Intermittent Fasting vs Mediterranean Diet
Weight loss is one benefit of intermittent fasting and the Mediterranean diet, but that’s just the beginning. You can completely overhaul your lifestyle when you focus on what you’re eating and when you eat, improving your overall quality of life. The best part is that if you’re torn between the two, you don’t have to choose! The Mediterranean diet can easily be integrated into your intermittent fasting plan, helping you narrow down your meal choices. Just make sure you eat enough protein in addition to your focus on plant-based foods.
Let’s explore why both of these are worth exploring.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting doesn’t limit what you eat; it limits when you eat. Once you pick an intermittent fasting plan, you focus your calories during a certain eating window. In theory, you can eat whatever you want, but for the best results, you want to focus on healthy eating. Protein, healthy fats, and fiber will help you feel full longer, pushing through the hunger to help keep you fasting. When you pair healthy eating with intermittent fasting, you will lower your blood sugar, reduce bad cholesterol, and improve disease resistance. You could integrate the Mediterranean diet during intermittent fasting to get both benefits.
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on healthy eating, integrating lots of plant-based foods like whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. For healthy fat, you cook with olive oil. You can also eat poultry, dairy, fish, and other seafood in moderation, though you should avoid red meat and sweets. The focus of this diet is to improve heart health, but there are other benefits too. You will reduce your bad cholesterol, improve blood sugar levels, lower inflammation, and more. What you eat is just as important as what you don’t eat on the Mediterranean diet, especially blood sugar.
What are the Differences?
The Mediterranean Diet and intermittent fasting at their core focus on healthy eating, and because of it they have many similar benefits.
Intermittent fasting limits when you eat, so if you select 16/8, you can eat 8 hours per day, and during that time, there is little restriction on what you can eat. If weight loss is your goal, you’ll still want to focus on healthy eating. Unless you add calorie restriction, you don’t need to worry about the amount of calories. The point is to stay in a calorie deficit, burning more than you concern. There is no eating window in the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet limits what you can eat, focusing on healthy nutrition, particularly plant based food. You’ll eat a lot of monosaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiver, and other vitamins and minerals. In doing so, you also want to avoid eating sugar, carbs, dairy, red meats, and saturated fats. You don’t have to avoid them altogether, but you do want to eat them in moderation. By doing so, you’ll reduce your risk of developing heart disease, which is one of the biggest benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
The amount of planning that you’ll do will vary. Both require advanced planning for the best results, but the mediterranean diet requires more effort. You have to identify the foods that fit into your meal planning, purchases them, and make a commitment to only eat those foods.
How to Choose?
The good news is if you don’t want to choose between the two, you don’t have to. They can be complementary, as long as you don’t mind fasting. Otherwise, identify your eating habits. If you like Medditeranean, Italian, and other foods, this may fit seamlessly in your daily routine.