Flexitarian

Most diet plans are somewhat strict in that participants are expected to eat only certain foods, sometimes in phases. South Beach and Atkins Diet programs require avoiding almost everything for the first several days or weeks before slowly re-introducing numerous foods but generally cutting out a number of products. A vegan diet requires abstinence from anything that came from animals (including honey). The Flexitarian Diet, however, is as flexible as it sounds.

Flexitarian Diet Premise

First of all, most foods are okay as long as you eat in moderation. With this program, the main thing is to mostly cut out meat, but not entirely. Consumers can do that if they want to, but the minimum goal is to cut back to no more than 2 servings weekly.

Pretty much everything else is allowed except packaged food which is a no-brainer since processed food contains most of the sugar, sodium, and flour consumers are trying to avoid. You’ll be cooking and preparing real food more than before, so if you don’t feel confident in the kitchen now is your chance to learn. The easiest foods are often the best for you like real Asian dishes loaded with vegetables.

Real Food

Flexitarian Dieters are going to eat a lot of vegetables and plant-based protein. Plants contain protein? Yes, many of them contain small amounts but there are also several ingredients packed with these muscle and brain-making materials.

Quinoa and soy are two popular examples. Although a lot of people are sensitive to soy, and this is also a common GMO culprit, quinoa is easy to digest and ideal for people with celiac disease or wheat intolerance. Dairy-free dieters can also rejoice since quinoa is easy to cook and use in place of rice and pasta. It cooks quickly and is adaptable.

Beans offer another source of protein plus fiber. Mix up white, black, and red beans for variety. Eat them cold or hot in soups, stews, and salads. Toss them with quinoa, herbs, and vegetables for a high-protein lunch. Sprinkle a quinoa-bean salad with crushed almonds and vary texture as well as flavor and color. Soon you won’t even miss steak, roast, or slow-cooked ribs.

Meat Less, Veg More

Consumers will be seeking protein from plants plus lots of other nutrients. Most of the vitamins and minerals they need are sufficiently sourced from a diet filled with color, the more intense the better.

The best shade in the produce rainbow is dark green: leafy kale, spinach, romaine, and other greens, for instance. Anyone eating lots of these foods with various other veggies and fruits is promoting healthy digestion with fiber, consuming minerals like calcium and vitamins like B (for metabolism, and moods) and C (for a healthy immune system).

A high-veg, low-meat diet provides anti-aging properties and will help you lose weight as long as you limit portions and don’t lather salads and sandwiches with sauce. Vitamins promote good eye sight, cell recovery, and mental clarity. Moreover, the high water content in produce fills you up quickly, acting as an appetite suppressant.

Buy into the Program for Free

One of the primary advantages of adopting this as your weight loss method is the cost: there isn’t any. You’re buying groceries anyway, so they don’t count. What matters is that there is no e-book, no membership, and not a single supplement tied to the program. It’s likely you’ll end up using multi-vitamins to supplement some of the nutrients generally found in meat like Vitamin A, but most people take vitamins anyway. There really aren’t any gimmicks.

The Benefits

Meat is difficult for some people to digest, but they don’t know that until they cut out steak instead of focusing on dairy or soy. While those are two other possible and typical allergens, meat tends to be problematic for a section of the community. It’s also bad for the environment. Cattle farms produce tons of greenhouse gases, thanks to their numerous heads of gassy cows.

A person’s cholesterol and digestive health are likely to improve on the Flexitarian Diet in addition to the benefits of losing weight and feeling more energetic.

Flexitarian
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Jana Evans

Janet Evans is our resident Health Nut and aspiring chef. She can shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's with her eyes closed.