First of all, what is a “Flexitarian”?
A Flexitarian is someone who occasionally foregoes their regular eating habits and consumes only foods related to a vegetarian diet. This excludes meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Although, there are many forms of vegetarianism and you should choose whichever one that best suits your personal taste. Following a Flexitarian lifestyle allows for you to still consume foods that you may crave or love with the added benefits of making healthier eating habits for yourself by consuming more plant-based foods.
How to start:
- Get your protein from plant-based sources instead of meat. Some examples are beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanut butter, broccoli, eggs, almonds, tofu, Greek yogurt and more!
- Avoid foods high in sugar or are overly processed.
- Enjoy it! Restricting your diet doesn’t have to be exhausting and horrible. With a Flexitarian approach, you can still eat all the foods you love, the key is moderation.
-Research suggests that by consuming a diet such as this you have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a lower mortality rate, and a smaller BMI.
-Eating meats increase inflammation within the body, which may put you at a higher risk to develop certain cancers.
-Eating more nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables will help aid in weight loss.
-Better for the Environment? Consuming fewer animal products reduces greenhouse gas emissions and uses less water consumption.
-Cost Friendly?? Eating healthy can sometimes break your budget, but not if you’re smart about your choices. Replacing meat with plant-based options on average is cheaper; go buy yourself a new outfit with that extra cash you’re saving while trying this diet out!
-What about the Stigma? If you are worried about what people will think about your new diet, don’t be! A Flexitarian diet will allow you to still be able to enjoy the foods that you want to eat, if you want to go out with friends and grab a bite, go ahead! Just remember to balance that meal out with your other meals being more plant-based.
-Freedom! A Flexitarian diet compared to many other diets is not as restrictive. Many vegetarians end up consuming animal products again, and the great news is, is that you won’t feel as if you’re cheating or being set back by what you’re consuming. Allowing for flexibility in your diet will help you promote your well-being and health!
If you’re thinking about changing your diet, research it! The more you know the better, and you may learn a thing or two! Also, consult your doctor if you have any medical questions.