What does the Mediterranean meal plan and lifestyle entail?

The Mediterranean diet topped the scale as the best diet overall in the annual best diet rankings for the fifth consecutive year. Following a healthy Mediterranean Diet can not only help increase weight loss, but also enhance heart health, reduce inflammation, and promote better blood sugar control.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the ideal macros on the Mediterranean diet plan

40 – 50% carbs from vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains.

35% – 40% fats from healthy oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.

15% – 20% protein from fish, nuts, dairy, poultry, and eggs.

The Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating that’s based on the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Researchers noted that these people were exceptionally healthy and had a low risk of many chronic conditions. 

How to follow it
  • Eat: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, herbs, spices, fish, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil
  • Eat in moderation: poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt
  • Eat rarely: red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils, and other highly processed foods

Is the Mediterranean meal plan for you?

Mediterranean is the ideal plan for people who

  • Love foods such as low carb vegetables, fish, whole grains, fruits, nuts, beans, legumes and olive oil. 
  • Enjoy tasty, flavoured foods. The plan uses garlic, rosemary, basil and oregano to give dishes flavour. 

Our Mediterranean meal plans were compiled by Anel Kirsten, a dietician from Stellenbosch, for people who want to lose some weight, and eat healthy.

In addition to what you eat, healthy lifestyle habits such as daily exercise, stress reduction and enough sleep are important components to incorporate into your lifestyle, particularly if you want to lose weight or maintain your goal weight.

Mention of a few benefits:

  • Reduces Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Lowers Risk of Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease in Women.
  • Improves Gut Health.
  • Lowers Risk of Dementia and Cognitive Decline.
  • May Reduce the Risk of Common Cancers.
  • Reduces High Blood Pressure.

  • Eliminate fast and processed foods. To start with, try swapping a fast-food meal with a homemade one. For example, if it’s chicken wings you crave, oven roast them Greek-style, with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and oregano! Or if it’s sweet potato fries, try baking them in the oven or air fryer, with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkle of Mediterranean spices. And so on! The point is, find a healthier homemade alternative to your favourite fast foods.
  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. The base of the Mediterranean diet pyramid should make up the base of every meal. When you can, opt for vegetarian meals or rely more on satisfying, flavour-packed salads to make up a good portion of your plate.
  • Swap fats. Rely on healthy fats. A good place to start is to swap your butter with good olive oil in your cooking.
  • Limit your intake of fatty red meats. Eat more lean protein, like fish about twice a week; and poultry in moderation. You can certainly still eat red meat on occasion (very limited), but choose leaner cuts. Lamb is often the red meat of choice in Greece and other Mediterranean countries.
  • Eat some dairy and eggs. Consumption of dairy products (in moderation) provides health benefits including lower risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Perhaps for a snack, swap your chips for a low-fat Greek yogurt. Add a sprinkle of feta cheese to your salad, or swap mayonnaise or your sandwich spread for low-fat Tzatziki sauce.
  • Do not drink your calories. In the Mediterranean diet, this translates to drinking more water and swapping calorie-laden Margaritas for an occasional glass of red wine.
  • Share as many meals with others as possible. This helps in several ways. Spending time with loved ones reduces stress and elevates our moods. But being deliberate, and slowing down to socialise with others also allows us to control our portions.

*Note: If you have a health condition and are unsure about whether you can follow the Mediterranean meal plan or have any allergies or problems with certain foods suggested in the meal plan, or if you want to tailor it to your health requirements, you should discuss this with your doctor or a dietician.

Where to get the Mediterranean eating plan?

On the LK FITNESS APP: Every week a new menu.

OR in our two Mediterranean Diet e-books: Both e-books have 21 day meal plans. You can combine them to have 42 day meal plans.