Friday, March 1, 2013

Drop Those Extra Pounds -- Guest Post by Cyndi Fales

30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge

Cyndi Fales from Lifework Strategies explains how you can use our Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge to spur weight loss. 

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The Mediterranean Lifestyle has many benefits— safe, nutritious, easy to follow, support with diabetes prevention/control and heart health, live longer… and the list goes on.  The Mediterranean diet isn’t always known for being a “Weight Loss” diet; however, the lifestyle can absolutely support you in achieving a healthy weight.  Mindful eating, eating with others, and enjoying food as well as eating real, nutritious food can all support you with dropping pounds.  However, all weight loss efforts go back to the simple equation of eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max and/or burning off extra by exercising. 

Approximately 80% of weight loss is a result of our nutrition—what we put in our bodies.  The other 20% is exercise and genetics.  There are many health benefits to exercising and exercise is part of the weight loss equation.  If you are really looking to drop pounds; however, focus on nutrition. 

The Sonoma Diet lays out low calorie meal planning for weight loss in Wave 1. All the meals and recipes are in writing for you to take this first step. This first 10 days are restrictive and can lead to rapid weight loss because they create a calorie deficit—through the recipes and recommendations you will learn to break your dependence on refined foods, plan balanced meals, and become more aware of portion control.  These healthy habits will put you on the right track for healthy eating well beyond those first 10 days.  You will most likely notice the smaller portions and probably be a little hungry.  Make sure you drink plenty of water through out the day.  Talk with your doctor or a wellness coach to discuss specific dietary needs or daily calorie recommendations.  ASHA employees and dependents can call LWS (your EAP) to work one-on-one with a nutrition wellness coaching (877-252-8550). Check out this past blog post for more info on the wellness coaching program how to start.

Wave 2 will help you continue your weight loss—but it is not as restrictive (calorie and food selection) as Wave 1.  You will continue with mindful eating and focus on enjoying your meals.  Finally, you will be ready for Wave 3 once you have reached your goal weight.  How quickly and whether you keep the pounds off is up to you. If weight loss isn't your goal, you can reap the health benefits of adopting a Mediterranean diet by starting with Wave 2 or Wave 3. 

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