What is the Low Calorie, Traditional Diet?

What is the Low Calorie, Traditional Diet?

Hello, in this article, we will explore the traditional diet, whether it's 1200 calories, 1500 calories, or customized according to your preferences. It can be succinctly described as the Mediterranean diet, which has consistently held the top position in global rankings for the sixth consecutive time. In this article, I will delve into the low-calorie traditional diet, focusing on four key aspects:

  1. Let's begin with an overview of the Traditional diet, elucidating its features and advantages.
  2. Following that, we will discuss the eligibility criteria for participating in the challenge.
  3. Subsequently, we will provide recommendations, outlining what is permissible and what is not.
  4. Finally, we will examine potential side effects and strategies for their mitigation.


Introduction to the Traditional Diet:

Emphasizing moderation and quantity, this diet restricts calorie intake to consistently be less than 500 or 1000 calories than your daily metabolic expenditure, promoting weight loss. We recommend the 1200-calorie diet for women and 1500 calories for men, considering these as the minimum required to support basic body functioning for each gender. The diet involves 4 to 5 meals a day. It includes a balanced distribution of macronutrients: 40% of calorie consumption should be from healthy carbohydrates. Sweets and desserts represent 10% of the diet; protein should be moderate, constituting 20% of the calories, and finally, healthy fats should make up 30% of the calories.


Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet:

  1. Associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, thanks to its emphasis on monounsaturated fats.
  2. Decreases the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases.
  3. Is known to increase longevity.


Eligibility Criteria for the Mediterranean diet:

  1. Whether you're a young adult, child, or senior seeking a health boost with sustainable weight loss, this diet is designed for you, especially if you appreciate a relaxed and sociable approach without excessive deprivation or restrictions commonly found in other diets.
  2. It's also beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes who are on medications and wish to manage their carbohydrate intake progressively without entirely depriving themselves of its consumption.
  3. This diet can serve as a treatment for overweight and obesity, helping individuals learn about portion control and how to enjoy everything in moderation without feeling deprived.
  4. Athletes or active individuals aiming to reduce calories for weight loss can benefit from this diet by customizing their meal plans according to their specific needs.
  5. It's welcoming for breastfeeding and pregnant women, with calorie levels starting at 1500 calories and above.


General Recommendations:

In terms of nutrition:

 If you can manage with only eating our meals, that's perfect! (Request information regarding the weekly menu via email or WhatsApp). However, if you feel the need for more energy, you can include:

  1. 4 handfuls of vegetables, with an emphasis on leafy greens like cabbage, kale, lettuce, arugula, purslane, and thyme. Avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes, palm hearts, corn, artichokes, green beans, and peas.
  2. 1 handful of low-sugar fruits, with the exception of dried fruits, figs, raisins, pomegranates, avocados, dates, papayas, bananas, mangoes, cactus fruit (prickly pear), kaki, and custard apples (ashta).
  3. If hunger persists, you can add some protein options like poultry, eggs, fatty fish like salmon, and legumes. Red meat and dairy products should be enjoyed sparingly. The size of the chosen protein should be equivalent to the palm of your hand.
  4. Once a week, 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil rich in monounsaturated fats are also permissible.
  5. Sweets and desserts represent 10% of the diet. So adding light snacks between 100-150 calories once every other day is not a big deal!
  6. Your recommended daily water intake will be determined based on your initial weight when starting the diet.
  7. When it comes to coffee, you can indulge in freshly brewed coffee, 1 to 5 servings (such as Turkish coffee, French press, espresso, or Americano). However, coffee mate, 2in1, and 3in1 are not permitted.
  8. Tea is permitted, and you can enhance it with sucralose, erythritol, monk fruit, or stevia in small quantities.

This diet is not overly restrictive regarding the types of foods consumed, permitting everything in small quantities to ensure long-term maintenance and sustainable weight loss.

When it comes to lifestyle:

  1. Prioritize Physical Activity: Maintaining a regular exercise routine is crucial. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes per week, engaging in activities such as walking, swimming, cycling, running, or gym workouts. Ideally, target an enjoyable hour of daily activity, splitting it into 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon.
  2. Social Dining Balance: In harmony with your social lifestyle, indulge in dining out with friends. Treat yourself once or twice a week, and stay tuned for an upcoming article detailing optimal restaurant choices for the Mediterranean diet.
  3. Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Moderate alcohol intake is acceptable, with a recommendation of 1 to 2 drinks per week. Opt for light beer or wine! Gin, Whisky, Vodka, Arak, and Tequila are not permitted.
  4. Quit Smoking for Health: Taking the crucial step to quit smoking is fundamental for a healthier lifestyle.
  5. Stress Management Strategies: Equip yourself with strategies to navigate or alleviate stress, given its substantial impact on our eating habits. A detailed exploration of this topic will be presented in an upcoming article.
  6. Prioritize Quality Sleep: Aim for a restful 8-hour sleep each night, a golden rule for curbing calorie intake. The duration and quality of your sleep can significantly influence your eating patterns.


Potential Side Effects and Mitigation Strategies:

While generally safe, some may experience:

  1. If you reach a weight loss plateau on the Mediterranean diet, consider adjusting your carbohydrate portion. Trying a different diet low in carbohydrates or increasing your physical activity may be the solution.
  2. A sudden drop in calorie intake, from 3000 to 1200 calories, may cause constipation for some individuals. This is because the digestive tract needs time to adjust to smaller and less frequent bowel movements.
  3. Sticking to a 1200 or 1500-calorie diet for 24 days can be challenging for some. They might end up eating extra food at home, slowing down weight loss, and in rare cases, even gaining back the lost weight. That's why we suggest reaching out to our dietitians during and after the challenge. They can help tailor your diet, make it more personalized, and guide you on maintaining your desired weight.
  4. Due to the diverse and nutritious foods included in the traditional diet, please inform us before starting the program if you have any food allergies. We will make the necessary adjustments by either eliminating or substituting the allergenic ingredients with suitable alternatives.


In conclusion, adopting the Mediterranean diet with calorie control is an excellent choice for those seeking to enhance their health and vitality. Customizing the plan to fit your goals leads to better and lasting results in the long run.