Before we proceed with the weight loss part of this diet, we definitely have to mention the huge benefit it brings along to every person who keeps to it, be it with a strict compliance or with some deviations. This diet was developed by a team of professionals of the Medical Center of Chicago to address the issue of Alzheimer’s disease, which has been increasingly often taking lives of people, and over 66% of those attacked by this disease are namely WOMEN.
Though our main aim for doing the research in this diet was to discover whether it is effective for a successful weight reduction, we have to mention that the Alzheimer’s disease takes the 6th place in the rating of most frequent causes of death in the US. We do not mean to scare you. The aim of this intro is to let you know that you can lower your risk of getting the Alzheimer’s disease by 53%, if you keep to the MIND diet. Sounds promising, especially with weight loss benefits included.
So what about the weight loss on MIND diet?
Sure, the main thing that interests everyone on a weight loss forum is definitely the weight loss, while other benefits should be regarded as a bonus. Let’s focus on our main concern for now.
Since the main concern of the MIND diet creators was the brain health, they did not actually target weight loss. However, the set of products that people are encouraged to consume while keeping to this diet is bound to promote a weight reduction, under the condition of creating the required energy deficit. This means that you will still have to adjust the caloric value of your diet and increase your physical activity in such a way that you spend more calories than you consume.
As for the weight loss rate, it, just as usually, depends on the way you used to eat before the diet, as well as on your commitment to the new eating regime.
- If you were consuming foods high in calories, sugar, trans fats, as well as alcohol in unlimited amounts, and switch to this clean eating regime with a considerable lowering of your daily caloric value, the excess kilograms will rip off your body quite fast.
- If you were doing your best to stay away from junk food and empty liquid calories on a daily basis, yet were not hitting the bull’s eye with the caloric value of your foods, your weight loss will probably flow at a lower pace, closer to the healthy weight loss rate of 0.5 to 1 kg per week.
What food groups should be avoided while on MIND diet?
One of the main no-no in most weight loss diets is alcohol. MIND diet allows (or even encourages, yet not mandatory) having a glass of red wine per day (men can have two glasses). Thus, you will not have to sip on water, if you were invited for a party or a meeting with friends at a restaurant.
And good news keep coming. It turns out that you don’t have to avoid any foods completely. Yes, you will have to limit the frequency of consumption of some foods to fewer times a week. Still, you will not have to miss any of your favorites for the rest of your life.
What foods exactly should be limited while on MIND diet?
Read carefully. You will have to limit the amount of the following foods that compromise brain health (as well as the weight loss, by the way):
- Butter – no more than 15 grams per day, forget about margarine
- Cheese, fried/fast food – no more than one serving per week
- Pastries and sweets – as little as possible, and not more than 4-5 servings per week
- Red meat and red meat products – eat as rarely as possible, not more than 5 servings in a week.
So, you see, you can have everything you wish. The amounts should be smaller though. However, if you approach your menu in a clever way and develop it in compliance with your food preferences, based on these light limits, you will certainly be able to continue enjoying your favorite dishes. Some slight changes, yes. You won’t be able to build a brain-healthy eating plan without changing anything at all. However, we all understand that our usual eating way doesn’t work, if we can’t lose weight, right?
Any recommendations on what we SHOULD eat while on MIND diet?
Eat every day
- Three servings of whole grains
- One salad of leafy greens
- One serving of other vegetables
- Olive oil should become the main oil you use on a daily basis
- One glass of wine
Eat at least 1-2 times a week
- Berries, better choose blueberries or strawberries
Eat 3-5 servings a week
- Nuts, in moderation, used as snacks on most days
- Beans or legumes
Pretty understandable recommendations, which allow developing a delicious menu with healthy main meals and snacks. What else could you ask for? Besides, these mild limitations also allow dining out with friends and family, so you won’t have to skip any important events, and still continue eating healthy and losing weight.
Does it also matter how we combine foods, or not so important?
There is an important condition for a successful weight loss: your blood sugar level should be balanced, without sudden crashes or jumps. This can be achieved if your meals provide enough satiety and help you avoid hunger throughout the day. As we already see, we are encouraged to consume fiber-rich foods, which are bound to provide satiety and help our body regulate sugar. However, adding protein to each meal helps improving this effect and, eventually, help achieve a steady weight loss.
Is there any serious science behind these dietary recommendations?
Yes, the scientifically based approach for the MIND diet and further research on its effect clearly show that the diet does work for its purposes and suggest that it can be beneficial for other serious conditions. In fact, the development of the MIND diet took 2 years, and it was built on the basis of two popular health benefitting diets: the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
As you already figured, the DASH diet aims high blood pressure and works on preventing it through limiting the amount of salt and sugar in the daily menu. At that, the Mediterranean diet has also proven to be capable of reducing the blood pressure. Both diets help lower the level of bad cholesterol and increase the level of good cholesterol. Altogether, they provide serious cardiovascular benefits and, when combined, proved to help prevent brain aging changes. Thus, you will benefit of various health benefits, along with possible lowering of blood sugar level.
Do we need to exercise while keeping to the MIND diet?
Any person, except for those who have serious contraindications, requires regular physical activity to keep healthy and live a longer life. Any level of activity:
- is beneficial for heart
- lowers the incidence of traumas in older age
- helps the body be ready for labor
- provides a healthier intimate life
- lowers ghrelin thus helping control the appetite
- can replace bad habits and save our health
If these are not enough, think about your current goal – weight loss. While some people find dieting sufficient to lose weight and can boast off with good genetic heredity, which doesn’t let their skin sag and provides a great body shape once the fat is gone, others can’t achieve desired forms without exercising.
Increasing your stamina and the fitness level will surely make you feel more free and confident in daily activities or active pastime with family and friends, when you will be able to go uphill without suffocating, or run with your dog without fainting. Besides, when the fat is gone, you will be proud of showing the results of your hard work on the beach or while wearing any clothes, which can’t hide any flaws of figure.
We all have our motivation to lose weight. If you still don’t, you might consider the idea of saving yourself from the Alzheimer’s disease being the best motivation, while the weight loss will make you happy as you continue with the MIND diet. Who knows? Preserving your sanity might become the main goal. Either way, you will want to remember how proud you are of yourself for losing weight and bringing yourself into shape. Whatever motivation you chose, whatever exercises you chose, whatever eating plan you chose, Good Luck!