It’s funny because I just returned from an entire two-week holiday in Greece and have actually shed weight. I only lost one pound, while my spouse lost 5 pounds pounds! Strangely enough, we didn’t exercise eating out three times per day, and didn’t limit our sweet cravings. What’s the reason for this?
According to data from 2016 according to 2016 statistics, the USA has a rate of obesity of 35.7 percent. The Greek rate is 17.3 percent. Many people would think that it’s due to the popularly praised Mediterranean diet however that doesn’t really provide a complete explanation.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in healthy fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as small amounts of animal. The Mediterranean diet has been extensively researched and has been proven to lower deaths and heart diseases but is only a slight influence on weight. There could be something else happening.
It’s not solely the Mediterranean diet, but also the general way they conduct their lives. During my stay in Greece I came to understand that Greeks differ from Americans Here’s the way to explain it:
The Greeks concentrate on their vegetable consumption. Greek salads are easy and delicious, consumed every day and huge. I enjoyed the beet as well as the cabbage and tomato salads. Grilled veggies with balsamic vinaigrette was a popular choice in my travel group. A majority of meals at every meal were made up of vegetables. One of my travelers disliked eggplant, however, in Greece it was impossible to discover an eggplant-based dish did not fall in over. Salads are also served with extra virgin olive oil and occasionally vinegar, but never with the creamy ranch dressing, which is a favorite in American. There were so many delicious meals that I frequently went through the motions of becoming stuffed, but I did not gain weight.
The majority of people in Greece take a walk and walk lots. There are a lot of stairs and people walk these regardless of age. I’m aware that step counters can be wrong however, we walked more than 18,000 steps several times during our travels. One day, we crossed 4,000 steps at 8:30am! There was a beautiful old Venetian citadel that was situated on the top of a hill. for us to reach it we had to climb 970+ steps and then the exact steps down. If we were in The U.S.A, we probably would have built a moving sidewalk that would have gotten rid of the steps. However, in Greece it was amazing to observe people from all ages making the long walk to and from.
A fascinating aside: I identify as an athlete however during the two weeks I was in Greece I went running twice, yet I managed to keep the weight off and ate until I was overstuffed nearly every day! This to me is proof that walking really works.
In Greece it was evident that most meals were taken outdoors on patios. The mild Mediterranean climate allows this to be possible all year round. It’s impossible to do this in all parts of the world, however I was able to breathe in fresh air, take in the sights, and take in the vitamin D during breakfast or lunch and dinner. There’s something about soaking up the sun that lifts your mood. I loved this part of the Greek life style.
A different kind of kindness
There are a lot of wandering cats and dogs in Greece! The children during our visit loved their owners, and the parents were running low on hand soap and sanitizer. The majority of these animals appear to be able to move between meals and the good thing is that the people feed them. They weren’t ill-fed or unkempt. We often were able to see “community bowls” of cat or dog food lying on the streets that people contributed to. On a number of walks we would have dogs be part of our group and walk alongside us. It was a free form of pet therapy.
The pace of life
People aren’t in a rush. This is a new concept for us Americans However, they seemed to really spend their time traveling from place to place. We enjoyed several lunches lasting two hours and dinners, something we’d never think of Stateside. The peace of being present, and not having to rush to make it to the next important appointment was a real relief (and it took some time to get used to).
The lesson is: There is no need to relocate from Greece to be healthy, but it would not harm to take a few of these tips to make your lifestyle more balanced and healthier. Take a step back. Get outside. Take a walk. Without the abundance of unwanted cats to feed and pet, the way of life I experienced in Greece is easily achievable from any location.