Can You Lose Weight On The Mediterranean Diet

    Can You Lose Weight On The Mediterranean Diet

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 12/3/2022

    Can you lose weight on the Mediterranean diet? The cuisine that originates in the Mediterranean region is usually recognized as being among the healthiest eating patterns that are now accessible. This status has been maintained for a very considerable amount of time.

    It is also recognized as one of the most popular plans among dieters because it is adjustable, plentiful in meals with various flavors, and complete to the brim with health advantages. Because of these components, it has quickly become one of the most popular diet regimens.

    Studies have shown that following a diet similar to that of the Mediterranean is related to improved weight loss, less inflammation, and a reduced risk of acquiring chronic illnesses.

    Mediterranean Diet

    The Mediterranean diet is analyzed in this article, and its benefits and potential drawbacks are discussed. A sample meal plan and a list of foods that should and should not be taken while following the diet are also provided.

    What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

    The traditional cuisine of countries around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Spain, France, Italy, and Greece, serves as the inspiration for the Mediterranean diet, which is an approach to preparing and consuming food. Spain, France, Italy, and Greece are some countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

    Based on the researchers' findings, the prevalence of chronic sickness was significantly lower among these nations' populace than that of the United States and Northern Europe. They attributed this finding to the distinctive eating patterns of people in these countries.

    Instead of putting an emphasis on counting calories or keeping tabs on the proportions of different macronutrients, as is the case with many other well-known eating plans, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating a wide variety of meals that come from a variety of different food categories.

    The Mediterranean diet is distinguished by its focus on a wide variety of nutritious foods, such as olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains that have not been subjected to any form of processing.

    What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

    On the other hand, foods that contribute to a diet lower in nutrition are not permitted. These foods include red meat, sweets, and processed foods.

    Summary

    The traditional eating habits of individuals who lived in nations such as Spain, France, Greece, and Italy were the primary motivation for developing the Mediterranean diet, an eating pattern based on those countries' traditional cuisines.

    How To Follow The Mediterranean Diet?

    Mainly eating nutrient-dense, whole food items, such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains, is a critical component of the Mediterranean diet, focusing on this aspect of food consumption.

    Even though it primarily emphasizes plant foods, it permits the consumption of other foods, such as chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products, provided that they are consumed in moderation. That is because it recognizes that different people have different dietary preferences and needs.

    During this period, it is essential to abstain from eating any meals that have been processed, as well as foods that have added sugars, refined grains, and beverages that are high in sugar content.

    When consumed in moderation, certain types of alcohol, such as red wine can also be part of a healthy diet. However, the amount of alcohol consumed should be limited to no more than one or two servings per day, depending on the gender of the drinker. One example of alcohol that can be part of a healthy diet is red wine.

    How To Follow The Mediterranean Diet?

    Changing how you eat is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet; nevertheless, regularly keeping up with a healthy level of physical activity is also vital to this eating pattern.

    The following are some suggestions for healthy physical activities that you might include in your daily routine: walking, running, cycling, rowing, playing sports, and lifting weights are some of the activities that fall into this category. You may also give some of these pursuits a try by incorporating them into your routine on a more consistent basis.

    Summary

    It is common knowledge that the Mediterranean diet strongly focuses on consuming whole plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil are all examples of full plant-based meals. Consuming red wine in moderation, along with chicken and seafood, is possible so long as there are specific restrictions.

    Benefits

    There have been several positive health associations made with the Mediterranean diet.

    Increases Weight Loss

    The Mediterranean diet encourages the consumption of a diverse variety of foods that are rich in nutrients. At the same time, the diet discourages the use of processed foods and added sugars, which are often high in calories.

    Increases Weight Loss

    As a result, subscribing to a Mediterranean diet while also adopting a healthy lifestyle may assist one in achieving their goals regarding weight loss.

    Following the Mediterranean diet for just one year can result in a weight loss of up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds), according to an analysis that compared the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet to that of other popular diets, such as the low-carb diet. Other popular diets, such as the Atkins diet, are just as successful.

    Following a Mediterranean diet for an extended length of time was associated with a decreased chance of developing weight gain and abdominal fat over five years, according to a significant study involving more than 32,000 individuals.

    Improves Heart Health

    It has been demonstrated in several studies that are adhering to a diet that is analogous to the one prevalent in the Mediterranean area is advantageous to one's cardiovascular system.

    A high systolic blood pressure reading and high cholesterol levels are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The systolic blood pressure reading is the highest number on a blood pressure measurement. In one research, individuals who followed a Mediterranean diet for three months supplemented with nuts or olive oil observed substantial reductions in their cholesterol and systolic blood pressure levels. You added nuts and olive oil to the diet as dietary additions.

    Improves Heart Health

    Another study showed that adhering to a Mediterranean diet and eating one ounce (30 grams) of mixed nuts daily for one year led to a decrease in metabolic syndrome incidence of approximately 14 percent. The findings of the first study supported this finding.

    The word "metabolic syndrome" refers to a combination of disorders that, when present concurrently in a person's body, could raise that person's chance of having cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, respectively. The term "metabolic syndrome" is used when these conditions are present.

    In addition, you discovered in a meta-analysis of 41 studies that diabetic people who followed a diet analogous to the Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke.

    Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes

    According to several studies, following a diet analogous to the one practiced in the Mediterranean may minimize the likelihood of getting type 2 diabetes.

    For example, one study with 418 participants found that those who followed a Mediterranean diet had a probability that was 52 percent lower than those in a control group that they would develop type 2 diabetes for an average of 4 years. You compared this to the probability that those in the control group would develop the disease.

    In addition, the long-term commitment to the Mediterranean diet was related to lower blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1C, a measurement of long-term blood sugar control. This association was observed in research that included 901 persons with type 2 diabetes. You found this to be the case regardless of the length of time one followed the diet, and you showed this relationship to have a considerable bearing on the topic.

    Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes

    In addition, other research findings suggest that adhering to a diet that is analogous to the Mediterranean diet may help improve the body's ability to utilize insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling the levels of sugar in the blood.

    Reduces Inflammation

    The acute inflammatory response is a natural defense mechanism that aids the immune system's defense against sickness and infection.

    On the other side, persistent inflammation may be a factor in the development of illness and may play a part in the advancement of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. That is because chronic inflammation can be a component of disease development.

    Mediterranean diet foods have been shown to reduce inflammation markers in the body, which could help to reduce the risk of developing a variety of diseases through the use of foods typical of the Mediterranean diet.

    For instance, one research study involving 598 participants found that higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was related to lower levels of various inflammatory markers. You showed this association to be significant, which was demonstrated to be the case in contrast to less stringent compliance.

    Reduces Inflammation

    In a separate study that included 66 people over 60, researchers discovered that adhering to a Mediterranean diet for a period ranging from three to five years was related to reduced levels of inflammatory markers. This finding was made possible by the diet's high consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fish.

    Summary

    There is evidence from specific studies to show that following a diet similar to that of the Mediterranean might help people lose weight, positively impact their heart health, reduce inflammation, and protect against developing type 2 diabetes. 

    Potential Downsides

    The Mediterranean diet may have several health benefits, but it also has some drawbacks that you need to be aware of. These drawbacks include a higher risk of heart disease and some cancers.

    Participants are permitted to drink alcohol only within specific parameters, such as quantity limits and age requirements, to get things started.

    Even while the vast majority of studies have concluded that consuming alcohol in moderation or even just a tiny amount can have favorable impacts on health, it is still feasible that certain people should not drink alcohol.

    Potential Downsides

    It is recommended that a person not drink alcohol in certain situations, such as when they are expecting a child or when there is a history of substance abuse in their family. Similarly, it is recommended that a person not drink alcohol while driving.

    Sticking to the Mediterranean diet could be challenging for certain people because it restricts consuming many processed and refined foods.

    Additionally, some of the foods recommended on a diet, such as seafood, could be more expensive than other protein sources, making following the diet difficult for people on a tight budget.

    Summary

    Although the Mediterranean diet permits the use of wine in small to moderate amounts, this eating style might not be suitable for everyone. In addition, the costs associated with adhering to this diet may be higher than those associated with other diets, and some people may discover that it is difficult to follow.

    Foods To Eat And Avoid

    The majority of foods consumed on a Mediterranean diet are whole foods that are high in nutrients, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

    In the meantime, it's essential to cut back on processed meals, sugars added during processing and refined grains.

    Foods To Eat And Avoid

    Foods To Eat

    The following is a list of items that are appropriate for consumption when following a Mediterranean diet:

    • Some available fruits are apples, oranges, strawberries, kiwis, melons, blueberries, pears, peaches, and apricots.
    • Vegetables include spinach, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, zucchini, asparagus, kale, and potatoes, just a few examples.
    • Chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peanuts are all examples of legumes.
    •  The whole grain foods include rice, couscous, millet, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, whole grain pasta, and farro, to name a few.  
    • The following nuts and seeds are considered to be seeds and nuts: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.
    • Chicken, turkey, duck, and geese are all types of poultry.
    • Salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and mussels are examples of seafood.
    • Eggs: egg yolks and egg whites
    • Dairy products include cheese, yogurt, and milk.
    • Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, olive oil, olives, and avocados.
    • The herbs and spices used to prepare this dish include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, pepper, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, and coriander.
    • Red wine, as well as water, coffee, and tea are available as drinks (1–2 glasses per day)

    food to eat

    Foods To Avoid

    As part of your commitment to the Mediterranean diet and the kind of foods to avoid on this diet, you should restrict or refrain from eating the following foods:

    • Many meat products have been processed, including bacon, salami, sausage, and hot dogs.
    • A refined grain product can be defined as a product that is made from refined grains, such as white bread, biscuits, pasta, flour tortillas, and rice.
    • Beverages such as juice, soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks that have more sugar added to them
    • Vegetable oil, soybean oil, canola oil, maize oil, and safflower oil are examples of refined oils.
    • A meal cooked before being consumed is said to be processed. Processed foods include fast food, chips, microwave popcorn, pretzels, and convenience.
    • Table sugar, ice cream, candy, cookies, and baked goods are products that include added sugar.

    Summary

    Fruits, vegetables, and a wide variety of other foods, good fats, whole carbohydrates, and sources of meat that have been minimally processed, can be enjoyed as part of the Mediterranean diet. Refined carbohydrates, processed meals, and added sugars should all be consumed in moderation.

    Sample Menu

    Sample Menu

    The following is an example of a Mediterranean diet menu for three days.

    Day 1

    • A vegetarian omelet stuffed with tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms for breakfast.
    • You served a Greek salad topped with grilled chicken, feta cheese, olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes for lunch.
    • Cod roasted in lemon, served with broccoli and brown rice for supper.

    Day 2

    • Breakfast consisted of oats topped with berries, almonds, cinnamon, and strawberries or blueberries.
    • Lunch consists of grilled chicken served with buckwheat and roasted asparagus.
    • Dinner consisted of lasagna made with whole wheat and a salad on the side.

    Day 3

    • Breakfast consists of Greek yogurt mixed with chia seeds and bananas that have been cut.
    • To start, marinara sauce topped zucchini boats packed with ground turkey, quinoa, bell peppers, tomatoes, and basil for lunch.
    • Dinner consisted of baked fish served with kale and barley you had sautéed.

    Summary

    The menu you just showed provides some choices for meals suitable for consumption while sticking to the nutritional rules of the Mediterranean diet. These suggestions are appropriate for consumption.

    Conclusion

    conclusion

    A healthy eating pattern derived from the traditional diets of people in countries such as Spain, France, Italy, and Greece is known as the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean region's diet gets its name, including those nations. Because of the beneficial impact, it has been proved to have on one's health, this method of eating has recently gained a lot of popularity.

    The diet encourages the intake of foods high in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains, while avoiding using processed components and added sugars.

    Can you lose weight on the Mediterranean diet? In addition to assisting in the acceleration of weight loss, following a healthy Mediterranean diet can enhance cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, and support better management of blood sugar levels.