If you have weight loss goals, you may want to learn how the Miami Mediterranean Diet works! In researching the top diets in America, I’ve learned that the Mediterranean Diet is the diet most favored by nutritionists, dieticians, and researchers. But, I’ve also discovered that there’s actually a Miami Mediterranean Diet – which is slightly different than the regular Mediterranean Diet.
I did a Q & A with cardiologist Dr Michael Ozner, author of The Miami Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease with 300 Delicious Recipes, to discover the differences between the two diets. Before we go there, check out what he says about fitness and Americans:
“Americans have a skewed vision of fitness,” says Dr Ozner. “They think they have to join expensive gyms, sign up for classes, or take precious hours out of their already jam-packed schedules to lose weight. Once again, misinformation has gotten in the way of motivation and good sense.”
Simply changing the way you think about your fitness and weight loss goals can increase your motivation and healthy habits. Here, Dr Ozner describes the three best ways to lose weight and explains how the Miami Mediterranean Diet works…
How the Miami Mediterranean Diet Works
First, Dr Ozner, what are the 3 best ways to lose weight?
1. Enjoy your food. I like to remind my heart patients and readers that one of the best ways to lose weight is to really love to eat. Surprised? Look at the Mediterranean cultures, such as Italy and Greece, where the entire family and social culture centers around meals. They savor their meals, enjoy a glass or two of red wine, have long conversations around the table with family and friends. That’s how to lose weight. Make eating well a celebration and a part of your life. When eating and life in general become stressful, your body produces stress hormones that impede digestion and slow down your metabolism.
2. Use strong flavors. Another effective way to lose weight is to eat foods that are strong-flavored. Make sure your healthy mixed green and raw vegetable salad has some “prizes” in it: a cube of snappy feta cheese, a couple of pungent Greek olives, a sardine, a burst of omega-3 fatty acids or fish oils. Spread roasted garlic and minced sun-dried tomatoes on crusty whole grain bread for a punch of flavor. Strong-flavored foods create variety and increase satisfaction, which helps you achieve your weight loss goals.
3. Eat dinner early. Have your last meal by 6 pm if you can swing it. The earlier you eat, the longer your body has to digest it and start burning excess fat. If you eat late at night, your body will be digesting during your sleeping hours, which is not an efficient way to use up calories.
How the Miami Mediterranean Diet Works
What’s this diet all about?
The Miami Mediterranean Diet is a Mediterranean-style diet that is adapted to North American tastes, lifestyle, and foods. It produces an average of 4 to 6 pounds of sustainable weight loss per month, and features delicious, satisfying meals that help people stay on the diet for life–because they don’t feel deprived in any way. It helps people learn the right way to eat for maximum health–whole grains, lean protein and fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, beans and legumes, red wine, and lots of spices and flavorings. It is more than a diet. It is a lifestyle based on stress reduction, quality sleep and rest, laughter with family and friends, and regular physical activity that’s easy to fit in.
The Mediterranean Diet is the only diet that has undergone decades-long clinical studies and has been consistently rated as the world’s healthiest diet. It has been shown to increase longevity and prevent heart disease, obesity, diabetes, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s, among other health conditions.
What’s the difference between the Miami diet and the more traditional Mediterranean Diet?
The Miami Mediterranean Diet has been adapted to meet North American cooking and shopping habits, and new developments in food science. For example, newly developed non-hydrogenated buttery spreads are a great, healthier replacement for butter. Pomegranate juice, which has only recently become widely available, has been shown to lower blood pressure and help reverse the build-up of fatty deposits (atherosclerosis) in our arteries, so we use it as an ingredient in glazes and desserts. We have also adapted some of the ingredients to be more consumer friendly, featuring seafood, for example, that’s readily available on our shores. Overall, the Miami Mediterranean diet is designed for the North American palate and lifestyle–easy, filling, family-friendly dishes such as pasta and pizza that everyone loves (which will help you stick to your weight loss goals).
Do you have any questions or thoughts on how the Miami Mediterranean Diet works? Please share below…
Dr. Michael Ozner is medical director for the Center for Prevention and Wellness at Baptist Health South Florida, and medical director for the Cardiovascular Prevention Institute of South Florida.