The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets out there; not only does it include healthy and therapeutic nutritional elements, but a lifestyle that will allow you to live better. Check out the following 10 tips to figure out how to lose weight without sacrificing anything.
Keys to losing weight with the Mediterranean diet
So, why do they say that the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? Tons of studies have backed the benefits of this diet and its ability to help prevent cardiovascular disease, for example, which has to do with the fact that it is mainly made up of very healthy ingredients that are part of an ideal food pyramid. Olive oil, fresh fruits and veggies, fiber, fish, shellfish, seeds, anti-oxidants, vitamin C… and, of course, an active lifestyle including walking outside and relationships based on positive emotions.
Eating well, without sweets or processed foods, as well as leading an active lifestyle and enjoying homemade foods made with fresh products and served in proper portions, are the keys to losing weight with this diet. Are you ready? Let’s go!
1. The importance of cereals and whole wheat bread
Can I really eat bread if I’m on a diet? Of course you can, as long as it is whole wheat bread with plenty of seeds. Avoid all kinds of loaf breads which have too much refined flour and too many fats. Ideally, you should eat bread that is packed with fiber, such as oat bread or rye bread. These varieties take care of your intestinal tract, are easier to digest, provide you with vitamins and minerals, and are so healthy that your body will be thanking you. Plus, if you start eating a slice of bread with olive oil for breakfast, you’ll feel better than ever.
2. Olive oil as the main fat in your diet
We just talked about it. Olive oil is the foundation of the Mediterranean diet. This natural treasure is rich in vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, perfect for taking caring of your heart, lowering your cholesterol and protecting you from all kinds of heart-related health issues. It is key to any dish you make, so make sure to incorporate this gastronomic treasure.
3. Fruits rich in anti-oxidants
Orange juice, lemon juice, delicious apples, grapefruit, pomegranate, melon, grapes, watermelon… all of these elements are great for incorporating into your breakfast or adding to your salads. The sky is the limit in terms of your gastronomical creations. These fruits are healthy, strengthen your immune system, purify your body and can help you lose weight if you add them to your daily diet. Remember that the Mediterranean diet -as well as other diets- says that you should 5 pieces of fruit per day.
4. The importance of lots of fresh vegetables
Mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, spinach, squash… these are all tasty veggies that are perfect for making simple dishes to condiment with a bit of olive oil. In the Mediterranean diet, you can make delicious salads with veggies, olives and nuts. The healthiest way to eat vegetables, whenever possible, is raw. Peppers, spinach, tomatoes, onion… all of these vegetables served raw will give you a great amount of digestive enzymes, which will protect your stomach and intestines. Play with the different colors and flavors, and always try to pack a salad for lunch. Salads aren’t as recommended at night because they’re not as easy to digest certain foods, such as lettuce and spinach.
Walnuts, almonds, pistachios… these nuts are healthy and provide you with magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. They are a great product to add to your breakfasts and salads, for example, and are a basic element of the Mediterranean diet.
6. Always eat whatever’s in season, not processed foods
You should always drink natural fruit juice, not the bottled supermarket variety. The Mediterranean diet requires you to dedicate a bit more time to your cooking, because you should prepare your own foods and avoid processed foods found at the supermarket. You can have rice, boiled veggies, fresh fish, and natural juices, but all of that should go along with fruits and vegetables that are in season.
7. Fermented dairy products
We know that dairy products aren’t always healthy. But the ones that are fermented, such as kefir, yogurt and different types of cheese, can be very beneficial to your health. They provide your body with live microorganisms that are crucial to keeping your intestinal microflora in balance.
8. Lean meats
In terms of meat, you can eat it twice per week, preferably chicken or turkey, because these white meats are nice and lean.
9. Oily fish
Sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon… at least twice per week. The fats in these fish are very beneficial and rich in omega 6. So, don’t leave oily fish out of your Mediterranean diet.
10. An active lifestyle
Go for walk in the morning and get out more to enjoy fresh air and nature. A little bit of exercise in the evening by going out for a run with a friend, drinking plenty of water, enjoying the sun and your social relationships… all of this will improve your quality of life, which will be reflected in your physical health. If you follow these nutritional tips, avoid sweets, fats and processed foods, little by little, you will start to lose weight. Remember that another key to the Mediterranean diet is not eating large portions. Fill your plate just enough, and don’t forget to have a glass of wine per day… it’s great for your heart.