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A Complete Guide to the Mediterranean Diet, the Eating Plan Experts Can't Stop Raving About – POPSUGAR

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The Mediterranean diet is beloved the world over, in part because it doesn’t feel like a diet at all. While tasty plant proteins, delicious fish, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables are hallmarks of the plan, you can have your share of grains while eating a Mediterranean diet, and even a glass of red wine or some red meat on occasion. And you’ll do this while reaping major benefits. The Mediterranean diet has been proven effective for weight loss, and it may even protect against disease and extend your life. Curious to know more? Here, a dietitian answers the most common questions.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

Although the Mediterranean diet has only grown in popularity over the last few years, its roots can be traced back many decades. “The Mediterranean diet is a pattern of eating modeled after countries in the Mediterranean region,” Laura Yautz, RD, owner of Being Nutritious LLC in Pittsburgh, PA, told POPSUGAR. “It was discovered in the mid-1900s that people [who lived there] often seemed to enjoy healthier, longer lives than average.” It should come as no surprise then that the Mediterranean diet is about much more than what a person eats. “This diet has principles that extend into food preparation and production, as well as overall lifestyle. People in the region at that time moved their bodies through typical daily routines, took life at a slower pace, were less stressed, and had strong family and community ties,” Laura explained.

What Are the Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?

What we’ve learned since that time has helped shed some light on the connection between the Mediterranean diet and a longer life. While it’s best known for reducing the risk of heart disease (a benefit largely credited to heart-healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and avocado), Laura explained that the Mediterranean diet may also help protect against cancer and type 2 diabetes, as well as degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In terms of immediate benefits, you may “lose some weight, have more energy, and be more regular,” Laura said. “People also generally find that they eat less food while feeling less hungry.” (Read: fewer calories and cravings.)

What Can You Eat on the Mediterranean Diet?

Many people find the Mediterranean diet much easier to follow than other healthy-eating plans, because of the abundance of foods you can eat. The core of the diet is nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, which can be eaten at every meal. Fish and seafood are a solid source of protein that you should try to eat twice a week or more. Other animal-based proteins should be eaten in moderation, with red meat being served sparingly. Healthy fats are also key on the Mediterranean diet. These include olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds, which should replace less virtuous fats (like dairy and butter) as frequently as possible. “Even though healthy fats are a staple in the diet, portion control is key if you’re watching your weight,” Laura said. “A tablespoon of olive oil is around 120 calories, and can add up quick!” Aim to fill half your plate with produce, a quarter with whole grains, and a quarter with lean protein, adding just a small amount of fat for a filling meal.

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More evidence links weight gain to meal times – Medical News Today

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A recent small-scale study adds to the growing evidence of an association between eating later in the day and weight gain. Using unique tracking methods, the researchers add more detail to the theory.

A recent study looks again at meal times and obesity.

As adult obesity rates in the United States continue to rise, finding ways to curb the growth is more urgent than ever.

Of course, scientists are investigating a range of options, from surgery and medication to diet plans and psychological interventions.

Some scientists are becoming increasingly interested in how altering what time we eat our food might play a part.

If changing our eating patterns could have even a small effect, it is worth understanding. Sticking to a restrictive, calorie-controlled diet is challenging, but eating at a different time of the day might be more easy to achieve.

The question is, does eating later in the day really make a difference? A recent experiment by scientists at the University of Colorado in Denver uses in-depth personal monitoring to gain fresh insight.

Weight gain and meal timing

Some earlier work has identified a pattern between eating later and increased weight gain. For instance, the authors of a 2011 study concluded that “caloric intake after 8:00 p.m. may increase the risk of obesity.”

However, it is not clear whether individuals who eat later in the day might, consequently, have less sleep overall. This factor is important because experts also believe that sleeping less may play a part in obesity.

The lead author of the latest investigation, Dr. Adnin Zaman, explains that “few studies have assessed both meal and sleep timing in adults with obesity, and it is not clear whether eating later in the day is associated with shorter sleep duration or higher body fat.”

The researchers presented their findings at the ENDO 2019 conference, which took place in New Orleans, LA.

The scientists recruited 31 adults with an average age of 36 years who were overweight or had obesity. To capture as much relevant information as possible, the scientists assessed the participants’ sleep, levels of activity, and diet.

Each participant wore an Actiwatch that monitored their sleep-wake cycles. They also wore an activPAL electronic device on their thigh, which measured how much time they spent both doing physical activity and being sedentary.

The participants kept track of what they ate using a phone app called MealLogger. Using the app, they photographed each meal and snack that they consumed, which provided the time of day that they ate it. The researchers used a continuous glucose monitor to verify dietary intake.

Sleep, meal times, and weight

The analysis showed that, on average, the participants ate their food during an 11-hour window and had 7 hours of sleep each night.

As expected, those who ate later in the day had a higher BMI and greater levels of body fat. Importantly, the researchers also showed that those who ate later in the day still had an average of 7 hours of sleep, implying that a lack of sleep is not the primary driver of these effects.

We used a novel set of methods to show that individuals with overweight and obesity may be eating later into the day.”

Dr. Adnin Zaman

This preliminary trial is part of an ongoing project to look at these interactions in more detail.

Dr. Zaman notes, “These findings support our overall study, which will look at whether restricting the eating window to earlier on in the day will lower obesity risk.”

Experiments such as this one are only possible now due to the prevalence of modern technology in our lives. Dr. Zaman explains, “Given that wearable activity monitors and smartphones are now ubiquitous in our modern society, it may soon be possible to consider the timing of behaviors across 24 hours in how we approach the prevention and treatment of obesity.”

However, because this is a small-scale project of short duration, it is important to approach the findings with caution. It will be interesting to see the final results from the full study. The authors are also keen to run similar experiments with people who have a healthy body weight to see if there is a similar trend among this group.

As the current findings align with those of earlier investigations, the timing of meals may become an increasingly important focus in the study and treatment of obesity.

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Best supplements for weight loss – the 1p a day natural capsules to prevent weight gain – Express

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Weight loss could be crucial for patients that are overweight or obese. Around 25 per cent of all adults in the UK are obese, said the NHS. Making some long-term lifestyle and dietary changes could help patients to lose weight, it said. Weight loss supplements may provide people with a kickstart for their new diet plans. One of the best ways to lower your chances of obesity is to regularly take glucomannan supplements, it’s been claimed.

Glucomannan is a type of fibre that comes from a Japanese plant, and could help you to tackle weight loss, said dietitian Helen Bond.

The supplement has appetite suppressant effects, meaning you’re less likely to feel hungry after a meal.

It could even help to improve your cholesterol levels, which subsequently benefits your heart, she said.

“Glucomannan is a dietary fibre extracted from the roots of the Japanese konjac plant, which absorbs water and expands in your stomach to increase feelings of ‘satiety’ [fullness],” said Bond.

“Glucomannan is approved by the European Food Safety Authority as a ‘proven and safe’ aid to weight loss, and has the added advantage of helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

“But, although glucomannan can help take the edge off hunger [when one gram is consumed with a glass of water before a meal], it’s not a green card to continue to eat whatever you want.

“Rather, you need to take advantage of its mild appetite suppressing effects and combine this with reducing your intake of fatty and sugary processed foods, and switching to natural whole foods, in appropriate sizes and moderation, plus more exercise.”

Glucomannan is also a natural prebiotic, which means it provides food for gut bacteria.

Higher intakes of prebiotics could lead to improved digestion, healthier cholesterol levels, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Alternatively, you could also try losing weight by regularly taking litramine supplements, said Bond. Litramine is a type of fibre complex made from the dried leaves of prickly pears.

Litramine supplements – including XLS-Medical Tea – bites up to 28 per cent of your dietary fats in your stomach, she said.

The best way to lose weight is by making some small diet or lifestyle swaps, said the NHS.

One of the easiest ways to slash the pounds is to eat regular meals – including breakfast, lunch and dinner, it added.

Drink plenty of water, and be sure to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Fibre-rich foods help you to feel fuller for longer, which stops you from overeating.

Exercise is equally as important as a healthy diet. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

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Best supplements for weight loss – the 5p a day capsules to help you shed the pounds – Express

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Weight loss could be crucial for patients that are overweight or obese. Around 25 per cent of all adults in the UK are obese, said the NHS. Long-term lifestyle and diet changes could help some patients to lower weight, it said. Taking weight loss supplements may provide people with the kickstart they need for their diet plans. You could raise your chances of losing weight by regularly taking glucomannan supplements, it’s been claimed.

Glucomannan is a type of dietary fibre that stems from the root of the konjac plant, said medical website WebMD.

It comes as a powder, or as a capsule, and has been linked to treating constipation, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

It could also help some overweight patients to lose weight, revealed dietitian Helen Bond. But, it comes with a warning.

“As we explore the many ‘quick fixes’ and ‘miracle diet pills’ being offered to us over the season of clean eating and waistline watching, it’s important to be aware that as attractive as they sound, there are no true quick fixes or magical solutions to burn fat and lose inches,” said Bond.

“The key to losing weight and keeping it off is always to eat a nutritionally balanced and varied diet, with appropriately-sized portions and being physically active.

“Glucomannan is approved by the European Food Safety Authority as a ‘proven and safe’ aid to weight loss, and has the added advantage of helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

“But, although glucomannan can help take the edge off hunger [when one gram is consumed with a glass of water before a meal) it’s not a green card to continue to eat whatever you want.

“Rather, you need to take advantage of its mild appetite-suppressing effects and combine this with reducing your intake of fatty and sugary-processed foods, and switching to natural whole foods, in appropriate sizes and moderation, plus more exercise.”

Glucomannan works by slowing down the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from the gut, said WebMD.

The dietary fibre also absorbs water in the stomach and intestines, which could be used to treat constipation.

But you should always speak to a doctor before starting, or making any changes to your weight loss diet plan.

The best way to boost weight loss is to make some small, simple changes to your diet or lifestyle, said the NHS.

One of the easiest ways to slash the pounds is to eat regular meals – including breakfast, it added.

Drink plenty of water, and be sure to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Fibre-rich foods help you to feel fuller for longer, which stops you from overeating.

Exercise is equally as important as a healthy diet. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

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