This year, I just want to eat healthily and lose weight naturally without having to give up wine. Is that too much to ask?
A quick Google search of ‘diets that work,’ turns up plenty of opinions, a lot of promotion and several ways to lose 20kg in a couple of weeks by eating nothing but prunes and one’s own arm presumably.
Luckily, someone invented science and now there are clever people doing things called ‘experiments’ that tell us whether a diet is good, or Kardashian bad.
Yep, I said it.
The Mediterranean Diet
Not only does it evoke images of beaches, tanned men and cocktails, it ends up that this diet actually works. Ranked #1 by an expert panel convened by US News and World Report, the diet is easy to follow, enjoyable and as a result, even people like me (who have literally no discipline and after a few weeks of dieting would eat a Mars bar off the road) will be able to stick to it.
Also, if you’re a fan of living and would like to do so for longer, the Mediterranean diet has been proven to reduce the chances of cardiovascular death and may even reduce incidents of cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Best of all, it’s delicious. Here’s how you do it –
- Stop using butter and instead use extra virgin olive oil and canola oil.
- Limit red meat to once or twice a month.
- Eat fish or poultry two or three times a week.
- Eat heaps of fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes.
- Eat meals sitting at a table with family and friends (don’t quickly eat your food, take your time.)
- Drink red wine in moderation (apparently, that means one glass a day for women, and two glasses for men
- Exercise. But in the Mediterranean, exercise means going for a walk in the sun or a stroll along the beach. About 20 minutes a day is plenty.
The DASH Diet
This is an interesting diet, in that it doesn’t so much tell you what not to eat (outside the obvious sweets and soft drink) but focuses on what you should be eating more of. The concept of the DASH diet is that you aren’t getting enough nutrients such as potassium, fibre and calcium, and you aren’t eating enough vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
Apparently, you can just ease yourself into the diet, adding a few vegetables here and there and replacing a couple of bad foods with a few good ones. Also, if you are keen on reading, there is limitless information and evidence available on how to be a ninja at the DASH diet. Check out this 64 page guide that includes recipes, an eating plan and probably some other things but I got bored.
Seriously though, this is a brilliant diet for families – it’s a crazy simple way to teach kids how to eat healthily – and the science, recipes and advice are all free. The only catch is that – like the Mediterranean diet – the fresh food component is more expensive.
I’m going to test drive the Mediterranean diet, but I’d love to hear if you are planning on changing your eating habits this year, and what that might look like.
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