What is 'Flexitarianism'?

Flexitarianism: Cheating Vegetarianism with a Meat Menu

Today in the world there are many different principles of nutrition for every taste. Among them, vegetarianism has been leading for decades - an approach that implies a complete rejection of meat products, including poultry, fish and seafood. Stricter vegetarian diets also exclude dairy products. But what about those who cannot imagine life without these hearty protein dishes? A new trendy trend has come to the aid of meat-eaters - flexitarianism.

What is flexitarianism?

Flexitarianism is flexible vegetarianism. The name of the direction is formed from the merger of the English words flexible, that is, flexible, and vegetarian - vegetarian. The essence of the approach is that flexitarians can eat meat, but not every day, but for certain reasons or at will. Thus, this food model does not call for completely abandoning meat, eggs, milk, fish, but recommends limiting their use.

Blogger and nutritionist Marina Bessonova believes flexitarianism Is the most optimal approach to nutrition, which is much healthier than vegetarianism or meat-eating.

Marina: Flexitarianism is a predominantly plant-based diet that allows for infrequent intake of animal flesh - a great way to diversify your menu, the most acceptable and healthy alternative to one hundred percent vegan. And today, even the WHO is increasingly saying that a complete rejection of animal products is as harmful to health as 100% meat-eating.

Flexitarianism includes the consumption of large amounts of fruits and vegetables. Many regard this principle of nutrition as a transitional stage from meat eaters to lovers of plant foods. By the way, a flexible diet is often compared to the classic fasting of the Christian religion. After all, flexitarianism involves eating in cycles in which a person alternates periods with light plant foods and eating meat.

In Russia, flexitarianism is not yet particularly widespread. But in the United States, back in 2003, the American Dialectical Society recognized the word flexitarian as the most popular word of the year.

Flexitarianism: Cheating Vegetarianism with a Meat Menu

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What do flexitarians eat?

Red meat

It is permissible to include it in the diet 1-2 times a week. Primarily, red meat is a source of iron, B vitamins and essential amino acids. Adherents of a flexible diet believe that vegetable protein cannot completely replace animal, so they do not completely abandon meat.

Fish and seafood

According to the flexitarian ideology, their you can eat in unlimited quantities. the main thingso that the overall diet is balanced and healthy.


The Flexitarian Diet is based on a minimum amount of dairy products, but from cow's milk. It is better to switch to the highest quality sheep or goat, since it is believed that the cow contains growth factors that stimulate the secretion of insulin.

Any lovers of sausages, sausages and burgers will be upset by this list, since flexitarianism implies a healthy lifestyle ... So these delicacies will have to be replaced with products without preservatives and flavor enhancers. But this does not mean that your diet on flexitarianism will become less attractive.

British blogger Somi Igbene has long adhered to flexitarianism. The girl regularly shares on her Instagram photos and recipes for the dishes she prepares. All of them are made exclusively from healthy products, but at the same time they are able to seduce even the most inveterate lover of harmful delicacies. Just take a look!

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Advantages of Flexitarianism

Increasing the vegetable diet

The first advantage is the variety of vegetables in the diet. In addition, flexitarianism includes fruits and nuts, which we often neglect, having managed to satisfy the needs of high-calorie meals.

Unlimited food on holidays

On holidays, really, everything is possible. Yes, yes, you do not have to give up barbecue or Olivier for the New Year. This is a big plus psychologically, because diets often end precisely because of the breakdowns on the nerves. But the main thing in flexible eating is to count calories and make the following days unloading.

Measured weight loss

Another pleasant bonus is weight loss at a measured pace without feeling guilt for the extra piece eaten. But, most likely, muscle mass will go first, and the result itself is unlikely to last long. In addition, the lack of clear frames in the menu can interfere with those whose goal is to get rid of those extra pounds as quickly as possible. Either way, flexitarianism is a healthy diet that will keep you fit. But you shouldn't choose it solely for the sake of losing weight.

Flexitarianism: Cheating Vegetarianism with a Meat Menu

Photo: istockphoto.com

Contributing to a better environment

Flexitarianism helps to protect the environment. Reducing consumption of red meat and dairy products has a positive impact on the environment. After all, when keeping animals even on a home farm, greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide and methane - are emitted. This affects the temperature rise on the planet.

No lack of protein

This is one of the most obvious advantages. The beneficial properties of the enzyme will be utilized by the body to help build muscle, burn fat and maintain strong bones. While vegetarians have to take dietary supplements or make up for a lack of plant protein, flexitarians will not need to do this.

Overall health benefits

Directly health, then flexitarianism is well suited for preventing and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which are now the leading cause of death (stroke, heart attack).

Flexitarianism: Cheating Vegetarianism with a Meat Menu

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Cons of flexitarianism

Unbalanced diet

At first glance, flexitarianism may seem like the most ideal type of nutrition for a healthy lifestyle. However, such a varied menu, according to experts, can only do much harm. The lack of regularity in the use of foods, the alternation of plant and sometimes meat food leads to the fact that the diet is unbalanced and heavy for the body.

Flexitarianism: Cheating Vegetarianism with a Meat Menu

Photo : istockphoto.com

The same vegetarians closely monitor the replenishment of protein in the body and consume vegetable protein every day, and a flexible diet does not always provide for this.

Stress for the body

In addition, this alternation of vegetarianism with meat dishes is stressful for the body, which can develop into problems with weight, skin and nervous system.

Flexitarianism , as we have already seen, is quite flexible: there are no stereotyped dietary recommendations. Therefore, no one can guarantee you a 100% result. In addition, if you want to join the direction, we recommend that you first consult with a specialist to find out how much and what kind of protein you personally lack.

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What do vegetarians think about flexitarianism?

Vegetarians consider it offensive when flexitarianism is considered an offshoot of their diet. And this is understandable, because most often people stop eating meat for ethical or ideological reasons. For them, at least it is strange to give up meat one day and eat a juicy steak the next. It's like cheering for Barcelona in the morning and Real Madrid in the evening. Nevertheless, the number of fans of newfangled food is growing.

Flexitarianism is a kind of golden mean and a good trend in a healthy lifestyle. In Russia, flexitarianism is gaining popularity and, probably,the shortest possible time will be able to replace exhausting diets, which without knowing the measure are dangerous for most people. But we must not forget that nutrition is a very important moment for every person, so we advise you not to pursue fashion exclusively, but to listen to your body and consult with experts.

Flexitarianism: Cheating Vegetarianism with a Meat Menu

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