How does a flexitarian diet result in weight loss?
A semi-vegetarian diet called the Flexitarian revolves around eating more plant-based foods and fewer animal products. There are no food groups in this diet that you can’t eat meat in. This diet provides the advantages of a vegetarian diet, but because meat is included, some vitamins and nutrients are not reduced in the body.
The flexitarian diet is a variety of vegetarianism used to lose weight and slim down; the majority of its foods are based on plants and vegetables, yet it also permits the intake of meat and other animal products.
Compared to other vegetarian or vegan diets, the flexitarian diet is more adaptable. This approach is particularly ideal for those who enjoy increasing their intake of plant foods while still including meat in their diet.
Continue reading to find out more about the most flexible diet, its advantages, and the foods that are permitted on it. Who should follow this diet? How many pounds can we expect to shed on this diet? What exactly is a flexible diet? We’ll look at the responses to these queries in the sentences that follow.
What is a flexitarian diet?
The flexitarian diet was introduced by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, and it quickly rose to prominence as one of the most well-known diets in the world.
The goal of this diet was to combine a balanced intake of animal and meat products with the advantages of vegetarianism. Due to this, the words “flexible” and “vegetarian” were combined to create the name of this diet.
Vegans abstain from eating any animal products, while vegetarians refrain from eating any meat or other animal products. People who follow a flexible diet cannot be categorized as vegetarians or vegans for this reason.
There are no precise guidelines or standards for this diet, and there is also no information on the quantity of calories or consumption of micronutrients. In actuality, the flexitarian diet is based on the following concepts and is more of a lifestyle than a diet:
- Eat as much fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains as you can. Place an emphasis on consuming plant-based proteins rather than animal-based proteins.
- occasional eating of animal products and meat
- limiting the intake of processed foods and increasing the intake of natural foods
- reducing one’s intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners
Thanks to the flexible nature of this diet and its emphasis on ingesting particular meals rather than eliminating unlawful ones, the Flextrain diet is a popular alternative among those who are looking for healthy eating and nutrition. The overall goal of this diet is to consume more nutritious plant foods and less meat.
How does the flexible diet function?
The flexitrin diet includes all five food groups; no food category is excluded. The required protein is obtained from meat and non-meat sources, such as beans, peas, or eggs, as well as from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and sauces.
A five-week meal plan for the flexitarian diet consists of three main meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. You can stick to the exact same diet plan or alter the foods each week to suit your preferences.
With 300 calories for breakfast, 400 calories for lunch, and 500 calories for dinner, Flextrin is referred to as a three-four-five-calorie diet. Each snack has roughly 150 calories. 1500 calories should be consumed every day in total.
You can alter the program and vary the number of calories depending on your level of daily activity, gender, height, and weight.
The most crucial aspect of this diet is that you can go at your own pace. You can follow a strict five-week diet plan or only eat certain dishes one or two days a week.
Flexitarian diet example
Limiting your intake of meat and other animal products while prioritizing nutrient-dense plant foods is how to follow the most flexible diet.
Consumption of animal and meat products can be increased or decreased depending on taste. An example flexitarian menu for one week is provided below:
- Breakfast: oatmeal with apples, ground flax seeds, and cinnamon
- Lunch: vegetable salad with shrimp, corn, black beans, and avocado
- Dinner: lentil soup with whole grain bread and salad
Breakfast foods that are suitable for the flexitarian diet include oats, whole grain bread, flax seeds, eggs, Greek yogurt, smoothies made with ingredients like avocado, bananas, walnuts, spinach, berries, and fruit salad.
- Breakfast: Whole grain toast with avocado and a hard-boiled egg
- Lunch: A burrito bowl with brown rice, beans, and vegetables
- Dinner: Noodles and pumpkin with tomato sauce and white beans
- Breakfast: coconut yogurt with banana and walnuts
- Lunch: whole grain roll with hummus, vegetables, and chickpeas
- Dinner: Grilled salmon, baked sweet potato, and green beans
For lunch, you can have meals such as vegetable salad, veggies such as maize, kale, or shrimp, and a range of legumes, along with hummus, tomato soup, and peanut butter sandwiches.
- Breakfast: Smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, spinach, peanut butter, and frozen berries
- Lunch: Caesar kale salad with beans and tomato soup
- Dinner: baked chicken, quinoa, and grilled cauliflower
- Breakfast: Greek yogurt with blueberries and pumpkin eggs
- Lunch: Beet wrap with vegetables and peanut dip
- Dinner: lentil stew with salad
You can eat veggie burgers, sweet potatoes, dumplings, lentil stew, chicken and fish, and vegetable salad for dinner if you follow the flexitarian diet.
- Breakfast: eggs with fried vegetables and fruit salad
- Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich with berry wedges on whole grain bread
- Dinner: black bean burger with avocado and sweet potato fries
- Breakfast: tofu with vegetables and seasoning
- Lunch: Quinoa salad with dried cranberries and feta cheese
- Dinner: Pepper dumplings with ground turkey and salad
Benefits of a flexible diet
The flexitarian diet can have a variety of positive effects on the body since it is customized to each person’s nutritional requirements, health objectives, and food choices.(1)
The flexitarian diet does, however, likely have some drawbacks, which we will address below in relation to its benefits and drawbacks.
All of the food groups in the food pyramid are included in the flexitarian diet; therefore, all of the nutrients the body needs are likely included.
Compare that to diets that are vegan or vegetarian, for instance, which are lacking in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, both of which are found in fish. The flexitarian diet’s flexibility is a plus, and frequent fish eating helps to create a better nutritional balance overall.
This diet also has the benefit of not excluding any food groups; rather, it tries to increase the intake of plant foods while lowering that of animal foods.
Since all foods are allowed on this diet, it is simpler to modify it to match people’s lifestyles and still enjoy your favorite foods while following it, unlike other diets you weren’t aware of at gatherings or restaurants.
You may attend any party without worrying about food if you follow the flexitarian diet, regardless of what you consume.
The Flexitrin diet has several advantages because of the variety of food groups it contains, including improved general body health, weight loss and slimming, improved heart health, and a decrease in the prevalence of chronic diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes.
No unique recipes or pricey exotic alternatives are discussed in this program; instead, the emphasis is placed on eating foods that are affordable and good for the environment.
The ability of the Flexitarian diet to promote weight loss is another benefit. This semi-vegetarian diet results in weight loss, a lower body mass index, and a lower percentage of body fat when compared to non-vegetarian diets.
The Flexitarian diet helps to lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. These semi-vegetarian diet users have reduced blood sugar and insulin levels.
Generally speaking, eating a diet high in nutrients, fruits, vegetables, protein, vegetable fats, fish, legumes, whole grains, and nuts improves heart health, lowers weight and thinness, and lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases including Type 2 diabetes and cancer.(2)
What are the drawbacks of a flexible diet?
Although the flexitarian diet emphasizes plant foods that are good for the body’s health, it also has drawbacks. For instance, meat eaters may find this diet difficult to follow.
If you were raised in a family that ate meat, switching to vegetarianism could be a little challenging. It is preferable to start cutting out meat from two meals a week and then progressively expand that number of days.
The absence of iron in this vegetarian diet is a significant drawback. According to studies, women who consume a semi-vegetarian diet like Flextrin are more likely than non-vegetarian women to have low iron levels, iron insufficiency, and anemia.
You should focus more on non-meat sources of iron supply, depending on how frequently you consume meat in your flexitarian diet. You can expand your cuisine to include soy, lentils, beans, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains.
How does the flexible diet cause weight loss?
Because body mass index and thinness both fall when caloric intake is reduced, there is a high likelihood of weight reduction and thinness with a flexitarian diet.
Thus, this diet can be viewed as a type of slimming diet in addition to a healthy eating strategy. You will feel fuller faster while taking in fewer calories and losing weight if you follow a vegetarian diet full of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
You will undoubtedly feel lighter and drop a few pounds if you combine this decrease in calorie consumption with a little exercise and physical activity.
In comparison to restrictive diets that constantly forbid a person from ingesting particular foods, weight loss and thinness are two advantages of vegetarianism and eating more plant-based foods.
foods used in the flexible diet
The flexitarian diet places a focus on eating whole, minimally processed plant foods, including plant proteins, while consuming fewer animal products overall. The following foods are utilized in the flexitarian diet:
- proteins from legumes, tofu, beans, and lentils
- Greens, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, and cauliflower are examples of non-starchy vegetables.
- starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, peas, corn, and squash
- Apples, oranges, berries, grapes, cherries, and other fruits
- Like quinoa, whole grains
- Almonds, chia seeds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanut butter, avocados, olives, and coconuts are just a few examples of nuts, seeds, and other healthful fats.
- Plant-based milks such as soy milk, coconut milk, and sugar-free almond milk
- herbs and spices like basil, thyme, oregano, mint, turmeric, cumin, and oregano
- Condiments include ketchup without added sugar, mustard, yeast, apple cider vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, and salsa sauce.
- Sodas, sparkling water, tea, and coffee
The following animal items are permitted in the Flexitrin diet:
- Chicken and fish
This semi-vegetarian diet places an emphasis on consuming both nutritious, unprocessed plant foods and certain animal items. Fast food, processed meats, and refined carbohydrates are obviously off-limits.
foods that are off-limits in a flexible diet
The following foods are best avoided when following this diet, which insists on decreasing the consumption of meat, animal products, and processed meals with artificial sweeteners:
- processed meats like sausage, bacon, and bologna
- refined carbohydrates like bagels, croissants, white rice, and bread
- Donuts, cakes, biscuits, and other treats that contain carbonated beverages, sugar, and fake sugar
- Fries, burgers, chicken nuggets, and milkshakes are examples of fast food.
The flexitarian diet emphasizes consuming more plant-based meals and gradually reducing the consumption of meat. It is a well-balanced, nutrient-rich eating regimen.
The flexibility of the flexitarian diet is a benefit, yet meat eaters may find it difficult to adapt to this shift in lifestyle. It implies that you can begin with a small amount of vegetarian food until your body adjusts and eventually consumes more vegetarian food than meat.
The flexitarian diet promotes weight loss and slimming while also enhancing general body health; however, if losing weight is your primary objective, other aspects like sufficient sleep and exercise should also be taken into account.
Remember that your body might not require a long-term or short-term diet, and more significantly, that certain diets are actually ineffective, particularly over the long term.
To determine the optimum diet for your physical and financial circumstances, we respectfully advise that you speak with a nutritionist.
Whether your objective is weight loss or physical health, bear this in mind when selecting a diet after consulting a nutritionist.
Exercise, adequate rest, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol, leading a healthy lifestyle, and other things that affect total body health can enhance the effects of good eating regimens. The ideal diet is one that accommodates your needs and way of life.
Frequently asked questions
Is a flexible diet equivalent to a vegetarian diet?
The flexitarian diet can be viewed as more of a semi-vegetarian diet than a strictly vegetarian one because the majority of the food is vegetarian, but every few days there is a meal that includes red meat, white meat, shellfish, and fish.
What distinguishes a raw vegetarian diet from a flexitarian diet?
Fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts are all part of a raw vegetarian diet. Salt, added sugar, and saturated fat are examples of processed foods that are not included in the raw vegetarian diet.
Raw food maintains the nutrients of food because the raw vegetarian diet also does not believe much in cooking foods because their nutritional value is diminished. The most accommodating diet just suggests eating vegetarianism while consuming less meat; it does not demand raw vegetarianism.
Who can benefit from a flexible diet?
The flexitarian diet is appropriate for those who want to lose weight because it emphasizes vegetarianism and limits the use of meat products. Additionally, it lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Additionally, it is advantageous for the environment.
How many kilograms do people who follow the flexitarian diet lose each month?
According to evidence, those who adhere to this diet can lose up to 2 kilograms in 18 weeks.
Who are those for whom a flexible diet is not recommended?
Except for women who have anemia or an iron deficiency, this vegetarian diet practically never has any drawbacks. However, cutting back on meat products may result in a decrease in the body’s iron levels.
What steps must be taken to acquire a flexible diet?
It is preferable to speak with a dietitian prior to beginning any diet. You can determine the perfect diet for you by speaking with a nutritionist about your needs, physical condition, and general health.
How long does a flexible diet last?
A five-week meal plan for the flexitarian diet consists of three main meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—plus two snacks. You can alter the menu to suit your preferences; just be mindful of how many calories each meal has.
Which is healthier, a flexible diet or vegetarianism?
In general, it is impossible to say which diet is better because each has its own advantages for the health of the body. However, the vegetarian diet is more advantageous for the environment than the flexitarian diet in many ways, including the impact of greenhouse gases, land use, water pollution, and fresh water consumption.