All new habits need a plan. Luckily, I had the Keto360 Blueprint (which mapped out how this was all going to go down), Dr. Axe at my disposal for ALL the questions, a Keto360-approved food list, and a husband who agreed to jump on the two-week keto bandwagon with me. (Research shows that having a buddy system will increase your rate of success in fitness, a diet, and even sticking to your New Year's resolutions.) Still, sitting down to figure out my first week of keto diet meals and snacks was daunting. (Side note: I knew that if I was going to succeed at this, I'd have to be able to buy lunch. Luckily, Dr. Axe is totally on board, saying that most café salad bars will have what I need to create a keto meal-a big spinach salad with salmon and avocado, for example.)

During my honeymoon to Greece I had the chance to visit the oldest-known olive oil tree in the world. Most olive trees can live more than 500 years, but this one is at least 2,000 years old! Given that Greeks consume 12.8 kilograms of olive oil per year — compared to four kilograms in North America — it got me thinking about the importance of these trees to their daily life. Greece’s increased consumption of this healthy fat shows why the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and lowered cancer risk for those who follow it.

There’s no required schedule of meals and snacks, either, but the diet does emphasize the social aspect of eating—like sitting down at a table with friends or family. “When you talk about the pillars of the Mediterranean lifestyle, diet is only part of it,” says Weinandy. “Regular social interaction and staying active with exercise are also really important.”
Extra virgin olive oil has high a percentage of omega fats (polyunsaturated fats that are good for your heart) along with monounsaturated fats. Delhi-based Dietitian, Dr. Deepali Solanki, shares, "Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, unlike other oils which have a lot of saturated fat acids. It can be consumed in the same amount like any other oil. The recommended amount is half a liter per person per month."
The problem and the struggle for all the people we see, not just menopausal women, is they don’t know what hunger and fullness really are. They come to us after years and decades of a low fat high carb diet. So they are used to a feeling of fullness that is fuller than full. So we need to retrain ourselves to understand that full enough is the way you should feel.
When you think about Mediterranean food, your mind may go to pizza and pasta from Italy, or lamb chops from Greece, but these dishes don’t fit into the healthy dietary plans advertised as “Mediterranean.” A true Mediterranean diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables, seafood, olive oil, hearty grains, and other foods that help fight against heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and cognitive decline. It’s a diet worth chasing; making the switch from pepperoni and pasta to fish and avocados may take some effort, but you could soon be on a path to a healthier and longer life.
Most fundamentally, olive oil, like all oils and fats, are a concentrated source of calories. With over 4,000 calories per pound, olive oil is far more calorie dense than even pure refined sugar, which has 1,725 calories per pound. Because of its extremely high calorie density, adding olive oil to any food or meal will dramatically increase its calorie density.

When you think about Mediterranean food, your mind may go to pizza and pasta from Italy, or lamb chops from Greece, but these dishes don’t fit into the healthy dietary plans advertised as “Mediterranean.” A true Mediterranean diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables, seafood, olive oil, hearty grains, and other foods that help fight against heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and cognitive decline. It’s a diet worth chasing; making the switch from pepperoni and pasta to fish and avocados may take some effort, but you could soon be on a path to a healthier and longer life.
The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil act as antioxidants to rid the body of free radicals that would otherwise damage cells, or even lead to cancer. A study found that drinking olive oil inhibited colon cancer at various stages of the disease. So why not use it to fend off cancer to begin with? This is not to say that you should skip those recommended colonoscopies after age 50, but go ahead and add olive oil to your daily regimen as a preventative measure.
Now that Flynn’s diet has demonstrated acceptance and encouraging results among several different populations, she feels that its potential is even greater than she had first fathomed. The financial accessibility of a plant-based olive oil diet is one of its most significant features, since it is often assumed that such an eating pattern will inherently be pricier than a more traditional standard American diet. Flynn remarks, “When someone says that olive oil is expensive, I point out that they are comparing olive oil pricing to vegetable oil, which I do not think is a fair comparison.” She goes on to note that since animal products often comprise the lion’s share of one’s food budget, purchasing less meat while adding more olive oil typically results in a decrease in overall food costs. This point is especially important for Flynn’s current work with food pantry clients and her future plans to bring the diet to low-income populations to improve their risk factors for chronic diseases.

Extra virgin olive oil has a subtle golden-green hue with a light peppery flavour. It has a lower smoke point than many other oils, which means it burns easily at a lower temperature. Therefore, it may not be suited for high heat cooking. Dr. Rupali Datta, advises, "It is better to use extra virgin olive oil only for raw or cold cooking. Indian cooking needs are not suited to substitute this oil for our regular vegetable oil. You can use it in salads, as dressings, for making breads and dips. Light sauteing can also be done using extra virgin olive oil."
Reduced hunger. Many people experience a marked reduction in hunger on a keto diet. This may be caused by an increased ability of the body to be fueled by its fat stores. Many people feel great when they eat just once or twice a day, and may automatically end up doing a form of intermittent fasting. This saves time and money, while also speeding up weight loss.
There’s no one book or website to follow if you want to learn about the Mediterranean diet, and there’s no one way to structure a meal plan around it. But in general, says Weems, the Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and lean sources of animal protein. It’s low in red meat and other saturated fats, and it contains few processed foods or refined sugars.
Your daily habits. Your daily habits will make or break your weight loss efforts. Consistency is the key to keto success. Are you eating clean keto foods or high-fat junk foods with low-quality ingredients? Are you watching out for hidden carbs? Are you exercising? Eating the right foods in the right amounts for your goals and adding more physical activity to your daily life are the most important pieces of a smooth and successful body transformation.
Current weight — In order to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit which means you need to burn more calories than you consume. That being said, your current weight is the number one determining factor for how fast you’ll be able to lose weight. This is because the heavier you are, the higher your metabolic rate is (your ability to burn calories in a given day). So, individuals with more weight to lose typically lose weight faster and more easily in the initial stages than those who don’t weigh as much.

Remember, coconut oil is predominantly lauric acid, which has many benefits, including antimicrobial. However, it does not convert as efficiently into ketones and therefore does not contribute much of an energy boost. Nor does it suppress hunger or help feed your brain the way C8 and C10 do. MCT oil is typically tasteless and odorless, so it can easily be added to a wide variety of dishes and beverages, from salad dressing to smoothies and vegetable juices.
There's no one "Mediterranean" diet. At least 16 countries border the Mediterranean Sea. Diets vary between these countries and also between regions within a country. Many differences in culture, ethnic background, religion, economy and agricultural production result in different diets. But the common Mediterranean dietary pattern has these characteristics:

While it’s delicate and not necessarily the best oil for cooking, cold-pressed or expeller-pressed oil hasn’t been refined so it holds all of its natural vitamins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients better. While unrefined oil is separated without high heat, hot water, solvents and left unfiltered, on the flip side some oils are heated to a high degree, which reduces their benefits.
A study of 89 obese adults who were placed on a two-phase diet regimen (6 months of a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and 6 months of a reintroduction phase on a normal calorie Mediterranean diet) showed a significant mean 10% weight loss with no weight regain at one year. The ketogenic diet provided about 980 calories with 12% carbohydrate, 36% protein, and 52% fat, while the Mediterranean diet provided about 1800 calories with 58% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 27% fat. Eighty-eight percent of the participants were compliant with the entire regimen. [12] It is noted that the ketogenic diet used in this study was lower in fat and slightly higher in carbohydrate and protein than the average ketogenic diet that provides 70% or greater calories from fat and less than 20% protein.
That first drop might be mostly water weight. But research suggests that the keto diet is good for fat loss, too. An Italian study of nearly 20,000 obese adults found that participants who ate keto lost around 12 pounds in 25 days. However, there aren’t many studies looking at whether the pounds will stay off long-term, researchers note. Most people find it tough to stick with such a strict eating plan, and if you veer off your diet, the pounds can easily pile back on.
Lift weights: While you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, adding in weight lifting will build muscle and increase your metabolism. “The more muscle you add, the better your insulin sensitivity, so any sort of resistant strain you can add to your muscle is great for weight loss,” says Dr. Naiman. The weight lifting doesn’t have to be a excessive — 90 seconds, twice a week can do it. But he notes it has to be a heavy enough weight that after about to 10 to 15 lifts (reps) you cannot do another rep. That is called lifting to muscle failure. “It is only if you go to absolute failure that you convince your body that you’re not strong enough. Your body won’t add muscle unless you send the message that it needs more,” Dr. Naiman says. Squats, push-ups and other body resistance methods are just as effective as hand held weights or weight machines.
You may also want to try a cyclical keto diet, or carb cycling. You follow the standard keto diet for 6 days of the week, when you eat less than 50 grams of net carbs a day. But on one day of the week, you increase your carb intake to roughly 150 grams of net carbs. Doing this satisfies any carb cravings you might have, making it easier to sustain keto in the long-run. Learn more about the benefits of carb cycling and weight loss here.

According to some studies, medium-chain fats offer better protection from infections than longer-chain fatty acids do. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that fatty acids and monoglycerides with chain lengths varying from 8–12 carbons were found to be more strongly antiviral and antibacterial when added to milk and formula than long-chain monoglycerides. Medium-chain lipids added to milk (lipid-enhanced milk) and formula inactivated a number of pathogens, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), haemophilus influenzae and streptococcus. (10)


Welcome to the 21st century, where the low-fat diet is slowly but definitely on its way out to make room for a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet. For decades we have been following the faulty advice to reduce our fat intake to a bare minimum while increasing the amount of sugar in everything. Even a well-known brand of packaged macaroni and cheese contains added sugar, leaving us wondering why noodles and cheese might possibly need to be sweetened.
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Doctors and medical professionals in United States are increasingly advocating a Mediterranean diet plan as research uncovers its many health benefits. A groundbreaking 2013 study by the University of Barcelona made the connection between the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular health strikingly clear. Over 7,000 Spanish participants—many of whom were overweight, smokers, or diabetic—adopted a Mediterranean-style diet rich in healthy fats (olive oil or nuts) for nearly five years. After a comprehensive follow-up, surprised researchers ended the study early after observing a sharp improvement in participants’ health. The findings showed an “absolute risk reduction,” or a 30% decrease of cardiovascular disease among these high-risk individuals. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, made news across the U.S. as evidence enough that everyone, from high-risk to healthy individuals, can benefit by eating Mediterranean diet foods.
“Better” cigarettes (those with less nicotine and toxic chemicals like benzo(a)pyrenes) still promote lung cancer. “Better” monounsaturated fats like olive oil may still lead to diseased arteries. When scientists fed a monounsaturated fat–rich diet to monkeys for five years, the monkeys developed extensive atherosclerotic plaques in their coronary arteries. (1)

Your body composition. Do you have a lot of fat to lose? How much muscle do you have? The people who have the most to lose will tend to shred the fat at a much faster rate than those who have a few extra pounds to burn off. This phenomenon is mostly explained by the fact that obese individuals can easily maintain a much larger calorie deficit, which will result in faster weight loss. Muscle mass also plays a vital role in weight loss because it helps keep your metabolic rate from dropping significantly as you lose weight. This can help stabilize your weight loss rate and may even prevent a dreaded weight loss plateau.
"The authors … use kilojoules to measure energy instead of calories, but when you convert the units, you'll see that few of the studies showed a benefit relevant to the real world. For example, one study found that 5 grams of MCT oil did indeed raise the metabolic rate of healthy men … by 11 calories a day … [Y]ou could burn more calories than that by walking for [five] minutes, or jumping rope slowly for [two] minutes."

According to some studies, medium-chain fats offer better protection from infections than longer-chain fatty acids do. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that fatty acids and monoglycerides with chain lengths varying from 8–12 carbons were found to be more strongly antiviral and antibacterial when added to milk and formula than long-chain monoglycerides. Medium-chain lipids added to milk (lipid-enhanced milk) and formula inactivated a number of pathogens, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), haemophilus influenzae and streptococcus. (10)
What’s next for Flynn? With teaching, research, clinical and non-profit work on her plate, she still feels that there is much left to learn about the application of a plant-based diet that includes high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Securing funding remains challenging, which Flynn attributes in large part due to the “dismal failure” of low-fat diet research. She also is confident in the potential of using “food as medicine” to improve risk factors for chronic diseases among low-income groups, which offers dual benefits of improving lives as well as decreasing health care costs. She is also curious about the freshness of olive oil vis-à-vis its provision of health benefits and whether there is a cutoff at which these benefits begin to decline.
At this point, you probably already know that the Mediterranean diet is good for your health. Research proves over and over again that people who put an emphasis on produce, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats not only weigh less, but also have a decreased risk for heart disease, depression, and dementia. So what are you waiting for? Here are the basics: Shop the market perimeter, eat seasonally, and break (whole-grain) bread with people who make you smile. Now for the nitty-gritty.
Results, she promises, can be quite dramatic. And sure enough, Woman’s World readers who tested Palinski-Wade’s olive oil diet menus melted up to eight pounds and four inches of ab flab in just seven days. “I tried Weight Watchers, supplements, fad diets, but nothing worked until this,” says Pennsylvania grandmother Eleanor Downing, 62. “I lost a pant size in a week!” Meanwhile, Colorado travel agent Erika Crocker, 47, who whisked four inches off her middle, still can’t believe such a simple approach could be so effective. As for 30-year-old Mississippi mom Lindsey Bradley, 30, dropping a size has her raving: “For once, my belly got flatter without hunger pangs.”
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