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Mediterranean Diet and It's Benefits

In my last blog when I mentioned I was on a video call with my old school friends discussing how our lives have changed not only since we left our school but also in the lockdown days, and when I mentioned about my profession, people jumped with the new diet that they have tried. Some of them got good results whereas, some couldn’t hold on to the craving of the earlier eating habits. After giving them a bit of guidance on how their road ahead can look like, all but one ended the discussion. One of my friends stayed back with me on the call to understand how she can also change her eating habits which may help improve her lifestyle as well. 

After talking to her, I understood that she is in a very high-stress data analysis job. She mentioned that if she jumps on a bandwagon of new diets that are restrictive in nature, it becomes difficult to adjust to the new food type and those unnecessary cravings tease her during work hours which results in loss of concentration.

She asked me if I can suggest her a simple diet which won’t deviate a lot from the regular food that a normal Indian eats. This is not a unique problem thrown at me. Many people face the issue with the diet which is either heavy on their pocket or makes them eat at frequent intervals. I always ask such clients to take it slow. Our body needs time to adjust to the new diet that we may get into and if it’s a sudden transition there are high chances of withdrawal from the routine.

To improve your eating habits gradually, I have this simple but powerful diet mechanism that I would suggest. It goes by the name of the ‘Mediterranean Diet’. Let me walk you through the amazing benefits you get without moving away from your regular Indian food diet.

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet and It's Benefits

Essentially, the Mediterranean diet means eating in the way that the people in the Mediterranean region traditionally ate. As we know, the geography of that region defines what goes into their platter. Mediterranean region is very similar to India which is surrounded by water bodies on one side. Hence, this diet is very similar to what Indians traditionally had with a little twist making the transition to this diet a lot easier compared to others in the list. This diet got limelight when the world noticed that the rate of coronary heart disease is very low in the Mediterranean region which was shaped because of their good eating habits and the lifestyle which followed. 

This diet is recognized by the World Health Organisation which typically involves high vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, beans, nuts, and mainly olive oil. It doesn’t revolve around restrictive eating nor on a weight loss plan as it was mainly built as a lifestyle solution. 

Mediterranean Diet Includes: 

  1. Frequently (preferably daily) consumption of whole grains, fruits, and green vegetables
  2. Healthy fats intake from fish, eggs and dairy products
  3. Limited or no red meat consumption

Another lifestyle change that she made with this diet was to eat food with your friends and family without any distractions on TV. This way, you enjoy your food and eat consciously without chugging in more than needed.

The whole base of the Mediterranean diet is a plant-based food and almost zero red meat.

How to eat the Mediterranean way?

  • Include more of whole grains like millets, mixed grain chapati, brown rice in lunch and oats for breakfast
  • Add healthy fats (Omega-3 fatty acids) from the sources like desi ghee, fish, olive oil
  • Add fruits and vegetables with a goal of almost 12-13 meals per week, make sure to eat fruits such as apples, watermelon, oranges, pears, tomatoes in your diet
  • Balanced input of spices with a very little salt
  • Drink almost 4-5 liters of water a day, the easiest way would be to carry a small water bottle with you

I advised her to follow a thorough diet plan by setting up small goals for 1 week and then stretch it to 2 months. Some of the health benefits she noticed were:

  • Weight loss: She lost almost 3 and a half kgs within the first 4 weeks from the start of the diet
  • Improved sleep quality: She mentioned that her sleep tracker showed longer deep sleep cycles. Another thing she mentioned was, in order to prevent late-night hunger pangs, she decided to sleep early and take breakfast early morning. This got her into the early morning club.
  • Improved stamina: She supplemented this diet with 30 minutes of exercise, although this was something she used to carry out even before the Mediterranean diet plan. However, there was a significant improvement in the stamina. She could do extra burpees and hold planks for a longer period of time

Going tough on yourself can be a very short term plan. Mediterranean diet can be adopted quickly by Indians for a better lifestyle. Your eating habits define your immunity and health during this challenging time. So, are you going to try this diet? To know more about this diet, feel free to contact me & do let me know what result you get.

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Ankita lives in Delhi with her husband and 3 year old son. She is a Certified Nutrition Consultant, Dietitian, and a Food Technologist receiving certification from Pines, Australia.With experience of over 12 years and 10000+ clients, Ankita is currently one of the top rated dietitians in Delhi NCR

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