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Flexitarian Diet: Lose Weight without Giving Up Meat

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Do you want to lose weight but you're finding it hard to eliminate meat? Are you struggling to follow a strict vegetarian diet? Then, the Flexitarian Diet might be the best diet plan for you.

The Flexitarian Diet, also referred to as semi-vegetarianism, involves eating more plant-based meals and less meat. This diet aims to make it easier for you to eat more plant-based foods without having to give up meat altogether. In this diet, consumption of meat is permissible only if it is eaten occasionally.

Fact is nearly two out of three vegetarians can't stick to their veggie-and-fruit diet all the time. This makes vegetarian diet very challenging. In order not to discourage you from turning away from vegetarian diets, the Flexitarian Diet allows you to eat some meat without feeling guilty for it. Rules of vegetarian diet are made more flexible and more realistic so you can comply with them more easily.

In this diet, you can choose to follow one of its three levels: beginner, advanced, or expert. Beginners are allowed to eat meat provided that they limit it to 26 ounces per week, and are encouraged to have two meatless days in a week. Advanced flexitarians, on the other hand, should limit their meat intake to 18 ounces per week, and should have three or four meatless days in a week. Meanwhile, expert flexitarians only gets to eat 9 ounces of meet weekly, and eats five meatless days per week. In all these three flexitarian levels, meat becomes merely a side dish instead of the focal point of your meal.

A typical Flexitarian Diet includes three meals and two snacks. Each breakfast should be limited to 300 calories; lunch to 400 calories; dinner to 500 calories; and each snack to 150 calories. The diet, however, is adjustable depending on the dieter's choice. Dieters have the option of eliminating snacks so to limit their intake of calories to 1,200 per day or double their breakfast portion to increase their intake to 1,800 calories. Protein consumption is limited to 50 grams daily.

This diet has many health benefits. For one, it allows you to shed some pounds more easily as compared with the pure vegetarian diet. In six to twelve months, flexitarian diet can make you shed up to thirty pounds. Aside from that, by following the flexitarian diet, you can boost your immune system, and reduce the likelihood of having heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and many other diseases. Thus, flexitarian diet can increase your life expectancy. According to studies most vegetarians live 3.6 years longer than meat eaters.

In addition, flexible eating is not only healthy but also economical and ecologically sound. Fact is meat and poultry are more expensive than fruits and vegetables. By reducing your consumption of meat, you can lower your grocery bill, and therefore save more money. Reduction of meat consumption is also environmentally friendly. Not known by many, raising, feeding, slaughtering, and shipping of livestock actually contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. A study conducted by U.N. in 2006 found that 18% of greenhouse gas emissions came from the methane burped up by cattle, sheep and pigs. Aside from that, animals usually require more of the earth's resources as compared to plants so plants are considered more ecologically friendly than animals.

In sum, you enjoy the benefits of being a vegetarian with less rigidity. You can make your own meal plan and fitness regime with more flexibility. For so long as you avoid eating junk foods and other processed foods full of additives and preservatives, you can eat a variety of food of your choice without drastically changing your usual meal plan. What matters only is that the amount of meat you eat is less than the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume.

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