It doesn’t take much effort to find a diet plan these days. A quick search online can result in hundreds of options and opinions.
The problem is that many of the diet plans or lifestyle changes that are being promoted are either ineffectual or too complex and expensive for an average person.
However, one diet plan that has been growing in popularity and has proven to be successful over and over is the Mediterranean diet.
Based on the traditional foods and cooking methods from the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea, the Mediterranean diet focuses on overhauling people’s every day meal plans.
Instead of calorie counting or starving, the Mediterranean diet allows people to make slight adjustments in their current habits to include healthier options.
And, since this diet doesn’t involve purchasing pre-made meals, buying expensive foods, or tedious prep time, it’s a simple solution to those trying to lose weight and get healthy.
A Mediterranean Diet Overview
With so many diet plans focusing on what people can’t eat, the Mediterranean diet is refreshing because it focuses on what should be eaten. Instead of a list of foods that can’t be eaten, this diet lists foods that should be eaten.
While there are things that the diet suggests should be minimized, it focuses more on finding tasty replacements.
Many people have found that they’re only making subtle changes to their current diets, but getting huge results.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains dieters eat.
While this is often the cornerstone for most diet plans, the Mediterranean diet allows for more fluidity. This gives dieters options and guidelines, instead of rules and a list of don’ts.
The Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
One of the biggest benefits of the Mediterranean diet is that it is so simple to follow. Those who wish to use the diet plan are given a list of things they need to increase in their diet.
This often includes food replacements, so dieters are still eating variations of the foods they know and love. And, since this is thought of as a lifestyle change more than a diet plan, it doesn’t have any strings attached to it.
People can follow the Mediterranean diet without buying into any programs or paying huge fees.
However, the most important benefits of the Mediterranean diet is what it does to the health of those who decide to follow it.
Most researchers agree that the diet of those who live in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea minimizes heart disease risks.
When people across the world began following the same diet, they also experienced this benefit.
The Mediterranean diet is often called the ‘healthy heart’ diet, because so much of what makes it effective for weight loss also reduces heart disease.
Mediterranean Diet and Weight Loss
Studies how that Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight if combined with physical activities.
Mediterranean Diet Guidelines
As mentioned above, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t focus on what dieters can’t eat, but instead gives several things that should be added to a diet. This allows flexibility to all those who go on the diet.
Here are a few of the guidelines that the Mediterranean diet emphasizes.
1. Eat More Plants
The generality of this point is one of the reasons the Mediterranean diet is so easy to follow. This diet focuses on foods that are plant based, from vegetables to fruits and grains.
Adding more of these to a daily diet doesn’t just result in weight loss, but a general improvement of health. Plants that are high in antioxidants are strongly encouraged and can be eaten without restraint.
One key difference between the Mediterranean diet and the majority of other diet plans is that it doesn’t restrict the eating of bread.
Instead of cutting bread out of the diet, this lifestyle allows for lots of bread, as long as it’s whole grain. Often, bread is served as a side for vegetable and grain heavy meals.
2. Choose Oils Over Butter
The Mediterranean area is known for its olives. Whether whole, in pates, or as oil, olives are a huge part of the Mediterranean culture.
This is one of the reasons that olive oil plays such a huge part in this diet. Instead of eating spreads that contain unhealthy fats, like butter and margarine, this diet offers olive oil as an alternative.
It adds a delicious flavor to food, but is also a healthy fat, so it does less damage to the body.
3. Use Spices and Herbs Freely
From fresh herbs to tantalizing spices, Mediterranean food is never bland. Instead of using salt to season foods, this diet focuses on more exciting options, from basil and oregano to paprika and turmeric.
By adding these herbs and spices, the food is still flavorful, but without the harmful side effects that salt gives.
4. Eat Fish
Instead of eating red meat, which is high in fats, people on this diet are encouraged to eat more fish. Fish is a lean meat and can be extremely healthy when cooked properly.
And, with all the spices and herbs being used to flavor it, dieters won’t even miss red meat.
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