When I first heard of the Flexitarian Diet it completely sparked my curiosity.
Flexitarian Diet and it’s not the usual diet to get bikini ready or slip into those 2 sizes too small jeans ( although, it can accomplish that too)
Sorry, but this diet serves a bigger purpose while encouraging increased consumption of plants and decreased consumption of meat.
Can Meat be eco-friendly?
Meat production is the third-largest greenhouse gas contributor. See where I am going with this?
More plant-based eating is far more sustainable compared to meat production. In another 40 years, we won’t be able to properly sustain the amount of meat being consumed by individuals. Americans on the other hand compared to most countries consume drastically more meat than we need to yearly.
The key to this situation?
Lessen the intake of meat. This diet is very beneficial to those who are concerned about their environmental impact.
You don’t have to become a straight Vegan or Vegetarian but you can still enjoy meat some of the time but just not to an extreme.
Personally, I might eat meat 7 times a week. Not huge amounts of it either. The average American will eat over 10 ounces of meat a day almost double the recommended 5-6 ounces.
The writer Dawn Jackson Blatner of the Flexitarian Diet book suggest for beginners to aim for only 26 ounces of meat a week then progressively increase to only 18 ounces of meat a week max, finally, the last tier for dieters is to only have 9 ounces a week.
The Flexitarian Diet ties second with the DASH diet on the U.S. Ranking of Best Diets. With the Mediterraining diet holding first. As of 2020 these still hold true.
Besides reducing your carbon footprint this diet primarily encourages an increase in plant consumption. This leads to a more nutritionally balanced diet.
Is It Difficult To Follow?
The flexibility of the Flexitarian Diet has more chance of becoming a permanent lifestyle than other short-lived diets.
You aren’t banned from any food. You are encouraged to replace them with better options for a lasting effect.
When you begin cutting your calories our body’s metabolism begins to slow down signaling it’s in starvation mode. In order to lose weight long term, it requires more work and effort than just losing it.
If you want lasting results this diet is one of the most flexible and will yield the results wanted. Making it most likely to become a permanent change.
How Much Does Following This Diet Cost
It shouldn’t be any more than what you already spend weekly on groceries. In fact, by some standpoints, it’s supposed to actually save you money annually. The emphasis on fruits and vegetables allows you to plan your meals weekly by what produce is on sale to save some moola.
Are There Any Challenges?
Perhaps if you don’t like fruits and vegetables or cooking from scratch. Those are the two most likely scenarios where following such a lifestyle might be more challenging.
What Foods To Cut Back On
With no food groups being completely removed and to decrease meat intake you are encouraged by Blatner to make better choices all around. Such foods to cut back on include;
- Animal Protein
- Processed Refined Grains
- Animal Fats
- Highly Processed Foods
What Foods To Include and Increase
With the decrease in animal proteins, you need to increase your intake of other foods to keep yourself nutritionally balanced.
Such foods to increase intake are;
- Plant Proteins
- Whole Grains
- Dairy Milk and Plant Milk
- Nuts and Nut butter
- Healthy Fats
There are lots of great resources to provide excellent tasting dishes online. Any vegetarian recipes will suit just fine for this as well.
Long term you are supposed to feel better physically and mentally. Being conscious of food choices and limiting meat intake will wield a list of different benefits. You will be eating far healthier and making better choices for your long term health.
Hope this was as interesting and helpful as it was to myself. Do you have recipes that you think would be perfect for the Flexitarian Diet? Do you think this is a permanent life choice you could make? Let me know in the comment section below!