‘When you don’t know what to do, try something. If that doesn’t work, try something else’ – Richard Russo (American Novelist)
A few weeks ago I wrote about my decision to try the Mediterranean Diet in an attempt to tackle stubborn belly fat. You can find the post here if you missed it: https://wordpress.com/post/happyhealthymeajourney.com/506
Basically I’ve been complaining about my belly for a while and decided that it was about time I did something about it! The trouble is, I’m not very big generally and any excess weight goes directly to my belly, which then sticks out doing a pretty good impression of someone who is several months pregnant! I did my research, found the Mediterranean Diet and the experiment began.
To begin with I was really positive and excited about this method of cooking and eating. For someone who has never been on a diet and has no intention of starting, I loved the fact that it’s simply a way of eating which is beneficial for your heart and helps prevent a range of nasties including cancer and diabetes. It even helps you live longer! Plus, all the recommended foods were things I ate anyway and really enjoyed so it seemed ideal. What could go wrong?
I didn’t go over the top, but I did make sure that I had something oily with every meal. Maybe the inclusion of an avocado with my eggs on toast for breakfast or drizzling extra virgin olive oil over my lunchtime salad. I’d snack on a handful of nuts or seeds or make myself a peanut butter sandwich late afternoon. I upped my normal 2-3 servings of vegetables to 3-4 each evening. Instead of having oily fish once every couple of weeks, I included it weekly. I didn’t change my daily dark chocolate habit or the occasional glass of red wine in the evening, both of which I had been doing for a couple of years. It certainly didn’t feel like I was on a diet!
Within a week, I felt unwell. By the end of the second week, I realised that it simply wasn’t going to work for me. I had a very upset stomach (I won’t go into details!) and the only thing I could put it down to was the daily consumption of oily foods. It’s not as if I didn’t eat all those things anyway but I had upped the amount, albeit not that significantly, and it seemed that it was that which was causing the problems.
We’re all different and tolerance levels will vary from person to person. For me, the Mediterranean Diet isn’t the right thing to target my belly fat but I’m glad I tried it. I’ve learnt from it and there are so many positives to take away. I’ve learnt some new ways of cooking and discovered new foods and recipes. Many of the things I talk about in my blog such as spending as much time as possible with others, going for walks, laughing, smiling and trying to live as stress-free a life as possible are part of the Mediterranean way of life. All these things are known to be good for us and I will definitely be continuing with them. The general principles of the Mediterranean Diet are sound but, for me, I need to limit the amount of oil in my diet. Maybe for you, it will work? Let me know!
As for me, I’m looking into drinking diuretic teas, cucumber and strawberry water and FODMAPs! After all, you can’t complain about something but never even try to improve the situation. I like this quote ‘When you try something, you risk failure. But when you don’t, you ensure it’. So maybe FODMAPs are the answer for me or maybe it’s something else entirely but I’ll never know if I don’t try! I’ll keep you updated!
Until next time x
If you enjoyed this post, please hit the like button. I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences so why not tell me in the comments box? Have you tried the Mediterranean Diet? Does it work for you? Any tips for targeting belly fat?!