Those of you who read my articles and blogs know that I like the Mediterranean diet. I do not like diets or dieting in general. But as a style of eating, I believe that the Mediterranean diet is without equal.
Dieting does not work because eventually you have to stop dieting. You can’t be on a diet forever. Usually once you do stop dieting, all of the weight you lost comes back. This is because you haven’t learned how to eat properly or healthy. Your old eating habits are the ones that caused you to gain weight in the first place. As soon as you go back to your old eating habits, you will gain the weight back that you lost.
This is a closely guarded secret of the exercise and diet industry. It is easier to lose weight than it is to keep it off. The real challenge comes in trying to keep the weight off. The only way to keep the weight off is to keep eating healthy, and to consistently exercise.
It is extremely difficult to lose 50 pounds through diet alone. Exercise gives you much more lee-way when it comes to eating. You don’t have to be as strict with your diet if you are exercising. The only way to burn calories is through exercise. Any dieting system that says that you don’t need to exercise to lose weight is full of it and lying.
So losing weight, keeping it off, staying healthy and feeling good are possible through consistent exercise and consistently healthy eating. How do you eat healthy consistently without feeling like you are dieting?
Try the Mediterranean diet. It is a style of eating that promotes fresh fruits and vegetables, little red meat, and lots of nuts, whole grains and olive oils. Instead of watching every little thing that you put into your mouth, you eat some fresh fruit or vegetables with every meal. You try to have a salad a day. You cook with olive oil instead of butter or margarine. You eat more fish and chicken than red meat.
If you can eat consistently healthy throughout the week, then you have more lee-way to eat badly over the weekend. I am a big believer that you don’t want to deprive yourself. If you love a certain type of food, then eat it occasionally. Don’t fully avoid it. If you never eat the foods that you love, then you will feel deprived and eventually binge on the bad for you foods that you love and stop eating healthy all together.
The Mediterranean diet seems more like common sense to me. It makes sense to eat some fruit or vegetable with every meal. It makes sense that olive oil and chicken and fish are going to be better for you, and lighter than, red meats and butter.
A study came out recently proving that the Mediterranean diet is better for reducing symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes than a bland, hard to follow, low fat diet. The study found that even without weight loss, adhering to a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, fish and olive oil is 40% more effective in heading off the development of type 2 diabetes than following a low fat diet. In the study, the participants who followed a Mediterranean style diet were 18% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
This goes along with what I have observed anecdotally and have read studies proving. That you don’t have to be thin to get the benefits from exercise. Even if you are overweight, you will be healthier if you are exercising than if you weren’t exercising. Even if you still are overweight or obese.
The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study looked at Spaniards who were a subgroup of a larger clinical trial that demonstrated the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet in reducing the risk of heart attack and strokes. In that study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February) it was proven that those who followed a Mediterranean diet were 30% less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or death due to cardio-vascular disease than those who followed a traditional low fat diet.
Researchers are finding that the Mediterranean style of eating is easier to follow than the traditional, bland, low fat diet. Researchers are also finding that there is no correlation between low fat, or non fat, diets and losing weight. Just like there is no correlation between consuming artificial sweeteners and losing weight.
In order to make something low fat, the food industry has to alter something else in the food to make up for the lack of flavoring that fat has. If you put too much sugar into a food then it can become too sweet and not likeable. That doesn’t happen with fat. You can’t put too much fat into a food. No matter how much fat you put into a food, it will not make it taste bad.
The processed food industry uses fat as a way to cover up bad tastes and smells associated with processed foods. Fat is used as a way to make mouth feel more appealing when eating a processed food. Fat is responsible for making chips crunchy, cookies, crispy. By taking fat out, you take away a key ingredient and taste. Usually the low fat is made up for by adding in more salt.
By eating a Mediterranean diet, you will be avoiding most processed foods and low fat foods will not be an option. High fat foods will not be an option either because you should avoid red meats and other sources of saturated fats.
The Pain Free Lifestyle nutrition program adheres to the structure of the Mediterranean diet. The Pain Free Lifestyle program shows you how to easily incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle. It also shows you how to incorporate easy on your body exercises, stretching, and aerobics into your life.
Eat right and exercising will allow you to feel better while living a longer, healthier life. Do it the smart way. Exercise and eat right intelligently, it is the Pain Free Way.
Here are a few other articles that I wrote about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet: