Mediterranean Diet

Dietician’s Guide to Weight-Loss on the Mediterranean Diet

How can weight loss be so simple?! By just eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods, you can reduce your chances for a lot of heart issues AND lose weight.


Mediterranean diet foods are effective at reducing inflammation in the body, upping fiber intake, and keeping blood sugar stable, which all promote healthy, long-term weight loss.  

Mediterranean diet weight loss is rapidly becoming encouraged by many health professionals due to the diet’s well-rounded healthy habits. This diet emphasizes eating more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains, while limiting as much processed food as possible.  

It also encourages a more active lifestyle and eating habits that can promote better health. Eating a more Mediterranean-style diet is also a great way to improve heart and gut health, and slow down the aging process

Find out how the food included in this diet can support weight loss and improve your overall health! 

Table of Contents 
Eats & Don’t Eats for Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss  
Weight Loss Benefits of Mediterranean Diet Foods 
Reduces Inflammation 
Stabilizes Blood Sugar 
Improves Gut Health 
Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Weight Loss 

Eats & Don’t-Eats for Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss

The main rule for Mediterranean diet weight loss is to look for and enjoy as many whole foods as possible. Limiting dairy and red meat is also encouraged, but you can still incorporate them into your diet every so often.  

The Mediterranean diet doesn't take away any of the foods you love completely, it just encourages you to eat more of the foods that are better for you.

Here are the foods you should eat while on the Mediterranean diet: 

  • Fruits (all of them!) 
  • Vegetables (all of them!) 
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans) 
  • Whole grains (quinoa, oats, brown rice, whole grain pastas, farro, couscous) 
  • Nuts & seeds (all of them!) 
  • Poultry (turkey, chicken, duck) 
  • Seafood (tuna, trout, mussels, sardines, shrimp, tilapia, squid, crab…all!) 
  • Healthy fats (fatty fish like salmon, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil) 

In general, you should avoid these foods as much as possible: 

  • Processed meats (bacon, deli meats, hot dogs) 
  • Refined grains (white bread, baked goods, white rice, white flour, crackers) 
  • Sugary drinks (juices, sodas, energy drinks) 
  • Refined oils (vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil) 
  • Processed foods (fast food, chips, microwave popcorn, frozen dinners) 
  • Added sugars (white sugar, candy, cookies) 

Dairy products can also be enjoyed in moderation, but you should look for low-fat, unflavored options like plain Greek yogurt, goat cheese, and low-fat ricotta. Eggs, red wine, and tofu products are okay too! 


Whole foods, limiting red meat and dairy, and avoiding processed foods and refined sugar will grant you the weight loss benefits of the Mediterranean diet. 

Weight Loss Benefits of Mediterranean Diet Foods 

What you eat often has as much impact on your health as traditional medicine and exercise! The foods eaten on the Mediterranean diet can do a lot to aid with long-term weight loss.  

Reduces Inflammation 

Chronic inflammation in the body caused by red meat and refined or processed foods can cause many health problems that slow down weight loss progress. If you’re looking switch to a Mediterranean diet for weight loss, this is important!  

Inflammation can make your body more resistant to insulin and can lead to metabolic syndromes which can lead to Type II Diabetes, visceral fat gain, and high cholesterol; none of which helps with weight loss! 

Foods high in antioxidants and polyphenols (a compound that boosts heart health and immunity) can reduce the amount of harmful inflammation that develops in the body. Plant-based foods are very high in these anti-inflammatory nutrients, which makes many foods in the Mediterranean diet perfect candidates for reducing chronic inflammation.  

Mediterranean diet weight loss comes naturally when you follow a steady diet of natural, whole foods.

Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots, and avocados are high in antioxidants, and so are fruits like blackberries, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, and apples! 

But vegetables and fruits aren’t the only foods that can help reduce inflammation. You can also count on these foods (and spices!) to be high in helpful antioxidants for your Mediterranean diet weight loss:  

· Almonds 
· Walnuts 
· Salmon 
· Tuna 
· Paprika  
· Basil 
· Mint 
· Oregano 
· Chickpeas 
· Olive oil 


Inflammation caused by refined/processed foods can lead to many health issues related to weight gain such as diabetes and high cholesterol. Veggies and fruits have many antioxidants that reduce inflammation. 

Stabilizes Blood Sugar 

Simple carbs are the biggest culprits for high blood sugar levels, and don’t do much to keep you full. This can cause a vicious cycle of decreased energy and increased hunger, which makes you eat even more!  

Your body uses carbs (sugar) as its primary source of energy. After a meal, your blood sugar levels increase and then fall sharply as the body absorbs that sugar. Simple sugars are digested faster and are utilized for energy first which leads to a faster rise in blood sugar levels.  

Simple sugar foods that cause these fast spikes include white bread and rice, baked goods, convenience foods, pastries, and foods with added sugar (yes, even those sugar “substitutes” like stevia!)  

Processed foods work against you! They cause inflammation, carb crashes, and high blood sugar spikes.

Complex carbs take longer to digest, which keep you satiated for longer, and don’t raise your blood sugar levels as high. When you eat more complex carbs, you feel hungry less often and won’t feel the need to snack between meals. 

Mediterranean diet weight loss places importance on these complex, healthy carbs: 

· Whole grain pasta 
· Brown rice 
· Corn 
· Peas 
· Quinoa 
· Chickpeas 
· Millet 
· Barley 
· Sweet potatoes 
· Butternut squash 
· Potatoes 
· Black beans 
· Farro 
· Lentils 
· Oatmeal & steel cut oats 

But remember, any healthy food can be made unhealthy if you dress it up the wrong way! Preparing food in healthier ways goes a long way. For instance, instead of frying food, baking can give it the same level of crispiness while staying healthy!  


Simple sugars found in sugary, baked goods and refined grains cause blood sugar spikes that leave you feeling sluggish and hungry. Replacing them with complex carbs from whole grains and starchy veggies will leave you feeling full and energized, which will keep you from over-snacking.  

Improves Gut Health 

Reducing inflammation is one way gut health is improved, but it’s not the only way the Mediterranean diet helps with weight loss. Studies have shown that eating fibrous foods can help lower blood pressure, improve your body’s insulin responses, and help with weight loss. And great news, complex carbs are usually high in fiber! 

A healthy gut is a happy gut - and even better if you're using the Mediterranean diet for weight loss!

Fiber-rich foods – specifically soluble fiber – improve your metabolism and the number of helpful bacteria in your gut. The healthier the flora in your intestines, the easier it is to control weight-related health issues including general weight gain. 

Just another way the Mediterranean diet proves whole foods are super foods! 


Complex carb foods are also rich in fiber which improves your metabolism and the helpful digestive bacteria in your gut, which makes it easier to lose weight. 

Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Weight Loss 

While there’s nothing easier than getting fully cooked Mediterranean meals delivered straight to your door, sometimes you just want to improve your cooking skills. If your goal is to find some delicious Mediterranean diet recipes for weight loss, we’re going to make that easier for you with these tasty recipes: 

Charred Shrimp, Pesto, & Quinoa Buddha Bowl 

Calories: 429 Protein: 30.9g Fiber: 72.2g Fat: 22g

Quinoa and shrimp are high in fiber, and certainly delicious, making them a perfect, healthy Mediterranean diet dish.

Mediterranean-Style Mussels 

Calories: 197 Protein: 11g Fiber: 4g Fat: 9g

Seafood is encouraged over other kinds of meat because they tend to have healthier, lean fats.

Greek-Style Roasted Branzino 

Calories: 257.3 Protein: 41.9g Fiber: 2g Fat: 5.6g

Fish is high in protein which keeps you fuller longer, which really helps when it comes to reducing how much you eat throughout the day.

Mediterranean Farro Salad 

Calories: 261 Protein: 8g Fiber: 5g Fat: 15g

Farro is an excellent whole grain that is used in many Mediterranean diet recipes for weight loss.

Cranberry Walnut Grain-Free Granola 

Calories: 283 Protein: 6g Fiber: ~3g Fat: 24g

Homemade granola made with lots of nuts and seeds is full of nutritious vitamins and minerals and has WAY less sugar that store-bought granola.

Mediterranean Chickpea Skillet 

Calories: 315.1 Protein: 11.2g Fiber: 5.6g Fat: 4.9g

Chickpeas are a high source of protein, making them ideal for weight loss and those looking to eat more plant-based foods.

Italian Grilled Eggplant with Basil and Parsley 

Calories: 204 Protein: 2g Fiber: 5g Fat: 19g

Eggplant can be used as a bread or meat patty replacement in burgers, or even as a standalone dish just like in this recipe!