Weight Loss On A Flexitarian Diet

Weight Loss On A Flexitarian Diet
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It’s almost been a whole year since I’ve posted in this blog. To be honest, I was burned out and just didn’t feel I had any more to say about anything. On top of all this, enter the COVID 19 Pandemic and all that comes with it along with the current volatile political climate. What could I possibly write that would bring value to someone?

After pondering about my recent diet choices, I decided to write about my ongoing quest for the holy grail of weight loss. If you read throughout this blog, you will see that I championed Intermittent Fasting and the Keto Diet. While I did lose weight with Keto+Intermittent Fasting, my weight-loss soon petered out and came to a halt.

This is when I decided to look for another way of eating that will ensure that my weight loss is slow yet steady. I wanted to see results according to what I’ve been told is the healthy way to lose weight, i.e. no more than 1-2 pounds each week. Enter the Flexitarian Diet.

My Experience With IF+Keto

Before I dive into my version of The Flexitarian Diet, I feel like I should give a bit more explanation as to why I discontinued using Keto and Intermittent Fasting. To be sure these two ways of eating work well to help you lose weight, but even though my taste buds loved many of the allowed foods, my body did not.

Like any red-blooded person, I enjoy dairy foods, and I had ample cheese and butter as part of my keto diet. Unfortunately, I am lactose intolerant and suffered greatly just for trying to lose weight! There were times that I was in the fetal position because the gas pains were so bad!

Dairy intolerance notwithstanding, I also didn’t like eating all of those eggs, and meats while not being able to have other healthy foods like lentils, legumes, or beans. I didn’t feel a sense of balance following keto and my weight-loss petered out after a few months.

I then started looking for a simple weight-loss app and stumbled across one that asked me a few questions and generated a flexitarian diet plus a daily exercise plan for me.

So What Is A Flexitarian Diet?

Wholesome and filling whole grains.

Confession time, the diet plan the app suggested wasn’t officially called a flexitarian diet. I decided to call it a flexitarian diet because it closely follows the tenets of the flexitarian diet which are namely to:

  • Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes
  • Get the majority of your protein from plant sources such as beans, peas, and lentils instead of animal sources
  • Be flexible and incorporate meat, fish, and other animal products from time to time
  • Eat food in its most natural form, limit processed foods, limit added sugars and sweets

Because this diet is so flexible, I am able to enjoy some animal-based foods while avoiding the ones that cause adverse side effects. I also expanded my views of what ingredients constituted the main meals of the day. For example, I make a great quinoa dish with roasted peanuts, olive oil and soy sauce for breakfast!

Most of my meals these days are primarily composed of whole grains like steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, peas, beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables with occasional animal-based foods like eggs, chicken, fish, and grass-fed meats. A lot right!? Certainly a lot more than I was allowed on the Keto diet.

Examples of Flexitarian Meals

One of the must-haves of my new diet was that it contains meals that were quick and easy. This will always be my focus when it comes to meal planning. Not only must the meal be nutritious, but I should be able to prepare it in less than 30 minutes. Luckily since I started my flexitarian diet, I spend from as little as 5 minutes to no more than 25 minutes per meal. I would save even more time if I batch cooked!

Let me give a few quick examples of the types of meals I would have every day, including breakfast, two snacks, lunch, and dinner. First up a typical flexitarian breakfast.

Breakfast – Oatmeal with Wild Berries & Honey (or Agave)

Oatmeal & Fresh Berries

Ingredients:

  • Oatmeal (or any favorite cereal like quinoa, rice, corn)
  • Fresh berries
  • Agave syrup or honey
  • Coconut flakes
  • Cardamom and Cinnamon Powder (optional)

Method:

  • Cook oatmeal (or other grain) according to directions
  • When ready, add oatmeal to a bowl and top with a pinch of spices if using, coconut flakes, berries, and honey or agave syrup.

This tasty breakfast is ready in less than five minutes. See? quick and easy! Let’s move on to our first snack.

First Snack – Muesli Bar

Ingredients & Method: Open muesli bar and enjoy. No time at all.

Lunch – Boneless Jerk Chicken Thighs w/ Thai Noodles

This is one of my favorite lunches on this diet because it hits all my hot spots: it’s delicious and it’s quick and easy. I use ramen rice noodles and my favorite jerk chicken marinade to make this quick lunch.

Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken thigh cut up in cubes
  • Jerk chicken marinade
  • Cooking oil (I use avocado oil)
  • Ramen noodles (I use whole grain ramen noodles)
  • Olive oil or butter (I use oil because I’m lactose intolerant)
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds

Method:

  • Season chicken with marinade (you can preseason or season just before cooking)
  • Heat oil over medium-low heat in a saucepan
  • Add chicken to the pan and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  • While chicken is cooking, cook ramen noodles according to package directions.

Once noodles are cooked and drained, add a bit of butter or olive oil and mix well. Add soy sauce and sesame seeds to taste. Stir to mix well. After the chicken is done, you can put it over your noodles. Pretty tasty, satisfying, and quick!

Second Snack

Dark Chocolate

Ingredients & Method: Ready to eat, just open, weigh your allotted portion of dark chocolate and enjoy. No time.

Dinner – Chickpeas Curry with Peas & Tomato Salad

This is one of my favorite dinners because it’s as healthy as it is quick to make.

Ingredients for curry:

  • Chickpeas (drained from canned)
  • Curry sauce (there are great organic ready-made Indian curry sauces available in your local supermarket)

Method:

Heat through chickpeas and sauce together in a pan over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

Red Bean Carrot Stew with Chickpea Curry

Ingredients for salad:

  • Peas (could use drained canned pigeon peas or green peas)
  • Lettuce
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Pepitas or Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soy Sauce

Method:

  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss well
  • Enjoy with plated chickpeas curry.

This meal can be prepared in about 15 minutes and is chock-full of flavorful plant protein and good fats from the chickpeas, pepitas, and sesame seeds.

Of course, the app tells me how much of each ingredient to put in each meal to ensure that I maintain a calorie deficit. To be honest, I’m enjoying my food so much, that I don’t feel at all deprived and I’m much less bloated!

Another great thing about the flexitarian diet is that it can be very affordable, especially if you buy dry or canned beans, peas, legumes, and lentils. The more plant-based your protein sources, the more money you save!

Adding Exercise

Exercise is an important part of any fitness regimen

No diet will be successful without exercise, and I for one find it to be a necessary chore. The great thing about this app is that it has built-in daily workouts that are 30 minutes or less, with some as short as 8 minutes and the average is about 20 minutes. I really break a sweat doing the reps and I feel accomplished after doing them.

The daily exercise coupled with me following this flexitarian diet has really given me real and sustained results. I have lost a total of 18 pounds in 2 months – averaging a loss of about 2 pounds per month.

Final Thoughts

The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected us all in different ways. Some of us have entered a depressive mode where we can’t seem to get anything done and others of us seem to thrive in the enforced shutdown. No matter where you are in the spectrum, I know that weight loss may be the last thing on your mind. I get it I really do.

I have fluctuated between not giving a f*&k to being concerned about my health. After a bit too much day drinking, I decided I wanted to choose health. Since that decision and by following the flexitarian way of eating and exercising every day, I have found that my attitude is much better. I feel better and I have a bit more hope.

Take this time to do what makes you happy. If that’s doing nothing or if it’s doing all the things, the main goal is to maintain your peace. Stay well my friends and as always, happy eating! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Weight Loss On A Flexitarian Diet”

  • Guess what? It turns out that I have been eating this way for an extended period of time. I’d say it has been nearly one year, or, approximately the same amount of time that you’ve been away from your blog. Welcome back.

    Without knowing that I had become a Flexitarian, it made good sense to me to eat this way so I could achieve weight loss. It’s going fairly good actually. 1 -3 pounds per week of weight loss. Sometimes, I am stagnant, but I feel good about my food choices. I don’t do this exclusively, which is most likely why there are periods of time where no weight is lost. I just had to have a steak or a broasted chicken quarter. Yum! 

    I cannot wait to experience your shared recipes, especially Boneless Jerk Chicken Thighs w/ Thai Noodles. OMG! Looks scrumptious to me! That’s about it. I will be back for more. I need time to explore your tags section😀.

    Jacquelyn

    • Hi Jacquelyn,

      Thank you for the welcome back! I hope to be posting a bit more with useful information. Yeah, I think the flexitarian diet is a more natural and balanced way of eating. Keep up the good work and let me know if you find a good jerk marinade!

      Take good care,

      Dawn

  • Hi Dawn, can I just say this is such an interesting post. Last year I lost nearly 10 Kgs in 3 months due to excessive exercise and intermittent fasting. I was completely worn out but looked a lot better. I returned to my old regime of eating (what I thought was normal) and mild exercise. Needless to say, the weight slowly returned. Not the whole lot but a large portion of it. Your Flexitarian diet looks really good. The meals permitted are right up my street as they include many of the foods I love. I shall certainly be giving it a go. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi David.

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, the flexitarian diet is really good for your health. Just eat calories in moderation and your weight loss should resume.

      All the best,

      Dawn

  • Thank you Dawn, for this post. I am a healthy eating enthusiast and I believe in being flexible with our diet. I really like the four points emphasised by the flexitarian diet. If possible, processed sugar should be completely eliminated from our diet. Exercise is also a necessity in losing weight and healthy living. These Meals look very yummy. I like the breakfast oatmeal. Keep up the good work! 

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