Diets are hard. However, they do not have to be. If you consider your diet as your way of life and not as the food you are restricted from eating then staying on a diet is not such a hard task. There is a new diet out there called the Mediterranean diet. Based off of the eating habits of the people from Greece this new diet is rich in healthy greens, nuts, fruits, vegetables and, believe it or not, wine.
Mediterranean Diet: Switch Out Your Fats: One of the biggest things about the Mediterranean diets is switch where your fat comes from. Instead of using butter, margarine or vegetable oil you should switch to olive oil or extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a great base for cooking as it is a type of monosaturated fat which can lower your cholesterol by promoting LDL instead of HDL.
Mediterranean Diet: Spice it Up: Cut out the salt in your diet and try other spices. Basil, oregano and garlic are very flavorful and very good for you. Paprika and fresh pepper can add a kick to your meal. Instead of coating a piece of bread in butter when having an Italian dish add some fresh parmesan, basil and garlic to two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and use that as a dipping sauce.
Mediterranean Diet: Go Green: Shop from the produce section of your local grocery store more than from the packaged sections. You will want to try to get in ten servings of fruit and veggies a day to be healthy. When making your meal you should try to have a colorful plate. Roast peppers and onions and mix them with wilted spinach and corn for a side dish. Make a fruit salad from fresh berries, oranges and bananas purchased from your local farmers market and you will have a healthy snack for the week.
Mediterranean Diet: Add Nuts: A great snack to keep on you for daily or weekly workouts is nuts. Almonds are one of the best choices out there and will provide you with healthy fats. You do not want to have sweet or salty nuts, just good old regular nuts. If you have a sweet tooth then you should try a handful of cashews with a handful of cranberries.
Mediterranean Diet: Switch for Fish: Switch out your meals of chicken and steak for fish. Fish have healthy Omega 3 acids which can decrease blood clotting and moderate blood pressure. Once a week have a tuna or salmon based dinner and the rest of the week try to stay veggie based. If you are going to have red meat then try to keep it to once a month and keep the portion of meat to the size of a deck of playing cards.
Mediterranean Diet: Whole Grains: Everyone seems to be moving to whole grains from the processed white bread of the past. When having a sandwich, cereal and pasta opt for the whole grain option. You can also add flax or granola to your yogurt which will up your intake of whole grains.
Mediterranean Diet: Wine: Yes, you can have wine in this diet. Have a glass of red wine with dinner to up your antioxidant intake. If you are having dinner as a family treat the kids to a glass of purple grape juice in fancy glasses and show them the benefits of drinking wine in moderation when they come of age. If you are trying to lose weight then you may want to skip wine and opt for water until your weight goal has been achieved as it is easy to drink away all your calories.
Mediterranean Diet: Conclusion: The Mediterranean diet is all about being healthy. You want to make smart choices with your diet. You should also try to incorporate three to four hours of exercise a week and up to seven hours a week if you are trying to lose weight. The Mediterranean diet is not a fad diet it is a healthy way of living. You can use the Mediterranean diet as a way to kick start your weight loss as cutting butter, salt and refined flower will make a big difference, especially when paired with exercise. When you have reached a happy goal weight the Mediterranean diet with all the great spices and healthy fruits and veggies is good for a lifetime.