The Flexitarian Diet Meal Plan

Flexitarian Diet Meal Plan

If you would like to improve your diet without rigid rules and restrictions, then the Flexitarian Diet is for you.

What is the Flexitarian Diet?

Flexitarian is a marriage of the two words “flexible” and “vegetarian”. The Vegetarian Diet eliminates meat and sometimes other animal foods. The Flexitarian Diet is a semi-vegetarian style of eating that encourages more plant-based meals, while including meat and other animal products in moderation. It is designed to be more flexible than traditional vegetarian and vegan diets and is based on the following principles:

  • Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains
  • Focus on plant-based protein over animal
  • Incorporate animal-based products from time to time
  • Eat the least amount of processed foods as possible
  • Limit added sugars

The Flexitarian Diet does not have a strict set of rules or guidelines, and is considered more of a lifestyle than a diet.

Foods to Eat

Non-Starchy Vegetables

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Peppers
  • Beets
  • Collard Greens
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Ginger

Milk Alternatives

  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Oat Milk

In Moderation

  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Dairy


  • Soybeans
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds


  • Passion Fruit
  • Strawberries
  • Star Fruit
  • Tangerines
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Lemon/Lime Juice

The Flexitarian Diet encourages a variety of food groups, consumed in moderation.

Who is This Diet a Good Fit For?

The Flexitarian Diet will work well for anyone seeking to improve their health without rigid dieting rules. The flexible nature of this diet allows individuals to include a variety of foods without feeling overly restrictive.

Adding in more plant foods is encouraged, without completely eliminating meat.

Ingredients are easy to find at most local grocery stores for adherence to the Flexitarian Diet.

Foods to Limit


  • Maple Syrup
  • Honey
  • Agave Nectar
  • Splenda
  • Equal
  • NutraSweet
  • Xylitol
  • Stevia

Starchy Vegetables

  • Potatoes
  • Turnips

Processed Foods

  • Deli Meats
  • Candy
  • Bread
  • Alcohol
  • Refined Carbs
  • Fried Foods

Consume these foods in moderation on the Flexitarian Diet.

Flexitarian Diet Meal Plans

Our Registered Dietitian has created an 8-page full week of meals for the ideal Flexitarian Diet meal plan, including:

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, & Snacks for each day of the 7-Day meal plan
  • Full Macronutrients for each day of the week including calories, protein, fats, and carbs
  • Flexitarian Diet recipes
  • Shopping List
Flexitarian Cover page
Flexitarian Meal Summary
Flexitarian Table of Contents
Flexitarian Macronutrients
Flexitarian Meal Summary
Flexitarian Shopping List

Flexitarian Diet Pros & Cons

  • Flexible
  • Variety of recipes
  • More environmentally sustainable
  • Live healthier and longer
  • High amount of home-cooking
  • Adjustment to more plant-based diet
  • Possible nutrient deficiencies


How often do Flexitarians eat meat?

There are 3 different levels of commitment when following a Flexitarian Diet:

Beginners: 2 meatless days per week (26 ounces of meat or poultry per week)
Advanced: 3-4 meatless days per week (18 ounces of meat or poultry per week)
Expert: 5 meatless days per week (9 ounces of meat or poultry per week)

Do Flexitarians eat dairy?

Yes. Dairy is an animal product and can be included in small amounts.

Some people choose to include diary on the Flexitarian Diet if they enjoy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Others choose to avoid it for health reasons (allergy or intolerance) or personal preference.

What are the rules of a Flexitarian Diet?

The Flexitarian Diet does not have a strict set of rules or guidelines. It is based on certain principles including: consume mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains; include animal-based products from time to time; and eat as minimal processed foods as possible.

Overall, it is considered more a lifestyle than a diet.

What are some plant-based sources of protein?

Plant-based protein is found in tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and some vegetables.

Bottom Line

Overall the goal of the Flexitarian Diet is to incorporate more nutritious plant-based foods and reduce consumption of meat and other animal products.

Evidence has shown that long-term consumption of increasing amounts of red and processed meat may increase the risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer such as colon cancer. Adherence to a more plant-based diet  could have potential health benefits in relation to weight loss and metabolic health benefits.

Since meat is an important source of protein, fat, and micronutrients, you will want to make sure you are consuming enough nutrients on the diet. Planning your Flexitarian food choices well is important to assure adequate nutrition and reap the most health benefits.

If you’re wondering how to get started on the Flexitarian Diet consider downloading the free 7-day Flexitarian meal plan.


Kristen Kuminski Registered Dietician

Kristen Kuminski, RD, CDN

Kristen is a consultant Dietitian with experience working with a variety of individuals and populations. Kristen has experience counseling/ coaching clients in eating disorders, pediatrics, weight management, mental health nutrition and other chronic health conditions.

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