How it Works
As a Diet and Nutrition major, I was exposed to a great deal of valuable research including the landmark 1960s Seven Countries Study which was, in many ways, responsible for the popularity of the Mediterranean diet. The results determined that the Mediterranean diet eaten in Greece and specifically on the island of Crete was the healthiest for reducing heart attacks and coronary disease (more on this study in Chapter 1). And since then, the components of the traditional Mediterranean diet, including olive oil, lean protein, whole grains, and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, have been determined to be beneficial for a number of health issues we are facing in today’s world including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, depression, and yes—obesity and the need for healthy weight loss. Here in my own country, the answer, at least in part, was right in front of me. But there was more.
Research was showing that psychological and emotional support, stress-free living, and a return to the basics of everyday life can have an enormous effect on the success of one’s quest for better health, including the journey towards a healthy weight. Not surprisingly, the true Mediterranean diet that had been part of the 1960s study had contained this vital component as well. Life was simpler then. Family and good friends were naturally a part of the enjoyment of good food and provided us with a healthy connection with others on a regular basis. Availability dictated the menu which was always fresh, local, and affordable. People were outdoors in the sun more, not hidden behind computer screens in office cubicles.
Much has changed, even in the Mediterranean countries, in the decades since the study, with the rapid growth of high technology that has allowed for instant everything, from Internet messaging to microwave French fries. With all that we were gaining (including weight!) we were losing so much more. Surely this lifestyle element had to be an integral piece of the weight-loss puzzle too. The simple, traditional Mediterranean existence, so envied and romanticized by people around the globe, needed to be tapped into as a vital element for success. What could be better than actually “slimming” down eating delicious, fresh food in the good company of friends and family while enjoying and appreciating the natural beauty and simple pleasures of the world around us?
And so, I gathered together what I believed were the central components needed for a healthy approach to not only losing weight, but living a life that was full and rewarding. I took the healthy ingredients of the authentic Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, combined it with the needs of the modern dieter, such as ease of preparation and portability, and incorporated new conclusions from research in the diet and nutrition field such as adding extra fat-burning ingredients and following newer recommendations for daily nutrition. In this way, the diet I created was truly unique. Never before had the Mediterranean diet, specifically the southern Greek diet, been revised along the lines of modern science and nutrition. This approach proved to be the vital difference between all other Mediterranean weightloss approaches, and the one that helped create success for so many people and which will now help you find and reach your ideal weight.