Amazing 7 Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan to Help You Lose Weight
Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
Although it’s well-known, there’s no one true definition to the question, “what is the Mediterranean diet?”. There is no set amount of fat, carbs, protein, or calories you can eat in a day, which is why many health care professionals consider the Mediterranean diet to be less of a “diet” and more of a way of life.
The Gluten-Free Mediterranean diet is a combination of the two diet types. Practically, it is the same as the Mediterranean diet but without certain products that contain gluten. In other words, on this diet you have to avoid barley, wheat, and rye, substituting them with gluten-free alternatives.
A low-carb Mediterranean diet is similar to a regular low-carb diet. However, it includes more fish and extra virgin olive oil.
One of the most important things to know about a Mediterranean diet menu is nothing is completely off limits-including dessert!
So, for the benefit of beginners, which foods can you eat on a daily basis on the Mediterranean Diet?
Hard rules are lacking with this diet, but the following groups of foods are encouraged.
- Plant-based foods: The main components of the Mediterranean diet are fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. Unlike other diets that limit starchy foods or fruits, there aren’t any restrictions on the types of plant-based foods you can eat on the Mediterranean diet
- Whole grains: The number-one ranked diet encourages you to eat grains. In other words, you may have to adjust your thinking about carbs. But make sure your diet includes whole grains, such as oats, brown rice, bulgur, and barley.
- Fish: The Mediterranean diet recommends eating fish at least twice each week, Canned seafood such as canned tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, and sardines are affordable and practical options, and if you’re not sure how to cook fish, pan-searing is always an easy method.
- Poultry, eggs, and dairy: People eat plenty of poultry, but eggs and dairy don’t always get the love they deserve. But guess where Greek yogurt originated? Yep, the Mediterranean! Poultry, eggs, and dairy add protein, B vitamins, vitamin D, and calcium to the diet, so don’t shy away from these foods.
- Healthy fats: The Mediterranean diet also encourages the consumption of olive oil, nuts, avocados, and seeds — all of which provide monosaturated or “good” fats.
- Red wine (in moderation): Arguably the best part about the Mediterranean diet is the suggestion to drink red wine for its antioxidant benefits. Just remember that the recommended serving is 1 glass per night — not an entire bottle to yourself during Coronation Street. (Sorry, again.)
- Herbs and spices: Lastly, the Mediterranean diet encourages the use of herbs and spices to flavour food. Stock up your spice cabinet and buy a basil plant to grow on your windowsill.
Which Foods Should You Avoid on the Mediterranean Diet?
People on a Mediterranean diet avoid the following foods:
- refined grains, such as white bread, white pasta, and pizza dough containing white flour
- refined oils, which include canola oil and soybean oil
- foods with added sugars, such as pastries, fizzy drinks, and sweets
- deli meats, hot dogs, and other processed meats
- processed or packaged foods
If you want to lose weight following a Mediterranean diet here are 4 tips that work.
1. Eat your main meal early in the day
Traditionally within a Mediterranean diet, lunch is the main meal, it being consumed between 1 to 3 pm. By moving a larger meal early in the day, you reduce the risk of overeating later. In fact, a Spanish study showed that people who ate their largest meal before 3 pm lost more weight.
2. Eat vegetables as a main course cooked in olive oil
By eating a vegetable dish cooked in olive oil and tomato not only are you satisfied, but you are consuming 3-4 servings of vegetables in one sitting. These dishes are of moderate caloric level and low in carbs. Accompany it with a piece of feta cheese and you are set. Another benefit of eating vegetables as a main course is that because it is not a carb rich meal you will avoid the sleepiness that follows.
3. You should drink water mostly and sometimes tea, coffee and wine (for adults)
With the Mediterranean diet, most dairy comes from cheese and yogurt, so save your calories and use them by eating solid food rather than liquid calories. The same goes for juice. Nobody really needs juice, eat your fruit. They are filling and you get all the fibre and nutrients. As for coffee and wine, each has its place in the Mediterranean diet, but they do not replace water. Traditional Greek coffee has been associated with several health benefits and so has wine.
4. Consume the right amount of olive oil
Olive oil not only makes all those vegetables delicious, but it also makes the meal filling. That does not mean, however, that you should be pouring olive oil mindlessly on everything. A good amount that is also associated with all the health benefits is about 3 tablespoons a day.
7-day meal plan
Here is an example of a 7-day Mediterranean diet meal plan:
Breakfast option is Greek yogurt with blueberries and walnuts.
- one pan-fried egg
- whole-wheat toast
- grilled tomatoes
- For additional calories, add another egg or some sliced avocado to the toast.
- 2 cups of mixed salad greens with cherry tomatoes and olives on top and a dressing of olive oil and vinegar
- whole-grain pita bread
- 2 ounces (oz) of hummus
- whole-grain pizza with tomato sauce, grilled vegetables, and low-fat cheese as toppings
- For added calories, add some shredded chicken, ham, tuna, or pine nuts to the pizza.
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
- half a cup of fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries, or chopped nectarines
- For additional calories, add 1–2 oz of almonds or walnuts.
- whole-grain sandwich with grilled vegetables, such as bell pepper, and onion
- To increase the calorie content, spread hummus or avocado on the bread before adding the fillings.
- one portion of baked cod or salmon with garlic and black pepper to add flavour
- one roasted potato with olive oil and chives
- 1 cup of whole-grain oats with cinnamon, dates, and honey
- top with low-sugar fruits, such as raspberries
- 1 oz of shredded almonds (optional)
- boiled white beans with spices, such as laurel, garlic, and cumin
- 1 cup of green rocket with an olive oil dressing and toppings of tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese
- one-half of a cup of whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce, olive oil, and grilled vegetables
- 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
- two-egg scramble with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes
- top with one-quarter of an avocado
- roasted anchovies in olive oil on whole-grain toast with a sprinkling of lemon juice
- a warm salad comprising 2 cups of steamed kale and tomatoes
- 2 cups of steamed spinach with a sprinkling of lemon juice and herbs
- one boiled artichoke with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt
- Add another artichoke for a hearty, filling meal.
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt with cinnamon and honey on top
- mix in a chopped apple and shredded almonds
- 1 cup of quinoa with bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives
- roasted chickpeas with oregano and thyme
- top with feta cheese crumbles or avocado (optional)
- 2 cups of steamed kale with tomato, cucumber, olives, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese
- a portion of grilled sardines with a slice of lemon
- two slices of whole-grain toast with soft cheese, such as ricotta, or goat cheese
- add chopped blueberries or figs for sweetness
- 2 cups of mixed greens with tomato and cucumber
- a small portion of roasted chicken with a sprinkling of olive oil and lemon juice
- oven-roasted vegetables, such as:
- sweet potato
- toss in olive oil and heavy herbs before roasting
- 1 cup of whole-grain couscous
- whole-grain oats with cinnamon, dates, and maple syrup
- top with low-sugar fruits, such as raspberries or blackberries
- stewed courgette, yellow squash, onion, and potato in a tomato and herb sauce
- 2 cups of greens, such as rocket or spinach, with tomato, olives, and olive oil
- a small portion of white fish
- leftover vegetable stew from lunch
If you have a favourite Mediterranean recipe, we’d love to read about it in the comments section below
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