Delicious food, enjoying sharing plates with friends and family, and a glass of wine a day. It doesn’t sound much like a diet, does it?
The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle change encouraging you to avoid processed foods and enjoy natural foods, whole grains and olive oil.
It’s been shown to improve your heart health, reducing your risk of heart diseases or a stroke.
So, why do so many people find the Mediterranean diet effective for weight loss and easy to stick to?
What are the rules on the Mediterranean diet?
If you can’t be living your best life on a Mediterranean island, you can at least eat as if you are.
Jenaed explains: “The Mediterranean diet encourages eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, veggies, healthy fats such as olive oils, avocados, nuts and seeds and whole fibre grains and limits processed foods and added sugars.
“One of the reasons why it is effective for weight loss is that it is high in fibre. Fibre is great for the gut, regulates blood sugar levels and makes you feel fuller for longer.
“As with all dietary patterns, weight loss is ultimately only achieved when we are in a calorie deficit. So it requires a combination of mindful eating practices combined with foods.”
One way to ensure you’re in a calorie deficit is to make sure you are exercising regularly, while keeping an eye on your portion sizes.
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Eat lots of healthy fats
Thought fat was unhealthy? Think again. It all depends on the type of fat you eat.
The Mediterranean diet embraces good fats, meaning olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
These are known as monosaturated fats.
You should use these fats when cooking or creating salad dressings, and stay away from butter and margarine, anything containing trans fats, and processed oils.
Have a glass of red wine a day
Red wine is noted for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and lipid-regulating effects.
Also, the philosophy behind the Mediterranean diet is to take pleasure in eating and mealtimes.
If wine helps you to enjoy your dinner, go for it, just keep it in moderation.
Make sure you also drink plenty of water – at least two litres per day.
What foods are not allowed on the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is all about natural, single ingredient, foods.
So, if your food has a long list of ingredients on the label: they’ve got to go.
Here’s a list of the main foods to avoid:
- Anything with added sugar: fizzy drinks, sweets
- Refined grains: white bread, pasta with refined wheat
- Processed meat: processed sausages, burgers, chicken nuggets and so on.
- Highly processed foods
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