If you are not a committed vegetarian, but would like to eat healthier food and less meat, Flexitarian diet can be a wise solution for you.
What is Flexitarian diet?
This method of weight loss has appeared a relatively short time ago – it has become widely known after publication of a book “The Flexitarian Diet” in 2008 by an American nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner. The term originates from two words: “flexible” and “vegetarianism”, and literally means a vegetarian diet with occasional consumption of meat or fish. Having combined these two concepts into one, Dr.Blatner developed a diet that does not call for a complete refusal of meat or eggs, milk, fish and other products of animal origin, but instead recommends limiting their consumption and eating more vegetables, fruits and greens.
Three levels of Flexitarian diet
All people have their own taste preferences. Someone cannot imagine life without meat, and they cannot be forced to refuse it. Others, on the contrary, are completely indifferent to it and only occasionally can eat it. While developing the Flexitarian diet, Dr.Blatter took all this into account and distributed taste preferences into three levels.
1 level “Beginners” – this level is designed specifically for meat fans. Beginners are allowed to eat meat five days a week, and to abstain from eating meat two days a week.
Level 2 “Advanced” – devote to vegetarianism for up to four days a week.
Level 3 “Experts” – has the most difficult task: meat is allowed to eat a few times a week in small quantities.
It’s worth mentioning that Blatter does not support a complete rejection of meat from diet. Excluding animal food, you need to compensate its deficiency with protein-containing food of plant origin. For example, different types of nuts, beans, tofu, chickpeas. But its quantity should not be less than the norms established by WHO. This coefficient can be calculated in the following way – just multiply your weight by 0.5. For example, your weight is 60 kg: 60 x 0.5 = 30 grams – this is your daily norm of protein. If you eat less, you risk slowing down the metabolic rate. As a result, your weight decrease will stop.
The essence of the Flexitarian diet
Meat is the source of most fats. Therefore, limiting its use, as well as fat dairy products, will help to lose extra weight. Vegetable food contains special substance – food fiber, which retains a sense of satiety for a long time and does not allow the hunger to quickly go back, thus you will not eat excess food. The main principle of diet is to count calories. At the same time it’s recommended to include reasonable physical activity for faster and more sustainable results.
General recommendations on calories consumption:
- For ‘lazy’ people – 1200 kcal
- For athletes and active people – 1800 kcal
- For people with moderate activity – 1500 kcal
In order to speed up weight loss, it is recommended: to do exercises at least once a week, drink a lot of water, to keep a positive attitude to life. Scientists from the United States were able to prove that those who choose mostly vegetable food, but eat a little meat, have 20% less weight than meet food lovers and they are less likely to get sick than vegetarians.
It’s recommended to eat 5 meals per day, the caloricity of morning meal should not exceed 300 kcal, daytime – 400 kcal, evening – 500 kcal. Between them you can have two snacks (approximately 150 kcal).
Sample menu for vegetarian days
- Morning: fry about 150 grams of tofu, add a spoonful of olive oil. Serve it with a leaf of lettuce, a couple of cherry tomatoes and sweet pepper.
- Snack: any fruit to choose from: a pear, an orange or an apple and a small handful of walnuts.
- Lunch: Prepare a stew (you can replace it with soup) from the following ingredients: potatoes, broccoli and beans.
- Snack: fresh orange juice, three dried apricots and four pieces of almonds.
- Evening: brown rice with beans (the total weight of the dish is 50 grams only), make any light salad or stew cabbage.
Sample menu for meat and fish days
- Morning: omelette from 4 egg whites, one tomato, chicken sausage or 50 grams of boiled chicken, toast.
- Snack: any berries (but not more than 200 grams), one large apple and seven almonds.
- Lunch: 200 g boiled beef or chicken, 100 g boiled vegetables, 50 g buckwheat or brown rice or two baked potatoes.
- Snack: fruit smoothie.
- Evening: 100 g brown rice with vegetables, 100 g fish.
Have a look at this video and a bunch of amazing recepies to go deeper into understanding of the Flexitarian diet!