Friday, June 8, 2012

Choosing the right "Diet"

Over the years, I've tried a large number of diets. I've tried Atkins, the Rice Diet, South Beach, Slim fast, and I even tried doing different cleanses. Everything was always temporary and never lasted! Every pound I lost, I gained it back plus more. It was always so discouraging!

When I went to my doctor last August and talked to her seriously about me losing weight, she asked me what I've tried so far. I told her about all the various fad diets I've tried. Even how I've tried just eating "healthy foods" in smaller portions and exercising. I could keep up with the exercising, as long as it was interesting, but what she told me was the most important is the types of foods you eat.

The doctor asked if I'd ever heard of the Mediterranean diet. In my head I thought "oh great, another diet with crazy requirements and I'll fail like everything else" but also figured that my doctor wouldn't mention some wild fad diet that doesn't work. When I told her I knew nothing about it, she gave me a few informational sheets on the diet and gave me a few pointers. My issues with food are staying full and finding foods that taste great without having to eat alot. With this diet, it wasn't just about making sure to get in the appropriate number of calories into my body, but the types of calories, the kinds of foods I needed to eat.

The Mediterranean Diet is a food guideline following the traditional dietary patterns of those from Spain, Greece, southern France and Italy. It is a largely plant based diet that emphasizes minimally processed foods. It relies on olive oil to replace other fats and oils. It also restricts red meat to only a few times a month. Luckily for me, that last one was rather simple. I like burgers and steaks, but my stomach can only handle so much red meat before it hurts.

I spent three months following the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet. It really came down to different ways of preparing the same foods I already love. I stayed within my calorie limit without any problems. I was even able to fit in some yummy desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth. The foods I was eating kept me energized and feeling full longer. I didn't have the desire to snack consistently because I was eating more nuts and seeds filled with fiber. I really feel like following the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid was a big contributor to the weight I lost before the end of the year.

Its my own fault that I stopped following these guidelines. After the holidays, I started eating more processed foods, snacking all the time, and indulging in fast food frequently. I felt bad because I know how far I had come and what I was throwing away. So many times I've heard that eating healthy is a lifelong change. You can't just "diet" until you get to where you want. I spent months limiting my fast food and amount of processed foods I ate and I threw it all away when the stress of the holidays came.

No More! Stress is still my biggest weakness, but after talking with the Pre-Hubby, we both felt better when we were eating better foods. And the fresh unprocessed foods in the Mediterranean diet were quick and easy to make and helped keep me full! I created various weekly eating plans for when I would go shopping. I've resurrected my shopping lists and menu plans and plan on going shopping this weekend to restock my home. I'm at a perfect starting point too! With the vacations that we've had in the last 2 months, and lack of funds until recently, our home is virtually empty of food (including the bad stuff)! It will be nice to have fresh foods in the fridge again. And wholegrain unprocessed items in the cupboards.

So, have you tried fad diets? Have you found something that works for you successfully? Have you tried the basic "Eat Healthier" method? What successes or failures have you experienced in choosing the right foods to eat? Let me know!

Before I sign off, check out the bottom of the post for a list of links/books that I've found beneficial in learning about the Mediterranean Diet.

Peace and Good JuJu,

Oldways Mediterranean Diet Info
The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mediterranean Diet

1 comment:

  1. Choosing the right diet can be an easy thing, because there are lots where to choose from, these days.
    Personally... I had no idea what to choose, so I've decided to ask a specialized help from a center in Toronto.
    So, someone from there told me about the Ideal Protein diet program, about which I've read really great things... it seems very useful and with some good results.


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