The Mediterranean Diet is meant for those who enjoy cooking and cuisine, such as those who actually live on the Mediterranean. This is about a lifestyle change, rather than a temporary diet. Almost nothing is off-limits, though portion size and control is vital. What is the Mediterranean Diet exactly, and how does it work?
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
This diet is based on the region of the Mediterranean, where many people there have low rates of chronic diseases and illnesses, and are generally within an ideal weight range. This low fat, high energy diet relies on plant proteins for nutrition. Unlike most other diets, this one includes a lot of bread, usually pita bread.
Moderation is the key factor. You can pretty much eat whatever you want, as long as it is within reason, and the portions are controlled. Emphasis is placed on enjoying the process of cooking and preparing the meal. Rather than quickly eating over-sized portions as we do here in the Western part of the world, Europeans focus on enjoying the social aspect of preparing the meal. They truly enjoy the art of eating, which they do slowly to savour every spoonful. Eating a diet that is filling and tasty can help you stick to the plan more easily.
What You Can and Cannot Eat on the Mediterranean Diet
You are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and pasta on this diet. Olive oil is a major source of fat. Animal proteins are also permitted, but in small portions. As far as foods that should not be consumed goes, there really isn’t anything that can’t be eaten, as long as you don’t over-indulge.
Does This Diet Work?
Those who are not in a rush to lose 10 pounds in one week can find this diet beneficial. Because of the portion-control aspect of this diet, weight loss is generally quite gradual, which is the ideal way to lose weight. Losing one to two pounds per week will ensure that most, if not all, of the weight lost comes from fat, rather than muscle.
On this diet, the dieter will learn healthy eating habits, such as controlling the portions of food at mealtime. A diet like this is much easier to maintain and carry on for longer periods of time because of its ability to satisfy hunger and cravings. Fad diets which severely limit the types and quantities of foods tend to have more dieters fall off the bandwagon.
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