Can the Mediterranean diet help lose weight?
Without a doubt, the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle can aid in weight-loss. The traditional Mediterranean diet has a low-fat and high-fiber content with a large array of vitamins, minerals, photochemicals, and other key nutrients vital to a healthy body. The most successful weight-loss plans that are also the most sustainable in the long run promote the consumption of minimally processed foods and a decrease in processed foods. Minimally processed foods include vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Produce should be bought locally for increased consumption of vital nutrients that often deplete with age. Processed foods are often loaded with sugar, salt, and saturated fat. EVOO, also known as extra virgin olive oil, is a major part of the healthy diet.
Design your meals to include the main food groups, with the emphasis of the meal on produce. Meat should only be eaten on occasion and in small proportion. Have the main course focus on plant sources of protein, such as beans, legumes, and whole grains. Nut, meat, and dairy consumption should be limited and when consumed, of the low-fat variety. Look for reputable producers, such as local farmers, for better quality and less chemicals.
The Mediterranean diet is compatible with any good health and maintenance goal. Single portions are must be observed. While diet is certainly a major factor in weight-loss, it cannot help you achieve that healthy figure alone. Moderate activity should be added as well, such as an after dinner walk. Follow these tips, and you should be able to lose weight at a sensible rate of one to two pounds per week.
How does one switch to a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle without sudden drastic measures?
Switching to a Mediterranean style of eating is simple and delicious. Start slowly by incorporating ingredients such as olive oil with butter into the dishes you are already preparing. Cook meals such as sautéed vegetables, soups, and pastas and add a small drizzle of olive oil before serving. This method can even be employed when baking. The olive oil has a distinct flavor which evaporates during the cooking process. However, if you can still detect a slight taste, an alternative is the milder tasting canola oil.
Get in the habit of removing meat and butter or margarine as part of your daily dinner from the table. Meat should switch positions from main course to side dish at meals. Think of meat as flavoring, and use it as such. A large number of Mediterranean recipes exempt meat completely, but are still delicious and nutritious. Legumes, nuts, and seeds are all excellent sources of plant-based protein. This switch will prove to not only be healthful, but economical as well.
Stock up on whole grain pastas and breads, legumes, canned produce, and in-season produce. Visit your local farmer’s markets, produce stands, or locally sourced grocery stores as a great way to support your community and self. These outlets also often have fresher and less chemically exposed produce that is also in-season. Remember as you shop the Mediterranean diet rules-of-thumb: quality over quantity, fresh over preserved, and whole over processed.
For dessert, skip high-fat and high-sugar fare. Though famous Mediterranean deserts are often extravagant, they are reserved for special occasions and are not meant to be consumed nightly. Rather, choose fruit as a healthful and naturally sweet alternative. If fresh fruit is not quite sweet enough to save your sweet tooth, dried fruit is still healthful and often sweeter than its former self. Dried figs, dates, or raisins are all excellent and recommended choices.