meat-eaters, it’s likely that those on a flexitarian diet will lose weight.
The flexitarian diet is all about adding a total of five groups of food to your diet. These groups include new meat such as tofu, lentils, eggs, and beans, fruits and vegetables, dairy; sugar and spice, like honey and herbs, and finally, whole grains.
What are the benefits of this diet?
The flexitarian diet comes with a number of benefits…
1. You’ll consume less saturated fat
Meat, more specifically red meat, tends to be extremely high in saturated fat, which is why consuming it in excess can make you susceptible to various heart diseases, as well as cholesterol. Plants on the other hand, comprise fats that are healthy. Moreover, by reducing your meat intake, you also decrease your carbon footprint.
2. You can steer away from processed food
By cutting down on your meat intake, you’re less likely to consume foods like burgers and hotdogs that are made up of processed meat. When you consume a lot of nutritious food, you won’t really have any space left for empty calories that usually come with processed foods. Of course, you may crave sugar and sodium very frequently when you just start your diet, but it’s very likely that these cravings will subside with time. With the flexitarian diet, you’ll end up eating more of the stuff that’s good for you, and very little processed junk food.
3. Your calorie intake will be low
Plant-based foods are extremely rich in all the vitamins and minerals necessary for good nourishment. And so, as long as you consume a variety of healthy vegetarian foods everyday, you’ll manage to pack in a lot of nutrition, and consume fewer calories. If you’re worried about staying below your calorie limit, you won’t have to—if you make sure to eat enough protein and fiber, that is.
4. The transition is easier
It doesn’t matter if you’re an advanced dieter or a beginner— going on a flexitarian diet is really simple. As you don’t have to completely give up meat, the transition is way easier. If you’re a beginner, you can start by eating only a couple of meat-free meals in the week. Whereas, if you’re an experienced dieter, you can start by consuming just one or two meat-based meals during the week— it’s that simple. Do this until meat becomes an afterthought when it comes to deciding what to eat.