Losing weight is a goal of many and ultimately achieved by few. While losing weight itself isn’t overly complicated, many people struggle with it.
This is mainly because the entire industry is centered around ‘fad diets’ and taking shortcuts.
This is why you see commercials for magic weight loss pills on television and a bunch of people looking to pry on people desperate to lose weight.
The fact is, any type of weight loss requires both work and dedication. Without a proper combination of diet and exercise, you will never achieve the weight loss goals you have set for yourself.
While ‘fad diets’ certainly work in the short term, they set you up for failure over the long run.
After all, these diets are meant to end at some point. Because of this, they encourage you to go back to your normal diet and exercise behavior that got you into the position of wanting to lose weight in the first place.
Rather than focusing on implementing these fad diets that are specifically designed to be unsustainable over the long run, you want to look to make lifestyle improvements that can set you up for sustainable success.
One of the best diets that you can consider as a better and much more viable long-term solution to losing weight would be the Flexitarian Diet.
This particular diet is much better any of the crash or fad diets that you will find on the market because it offers a sustainable and viable diet that you can implement over the long term.
It doesn’t feature any unhealthy ideals nor does it have unsustainable restrictions that set you up for failure. It is considered a ‘mostly-vegetarian’ diet that can not only help you lose weight, but it can help you become much healthier overall.
What is the Flexitarian Diet?
The Flexitarian Diet is primarily about adding food groups to your diet rather than taking them away like other diets typically do.
Instead of implementing a restrictive approach, this diet offers a much more sustainable and flexible approach.
With this type of diet, it flips dieting on its head. After all, there is no calorie counting and dealing with itemizing macronutrient intake.
Instead, it works much more like a lifestyle change.
It encourages followers to consume a diet that is focused on plant protein consumption rather than animal protein. Along with this, it encourages followers to consume a diet of mostly vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains.
Followers of this diet are allowed to add in animal products on an occasional basis which leads to it being a much less restrictive diet than others. It also encourages followers to avoid consuming processed foods and instead it encourages folks to replace them with whole foods.
Lastly, it encourages a reduction in sugar intake.
As you can see, the diet itself is very flexible in nature and much less restrictive than other options.
It is quickly becoming one of the more popular diets that people are looking to follow primarily because it encourages a healthy lifestyle and it is much less restrictive than other diets. The ultimate goal is to consume more healthy foods and more plant protein to reduce meat consumption.
Does it Work for Weight Loss?
This type of diet is very good for those that are looking to lose weight.
This is primarily because the diet itself encourages the consumption of whole foods and nutritious foods over processed foods.
A lot of the plant foods encouraged on the diet are highly nutritious and they can reduce calorie consumption by default.
This is mainly because these foods will leave your body feeling much more full throughout the day which can discourage unhealthy snacking.
Therefore, if you are looking for a diet that you can follow that is not only going to make you healthier as a whole but also help you lose weight, this is an excellent option due to the sustainable nature of the diet.
After all, studies have shown that those that consume a plant-based diet are more likely to lose weight than those that consume more animal protein .
Pros and Cons
Perhaps the best thing that the Flexitarian diet has going for it is the fact that the diet itself is extremely flexible.
It truly lives up to its name because it offers followers the ability to consume food without having to constantly worry about macronutrients and calorie counting.
This makes eating out possible and you can even consume alcohol while on the diet. Along with this, it doesn’t have any hard rules that you are forced to follow day in and day out.
While it does encourage specific things on the diet, you don’t have to follow a specific set of rules that can make a lot of diets rigid and very hard to consistently follow.
2. Lots of Resources Available
One of the great things about this diet is due to its popularity. Because the diet itself is popular, you should be able to find all kinds of information that you will be able to use in order to make following the diet and lifestyle easier.
There are various websites featuring recipes and grocery lists that can really make following the diet as easy as possible.
3. Easy-to-Follow Recipes
Another good thing about the diet is the fact that it offers so much flexibility that you are able to find all kinds of convenient recipes that you can tailor to your liking.
A lot of the recipes that you will find don’t even have a lot of ingredients making them incredibly simple and easy to follow.
4. You’ll Feel Full
Another good thing about the diet is the fact that it incorporates a lot of whole foods that are both filling and nutritious.
Because of this, it is not a diet where you are going to be starving throughout the day and night. A lot of diets available cause you to have to count calories and put yourself at such a caloric deficit that you end up being hungry and depleted of energy throughout each day.
This can be very hard to follow consistently and it can make it much more likely that you end up giving up on the diet altogether due to the unsustainable nature of it.
This diet limits this because you are going to be constantly consuming some of the most nutritious and filling foods that you can get.
This will make it much easier to eat less without even realizing it and you won’t be constantly struggling to have the energy to go about your day as you normally would.
5. Heart Healthy
Another good thing about this particular diet would be its impact it can have on your heart health. A lot of the fad or crash diets that you will see to choose from are unsustainable and even bad for your health in a lot of cases.
This particular diet is not only going to help you lose weight, but it is also a good lifestyle change that you can make for improved heart health.
It has been shown that diets that are full of vitamins, rich in fiber, and rich in antioxidants are good for the heart. This particular diet is full of whole foods and plant-based proteins which means that you will be getting plenty of each.
Meaning, it can be a great option for someone looking to improve heart health.
Studies have shown that those that adhere to a vegetarian based diet have much less risk of developing heart disease than those that do not follow a vegetarian based diet .
6. Good for the Environment
This is a subject that has been widely discussed throughout recent times. This type of diet is likely to be much better for the environment because it decreases overall meat consumption.
It is said that decreasing meat consumption among the population is one of the best things that can be done to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce water use.
Studies have even shown that switching to vegetarian based diets can reduce gas emissions significantly .
1. Potential Nutritional Deficiencies
While this shouldn’t be a problem if you are adhering to a balanced diet, it might become a problem if you are not entirely diligent about getting the right nutrients in your diet.
This is one of the issues associated with following a completely vegetarian based diet as you are naturally going to be depriving yourself of valuable nutrients that you generally get with meat consumption.
However, because the Flexitarian diet doesn’t restrict meat entirely, you should still be able to get enough of the essential vitamins and minerals that you would miss out on by being a strict vegetarian.
That said, some of the key vitamins and minerals to ensure that you get in your diet are vitamin b12, calcium, zinc, iron, and healthy fats.
Avocado, eggs, and beans
Cucumber and Hummus wrap
Wild Caught Salmon, cabbage slaw, asparagus
Where Can You Find Flexitarian Recipes?
The best place to find different information and recipes on the Flexitarian Diet would have to be on Dawn Jackson Blatner’s website. By checking out her website, you will be able to get detailed information on different recipes.
Along with this, you can even order her book “The Flexitarian Diet” and get over 100 different 5-ingredient recipes that you can make at home.
Who Should Consider Trying it?
Believe it or not, but this is a particular diet and lifestyle change that is suitable for just about anyone.
Regardless if you are looking to lose weight for a specific reason or you are simply looking to get healthier, it is a good diet that you could consider following.
Not only is it much more sustainable than some of the other diets that you would be considering, but it offers much more flexibility and fewer restrictions which allow you to get really balanced nutritional intake.
Therefore, there is very little bad to say about the diet.
In essence, it can give you a lot of the proven benefits that come along with a vegetarian based diet without the downsides of having severe deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals that you would normally only get through the consumption of meat-based protein.
Along with this, it is extremely easy to follow and has a lot of convenient recipes that will encourage you to continue on with the journey rather than losing the motivation to continue with the diet and lifestyle change soon after you start.
It is a flexible diet that would lead to a beneficial lifestyle change for anyone.