The much talked about meal plans circulating the internet which has now become the talk of the town is none other than the Mediterranean diet. The diet is simple and pretty basic where one is advised to eat fresh produce, and avoid processed foods. Now, what is exactly this diet and why there is so much of hype about it, we are about to reveal. So, let’s unveil the curtains.
Mediterranean people tend to live longer!
It is observed in several studies conducted by researchers all over the world that people living in the Mediterranean region tend to live longer and have lesser health problems than Americans. The cardiovascular disease and diabetes; the top two slow killers are hitting people at a high rate more than ever in its history. The basic reason behind such increase is the sedentary lifestyle and junk food consumption which is making more than half of the America obese. As a result cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, skin problems, and other health issues are becoming significantly common.
The reason to choose the Mediterranean diet is that it includes eating nothing but fresh produce and condemns processed foods that come in cans at your local supermarket. People who tried this diet have lost a significant amount of weight in a very short period of time and have not shown any side effects that can crop up due to the change in diet. Studies reveal that if you follow a diet chart that will help in getting better results.
What food includes in the Mediterranean diet?
The diet is pretty simple! You are allowed to take:
- Organic Vegetables and fruits.
- All types of seafood preferably tuna, sardines, anchovies etc.
- Legumes like pulses and lentils. Red and White beans, peas and soybean are extremely good for health.
- All types of nuts like peanuts, pine nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts and more are very good for health and are packed with essential minerals and natural oils.
- Seeds like pumpkin, chia, sesame, hemp, sunflower seeds and other such varieties help in clearing out the waste from the body and providing with fibre, omega 3 and other essential nutrients.
- Whole grains like rice, oats, wheat, quinoa and the list goes on. Choose as per your preference.
- Extra virgin olive oil is better but you can choose other olive oil as well provided that it is naturally produced.
- Potatoes are on this list! Yes, though people avoid eating potato when losing weight as it is rich in carbohydrates but, not in the Mediterranean diet. Drizzle some olive oil on the potato and bake to cook. You can enjoy it with any meal.
- Cheese, yogurt, eggs can be consumed provided that you take them in moderate amounts. Do not include them every day. Maybe thrice a week is a good option.
- You can eat red meat but rarely. Once in a fortnight is good but try not to exceed the consumption or else it will ruin your diet plan.
- Red Wine!One glass of red wine a day is allowed in this diet. It helps to accelerate digestion. It is not mandatory to take red wine. If you are dealing with alcoholic problems, then do not make it a part of your diet.
You are not allowed to take:
- Refined oils! Do not buy refined oils from your supermarkets. Mediterranean people do not use refined oils for cooking their meals. They go for coconut or olive oil only as they are naturally produced and they like it in its raw state. So refined oils, canola oil and other such products are out of this diet’s list.
- Sugar and sweets: You must not take sugar-sweetened beverages or other products as sugar is concentrated form of sugarcane which means it is processed. Mediterranean lifestyle is pretty basic. Back in the traditional times’ processed sugars were not produced and people liked to enjoy natural sugars from fruits instead. So if you have craving for sugar go for fruits!
- White bread and pasta! You can eat pasta made from whole grains but make sure that the pasta is not made from refined wheat. Avoid refined wheat and flour which is why you have to say bye-bye to white bread.
- Processed meat: The supermarket stores are full of processed meat items like hotdogs, kebabs and more. Do not go for packages meat. Buy only fresh produce.
- Factory products are a big no-no! Any product that says low in fat or is diet food, run away from that aisle immediately! They are processed foods and can ruin your diet plan
From the above, it becomes clear that fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, whole grains and other such products are a part of the Mediterranean diet plan. Keep it simple and low-key. This diet is not as expensive as you can buy much of the products from your local vendor at reasonable rates. Your focus is not on buying exotic foods with fancy names. Your focus should be on eating natural products that are organically produced and are fresh.
Is the Mediterranean really helpful or is it sham?
The studies have shown phenomenal results! A recent test by the British Medical Journal which they conducted on people between the ages of 65 to 79 was put on the Mediterranean diet for up to one year. It improved their brain functions and memory reception as it helps in causing microbiome changes helping in cognitive functions of the brain. Also, there was a decrease seen in the dangerous inflammatory markers which show up with age.
Another report that came forward was that people, who chose the Mediterranean lifestyle, had lesser stomach problems as it helps in building good bacteria particularly the gut microbiome which is complex in nature. Apart from this people showed increased concentration levels, became energetic and were happier in general. When the body functions are working fine, then the hormonal balance is maintained which helps in keeping one relaxed and happy.
The diet does not have many frills to it!
A plant-based diet which you can experiment with in creating recipes of your style with the combinations you like. For starters get started with simple veggie salad by throwing in some roasted nuts. Get that chicken in the oven with some potatoes drizzled with olive oil, some sprinkling of salt and pepper. It tastes delicious each time! Make a simple lentil soup using yellow and red lentils, throw in some pumpkin and potato. Blend it well and garnish it with some coriander leaves and sliced tomatoes. It sums up for perfect comfort food.
The choices are many and because you are using fresh food each time, your body is getting good nutrients and minerals. Now all is left for you to do is to follow the advice of your trainer and work hard on your exercise routines.
Why following a diet is important? A general guideline!
Diet plays a vital role in staying fit and losing those extra pounds. The reason for weight loss can be any, whether because of deteriorating body health or simply because you want to look fit and toned. The solution lies in eating right in combination with strategic exercises can help you achieve your body goal. It is not new when people have tried some diets, and they don’t see the expected results. You can blame it on the diet, but the truth will not change. What is the truth? Well, just diet and no exercising will not help! It is basic, and there are no calculations to it. If you exercise and are ready to give your 100 per cent to the meal plans you choose, there will be definite results. As simple as that!
What are you doing wrong?
Have you ever questioned where you are going wrong when it comes to weight loss? Why another person who is following the same diet is losing weight faster than you? The answer lies in dedication towards exercise regime and eating a balanced diet. No matter what diet plan you choose to follow, if you are not doing it right then the results will not show as expected. Many people during the process of losing weight can lose motivation and that killing drive to stay on the track. Ups and downs come in everyone’s lives. If you are feeling de-motivated today, don’t worry. Take a day or two to channelize your mind. Maybe you are going through personal turmoil which is not letting you stay focus towards your body goal. Maybe there is a relationship problem, and that emotional state of mind is hindering your positive growth. It’s okay! Nothing is the end of the world; you can get up, rise and shine just the way you are supposed to do.
Not forget then when life gives you lemons, take it, squeeze it and make nice refreshing lemonade. In other words, take a chill pill and relax! Focus on yourself and give your best each time. Get someone to follow the routine with you because when you have a partner, the journey becomes easy. It will help you stay on the track and before you will even know it, your body will start showing positive changes.