New to the pescetarian diet?
Chances are you probably have a few questions you need answers to.
I know we sure did when we became pescetarians.
You’ll be quite happy to hear though that it’s not as difficult as you may think to become a pescetarian.
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 pescetarian diet.
Let’s fire away!
Is The Pescetarian Diet Right For Me?
If you’re able to give up red meat and poultry, then you’re halfway there already.
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 much delicious pescetarian and plant based meals you can make.
If you’re unwilling to say bye bye to meat, then the pescetarian diet is not for you.
We would however encourage you to at least give it a try for 30 days.
Other Than Red Meat And Poultry, What Can Pescetarians Not Eat?
Simply put – there are no other restrictions.
However, those who choose the pescetarian lifestyle usually do so because they want to be and feel healthier.
As a result, the typical pescetarian 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.
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 pescetarian 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.
Will I Lose Weight On The Pescetarian Diet?
You can lose weight with a pescetarian 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 pescetarian 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 pescetarian plan, along with regular exercise, you will certainly lose weight.
More on pescetarian weight loss.
How Can I Get Started? How Do I Become A Pescetaran?
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.
Isn’t Pescetarianism Just Another Fad Diet?
We use the term “pescetarian 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 pescetarian 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 pescetarian lifestyle as research is showing the benefits of being a pescetarian such as the fact that fish (and seafood) are proven to be healthy sources of protein and fatty acids.
Is It Safe To Be A Pescetarian 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 about the eating fish during pregnancy.
What Can I Eat When I Go To A Restaurant?
As a pescetarian, 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 shrimp – just ask your waiter!
Now’s the perfect time to let your adventurous foodie out and try that tuna steak with mango salsa 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.
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, or blackened tilapia every night.
We’ve got easy to follow, delicious healthy pescetarian meals and recipes for you that will open your eyes to the pescetarian diet.
How Can I Tell If I’m Lacking In Certain Vitamins, Minerals, And Nutrients?
It’s easy to lack in 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.
Signs you may be lacking certain vitamins and minerals include but are not limited to: feeling lightheaded, sleeping more than usual, and muscle cramping.
If you are concerned about your deficiencies in your diet, it is always better to visit your doctor and get tested for certain vitamins and minerals.
Should I Do A Detox Or Cleanse Before Starting The Pescetarian Diet?
If you’re used to eating a lot of red meat, cutting it out cold turkey can be a shock to your body.
What you can do to make the transition a little bit easier is to go on a juice cleanse for one week which will help your body reset itself and get used to whole foods.
Then, slowly introduce fish, vegetables, and legumes.
Doing a detox can be unsafe and a shock to your system if you do not know what you are doing, so we recommend you either consult with a nutritionist or your doctor before doing a detox that lasts longer than a couple days.
Buying organic vegetables for juicing can be quite expensive, but here is a great cost effective juice recipe you’ll love:
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.