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Dieting doesn’t work, “they” tell us. But wait, the Mediterranean diet prevents health problems in the tiny tots! What gives? We’re here to help you sort through the confusion:
Want to Gain Weight? Go on a Diet
You’ve probably heard that many people gain back any weight lost during dieting. It makes sense: just about any diet will help you drop some poundage, but as soon as you go back to your normal ways, the ‘libs come back like the feisty clingers that they are.
It gets worse (don’t worry, then it gets better):
Scientists have determined that not only do some dieters gain back weight some of the time, dieting is just about the only surefire way on earth to gain weight. That’s no joke or exaggeration. When the researchers examined over 30 different significant diet studies, the only similarity they could find – the only conclusion that could be reached – was that dieting is the absolute best predictor of excess weight gain.
If you want to gain weight, it’s really easy. Simply go on a diet.
Okay, here’s the good part. If you want to lose weight, don’t diet! You have science on your side, friends! How can this be, you ask? Unfortunately, “diets really do make you fat almost 100% of the time” does not have an inverse relationship to “eat whatever you want and never diet and you’ll be thin”. Whether you diet or whether you decide that a life of Dunkin Donuts and McRib sandwiches is for you, both extremes will get you plenty of junk in more places than the proverbial trunk.
The key is neither dieting or saying “to heck with it, bring on the fettucine!” To maintain a healthy weight, you have to live like a healthy, lean person would. And how is that?
1 – Whole, unprocessed, recognizable foods
(bad: french fries; not good: crackers; whole and unprocessed: brown rice)
2 – Fresh, mostly green things
(bad: ready-made meals, burritos, pizzas; not good: ready-made vegetarian lasagna; a fresh, mostly green thing: salad or steamed veggie plate)
3 – Not much
(bad: a huge burger with a soda and fries; not good: a low-fat pasta dish with a breadstick and sugar-free ice cream; not much: a small plate comprised of mostly vegetables with a little fresh lean protein and a bit of good fat)
You can see how the bad things are clearly bad. And the “not good” things are things we often think of as at least partly healthy (this is the category into which many of us fall, and why we often feel so frustrated). But to be healthy, you must do more than add in a few good things – you must live, eat, and breathe 90% good things. Are you up for it?
Mediterranean Diet: Why It Works
Hey! Didn’t we just say diets don’t work?
Well, the Mediterranean diet is not really a diet, per se. It’s a healthy lifestyle. This “diet” focuses on fresh, whole, natural foods. There’s almost no processed, pre-made or sugary foodstuffs whatsoever. The bulk of the calories come from fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, some whole grains, olive oil, and a little fish or meat.
The cool thing about this diet is that in addition to helping prevent heart disease, cancer and obesity, children following this “diet” have reduced rates of allergies and asthma. You can do your own variation because it’s more about the general fresh and produce-based idea. If you aren’t crazy about olive oil, use avocado or walnut oil. If you don’t like fish, use chicken. If you aren’t into nuts, eat avocados. Experiment and have fun! Eat tasty things.
What tasty things help keep you healthy? Give us a shout in the forum!
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