5 Ways To Explore A Flexible Approach To Eating

Flexible eating is all the rage at the moment. With a focus on health and sustainability, more and more people are adopting vegetarian and vegan diets or incorporating some of the concepts from these styles of eating into their own.

This more open approach to plant-based eating has led to the term ‘Flexitarian’ being used by people to describe their way of eating.

So, what is a Flexitarian and what does this term encompass?

A Flexitarian or Flexitarian Diet is an amalgamation of eating habits with a larger emphasis on incorporating Vegetarianism. It’s a semi-vegetarian style of eating that encourages less meat and more plant-based foods. It does not have any specific rules, thus making it appealing to people who want to cut back on animals products but may not want to exclude them all together.

Being Flexitarian comes with no rules to follow and is simply a more flexible approach to eating with a focus on a plant-based diet and a consciousness about the consumption of meat and animal products. Whether this means eating meat once a day at only one meal, eating meat once a week, eating meat a few times a month, only eating meat when you eat out or anything in between.

Benefits of a Flexitarian Diet

Eating a Flexitarian diet has many benefits, including:

  • Improved health

  • Weight loss

  • It’s better for the planet

  • Cost effective

  • Sustainable - flexibility means it’s easier to stick to long term

  • Improved digestive health due to increased fibre intake

*Many of these benefits can be achieved through other styles of eating and are not limited to a flexitarian approach. Eating whole foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, organic or grass fed meat and organic dairy products can yield similar benefits. The main goal is to become more conscious in your approach to what food sources you put in your body and allowing yourself the flexibility to experiment with different styles of eating.

5 ways to explore a Flexible approach to eating

  1. Focus on a plant-based diet, incorporating vegan and/or vegetarian diets which include higher amounts of fruits and vegetables

  2. Reduce meat consumption and opt for better quality animal based products (Organic, Grass fed, Free range…)

  3. Introduce seafood into your diet

  4. Limit processed foods and opt for natural whole foods instead

  5. Introduce more colours into your meals (Fruits, Vegetables, Spices…)

Possible nutrient deficiencies to be aware of on the Flexitarian Diet include:

Despite all the benefits we can get from using a flexitarian approach to eating, we must also be aware that some nutrients which may be more difficult to obtain when omitting meat and animal based products. However, with a little forethought and planning it is possible to get all these nutrients from plants and/or supplements, which will compliment your new approach to eating.

  • Vitamin B12 (Eggs, Nutritional Yeast, Almond, Soy & Coconut milk, Brazil Nuts…)

  • Zinc (Beans & Legumes, Nuts & Seeds, Oats…)

  • Iron (Legumes, Grains, Nuts…)

  • Calcium (Seeds, Cheese, Yoghurt, Beans & Lentils, Almonds…)

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (Chia Seeds, Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Oils…)

This article simply serves to highlight the benefits to approaching eating with an open mind. Incorporating a level of flexibility into your style of eating can give you the freedom to experiment with your diet without feeling like you must include a specific food. Removing rules from eating will increase the freedom you have when it comes to eating; making meal planning and cooking a simpler and more enjoyable process.

What are your thoughts on a flexitarian diet? Would you be willing to incorporate any of the points mentioned above?

Let us know!

The Springhealth Team