Summer is the ideal period for someone to begin his/hers weight loss diet. If we take advantage of the leisurely pace of the summer, the good time we usually have during the summer and the absence of psychological pressure due to our summer holidays we can achieve to lose some weight by following some simple tips.
The following are tips that are part of not only the healthy Mediterranean diet but of any diet and despite of the fact that they seem simple and common sense tips, they are usually not followed and as a result the end of the summer finds most of the people with a few pounds more.
Adopt the Mediterranean Diet
Adopt a Mediterranean diet meal plan. The Mediterranean diet components are simple. Use Olive oil as often as possible. Make salads with fresh vegetables and eat legumes once or twice a week. Eat fish instead of red meat.
Drink a lot of water
Drink a lot of water. Quite often we confuse thirst with hunger ending up loading ourselves with a lot of calories at the time where we actually needed a glass of refreshing pure water. So drink water regularly and if you want to add some flavour to the water add a few slices of lemon.
Avoid the evening snack
The most ‘’dangerous’’ time of the day to deviate from your weight loss diet is the time after dinner when we sit in front of the TV and we start eating out of habit without really being hungry. If you cannot resist to the temptations of this little ‘’sin’’ then make sure that you in stock healthy snacks such as yogurt, dry nuts or fruit salad.
Do take the time to enjoy your meals and chew well and slowly. Use small plates so that you will have the sense of the full plate.
Make sure you exercise. Exercise should not be a punishment to yourself because you ate a lot one day or you gained unexpectedly some weight. To the contrary you should focus onto how well you feel, how well you sleep and how much more energy you have when you exercise frequently. Staying fit means that you are healthy and active irrespective of whether you are trying to lose weight or not. Exercise is the second pillar of the Mediterranean diet.
You should know that that the more salt you take with your food the more your body wants. The more salt you take the more water is stored by your body so that a liquid balance is achieved. Take particular care to the salt contained in pre-cooked meals.
Eat frequently small meals during the day
Weight loss is achieved when the calorie intake is less that those ‘’burned’’ (consumed) during the day by the body. However when we are continually in the hungry mode this is not an easy task. Research has shown that the persons who have 4-5 meals during the day they control their weight easier. So do eat frequently small meals.
You should find ways to fight stress. There are times in our life that we get confronted with situations which cause to us a lot of stress. For a lot of people a common way to fight stress is to turn to food consumption. Be prepared for those stress incidents and have your alternatives ready. You can fight stress by reading a good book, listen to some music and/or meditate.
Fill the kitchen and the refrigerator with healthy and easy to cook foods
Healthy snacks and easy to prepare foods solve the hunger problem and take you on step closer to the weight loss success. Having easily accessible healthy snacks will stop you from eating fast foods or from ordering that fattening pizza since you would be able to prepare your own healthy food in 5-10 minutes. Such healthy and easy to prepare foods are:
Lebanese pitta bread or whole grain bread
Fresh Greek yogurt, plain or with fruits
Fruits of the season
Low fat diet
You need to make sure that your meals are low fat meals or meals with no fat at all so that they can be easily digested. During the hot summer months that the respiratory and circulation systems of our body are burdened, our main objective should be the least stress of our gastrointestinal and the least time of high blood concentration in our digestive system. This is achieved with small and frequent intake of low fat foods. Avoid the meat fat, the fried food and the sauces containing fat.
Watch out from foods advertised as low fat
When foods are specified as low fat it does not mean that they do not have high calorie content. Many low fat foods contain a great quantity of simple sugars in order to regain their original attractive taste. This gives them a high calorie content which may or may not have less impact than if the product had its original fat content. What you should always do is to always read the labels on the foods and check for their calorie and vitamin contents.
Set achievable goals and when you achieve them reward yourself. For instance if you set a goal to lose some weight and you achieve it, reward yourself with a massage.
Look at the negative from the positive perspective. You may have your extra pounds but you are pleasant and sociable personality. Go out and dance and have a good time
Give to yourself time setting realistic goals
You will not lose the extra weight that you have in just one day. You can off course lose that weight faster than you have gained it, assuming off course that you have set that goal. Do not set unrealistic goals. You set a goal for the gradual loss of weight, something which is both healthy and achievable.
Avoid frequent weighing
Your weight changes during the day mainly due to the loss of the body liquids. Reading your weight should not be done more often than once a week and when done it should always be done the same day and same time of the day, preferably in the morning when you wake up and before you have your breakfast.
As a conclusion we give the following dietary tips that have to do with the weight loss and general healthy living
There is no diet which is just for the local fat. You just make sure that you exercise a little more with emphasis to such exercise that will stimulate the muscles of the specific area you are interested.
Limit alcohol consumption to the absolute minimum. Avoid soft drinks and foods rich in fat especially saturated and trans fats.
Include in your diet plenty of fruits and vegetables as the Med diet recommends. They contain a lot of fiber, vitamins and several other healthy substances.
Exercise regularly. Mediterranean diet and exercise go together.
Now that it is summer take advantage of the sea and swimming. It exercises the body and the mind!
The summer is a perfect time to start a healthy diet and since it is the season with the most fresh fruits and vegetables and it has long days suitable for outdoor exercise and swimming, it is the right time to start following the Mediterranean diet. Do not think about it, just do it and you will feel the difference.