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Mediterranean Diet

green apple with tape measureThe Mediterranean diet is based on the eating patterns and lifestyles of people who reside near the Mediterranean Sea. Populations in Greece and Southern Italy are known for having significantly lower rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease than the United States. Physicians attribute the healthier lifestyle to being active as well as eating fruits, vegetables and other nutrient-rich foods while limiting the intake of red meat, saturated fat and sugar. The Mediterranean diet is a hearty-healthy plan and may help some followers prevent chronic illness.

How the Mediterranean diet works

The diet mainly consists of eating produce, seafood, and poultry along with minimal amounts of processed foods and red meat. There are no calorie restrictions and individuals can choose how their meals are structured. The Mediterranean diet also requires people to engage in physical activity or exercise on a regular basis. A crucial social component of the plan emphasizes eating meals with others while taking the time to truly enjoy a variety of colorful and nutritious foods.

The key components of the diet include an abundance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds, and beans. Dieters can have small amounts of low-fat dairy products; fish and poultry twice a week; and eat a maximum of 12 to 16 ounces of red meat per month. Olive oil should be used to replace butter and margarine. Herbs and spices are usually added to Mediterranean diet recipes to add flavor and variety to the meals. Drinking one or two glasses of red wine per day with a meal is optional, but alcohol should be avoided if it puts your health at risk.

The Mediterranean diet tends to focus on lifestyle changes rather than quick weight loss results. In 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in which 332 obese adults were asked to follow a calorie-restricted Mediterranean plan, a calorie-restricted low-fat diet, and a low-carb diet for two years. The people in the Mediterranean group lost an average of 9.7 pounds; the low-carb group lost 10.3 pounds; and the low-fat group lost 6.4 pounds.

Benefits and health risks

This is considered one of the most popular diets because it is easy to follow and there are long-term health benefits. Since Mediterranean diet recipes limit the intake of saturated fat, they can help reduce high blood pressure and decreases the risk of developing heart disease. Those who follow this diet also have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and other chronic illnesses. There are no known health risks of the Mediterranean diet, but if you suffer from a medical condition you should consult with a physician prior to starting a new dietary plan.

Advantages of physician-assisted weight loss

Even though the Mediterranean plan is one of the diets that work for some people, it is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. To find out the best diet plan for you, consult with a physician at The Center for Medical Weight Loss – the largest network of non-surgical weight loss specialists in the country. The physicians customize diets and workout plans based on each client’s medical status, weight loss goals, and lifestyle. The weight loss programs include personalized one-on-one counseling to ensure each client gets the emotional support needed.

Those who participated in programs offered at the Center for Medical Weight Loss have not only lost weight but were able to successfully keep the weight off. According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, the average client lost 11.1% of their body weight in three months. Nearly 95% of the clients maintained those weight loss results for at least one year.

The Center for Medical Weight Loss has 450 locations throughout the country. If you are ready to take the first steps toward losing weight and living a healthier life, enter your zip code in the box to the right of the screen to find a location nearest you. Special introductory offers are available to first-time customers in select locations.