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New to the pescatarian diet?
Chances are you probably have a few questions you need answers to.
I know we sure did when we became pescatarians.
You’ll be quite happy to hear though that it’s not as difficult as you may think to become a pescatarian.
Whether you need to know if you will lose weight, which nutrients you may lack, or even which fish you should stay clear of (there are a few!) – we cover it all here.
In this FAQ section, we’ll aim to answer all your burning questions about the pescatarian diet.
Let’s fire away!
1. Is The Pescatarian Diet Right For Me?
If you’re wanting a healthier lifestyle, then you’re halfway there already.
Every one of us has a different reason for wanting a healthier lifestyle. But it goes without saying that you must have a reason why you’re doing it, or it’ll become very hard, very quickly, to maintain this lifestyle.
Then, of course, there’s the case of giving up meat. Are you truly ready to do so? Do you want to do so? Many studies have been done on the benefits of giving up red meat, but ultimately the decision to inform yourself and make the choice to give it up is all yours.
Even though right now it might be hard to think of even giving up steak, or chicken wings, you’d be surprised at how many delicious pescatarian and plant-based meals you can make.
If you’re unwilling to say bye bye to meat, then the pescatarian diet is not for you right now.
We would, however, encourage you to at least give it a try for 30 days and see how you feel.
2. Other Than Red Meat And Poultry, What Can Pescatarians Not Eat?
Simply put – there are no other restrictions.
However, those who choose the pescatarian lifestyle usually do so because they want to be and feel healthier.
As a result, the typical pescatarian will also end up cutting out a few if not all of the following: gluten, dairy, processed sugars, processed fast foods, bad fats, and bad carbs.
We’ve chosen to slowly eliminate all of the above and haven’t felt better on the inside and out.
3. Won’t I Be Protein Deficient If I Cut Meat Out Completely?
It’s true that meat contains a high amount of protein, but just because you’re cutting it doesn’t mean you will be lacking in protein.
The pescatarian diet offers many substitutions that will keep you full and nourished like fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. As long as you are eating enough of these foods, you will not be protein deficient.
4. Will I Lose Weight On The Pescatarian Diet?
You can lose weight with a pescatarian diet, but it’s also very easy to gain weight if you’re not being careful.
What do we mean by this?
Just because you’re cutting red meat and poultry out of your diet doesn’t mean you can go crazy with the Mcdonald’s fish fillet burgers!
A lot of food that is considered pescatarian is still unhealthy, but the same can be said about any diet including paleo, vegetarian, and even vegan!
If you’re patient enough, and stick to a fish and plant-based pescatarian plan, along with regular exercise, you will certainly lose weight.
Read more on pescatarian weight loss
5. How Can I Get Started? How Do I Become A Pescatarian?
It’s as simple as cooking your next meal without any meat!
There’s nothing extravagant you have to buy to start like extra kitchen utensils or bake-ware.
6. Isn’t Pescatarianism Just Another Fad Diet?
We use the term “pescatarian diet” around the site a few times, but we don’t look at it like that.
We instead see it as a lifestyle choice.
If you approach your eating as a lifestyle choice vs a diet, you’re more likely to succeed.
While the pescatarian diet hasn’t been around that long, similar diets like the Mediterranean diet has been around for thousands of years.
Nowadays, more and more people leaning toward a pescatarian lifestyle as research is showing the benefits of being a pescatarian such as the fact that fish (and seafood) are proven to be healthy sources of protein and fatty acids.
7. Is It Safe To Be A Pescatarian If I’m Pregnant?
You may have heard that eating fish while pregnant is a huge no-no, but it’s not as bad as you may think.
You should limit your fish intake to 1-2 times per week while pregnant, and rather go the rest of the week on a vegetarian diet, making sure you are still getting an adequate amount of calories, vitamins, and nutrients that you need.
Learn more abouteating fish during pregnancy.
8. What Can I Eat When I Go To A Restaurant?
As a pescatarian, your choices at a restaurant are never limited.
You will usually find an array of fish dishes on the menu, and often times chicken can easily be substituted for fish – just ask your waiter!
Now’s the perfect time to let your adventurous foodie out and try that teriyaki salmon poke bowl you always glance over. An important thing to consider however is whether the restaurant you are eating at serves wild-caught or farmed fish.
Wild is always preferred and you can call ahead to find out.
9. Where Can I Find Easy Recipes Without Getting Bored
Just because your new diet includes more fish and seafood than you may be used to cooking, doesn’t mean you have to have the same baked soy and honey salmon with veggies and rice every night.
We’ve got easy to follow, delicious healthy pescatarian meals and recipes for you that will open your eyes to the pescatarian diet.
10. How Can I Tell If I’m Lacking In Certain Vitamins, Minerals, And Nutrients?
It’s easy to lack certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients if you are not eating a whole foods diet.
This isn’t the result of what you’re cutting out, however (meat and poultry), but rather what you’re putting in. Make sure to eat your leafy greens, legumes, antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries, and take supplements if need be.
Signs you may be lacking certain vitamins and minerals include but are not limited to:
- feeling lightheaded
- sleeping more than usual
- feeling sluggish throughout the day
- muscle cramping
If you are concerned about your deficiencies in your diet, it is always better to visit your doctor and get tested for a lack of certain vitamins and minerals.
11. Should I Do A Detox Or Cleanse Before Starting The Pescatarian Diet?
If you’re used to eating a lot of red meat, cutting it out cold turkey can be a shock to your body.
While we love the practice of juicing (as part of a healthy lifestyle), going on a total cleanse can be an even bigger shock on your body! Instead, add a juice a day (or more) to your daily diet alongside fish, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
If you are intent on doing a cleanse, however, we’d highly recommend you either consult with a nutritionist, holistic doctor, or your family doctor before doing a detox that lasts longer than a couple of days.
Buying organic vegetables for juicing can be quite expensive, but here is a great cost effective juice recipe you’ll love:
12. Can I Freeze Fish And Seafood?
If you’ve ever tried freezing fish before by simply chucking the fillets in a Ziploc freezer bag, you may have noticed that freezer burn (those white fuzzies) sets in pretty quickly. Luckily, there are many ways to properly freeze fish and seafood so that you can buy in bulk and save for later.
One of the easiest ways we use to freeze fresh fish is by vacuum sealing fillets. It’s really simple. You simply rinse the fish in salted icy water, then transfer them to a freezer bag, and vacuum!
If you don’t have a vacuum seal, we’d highly recommend making the investment!
13. I’m On A Budget, Isn’t Wild Caught Fish Expensive?
It’s true that buying wild caught fish and seafood can start to get expensive, so it’s always nice to find ways to save money where you can.
You can often find large portions of fresh or frozen wild caught fish at Costco for a fraction of the price you’d pay at a local grocery store.
Make sure to check the labels though! If it’s not organic, you’ll want to stay away as those fish were most likely raised in ocean tanks but still fed non-organic foods which will get passed on to you if you choose to eat it.
You can also visit your local fishmonger and find out which fish are on special that week.
14. Can’t I Get Mercury Poisoning From Eating Too Much Fish?
Simply put, yes you can get mercury poisoning if you are constantly eating fish like tile, swordfish, shark (you should never eat this!), and albacore tuna.
As long as you stay away from those fish and rather opt for fish that are the lowest in mercury, then you will be just fine.
An acceptable amount of fish to eat per week is about 2 to 3 times.
15. I Have No Support At Home For Eating Healthier
First, realize that this is a more common problem than you may realize, and you’re not alone! Having a support system in place is the #1 way to be successful and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you find yourself going on this journey alone, then come join our free Facebook group for people just like you! Click the button below!