Flexitarian Diet to Lose Weight: A Healthy Approach!

By Lily •  Updated: 05/06/22 •  6 min read

Losing weight, dieting, and healthy eating can seem daunting to most. With a large number of diets and weight loss programs available, how do you choose just one?

Most diets require you to give up specific foods, starve yourself, and cut calories. The flexitarian diet to lose weight is possibly the best diet to follow, as it allows you to eat anything your heart desires if done right!

And while I endorse a fully plant-based diet, a flexitarian diet can be a

In this article, we are going to learn more about this fantastic way of eating and how you can lose weight on a flexitarian diet. So let’s get to it!

Flexi-what? What is a Flexitarian Diet?

The flexitarian diet gets its name from combining flexible and vegetarian. It is a plant-based diet that does not restrict your craving for meat. Following a 3-4-5 calorie principle, followers are encouraged to eat their favorite foods, including meat.

While the diet focuses mainly on the consumption of vegetables, fruits, and grains, you may eat meat whenever you choose. 

This diet is a great way to start your journey to becoming a vegetarian or vegan. 

The 3-4-5 Principle

What is the 3-4-5 calorie principle, you might ask? Let’s break it down. 

The principle focuses on your calorie intake and gives you a goal or limit for how many calories you should ideally be consuming at each meal.

For example, your first meal could be 300 calories, the second 400 calories, and your last big meal of the day is 500 calories. There is an allowance of 150 calories for snacks. The total calorie count for the day should not exceed 1,500 calories. 

This might have you thinking, “But is this not starving myself? I thought this diet was about eating what I want?” Yes, you can eat pretty much what you want from the five “food flex groups,” but with controlled portion sizes.

So say yes to that steak at the family barbecue, and tuck into that turkey at Thanksgiving with the peace of mind that you are the one that chooses when you want to eat meat. 

The Food Flex Groups

We are all very familiar with the five major food groups. That being fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy.

The Flexitarian food groups differ somewhat and are more focused on plant-based foods. While meats are not included in any of the food groups, they can be paired with any and all food groups, but in limited portions and meals.

Flex Food Group #1: This food group consists of mostly legumes, nuts, eggs, tofu, and vegan “meats.” Legumes are made up of beans, lentils, and peas. 

Flex Food Group #2: Food group two contains all fruit and vegetables

Flex Food Group #3: Grains make up the majority of flex food group three and include millet, quinoa, barley, pasta, oats, and rice

Flex Food Group #4: Dairy in all forms is the recommended food in group four. Enjoy cheese, milk, yogurt, and yes, even chocolate from Flex food group four. 

Flex Food Group #5: Food group five is not so much a list of foods but rather spices and sauces used to enhance your meals’ flavor. Ketchup, mustard, seasonings, tabasco sauce, and many more come from the fifth and final food group in the Flexitarian diet. 

Sports woman eating salad, standing with lots of healthy fresh food on the kitchen

Why Choose a Flexitarian Diet?

Apart from the weight-loss benefits of portion control and eating plant-based foods, there are also health benefits associated with the Flexitarian diet. These include:

Healthy eating has an array of health benefits and choosing to eat a more plant-based diet leads to better health in the long run. 

While you are not expected to give up meat completely, the aim of the Flexitarian diet is to limit meat consumption.

A beginner to the diet would start off by having two meat-free days, whereas someone who has been following the diet for longer would eat meat only once or twice a week. It is all about personal choice. 

The Flexitarian diet has also won awards. The U.S. News and World Report surveyed the diets of 2022 and ranked the Flexitarian diet number 2 on their “Best Diets Overall for 2022” list, as well as second place for “Best Plant-Based Diets” and “Easiest Diets to Follow.”

If this is still not enough to convince you to make the change to a Flexitarian diet, there are a few more benefits or bonuses that come with choosing a plant-based way of eating:

Will I Lose Weight on the Flexitarian Diet?

Weight loss is only one of the many benefits of the Flexitarian diet. While you can expect to lose a good amount of body fat, weight loss may be slow compared to other diets that have strict eating plans and guides and cut out certain foods completely. 

The Flexitarian diet is a choice. You choose when you want to eat, what you want to eat and create your own eating plan based on the five Flexi food groups.

Click here for a sample flexitarian diet plan.

Eat a well-balanced diet, including meats like fish, chicken, and beef, paired with the Flexi food groups, and you will be well on your way to healthy weight loss. 


Diets are a drag; we all know this. But, the Flexitarian diet allows you to eat all your favorite foods, including meat and dairy, while still helping you curb and control your calorie intake and essentially lose weight.

If you love your food and hate the thought of cutting out carbs, meat, and dairy, the Flexitarian diet is, without a doubt, the best choice for you. It might just help you then be fully on board on a plant-based diet!

Speak to a healthcare professional or dietician about the benefits of a plant-based diet, and find many healthy yet tasty recipes online to start your Flexitarian diet journey. 


Hi, I'm Lily! Like you, I have struggled with my weight. It was not an easy journey but I was able to lose 40 pounds and have kept it off for 14 years. My goal is to share with you all the research, tips, and tricks that I have learned over the years to help you lose weight also.