Mediterranean Diet For Weight Loss
Maybe you’ve heard of the Mediterranean diet. Maybe you’ve thought that sounds nice wine, olive oil, pasta sounds delicious. But I’m interested in losing weight I need something more hardcore. I need something that will work. And if that’s you, if that’s your thinking about the Mediterranean diet. Then I’m here to tell you that you have got it all wrong. I am a huge fan of the Mediterranean diet because of several reasons. For one thing it’s an ancient traditional diet. That has been used in actual populations for a long time with clear benefit to those populations. But it has also held up to a lot of modern scientific scrutiny.
But probably the most favorite thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it is a pleasurable way to eat. And that means it’s sustainable. It’s the opposite of a fad diet it’s tried and true. And you could adopt it for the rest of your life and be healthy and happy and enjoy your food. Because there’s research to back all of this up. Let’s get specific and talk about the ways a Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight.
Lower Fat Deposition and Weight Loss
There’s a huge body of research on this diet. But overall research has shown that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced obesity risk. Lower BMI and lower central fat distribution. Not to mention that there’s a lot of strong research to show that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. And it also decrease your chances of diabetes and improves longevity.
Plant Based Diet for Weight Loss
In the Mediterranean diet there is a very high vegetable intake. And that’s something that has an extremely favorable effect on weight. There are researches to show that Mediterranean style diets have a beneficial effect on weight loss. Many researchers believe that this effect is due to the focus on plant-based foods. That provide a lot of fiber and have a lower glycemic load. Now in case you don’t know what I mean by that I’m going to be talking about glycemic load and glycemic index later.
Feeling of Fullness
Vegetables are great because they have on average around 90 percent water. All that water increases the volume of food without adding calories. Which helps you feel fuller. Beans and legumes feature prominently in a Mediterranean diet. And this is something else that likely helps with weight loss.
Presence of High Fiber
You need both soluble and insoluble fiber to lose weight. And no food has more of these than beans. In your stomach soluble fiber dissolves in liquid forming a sort of a gel in your gut. This gel expands and makes you feel fuller. Insoluble fiber on the other hand adds bulk to your digestive system. And also works together with soluble fiber to make you feel fuller.
Includes Low GI Foods
The Mediterranean diet includes grains. And you might be thinking I can’t lose weight if I’m eating grains. If I’m eating bread, pasta and carbs but the Mediterranean diet is all about carb quality. The grains you consume in a Mediterranean diet are whole grains for the most part. And those are the grains that have a nice low glycemic index. Now glycemic index or GI is a subject worthy of its own detail. But in a nutshell the higher the GI of a given food the quicker your blood sugar spikes after consuming that food. Which is something you don’t want, So for weight loss you want low GI foods that take a long time to break down and digest. And give a nice steady blood sugar release. So the whole grains that are a part of the Mediterranean diet are low GI and help with weight loss. These include ancient grains like farro and bulgur and oats. Even pasta has a place in the Mediterranean diet of course. It is traditionally cooked al dente which carries a lower GI than overcooked mushy pasta. That’s really no good for anyone. It also tastes terrible.
Low Consumption of Processed Foods.
Mediterranean diet contains fat quite a lot of fat actually. But these are healthy fats mostly in the form of olive oil nuts seeds fish and seafood. And there’s a corresponding low consumption of processed foods. So when you get a lot of protein and healthy fats in your diet that’s a very good thing. It results in satiety or in other words keeping you feeling full longer.
Presence of Monounsaturated Fats
Olive oil in particular plays a role in weight loss on the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil contains much healthier monounsaturated fat than other common oils or foods. And studies have shown that consuming olive oil instead of foods high in saturated fat increases your resting metabolism. So you actually burn more calories even when you’re sleeping or sitting around. All that fish and shellfish that features so heavily in the Mediterranean diet. Full of protein and heart-healthy omega-3s that also seems to raise your metabolism.
One study demonstrated that eating fish at least twice a week could increase your metabolism by as much as 400 calories a day. And prevent expansion of fat cells. Especially belly fat sounds pretty good right?
So recap, the Mediterranean diet helps you lose weight. Because of its high vegetable intake and high amounts of fiber. Especially through beans and legumes. Whole grains and high-quality carbs that carry a low glycemic index. And lots of healthy fats in the form of olive oil nuts and seafood. So if you’re feeling convinced and you’re ready to get started. You’re probably wondering how do I get started on a Mediterranean diet? Well fear not. Because I’ve put together a Mediterranean diet Shopping list. That you can take with you to the grocery store.