Ever found yourself wondering how people on the Mediterranean just happen to look so good? Found yourself vacationing on a Mediterranean beach and thought to yourself, everyone here looks so good! Well, there is a reason for that. It has to do with diet. And that’s why in recent years, a new diet has cropped up, called the Mediterranean diet.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
It is more of a lifestyle change. It’s not one of those diets where you count your calories, can only eat specific foods and find yourself wanting to pull your hair out. The Mediterranean diet is more of a number of small changes you can make to your life, such as changing portion sizes, exercising regularly, focusing on health fats, etc.
By following the Mediterranean diet, you will find yourself feeling full, which will lead to less snacking. Snacking less is a key to losing weight. Many people also try supplements such as Acetyl L-Carnitine and Sulbutiamine which are known to promote fat burning, suppress appetite, leading to less snacking and weight loss.
Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) boost your ability to burn fat because it helps to transport free fatty acids into the mitochondria in order for them to be burned off and used as energy. These fats are typically not taken up on their own unless a Carnitine is available to aid in their transportation. This helps you to satisfy more of your energy needs from stored fat deposits as opposed to glucose. The result is an increase in your lipid metabolism and ability to lose weight.
Here is what the Mediterranean diet focuses on:
Mediterranean residents don’t stick a low-fat diet, however, their dietary pattern is heart-healthy. They eat healthier types of fats such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, and less of bad fats that other cultures tend to eat.
You can get these healthy fats from fish, fresh herbs, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
Dairy in Moderation
Dairy is consumed daily in the Mediterranean diet, cheese and yogurt serve as common sources of calcium. However, moderation is the key. Include 2-3 servings of dairy products daily. Some examples are:
- 8 oz glass of milk
- 8 oz of yogurt
- An ounce of cheese
Choose low-fat version of milk and yogurt to help reduce your fat intake.
Eat primarily plant-based foods
This is one of the most important elements of the Mediterranean diet, consuming lots of plant foods such as fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains. Residents of the Mediterranean usually consume 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, which means having about 2-3 vegetables servings with each meal. Other daily foods include legumes such as beans, lentils, peas and whole grains like bulgur wheat or barley. These foods are all naturally low in calories, and high in nutrients.
Flavoring with fresh herbs and spices
Fresh herbs and spices are used to add a punch to food, and they also have tons of health benefits.
Have seafood weekly
Seafood is a major part of the Mediterranean diet. It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Enjoy this food group weekly!
Limit red meat
People in the Mediterranean don’t consume a lot of red meant. It is only served about once or twice a month rather than several times a week like in US homes. And when people do consume red meat, it is usually a very small portion (2-3 oz as a side dish).
Best part of this diet? Wine! Drinking a glass of wine with dinner is common practice in the Mediterranean. Red wine has been found to have benefits for the heart, however, this doesn’t mean you should go drinking bottles and bottles of red wine. Moderation is key!
Finally, getting plenty of daily physical activity is important. Historically, people in the Mediterranean got lots of exercises through work, getting places by walking and having fun. Try to incorporate exercise, walking, strength-training and any physical activity into your every day life.
All of these combine to make up what is generally known as the Mediterranean diet. The diet focuses on eating more to lose weight, but eating healthy foods that fill you up. It also teaches you to take portion sizes into consideration and watch your fat calories (focus on healthy fats). By following these tips, you will feel fuller, and this will lead to less snacking. You should also control food cravings by making sure you eat every 3-5 hours, eat protein-rich foods filled with protein and high-fiber fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes with each meal and snack.