‘Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food’ – Hippocrates
Like many people I have put on weight since lockdown began in March 2020. A mixture of not going out much, having more takeaways and drinking more alcohol haven’t helped! Also working from home (in the kitchen) meant I was way too close to the fridge!
For me, weight goes straight to my tummy so virtually none of my jeans, trousers or shorts fit any more. I weigh myself occasionally so I know I have put on a stone, but, for me, it’s more about not feeling comfortable in my clothes.
My diet isn’t too bad generally and I don’t believe in actual diets which often result in yoyo-ing weight so I decided to research what kind of foods are particularly good for getting a flatter stomach and came across the Mediterranean diet. Although it is called a diet, it isn’t, it’s simply a way of eating which mirrors that of people in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Apparently the foods which are most commonly eaten in the Mediterranean area (olives, oily fish, seafood, red wine (in moderation), vegetables, fruit, olive oil, wholegrains, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds) are especially good and as they are all things I eat anyway, I’ve decided to give it a go.
It might seem counter-intuitive to eat foods rich in oils but these are good oils, the ones which lower your bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol. The diet is also rich in fibre from the vegetables which digest slowly, preventing big swings in blood sugar. Eating this way reduces your risk of developing heart disease or cancer and protects against type 2 diabetes. It even reduces your risk of death at any age by 20%. The same things which protect your heart are also good for your brain, helping to prevent dementia.
One of the really interesting things is that it is not just about what you eat. Following the Mediterranean diet also means spending more time over your meals, relaxing, enjoying time with friends, laughing and smiling, and walking more. It’s not always easy in our busy lives to do all of this but, if we can, it will not only benefit our waistlines but also our general mental health. So for me, this isn’t a diet, it’s a way of life. One that I hope to embrace as much as possible and see the benefits over time.
I guess there are lots of potential tweaks here, whether it’s adding more vegetables to your diet, reducing your reliance on packaged and processed foods, going for more walks or sharing meals with friends and family more often. I’d love to know what you think and if you’re a fan of the Mediterranean diet. Let me know in the comments! I’ll post an update in a few weeks to let you know how I’m doing too.
Until next time xx
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