Losing weight is probably one of the most challenging things for a lot of people. There are different kinds of things that people start doing just to shed those extra calories. While some get into crash diets, a few of them start working out tirelessly yet, focus on all the nutrients they need.
Well, everything would possibly go on fine only when an individual is absolutely dedicated and sticks to the regime without making any excuses. But, a whole lot of people seriously hate to diet. Mostly, if you go by the traditional diet system, there have been serious restrictions on the consumption of oil, meat, milk, and dairy products.
Although we understand that all these food items are to be kept at bay to lose some good amount of weight, it really becomes hard to forbid them completely. There are no written rules where it says that ‘Diet’ has to be boring. One can certainly make their diet program completely an interesting one.
Yes, you heard us, right! To cater to the requirement of people who cannot stand the harsh conditions of a traditional diet, there are different kinds of diet programs designed.
One such amazing Diet that has become quite popular in the Mediterranean diet for weight loss. Most of the dieticians and nutritionists these days are recommending this program to a lot of people. It is regarded as an effective diet program that can help you lose weight without feeling upset and tired.
On the other hand, several studies have revealed how people are enjoying the Mediterranean Diet. You are about to read through all the details you need to know about the Mediterranean diet and health benefits.
Even before we jump straight into this topic, it becomes highly essential to understand the major setbacks as to why a lot of people fail to finish their diet program and, it is essentially important to understand the Mediterranean diet pros and cons even before one starts following it.
- Over expectations and hectic work schedule
- It is pretty hard to get adjusted to a sudden change in the meal plan
- Most of the people do not have time to cook meals as prescribed in the diet plan
- Sometimes, people are too lazy and careless
- Lack of motivation and the craving for rich food at all times
The reasons are given above; thus, compel a lot of people to tweak the traditional diet program accordingly. Let us now quickly dive into more details on the most wonderful and effective diet program, the Mediterranean diet, and health benefits.
What is Mediterranean Diet all about?
The origin of the Mediterranean Diet happens to be from all those food that is traditional and indigenous to Greece and Italy. The food items that were eaten by the then Greeks and Italians in the year 1960 now constitute the major part of the Mediterranean diet. These food items have been proven to be highly rich in nutrition and make one feel full quickly.
There is a lot of research conducted by several researchers to understand the nutritional value of this Diet. Almost all the researchers have concluded the Mediterranean diet to be one of the safest and exceptionally healthy. There is a lot of evidence to prove how this Diet can make positive changes in your lifestyle, unlike several other diets.
Some studies reveal this Diet to be healthier than any American diet that includes the Native American food items in them. Apart from having a systematic approach towards weight-loss, the Mediterranean diet also aids in reducing a lot of other diseases related to the heart.
People who have followed this Diet have successfully prevented heart-related problems, stroke, and type 2 Diabetes. Although there hasn’t been a strict written rule anywhere regarding the food items that are part of this diet program, there are certainly a few things prescribed in general that have to be followed.
The Mediterranean Sea inhabitants are used to eating several food items as part of their staple Diet, but almost everything that is part of their meal is healthy. Thus, it is considered to be the healthiest way of eating.
What is the foundation of the Mediterranean Diet?
Unlike any other diet programs, the Mediterranean diet comprises of vegetables and fruits as the major part. But the interesting part is you get to eat a lot of herbs, nuts, whole grains, and beans.
Some specific grains and reasonable amounts of dairy food, eggs, and meat, along with seafood, are also part of the Diet. Seafood is yet another dominant part of this Diet as the whole plan revolves around the people that live in and around the Mediterranean Region.
What can you eat as part of the Mediterranean Diet?
As already mentioned, there is no prescribed procedure for this diet plan yet; one’s traditional Diet can be quickly transformed into the Mediterranean diet by including the following ingredients generously.
- While most diet plans ask you to stay away from starchy foods, the Mediterranean encourages you to include food items like Pasta and bread a lot more as part of your meal plan.
- Fruits and vegetables are a must; you are expected to eat them in abundance as they are considered to release the toxins from the body easily.
- You can include fishes to make your meal an interesting one.
- Meat is, however, considered to be eaten in less quantity.
- Although oil is considered forbidden, Olive oil extracted from plants can be used to cook food used as part of your Diet.
Let us now list down the ingredients that form the major part of this Diet, and using all these; you can come up with your own interesting recipes.
Mediterranean Typical ingredients
- Olive Oil
- Herbs and Spices
- Whole grains
- Plant-based food items
- Bread, Pasta, and grains
- Cereals and Pulses that are high on proteins
- Vegetables and Fruits
- Dairy products that are low on fat and cholesterol
Basic Rules of the Mediterranean Diet
Similar to the other Diet Plans, the Mediterranean diet also wants people to follow a meal plan that is not just healthy and nutritious but balanced as well. Unless and until the meals are balanced, it will certainly harm your physical and mental well-being. Hence, it is essential to balance out the meals appropriately to lose weight most systematically.
- Remember not to eat everything at once, it is important to split your meals into five portions, and every portion has to include fruits and vegetables. Having high fruits on Vitamin C can be more helpful as these fruits are rich in anti-oxidants. They can quickly eliminate all the toxins from the body and help you fight diseases to strengthen the immune system.
- It is essential to bring in many starchy food items like rice, bread, Pasta, potatoes that are extremely high on carbohydrates. The catch is it is good to introduce all these items in the form of wholegrain. The whole grain is easily digestible, and thus, these food items do not harm the diet program as such.
- It is also important to eat fishes, eggs, and meat, along with the other proteins. Fishes are recommended to be eaten twice a week, and one of the portions has to have oil in it. Also, considering including milk and milk products made of less fat is regarded as an important part of the Diet. Most of the people choose Soy Milk, Tofu, and other plant-based milk options as part of their Diet.
- Eating small amounts of oils, plant-based and unsaturated ones are also allowed; however, consuming at least 2-3 liters of water is important.
- One is also allowed to eat fewer quantities of their favorite food loaded with high amounts of sugar, oil, and fat to cut down the cravings.
Although you do not have to do this every single day, it is good to create a balanced meal using all these ingredients as mentioned above! The overall idea behind the Mediterranean Diet is to introduce balance in every meal that one eats. It becomes easier to achieve weight-loss effectively and quickly without getting bored or fighting those unwanted cravings by following these things.
There are several ways to make your Diet an interesting one. Sine, the Mediterranean diet gives you the leverage to create your own meals; we bring you the list of 7 simple recipes that are extremely nutritious with meager calories. Including these recipes as part of your diet plan can make the Diet more interesting and exciting.
As already mentioned, compromising on the taste will make you quit the diet program quickly; if you want to keep it going, following some recipes that taste Yum and fills you with lots of energy is a must. All these recipes listed below are lesser than 100 calories; hence, they do not harm your diet program at all.
Also, the recipes that we have listed here have many vegetables and fruits with the other items that are part of the Diet. Since we are not going to deviate from the ingredients mentioned that are part of the diet plan, this list will come in extremely handy to all of you that are willing to follow the Mediterranean Diet.
1. Apple smoothie with Soy Milk
Please take a few fresh apples and blend them well with a generous amount of Soy Milk. Layer them with the choice of berries and nuts. Almonds can be used generously because they are extremely high on proteins and can help you in quick weight loss. This is one of the recipes that you must certainly consider as a snack when you are starving. Delicious and nutritious at the same time!
2. Nutty Dark chocolate cake
Take a few bowls of whole wheat flour and make a cake. Melt some dark chocolates and pour the liquid inside the cake, and binge on it as much as you want to with your favorite choice of nuts. You are adding apricots, pistachio, walnuts, raisins, and almonds to the cake batter while baking would also be a great idea.
You might also consider adding a few spoons of honey in place of sugar for sweetness and making the batter using plant-based milk products like the Soy, Almond, or coconut. You can also choose to use fat-free milk.
Well, you are making a cake but with different ingredients, though. If you look at this recipe, all the ingredients mentioned are part of the Mediterranean diet; hence, this is one of the recipes you can consider eating during one of your meals as a dessert.
3. Yummy Omelettes with veggies
There are a lot of people that crave to eat during their diet program. When you are following the Mediterranean diet, you do not have to wait for a cheat meal for hogging the food items that have eggs in them. You can make them whenever you want to during any meal and eat them satisfactorily without any guilt.
Keeping in mind the nutritional and balance factor, here is an amazing recipe with eggs and different kinds of veggies in them. Take a couple of eggs, and choose your list of veggies. Break the eggs, chop all the veggies; remember to include onion and green chilies generously along with some freshly grounded black peppercorn and finely chopped coriander.
Beat all the ingredients together and add a pinch of salt. Roast them on a skillet on both sides and eat them until you feel satisfied. You might as well include any other herbs of your choice, depending upon the taste you can achieve.
4. A bowl of Muesli with assorted berries and almond milk
This is one of the best recipes that can be made in less than 5 minutes, and it a perfect breakfast recipe. Muesli would already be loaded with lots of fibers that can boost all the energy you need during the day.
When you blend them with berries of your choice, you would certainly love to binge on this happy bowl every day for breakfast, if possible fresh ones. The blast of assorted berries as you take every bite along with the almond milk loaded with flavors of berries and Muesli can be extremely delicious. High on proteins, fiber, and nutritional value yet, very delectable to eat!
5. Nutty bars for refreshment
Take some whole oats, ripe bananas, melted butter, goju berries, and a few seeds of your choice. It could either be pumpkin or sunflower seeds or both. Mix all the ingredients together and bake it in an oven for about 20 to 25 minutes and cool them down. These bars can come handy when you are famished at work. You could also simply munch on them during the snack time as they are highly nutritious and loaded with proteins.
6. Low-fat burgers
Well, it is slightly difficult for urban people to let go of their craving for burgers just like that. The cravings for such food items would be really high, especially when you force yourselves into a diet plan. Since you can alter the meals that are suitable to your requirement in the Mediterranean diet, we bring you another recipe without making any changes in the list of prescribed ingredients that have to be used for making these burgers.
Instead of opting for buns made using All-purpose flour that is high on fat and cholesterol, replace them with whole wheat buns. Make potato Pattice but, for frying, use Olive Oil instead of any other cooking oil that is high on fat and is unsaturated.
You might also include many other vegetables in the Pattice, which increases the nutritional value. As always, please make use of lettuce leaves as then apply a generous amount of sauce of your choice; use cheese as you are allowed to eat dairy products once in a while and eat binge on them until you are thoroughly satisfied.
Although you are eating a burger, you have created a balance in the meal, and that’s the Mediterranean diet concept. Isn’t this really amazing? And also, after reading through all these points, it would be easier for you to understand that the Mediterranean diet vs. vegan cannot be compared at all. This is one of the easiest diets that one can follow for weight loss.
7. Finger chips
Break the monotony of making finger chips using the Potatoes. Use other vegetables like Yam, Sweet potatoes, unripe plantains, and make finger chips using them. Use different kinds of spices and herbs as these ingredients are known to increase metabolism and make your weight loss process quicker.
Remember to fry the finger chips using olive oil and not any other cooking oil as they would be high on fat. Enjoy them with a cheese dip or sauce of your choice; there would be no one to stop you at all.
Apart from these, you might try making healthy recipes using Pasta, bread, oats, wheat, and fishes as well. We have just come up with a few sample recipes that might come in handy to you when planning to follow the Mediterranean Diet. Now that we have also listed the recipes, don’t you think it is good to take a quick sneak peek at a sample menu that you can follow?
Sample Mediterranean menu for a week
- Breakfast – A bowl of Muesli with almond milk and loaded with assorted berries
- Lunch – A bowl of Pasta loaded with vegetables and a few chicken pieces
- Dinner – A Grilled salmon or fish spiced up with herbs and a bowl of fresh fruits
- Breakfast – An egg omelet with lots of veggies and an apple milkshake made using Soy Milk.
- Lunch – Shallow fried assorted vegetables tossed in Olive oil and dressed with olives, and jalapenos along with boiled eggs
- Dinner – Eat a yummy bowl of fresh fruits with a generous amount of low-fat cream and be done with it.
- Breakfast – Whole wheat bread sandwich with a glass of fresh fruit juice
- Lunch – Fishes and salmons or even a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk
- Dinner – Eat some yummy Pasta topped with your choice of meat and avoid desserts
- Breakfast – Sliced fruits with low-fat milk
- Lunch – A clubbed sandwich with a glass of fresh fruit juice and snack up an energy bar in between
- Dinner – Make some grilled meat and it along with some baked potatoes loaded with fat-free cream or yogurt
- Breakfast – Two glasses of fresh fruit juice and a bowl of Muesli
- Lunch – Bread and eggs dressed with your choice of herbs and spices along with a fresh fruit bowl
- Dinner – A grilled lamb and a bowl of berries with low-fat cream for dessert
- Breakfast – Multi-grain cereals with almond milk and a fruit of your choice
- Lunch – Bread with a generous amount of butter and a few slices of assorted vegetables along with an almond milk frappe
- Dinner – Go light, eat a bowl of fruits, and wrap the day up.
Sundays can be cheat days; you can choose to tweak the meal even further and eat something nice but, remember to keep it balanced.
- Breakfast –A bowl of Muesli loaded with a generous amount of nuts and berries along with your choice of the whole fruit.
- Lunch – Red sauce or white sauce pasta with meat and a bowl of fresh fruit salad with some cream topping
- Dinner – Mashed potatoes and a grilled fish or salmon. To finish it off, you can eat an apple pie for dessert.
Well, here is the sample menu that we have come up with to help you to prepare your first-week meal during the Diet, along with a few Mediterranean diets easy recipes. Taking a close look at it will help you understand that none of the ingredients used are against the ones prescribed as part of the Mediterranean diet plan.
Following this for a week will give you more ideas to come up with your own recipes that can be more interesting, and you would also get to know why people follow the Mediterranean Diet vs. vegan. So, in the next section of the article, we will read through the list of things that you need to follow while following the Mediterranean Diet.
- Remember to eat whole grains a lot than any other food items
- Binge on fruits and vegetables as many times as you want to
- Do not eat deep-fried items, and also make sure not to use refined oil and or any other cooking oil
- It’s good to avoid food that is loaded with sugar and fat
- Make sure to keep yourselves away from tobacco because when you stop smoking, the metabolism process increases and aids in quicker weight loss.
- Remember to take part in activities that can be physically active; it is always about the combination of Diet and exercises that make you lose weight faster.
- It is also good to stay away from alcohol during the diet program; however, using wine reasonably is still allowed.
- Do not stress yourselves out getting into the diet plan because keeping it going can be tough.
- Never start dieting because someone else is doing as that can again kill your motivation quickly.
- Just because all the ingredients are allowed to eat, it does not mean that you start losing focus on balance.
These are some of the most important things that you need to remember to understand what Mediterranean Diet health benefits are? Once these things are clearly understood, it becomes easier for you to stick throughout the diet program and lose the desired amount of weight that you intend to without any hassles.
We have understood quite a lot about the ingredients, the meals, the menu, and the things that one has to follow during the Mediterranean diet for weight loss. Now, it is time to understand the Mediterranean diet and health benefits and the Mediterranean diet pros and cons in detail. According to several types of research, there are only a lot of positives that are associated with this Diet, and the same has been listed below:
Scientific Health Benefits
Reduces the risk of heart diseases
One of the major scientific reasons for people to stick to the Mediterranean diet as it lowers the risk of heart diseases. There have been several papers that are published by the researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine in the year 2013.
Also, the same paper also reveals how this Diet can help people suffering from 2 Diabetes reduce the risk of any further complications pertaining to the heart. Since Olive oil is one of the key ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, it has the ability to reduce cardiovascular issues, especially when it is used in its purest form.
Women do not develop stroke easily
It is pretty easy to understand that stroke generally happens in people who have developed heart-related disorders. Women that followed the Mediterranean diet strictly showed lesser symptoms than the other ladies that did not work, according to the paper published by one of the researchers in New England.
Most of the ingredients that are recommended in the Diet are both high on proteins or fiber and quite less in terms of fat and carbs. Hence, it is easier to fight against stroke.
Mental disorders can be prevented.
One of the major health benefits associated with the Mediterranean Diet is I constantly focus on creating a balanced meal plan every time you eat. When there is proper food consumed, the brain cells would be active and energized at all times.
The brain needs to receive an ample amount of oxygen and blood flow at all times, which will happen when the heart functions normally. Since the Mediterranean Diet protects the heart, it becomes easier for you to fight against brain-related problems like Alzheimer’s and other cognitive issues.
Weight Loss and maintenance
Well, this is the whole point that motivates someone to follow an amazing diet like this. Different kinds of ingredients are used to create a wholesome meal, which is nutritious and tasty. Most likely, people fail to lose weight because of the unwanted and untimely cravings.
Since the Mediterranean Diet allows you to tweak the Diet the way you want, it promotes effective and faster weight loss than any other diet. Thus, a lot of people choose the Mediterranean Diet vs. Keto. Apart from all these things, the diet program promotes alertness, increases strength and stamina, boosts the immune system, and develops a positive image. We have listed everything that you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet.
Well, wouldn’t it be nice to follow those traditional methods of food habits to stay healthy? When the Mediterranean diet has all these qualities and also proven evidence and records from researchers, it is good to apply these simple techniques and make the best out of it. A diet program is complete only when it allows the participant to tweak it and enjoy every meal without regretting following a diet program. With all these benefits, the Mediterranean Diet is one of the best diet programs you must follow.