The popularity of the Mediterranean Diet has a few solid reasons: first, it’s more likely a lifestyle than a rigid diet plan. Secondly, it focuses on olive oil as the main source of fat, which contains antioxidants and high levels of monounsaturated fats that are meant to replace unhealthy fats. Studies show that thanks to its high proportion of monounsaturated fats, olive oil has an important role in preventing coronary heart disease. Thirdly, the Mediterranean Diet implies moderation when it comes to eating habits, but at the same time, it allows you to enjoy your meals.
There are no fixed recipes, just a few rules that you have to follow to adopt this lifestyle.
The Mediterranean Lifestyle Diet
Olive Oil – moderate quantity (used in salads, cooked meat, fish..etc).
Cheese and yogurt – choose mostly low-fat products.
Fruits – one at each meal.
Vegetables – one at each meal.
Beans and nuts – try to eat one of these at a daily basis (they are primary sources of soluble fibers, which have a major contribution in reducing cholesterol levels).
Whole grains – replace white bread, white rice, etc with whole grain products such as whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta.
Water – at least 6 glasses of water per day.
Wine – moderate consumption (women 1 glass/day, men 2 glasses/day).
Physical activities – moderate, at least 30 minutes per day.
Eggs – four per week (also counting the ones from processed food).
Poultry meat – a couple of times a week (remove the skin).
Fish and seafood – a couple of times a week.
Red meat – only a few times a month.
Sweets – only occasionally (try to replace them with fruits).
– Focus on natural foods and beverages.
– You should have two strong meals a day (breakfast and lunch) with a light snack in between and after (mostly raw fruits, vegetables, skimmed milk or yogurt).
– Always eat slowly. You will feel full by eating less.
– Use less salt in your food and more herbs and spices.
– Never give up on physical activity. If the gym or jogging doesn’t suit you, at least give up on the elevator and take the stairs, walk instead of taking the bus…etc.
The Mediterranean Diet will not allow you to lose weight within a short amount of time magically. It works over time, but it has proven efficiency and will also help you maintain the optimal body shape after reaching it. This diet is also a non-frustrating weight loss solution that will allow you to enjoy your life, not just its results.