Modify the Diet to Your Lifestyle

The Mediterranean diet should adapt to fit your personal needs and restrictions, rather than the other way around. Determine any aspects that would be particularly hard for you or your family to adopt right away. Maybe daily fish seems unrealistic. Or perhaps you can’t imagine giving up dairy. Figure out where you need to compromise to make this diet work realistically for you. The key is to move closer to the diet’s traditional form while maintaining its enjoyable aspects.

If eating fish twice a week doesn’t seem doable, aim for just once and substitute eggs, beans or chicken the second time. Love cream in your coffee? Cut back to half your usual amount before attempting to eliminate it. Can’t quit the occasional pizza or burger? Enjoy them in moderation by tracking portions instead of cutting them out completely.

Over time, aim to shift closer to the traditional Mediterranean diet. But be patient with yourself and relax restrictions if trying to follow it perfectly backfires. Customizing based on your preferences will go a long way towards making this a lifestyle you enjoy versus a short-lived fad diet.

In summary:

Adapting Seafood and Protein Sources:

  • If daily consumption of specific foods/items seems daunting, start with once a week and  complementing with other healthier foods than you’re consuming now.
  • Enjoy dairy in moderation, perhaps starting with a reduction rather than elimination.

Balancing Indulgences:

  • Indulge in your favorite foods occasionally but in moderation.
  • Gradually decrease the portion sizes of less healthy options.