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Add more plant-based options to your diet with this healthy 7-day flexitarian meal plan – Business Insider India

Posted: November 26, 2020 at 4:59 am

A flexitarian diet is exactly what its name implies it's a flexible way to kickstart healthy eating and potentially shed some pounds and improve your health in the process.

Generally speaking, the purpose of the flexitarian diet is to reduce the amount of animal-based products you consume and replace them with whole, plant-based options.

"Technically, potato chips and table sugar are vegetarian but we know that if our diet includes too much of these types of food we will not lose weight," Keatley says. "However, picking whole-grains, fruits, and vegetables as well as some lean proteins make for a high-fiber calorie-controlled diet."


A flexitarian diet encourages a lot of healthy behaviors, like rarely eating red meat and loading up on lean protein and whole foods. Here's a list of foods that experts recommend eating frequently, in moderation, and rarely while following a flexitarian diet.

Foods/drinks to avoid whenever possible (true for all eating plans):

If you're interested in trying out a flexitarian diet, here's a 7-day sample flexitarian meal plan, according to registered dietician Shena Jaramillo, MS, RD. Adjust serving sizes and calorie proportions to your specific needs.

Breakfast: Oatmeal (made with dairy-free milk), topped with fruit and walnuts

Dinner: Butternut squash and black bean frittata

Lunch: Whole-wheat pita with mixed greens, bell pepper, and roasted chickpeas

Snack: Sliced pear

Day 3

Breakfast: Whole-wheat toast with avocado, sprouts, and chickpeas

Snack: 1 cup of strawberries

Day 4

Snack: Carrot sticks with hummus

Lunch: Strawberry almond kale salad with citrus vinaigrette and grilled chicken breast

Dinner: Tempeh taco sliders with tomato, cabbage, and vegan sour cream

Day 5

Snack: Baked kale chips

Snack: Popcorn with nutritional yeast

Breakfast: Egg scramble with mushrooms, onions, and peppers

Lunch: Avocado "Reuben" sandwich on rye with mustard, sauerkraut, and vegan thousand island dressing

Snack: Rice cakes with nut butter and pomegranate seeds

Snack: Tomato, cucumber, and basil salad with tahini or vinaigrette

Dinner: Curried coconut quinoa with shrimp and roasted cauliflower

Research that is specifically on the flexitarian diet is limited since the guidelines aren't as strict as vegetarianism and veganism, which makes flexitarianism more difficult to study.

Better weight management and body composition

Jaramillo says that since plant-based proteins tend to be high in fiber, they can make you feel full for longer while reducing your overall caloric intake which can ultimately lead to weight loss. Here's what the research says:

Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes

Reduced inflammation

Moreover, "anyone can benefit from a flexitarian diet but those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis may see the greatest benefit with decreased inflammation," says Jaramillo.

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Add more plant-based options to your diet with this healthy 7-day flexitarian meal plan - Business Insider India

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