Guide To Flexitarian Diet & 7 tips PDF download
Glossary - This will cover all these questions!
What is the Flexitarian diet?
How often do Flexitarians eat meat?
Do Flexitarians eat dairy?
Which diet is easiest to follow?
What are the advantages?
Will I lose weight on the Flexitarian diet?
How to follow a Flexitarian Diet?
- What is the flexitarian diet?
- 2.Advantages of the flexitarian diet
- The five-step flexitarian design
- Five groups of flex foods
- Fitness factors of the flexitarian diet
- Some tips to make the most out of a flexitarian diet
- Downloadable PDF – Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals – Click here
- 7 Tips for the Flexitarian Diet Downloadable PDF – Click here
- Flexitarian diet recipes
1. What is the flexitarian diet?
Defenition of the Flexitarian Diet
Diet plays an important role in the human body. It provides significant nutrients and energy components. It also supports the cells and tissues that are performing vital functions in your body.
You may have read about different diets that are healthier and better for your body. There are hundreds of options available such as the Paleo diet, keto diet, detox diet, and raw food diet. But finding the ultimate solution is that suits you are essential.
The flexitarian diet is a way of eating which involves plant-based foods. It does allow meat and dairy products in moderation, as compared to other diets. The term flexitarian comes from the combination of two phrases flexible and vegetarian.
One of the most popular dieticians Dawn Jackson introduced the flexitarian diet. The purpose was to support people in getting advantages from the simplest food components. The flexitarian diet plan is the third-best diet for disease prevention. For long-term health, it is the second-best option available. The Flexitarian diet is also highlighted 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 the flexitarian diet are not vegans or vegetarians. Because they consume animal food products.
The flexitarian diet plan does not follow a particular set of rules or regulations. There are no recommended calorie and macro-nutrient consumption either. It is more about changing lifestyles in a complete manner.
It consists of the following components:
- Eating increased amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes
- Consuming less processed food items and more natural types of foods
- Being flexible while selecting food products
- Incorporation of meat and animal products in an alternative manner
- Restricting or rather eliminating sweetened and sugar-related food products from the diet
- Focusing on plant-based proteins
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 from the book, you can find options that work for you the best.
Overall, the purpose is to re-shape the way your body processes nutritive components. The flex effect will further elaborate on how the diet actually works!
What are the flex effects? - Guide To Flexitarian Diet
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. For the remaining five days, the amount of meat consumed should not exceed 26 ounces (oz.) in total.
For instance, a meat portion with the thickness and size of your hand measures in at about 4 to 6 ounces.
The second level, which is the more advanced flexitarian diet, limits meat consumption more. It suggests that people should follow a plant-based diet four to five days a week. The amount of meat allowed for this duration is only 18 ounces total for the remaining days.
The third and final level, advanced flexitarian diet recipes, reduce the consumption of meat even more. Dieters have to consume fruits and vegetables for six days but only have 9 ounces of meat for the seventh day.
Different meat free levels
If you are considering the amount of meat that 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 a 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 a Flexitarian diet routine at 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 Flexitarian Diet
Due to the fact that the flexitarian diet plan involves a group of food components instead of restricting them, 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 phytonutrients 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 a 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.
Another tip: If you can add some exercise and you burn say 2000 calories per day, you would be in a deficit of 500, and you will definitely see quicker results.
The low carb flexitarian diet
The low carb flexitarian diet works well with people of different activity levels, gender, weight, and height. You can make changes along the way but the meal plan will still have fewer calories.
If you stress 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 fewer carbs and fats contrary to what you may be accustomed to.
According to the information provided in nutrition magazines and journals, vegetarians weigh 15% less than non-vegetarians. This information is present in a review of 87 previous types of research, printed in Nutrition Reviews in 2006. 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 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.
2. Advantages of the flexitarian diet
When you are on a flexitarian diet you may have multiple health benefits and advantages. However since there are no proper rules and regulations, it is difficult to determine the actual outcome, and depend on yourself. 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.
The 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 that 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 the useful benefits of complete vegetarian plans.
Diabetes type 1 and 2 are viewed as hindering and hazardous across the globe. The condition is a worldwide wellbeing pandemic. Burning-through a reasonable, sound eating routine, especially the one which is plant-based can oversee and forestall this sickness.
As a rule, plant-based eating regimen plans and schedules help with weight reduction and contain different components that are high in fiber. People burning-through plants and spices don’t take undesirable fats and superfluous sugar. This diminished measure of sugar in the body consequently lessens the danger of diabetes.
As indicated by research including 60,000 members, the event of diabetes type 2 was 1.5% lower in flexitarians or semi-veggie lovers when contrasted with the individuals who followed a vegetarian diet.
Extra exploration has featured that individuals with diabetes type 2 who devoured vegetable-based nourishments had a lower estimation of hemoglobin A1c when contrasted with the individuals who burned-through meat-based nourishments.
Food components that are rich in healthy fats and fiber are better for the health of the cardiovascular system. According to 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 possible because of the fact that vegetable-based meals are rich in vitamins and fibrous constituents. These also contain antioxidants that may increase the good cholesterol level and amount of antioxidants present in the blood.
According to a review of 32 types of research 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.
The flexitarian diet recipes include vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains which are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants are active elements that 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 colorectal cancer.
Another 7-year research on patients of colorectal 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, the incorporation of vegetables, fruits, and similar substances may serve as a preventive factor.
One of the most important aspects of flexitarian diet recipes is that you will take more nutrient-rich food products. Food 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 fighting 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 the defensive systems of the body. Studies also mention that an excess amount of fat may damage the function of white blood cells.
The flexitarian diet plan maintains a normal weight which can increase immunity. Obesity and malnutrition have positive links with diseases such as pneumonia and influenza. Following the flexitarian diet plan will save you from these troubles, without adding extra calories to your metabolism.
The flexitarian diet can be positive and beneficial for the environment as well. Decreasing meat consumption can significantly assist with the conservation of natural resources. By reducing the greenhouse effect and carbon emissions, this diet plan can have essential support for the surroundings. It can also preserve the 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 flexitarian diet. It mentioned that shifting from the conventional western diet to a 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 the growth of vegetables and fruits for humans. Presently, the land is devoted as feed for livestock which can change for good. Growing plants ask 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.
3. The Five-Step Flexitarian Diet Plan - Guide To Flexitarian Diet
The Five-Step Dimensional Plan
3.1 Changing your Mindset
It is 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.
3.2 Divert 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 that 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 that can be a positive addition.
3.3 Taking Smaller Steps
Most of the time 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 the vegetable broth for flavor in curries and sauces instead of using chicken broth.
3.4 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 on Tuesdays. You can follow the routine by making vegan pasta, broth-based curry, and light sandwiches for the rest of the week.
The 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 them simple and tasteful at the same time.
3.5 Making Your Own Rules
There are different unique and surprising elements that 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 that 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.
Setting the 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 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 loss, 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 them. 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.
Calculating the 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 a 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.
4. Five Groups of Flex Foods - Guide To Flexitarian Diet
The basic food groups
- Whole grains
- Plant-based proteins
- Oils, Herbs, and Spices
- Meat (lean meat in moderation)
- Non – Compliant:
Meat (in excess)
Added sugar (in excess)
Refined carbs (in excess)
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.
Let’s get into the important five 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.
4.1 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. The flexitarian diet components, 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 options:
- 2 plums or fruits of similar size
- 1 apple, banana, orange, or pear with any other fruit of a similar size
- Half portion of avocado or grapefruit
- 3 stacked tablespoons of vegetables
- 3 stacked tablespoons of stewed fruit or salad
- A dessert bowl of cherries with other smaller fruits
- 200ml of fruit smoothie or juice
4.2 Meat and Protein
Cut back on meats, slowly till you reached the point where you only take it two to three times per week. The meats to consider are lean red meat(no fat), chicken (preferably skinless), all wild-caught fish.
Meats to avoid are, sausages, bacon, or any fatty meat, and also all processed meats.
Other proteins are eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, lintels, whole wheat bread, and oats. You can basically follow any Vegan diet, protein list.
4.3 Dairy Products.
All your dairy products are included in the Flexitarian diet, thanks to that you will get all your bone structure strengthening combo and the Dairy Group provides many nutrients to the diet including calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin D (in products fortified with vitamin D), riboflavin, vitamin B12, protein, potassium, zinc, choline, magnesium, and selenium.
I would suggest rather go for low-fat milk & yogurt.
4.4 Grains and legumes
Plant-based foods like beans, legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are packed with nutrition and have a smaller environmental impact compared to animal products.
Researchers found that plant-based meats were generally lower in kilojoules, fats, and protein and higher in carbohydrates and dietary fiber in comparison to their traditional animal-based meats.
You get a variety of recipe books in this category, and you can even make your own burgers, with plant-based meat.
4.5 Spices and sugar
Sugar(Sweets, sodas, and raw) in any form is on top of the pyramid and must be avoided when possible. You can replace it with fruit, and other healthy snacks. You can have some fun in your kitchen with spices, remember hot foods is good for your metabolism but keep your salt in consideration
5. Fitness factors of the flexitarian diet
Anytime you exercise, you do so in order to try and maintain good health. You also know that you have to eat as well, so your body will have the energy it needs to exercise and maintain the everyday tasks of life. For making the best of your exercise, what
you eat before and after your workout is very important.
I suggest you get a 30 minutes resistance training program, that you can do 4 to 5 times per week.
6. Is the Flexitarian Diet easy to follow?
Following the Flexitarian Diet is relatively simple. The creator of the diet, Jackson Blatner, said so herself. She even emphasized how you don’t have to follow the diet strictly. The results lie in how much effort you put into the diet, not in the results. A few things that make the diet easy to follow include:
It wouldn’t take you a lot of time to prepare the Flexitarian meal-plans of the diet. You are allowed to eat from outside. The diet doesn’t even ask you not to drink alcohol. It is all about flexibility. Unlike other diets, you don’t have to follow a strict routine.
One major problem with diets can be preparing meal-plans. That is not the case with the Flexitarian Diet. The book consists of many easy-to-make Flexitarian Diet recipes. Even those who haven’t set foot in the kitchen their entire lives. Usually, each recipe of the diet has five ingredients.
For some people, following a diet means eating the same kind of food every day. Fortunately, the Flexitarian Diet is not that kind of diet. It allows individuals to have a variety of food in their meal-plans every day.
7. Some tips to make the most out of a flexitarian diet
The Flexitarian Diet is easy to follow, no doubt. However, the first few days are going to be difficult. Shifting from animal-based food to fruits and vegetables is going to be challenging. You will have to fight random cravings. However, once you focus on the end goal, it wouldn’t be that hard. To help the transition go smoother, you should keep in mind the following seven tips:
- Learn about the diet:
The first step you should do is to educate yourself regarding the diet. French fries and a few flavors of Pizza are foods that vegetarians love to eat. However, it doesn’t mean these foods provide you with the necessary nutrition your body requires in the diet. It takes a lot of willpower to make the transition. Hence, it would help if you tried to learn everything there is to know about the diet.
- Start slowly:
When you want to make a move to the Flexitarian Diet depends on you. But the creator Blatner recommends that people start slow. For example, if you used to consume meat every day before the diet, then you should eat fruits and vegetables twice a week. Then thrice a week, four times a week, and finally, five times a week.
- Look for alternatives:
One of the best things about the diet is that there are plenty of foods you can swap. If you are allergic to certain foods, you can exchange the ingredient for another item. However, calorie intake should remain the same. That isn’t something you can compromise on. Luckily, there are a lot of meat alternatives in the market that you can buy.
4. Don’t give in:
While following the Flexitarian Diet, one of the biggest challenges you will face would be in social situations. It would look rude if you were not eating anything while everyone around you is enjoying their meals. What you can do here is look for plant-based dishes. Additionally, you can always notify people about the change in your lifestyle.
- Maintain a routine:
When you are following the Flexitarian Diet, you would need to pay great attention to the food you eat. Creating and following a routine would help you manage the food you are eating. It would be better if you prepared your meals beforehand. Leaving everything at the last minute will be hard to manage.
The Flexitarian Diet isn’t just about managing the food you consume. It is also about physical activity. Exercising is an integral part of following the Flexitarian Diet. The creator Blatner recommends that people exercise 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be intense, but it doesn’t have to be slow either. People can walk their dogs, swim, or even dance. The takeaway here is doing exercise.
7. Set goals:
There is no time constraint when it comes to the Flexitarian Diet. However, that doesn’t mean you should take things too slowly. You should set yourself realistic goals. The goals will serve as motivation for you, and your chances of giving in would be fewer.
8. Conclusion - Guide To Flexitarian Diet
The Flexitarian Diet is one of the most beneficial diets one 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 helps the planet as well. When you focus more on fruits and vegetables and less on meat. It reduces the carbon footprint you leave behind. Hence, with the Flexitarian Diet, the benefits and possibilities are endless.
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