Going Flexitarian: What You Should Know

Everyone has that vegetarian or vegan friend that is relentlessly preaching about their dietary choice to quit meat and all animal based food.  However, It seems like this year a new option has been gaining popularity. The term Flexitarian has been trending, not just in the circles of health and fitness fanatics, but in general conversations surrounding the food we eat. Also known, as a flexible vegetarian “Flexitarianism” is a trending lifestyle and dietary trend on the rise throughout the U.S. After the popularity of such documentaries as “What The Health” and “Cowspiracy” many meat and dairy loving Americas are rethinking their relationship with food and considering adopting a more plant based diet. This leads to the question what does it mean to be Flexitarian, and is this just a passing trend or a real movement worth looking into?

As men look for more natural ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle BGS took this opportunity to explore if “Going Flexitarian” is truly worth the time. Sitting down with 8fit spokesperson Laurel Toney, BSG is setting the record straight on this popular food trend. With an active user base of over 12 million people this nutrition based app offers insight into the trending habits of everyday health conscious millenials.

What does it mean to be flexitarian, would you say this a growing trend?

A “flexitarian” is someone who primarily keeps to a vegetarian or plant-based diet, but occasionally enjoys meat and fish. Essentially, they’re living out the “everything in moderation” mantra. There’s no denying the flexitarian trend (or “semi-vegetarian” as it’s also known) is increasing in popularity. You only have to look at the number of people embracing “Meat Free Mondays” and the new sections in supermarkets, which feature always-improving plant-based protein options, to see this trend’s progression.

Why would someone choose to go flexitarian, what are the benefits of adopting a more plant-based diet?

While flexitarianism has received some criticism from hard-line vegetarians and vegans, consumers are making the leap for a number of health, environmental and ethical reasons (of course, diet choices are always highly personal, so motivations vary by individual). Overall, we’ve heard from 8fit members that a flexitarian diet gives them freedom to enjoy the foods they love, while still optimizing for their health and the health of the planet.

For some, it’s about reducing the intake of red meat in their diet to see health benefits, since eating red meat and processed meats has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes, or as a trial phase if they’re considering becoming a full-on vegetarian. For those who environmentally aware, the flexitarian mindset proves you don’t have to go all-out to have a positive impact on the world. By switching to a plant-based diet, even some of the time, people can affect positive change for their wellbeing, and for the environment by reducing carbon emissions and waste byproducts.

Are there any go-to recipes you’d recommend that are easy to make?

The 8fit app is designed to be completely tailored to your tastes and preferences, so if you’re aiming to reduce meat in your diet and rely more on plant-based recipes, the custom meal plans within the app are a great place to start. Among our 12 million-member strong community, the Gluten Free Cabbage Pizza is a crowd favorite – and it’s ready eat in under 30 minutes. This variation of a classic dish proves that being a flexitarian doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself flavorful, delicious meals.

Top 4 takeaways in considering “Going Flexitarian”:

Eating less meat is better for the environment.
Having a balanced diet is much better for your health.
“Flextarianism” is a suitable label for being veggie conscious, while not feeling guilty about eating meat at restaurants or at a friend’s house.
It saves the embarrassment of trying to be a vegetarian and admitting defeat!