When you’re trying to lose weight, it can be extremely difficult to choose among the various weight-loss diets. Should you go low-fat or low-carb? Count calories or control portions? Choosing the best diet means doing some research. Some of the factors that affect your choice of a diet include the amount of weight you need to lose, your overall health status, your exercise tolerance and some personal characteristics. Don’t start a diet without consulting your doctor, as undiagnosed health problems can have an impact on your success. For successful weight loss, you need to exercise; exercise builds muscle mass and revs up your metabolism. Consider your personality and food preferences. Someone who hates math and details will probably struggle with counting calories, while a person who really enjoys wine with dinner will have difficulty sticking to a diet that doesn’t allow alcohol.
Most low-carb diets allow you to eat meat, butter, cheese, eggs and vegetables. Grains, potatoes and starchy vegetables are either eliminated entirely or severely restricted, although other vegetables are allowed. The idea is to get your body into fat-burning mode as quickly as possible. When carbohydrates are limited, the body burns body fat for energy. The research on low-carb diets indicates that they are slightly more effective than other diets for weight loss – especially for women – and there are no negative health effects for at least the first year. These diets haven’t been studied long enough to determine the long-term health effects.
Pasta and Wine
If you enjoy pasta and wine, a Mediterranean diet may be the best choice. This diet has demonstrated positive health benefits and is one of the most heart-healthy diets around. Olive oil and a glass or two of red wine, lean meats and plenty of seafood, chicken and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables make the Mediterranean diet satisfying and full of variety. Portion control is important with the Mediterranean diet – you can’t eat large helpings of pasta or regularly enjoy Fettuccine Alfredo and still expect to lose weight.
Doing the MathIf you choose to count calories or manage your weight loss through portion control, any healthy and well-balanced diet is a good choice. For calorie counting the first step is to determine what your healthy weight should be. First, you need to ensure you eat enough to maintain your basic body functions; additional calories will vary according to your height, weight, age and activity level. There is a formula called the Harris Benedict equation that can help you calculate your daily calorie intake. To lose 2 pounds a week – a safe rate of loss – subtract 7,000 calories from your weekly caloric intake. For portion control, obtain a chart that shows what portion sizes should be. In today’s “supersized” world, much of the problem of obesity is simply becoming accustomed to eating large – and thus high-calorie – portions of foods.
When most people think of the term “Olympian” they think about the modern-day Olympic athletes. When you look at these men and women you see a dedication to perfection that culminates in a powerful physique and a strength of mind and character that everyday men and women just don’t have. But the term itself is actually handed down from the ancient root word Olympus, which was the home of the gods. The modern day Olympics are a hand-me-down from those ancient times when the myths suggest that the gods themselves walked among men and blessed them with health, beauty, strength and wisdom…along with some secrets to health through eating quality food.
Regardless if you are a religious type there is one common thread amongst all the ancient belief structures, and that is the simple fact that in the beginning of time men and women lived for hundreds or thousands of years. And even in ancient Greek mythology where the Olympics originated, heroes existed who had the strength of a hundred men or the speed of a hundred horses. The phrase “body of a Greek god/goddess” is one of that has been traded down since those days, and it is common historical knowledge that the ancient Olympians were no different than their modern-day counterparts in that they survived on a daily routine of excessive exercise along with high quality foods that stimulated weight loss, fat loss and health and wellness through their entire bodies.
The truth, as they say, is in the pudding. Consisting of numerous whole foods such as extra virgin olive oil, wine, fish, unpastuerized dairy products along with fruits and vegetables, the diet itself hasn’t changed much in the past few thousand years since it first originated in the Mediterranean region. And if it was good enough for the gods and heroes of the Ancient times when the Olympics first began, it’s good enough for modern man as well.
The strength of the Mediterranean diet plan doesn’t lie in any one ingredient, however. Most modern people are only familiar with the diet as it relates to olive oil or the “Greek salad” ‘with its feta cheese. But what modern scientists are continuing to uncover as our technology allows us to have a better understanding of the dynamics of the diet is what the ancient gods and heroes already knew: the diet is packed with god-like qualities that keep a human being in perfect health when they incorporate the diet into their routine along with a regular fitness regimen.
One of the most well-known aspects of The Mediterranean Diet is the fact that it is one of the most cardiovascular-friendly diet plans known to man, but there is much more to the diet than simply its cardiovascular power. Healthy fat loss and weight loss are the two secondary benefits given the fact that you are eating lean meats like fish and chicken and your primary fat is coming from olive oil rather than a saturated source. And because the diet has zero additives, preservatives or chemicals of any kind, you are putting nothing but raw, pure food into your system. This has magical side effects, such as a drastically reduced risk of diabetes, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases, plus increased energy levels and beyond.
If you are someone who is looking to move out of the overweight and obesity statistics and into the ranks of Olympians who have total health and wellness, there is really only one choice: eat right and establish a regular exercise routine. What most doctors won’t tell you is that you don’t need expensive prescription drugs or supplements to get there. Instead, all you need is a combination of 100% free medicine that is found in nature: whole foods that are part of The Mediterranean Diet. If it was good enough for the gods of old, it’s good enough for the modern Olympian counterpart.