Mediterranean diet: The healthiest way to lose weight

Mediterranean diet. Healthy balanced food

The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets and is quite popular. The great thing about it is that it is very easy to follow and does not require calorie counting or fasting. But why is this diet a TOP diet?

The diet is a type of diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and already valuable nutrients, based on a balanced diet low in processed foods.

Mediterranean diet. Healthy balanced food
Mediterranean diet. Healthy balanced food

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The name Mediterranean diet itself comes from the fact that it mainly encourages the consumption of foods that are eaten in Southern European, North African and Middle Eastern countries such as Greece, Spain, Southern France, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Egypt and Israel.

It is based on the consumption of healthy staples such as fresh fruit, organic vegetables, olive oil, seafood, pulses, whole grains and nuts.

Some Mediterranean diets allow for moderate amounts of dairy, poultry, and red meats, but the true Mediterranean diet does not include these foods.

This diet, rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and already valuable nutrients, is balanced and low in processed foods, has many benefits for the body, and can also be a great help in losing weight.

It is not expected to produce immediate, drastic results, but eating healthy foods will lead to lasting weight loss.

Ingredients of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is based on eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and white meat and fish. Of course, many other foods can also be consumed, but the main rules are as follows:

  • eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • give preference to plant proteins over animal proteins
  • Eat plenty of healthy protein sources and avoid processed foods such as legumes, whole grains, and oilseeds
  • minimize the consumption of fatty, red meat
  • eating fish regularly, at least 2-3 times a week
  • minimizing dairy products and ‘cheap’ carbohydrates
  • consumption of healthy fats, in particular, olive oil
  • reduce the consumption of refined, processed foods and sugary foods
  • less salting, using herbs instead
  • drinking plenty of clean water, at least two liters a day.

Mediterranean diet pyramid

To understand the Mediterranean diet, it is worth looking at the Mediterranean diet pyramid, which can help you understand how much of what you can eat. At the bottom of the pyramid are the foods you should eat every day

mediterranean diet

At the second level are the foods that the diet recommends you eat every week. At the third level are the foods that should be eaten no more than once a week, and at the top are the foods that the less you eat, the better.

What can you eat?

There is no need to starve yourself on the Mediterranean diet, as you can eat a wide variety of foods.

  • Fish, seafood, low-fat meats,
  • eggs, yogurt, kefir, cheese
  • bread made from durum flour, pastries, but only a small amount of these,
  • pasta, rice, and other cereals.
  • lentils and green beans, tomatoes, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, carrots, chicory, lettuce and onions, peppers.
  • oranges, strawberries, raspberries, lemons, mandarins, grapefruit, grapes, peaches.
  • Prohibited foods
  • Surprisingly, the Mediterranean diet does not ban chocolate, it only limits its consumption.
However, some foods are not recommended at all:
  • Foods containing refined or added sugar, such as sweets, ice cream, table sugar, cakes, and other sugary foods.
  • Processed cereals such as white bread made from refined flour, pasta or pizza dough, and pastries
  • Trans fats such as margarine or fast food,
  • Refined oils, such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, rapeseed oil, or cottonseed oil
  • Processed meats such as steaks, sausages, hot dogs, etc.
  • Processed foods such as low-fat salad dressings, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, ketchup, mustard, canned foods, etc.
  • Mediterranean diet sample diet
  • When it comes to diets, most people fear that because there are so many foods on the banned list, their diet will not be varied enough, but that is not the case with the Mediterranean diet.

The diet pattern can help dispel this misconception. The Mediterranean diet sample diet plan suggests that you can eat the following for lunch or dinner:

  • Lentil soup without flour or chickpea soup with spinach leaves and garlic and roasted cod as a topping
  • Cream of celery soup, vegetable and meat lasagna with durum noodles, fresh salad
  • Grilled chicken breast fillet, steamed asparagus, green beans, possibly with grilled or boiled vegetables, served with feta cheese Greek salad.
  • Cream of broccoli soup, braised tenderloin or chicken breast, green salad with yoghurt
  • Mushroom and tomato durum pasta with cheese and prawns.
  • Tortilla, chicken gyros, mixed green salad
  • Vegetable, and chili beans, boiled egg

The Mediterranean diet can also be varied at breakfast, with eggs, toast, salads, a variety of vegetable spreads and healthy pastries made from durum flour once or twice a week.

Frequently asked questions about the diet

What is a forbidden food, should I not eat at all?
Not recommended, but if, for example, you feel the need to eat more meat, you can. The Mediterranean diet is not as strict as other diets, it encourages you to eat healthy foods.

When does weight loss start?
You should not expect to lose weight immediately on the diet. According to a dietician, the Mediterranean diet is a healthy way of life that leads to slow but lasting weight loss.

How long should I follow the Mediterranean diet?
There is no set time limit for how long you should or should not do the diet (just like the DASH diet). You can eat the diet for the rest of your life because it is a healthy lifestyle.