Has the thought about whether or not you could use the Mediterranean diet for weight loss crossed your mind? Well, now it is a fact and according to this PREDIMED research any person can lose weight on the Mediterranean diet. The study initially tried to determine if the Mediterranean diet truly helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. While this was indeed true researchers also discovered that the test subjects of the experiment lost more weight than with those who had a low-fat diet.
However, this isn’t the first scientific study on the link between Mediterranean diet and weight loss. In fact, there was also a 2008 study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed similar results. There are also other studies where scientists discovered that the Mediterranean diet helped keep children maintain a healthy weight and even in pregnant women.
Here are 5 tips on how you can utilize the Mediterranean diet for weight loss:
1. Eat your lunch prior to 3pm
You’ve heard about the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, guess what’s the next most important meal of the day? Lunch! That’s what and you had better make sure that you eat it before tea time; otherwise it would not do you any good. The reason for this is that you develop the risk of overeating later in the day if you consume the meal after 3pm and this is what will make you put on more weight.
2. If you want to maximize the Mediterranean diet for weight loss, then cook your veggies with olive oil
The ancient Greeks made the best meal for lunch – vegetables cooked in extra virgin olive oil. You are actually consuming 3 – 4 servings of vegetables in one sitting when you eat a meal made of veggies cooked with olive oil and tomatoes, plus it tastes great and also makes your belly full. These types of dishes have low carbohydrates and moderate caloric levels. Add a piece of feta cheese to it and it will upgrade the dish even more! Also since vegetables have less carbs, you get the added benefit of no drowsiness as it won’t raise your blood sugar level unlike with foods that are carb-rich. This is just one of many examples that show how one can use Mediterranean diet for weight loss.
3. Drink more water (especially for children), tea second, and coffee and wine last if you’re an adult
During World War II the American people was conditioned to make milk an essential part of their diet through TV/radio/newspaper ads, then half a century later we discovered that this was completely false and even unsafe. The Mediterranean diet says to only eat dairy products like cheese and yogurt but rarely milk, so we’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news but what they did in the 1950s was a marketing stunt to “milk” people for money. It wasn’t about your health and well-being.
Also you don’t need to drink orange or any other types of juices. What you need to do is to eat the oranges, pineapples, apples, cranberries and other fruits where these juices are extracted from, because if you only drink their juices, then you won’t get their fibers which are good for your digestive system. As for coffee and wine, each has its place in the Mediterranean diet, but they can never replace water, so don’t make them your primary source for hydration.
4. Consume the right amount of olive oil
Perhaps the Mediterranean people and those who follow the Mediterranean diet for weight loss and other health benefits may have already known all along that good fat does not make you fat. But new scientific research is only catching up now. Of course, the entire reason why we’re avoiding calories is to NOT gain weight; however, eating vegetables that don’t taste good will put you off of your appetite. Olive oil changes all that as it not only makes all those vegetables delicious, it makes the meal filling. That doesn’t give you the free pass to pour olive oil on all your food in quarts and liters – God forbid! We recommend a maximum of 3 tablespoons a day is highly beneficial.
5. Do some physical activities and enjoy them
Most people who follow the Mediterranean diet realized that it’s not at all the diet that makes you live a longer and healthier life, but it’s the Mediterranean lifestyle. And one other aspect of this lifestyle that makes Mediterranean people very healthy is their daily physical activities. Aim to have some physical activities, no matter how light they may be, throughout the day. This is actually so much better than going to the gym and train for 2 hours a day.
The key is that you ENJOY what you are doing, so if you can turn a physical activity into something fun or play games/sports, then do it! If you can walk to somewhere you need to go, then do that instead of driving to that destination.