Before Going Vegan Try a Flexitarian Approach Instead
Forget dieting, try this instead. Reducing meat consumption through a flexitarian approach can help ease the transition to a whole food plant-based or vegan diet.
The debate about which diet is optimal for our health has been going on for quite some time. The two biggest trends in the diet world are the keto diet and veganism. Vegan and keto diets both have health benefits, but they require a lot of discipline and willpower to stick to. A better approach for the majority of Americans is to gradually transition to a whole food plant-based diet AND lifestyle.
We’re not huge fans of labels, but for the sake of this article, we’ll use the coined term flexitarianism. A flexitarian is someone who follows a vegetarian diet, most of the time. Unlike a vegan diet, a flexitarian approach allows for a small amount of animal-based foods. A flexitarian makes a conscious effort to reduce animal products by minimizing the amount they consume.
Eating a wide variety of plant-based whole foods for health is the one thing that most experts will agree on. Although vegan diets can be beneficial, the transition from a standard American diet can affect a person's overall feeling of wellbeing. Going vegan can be challenging. Keep in mind, just because something is vegan, doesn’t mean it is healthy. An easier way to get started with a plant-based diet is focusing on real, whole foods and limiting animal consumption.
Tips for eating out when following a vegetarian diet
While adapting to a vegetarian way of life, you might discover that eating out may pose a bit of a challenge. Depending on where you live, it may not always be easy finding an assortment of vegetarian restaurants. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your plant-based diet while still enjoying eating out.
- Use an app like Happy Cow to find plant-based friendly restaurants in your area.
- Choose foods as close to their natural state as possible. A simple rule of thumb...these are the foods that don’t come with a list of ingredients.
- Pay attention to the combination of foods. If you plan to consume a high-fat or high-protein meal, consider choosing lower carb options as a side. Opt for fresh veggies and pass on the bread. The food we eat has an important impact on fat storage and metabolism. Your body can’t process high-carb, high-fat, and high-protein all at once.
- Think about how the food will make you feel, not just about what is the tastiest or most satisfying. Feeling bloated, sick, or tired after a meal is almost never worth it.
- Ask questions. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask how certain menu items are prepared and where the ingredients come from. It’s generally pretty easy for restaurants to make modifications that accommodate your preferences. If they don’t...take your business elsewhere. After all, you’re the customer.
Why Reducing Consumption of Meat and Animal Products is Vital
In the developed world most individuals consume an excessive amount of protein. Instead of having meat or animal-based product at every meal, consider going meat-free on occasion. Reducing the consumption of animal products is the best thing that you can do for your health and the planet. There will be 10 billion people on the planet to feed in the next decade. We simply cannot sustain the amount of meat and dairy consumption that exists today to feed the planet. There aren’t enough natural resources to produce it all, and trying to has serious detrimental consequences for the environment.
Being mindful enables us to become aware of an emotion, notice what it is doing, and then letting go of it without judging it or reacting to it. This is a very useful way to overcome depression and anxiety, two conditions that are becoming more and more common in our consumer-driven society. Everyone possesses the ability to instantly become mindful. In fact, you have probably already done it.
where will i get my protein?
Contrary to what a lot of people believe, vegetarians can easily fulfill their everyday requirement of protein being completely meat-free. If they couldn’t, there wouldn’t be any vegans around to talk about being vegan. There are several techniques to find protein in your diet without eating meat daily. The following are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Enjoy a plant-based protein smoothie with fruits and vegetables for breakfast
- Have a salad topped with hummus or avocado for lunch
- Try a hearty soup or quinoa bowl for dinner
These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Don’t think about what you’ll miss. Instead think about all the new flavorful, delicious, satisfying foods that you’ll get to enjoy. I can’t think of any type of food that can’t be created in plant-based form. Craving a hamburger? Try a lentil burger instead.
How to Get Started With Reducing Animal Consumption
Some folks live their lives not really contemplating the outcome of their actions. Opting to live a much healthier lifestyle starts with your diet plan and what you choose to put on your plate. A lot of people wish to follow a vegetarian lifestyle for the wellness benefits, but can't imagine not eating meat. If this sounds like you, start slowly. Try committing to just one completely plant-based meal per day to start then gradually increase the frequency. Small changes can lead to a major transformation in your health.
Going vegan is an excellent way to eat smarter, drop weight, burn fat and feel full of energy. A true vegan is somebody who doesn't eat or use animal products of any sort. As you may have noticed, vegans are extremely passionate about their exclusion of animals used to make food and nonfood products. Without a doubt, the world would be better off if everyone went vegan, but that’s not reality. If you’re not ready to embrace everything that comes along with being vegan, don’t shun the movement altogether. A reductionist approach can have many of the same health benefits without giving up meat altogether.
Flexitarian Can Be Fun for Everyone
If you want to have a wholesome diet and cut back on meat, it’s important that your family appreciates your commitment to your health. Try sharing your reasons why you want to follow this lifestyle. It may help to enlighten and inspire them to do the same or be more supportive of your effort. Instead of being restrictive like most diets, a flexitarian approach is inclusive, making it fun and easy for everyone to enjoy. It’s important to understand WHY you choose to keep a healthy diet. Preventing disease, weight loss, maintaining a healthy weight, feeling energized, and getting more out of life are all reasons to eat more plants!
The flexitarian diet will help you accomplish all of these, empowering you to get more joy out of life. Although diets can offer important nutritional structure, the majority of diets fail when they don't tackle the reason WHY. Focus on why you want to make changes and what you hope to accomplish by doing so.
If you're interested in going plant-based but not sure where to begin, check out the free LYFE Transformation Program. The program is designed to provide the path that’s best for you. After all, we’re all unique so nutrition should be personalized. If you want to lose weight, be healthier, and feel better, this is a great place to start. Often people choose a vegetarian diet because of concerns over their wellness. The reasons why they stick to it as a lifestyle choice tend to evolve and get refined over time.