Deconstructing the Flexitarian Diet
Better Nutrition|January 2022
How being a part-time vegan can make you healthier.
By Lisa Turner

The name itself is a merging of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian,” coined in the early ’90s. There’s no calorie counting or restrictions, and eating out is super easy.

An eating plan without calorie counting, restrictions, or rigid rules? One that doesn’t shun entire food groups and allows for the occasional bacon burger with extra cheese? It’s like we’ve died and gone to diet heaven. Healthy, easy to follow, and sustainable over the long term, the Flexitarian Diet consistently tops the list of best dietary regimens. While it’s the ultimate in flexibility (other than outright dietary abandon), it’s not a free-for-all. Here’s what you need to

What Exactly Is Flexitarian?

The name itself is a merging of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian,” coined in the early ’90s and subsequently popularized by nutritionists, food bloggers, and cookbook authors. While it’s not meat-free, the diet limits animal products and encourages a mostly vegetarian meal plan. The emphasis is on whole, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, grains, and plantbased proteins, with the occasional addition of animal products. There’s no calorie counting or restrictions, and eating out is super easy. In fact, while the Flexitarian Diet in its purest incarnation avoids fast foods, packaged foods, and excess sugar, the focus is always on flexibility—which means an occasional burger and fries aren’t off the menu.

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