We often hear about the upsides of adopting a plant-based diet such as the flexitarian diet are there any downsides to becoming a flexitarian?
Planning and prepping may take longer
One of the biggest changes you will need to adapt to when you become a flexitarian is planning, preparing and cooking your food. This is especially true if you are used to eating a lot of convenience foods. However, becoming a semi-vegetarian means that you will be embracing one of the easiest to follow eating patterns.
You may need to make some small adjustments to ensure you get all the nutrients you need. You will need to ensure you include plant-based food in your diet that contain enough amounts of vitamin B12, calcium, Zinc, Iron and Omega-3 fatty acids. Many of today’s plant-based milks and whole grain cereals are fortified with vitamins B, calcium and iron as well as other nutrients which makes the task easier.
The wonderful thing about the flexitarian diet is that it does not eliminate animal foods entirely, so becoming vitamin or mineral deficient is highly unlikely. In fact, changing to a flexitarian diet will most likely improve your diet quality and ultimately your health.
Difficult to find plant-based foods
One of the challenges of becoming a flexitarian is to make sure you have access to plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Growing your own is the ideal solution but not many of us have the luxury of a garden or the time it takes to produce your own food. However, your local supermarket or even better organic food store should be able to keep you supplied with everything you need.
Even though there are many flexitarian diet recipes and ideas both in books and online, if you are used to eating out most of the time it could be difficult to find restaurants that serve a wide range of plant-based food. A quick search on Google for flexitarian, vegetarian or even vegan restaurants should help remedy this.
Lack of clear instructions
As the name of this diet implies, flexitarianism is a flexible way of eating. This means the diet does not come with many instructions. For example, the diet is not specific in the amount or types of meat that can be eaten. In Dawn Jackson Blatner’s book “The Flexitarian Diet” the only meats that are mentioned are lean turkey and chicken. There is no guidance given on other meats such as beef steak or pork roast.
Blatner’s book does not give any advice on how carnivores can gradually wean themselves off meat. Those looking for a way to make adopting a flexitarian diet easier may try some of the excellent plant-based meat substitutes that are rapidly coming onto the market. Nestlé’s Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger and the Impossible Burger 2.0 by impossible foods are two of the most popular right now.
Slow weight loss
If you’re looking to lose weight fast the flexitarian diet may not be the best for you. The weight loss process can be quite slow. The upside is you will lose weight healthily as you eat less animal fat whilst eating a healthier diet.
As you may have noticed on our website, we are in favour of eating less meat and we are passionate about the flexitarian diet! As such, we tend to focus on the pros of the flexitarian lifestyle. However, as in most things in life there are pros and cons to every decision we make. We hope this article provides some balance and addresses some of the cons you may encounter on your journey towards flexitarianism.