The bottom line in weight loss is burning more calories than are consumed but it’s important to remember that no one diet plan will work the same for everyone. As individuals, our bodies respond differently. However, the simpler and more flexible the diet, the easier it is to maintain for weight loss. That’s why many dieters have found success with a flexible or flexitarian diet.
A flexible or flexitarian diet is mainly plant based or vegetarian but with room for flexibility. Some flexitarians never feel deprived because they actually add foods to their diet instead of eliminating entire food groups. They may add vegetable dishes that are new to them and sometimes become new favorites. Some flexitarians report filling up on their favorite salads and vegetables before allowing themselves a pasta or meat side dish and a small dessert. Adding that extra serving or two of vegetables causes them to want less meat, pasta, and dessert. Not feeling deprived is important in sticking with a diet.
A flexible diet can be customized for personal preferences or health restrictions. No rigid guidelines to adhere to. Choosing foods may be compared to shopping, only the currency is calories instead of money. If you have a certain number of calories to “spend” which foods will you choose? Those who successfully manage finances and schedules will find that managing calories is not much different. But those calories must be “spent” wisely in order to meet nutritional requirements while also satisfying the dieter.
A flexitarian diet can be easy on the budget as well. Beans and other legumes provide a more economical protein than expensive cuts of meat. Buying produce in season and cutting back on meat purchases can save on the grocery bill.
A flexitarian diet lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Research shows that those who eat a mainly plant-based diet tend to have a lower weight, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol readings than those who plan meals around meat. Perhaps the key to weight loss on a flexible diet is its flexibility and ease to maintain. Add a few minutes of exercise several days of the week and you’ve taken a big step toward weight management and better health.
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