The Mediterranean diet is well-known for its health-promoting properties. In fact, proponents of the Mediterranean diet claim it may promote cognitive function, support heart health, help fight cancer and keep blood sugar levels steady. However, while most of us are pretty familiar with the concept of the diet, few know exactly what a Mediterranean diet meal plan for weight loss and better overall health should actually include.
The Mediterranean diet involves eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, ample amounts of healthy fats from foods like olives and olive oil, whole grains, seafood and a wide array of healing herbs and spices. In moderation, poultry, eggs, red meat and high-quality dairy products are also allowed on the diet.
Setting up a meal plan for the Mediterranean diet is one of the best ways to meet your nutritional needs and stay on track toward your goals. So what is the Mediterranean diet menu? And how do you meal prep on the Mediterranean diet? Let’s take a closer look.
7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
Getting started on the Mediterranean diet can be challenging, and it can be especially tricky trying to figure out how to incorporate a variety of heart-healthy, nutritious foods in your diet in new and interesting ways throughout the week. Need some inspiration? Here’s a Mediterranean diet 7-day meal plan you can use to bump up the health benefits of your meals.
- Breakfast: Sweet potato hash brown casserole
- Lunch: Zucchini boats with ground turkey, veggies and quinoa
- Dinner: Garlic herb baked salmon with buckwheat and steamed spinach
- Snacks: Baked kale chips, banana and handful of almonds
- Breakfast: Greek yogurt with mixed berries and chia seeds
- Lunch: Spaghetti squash lasagna with roasted Brussels sprouts
- Dinner: Massaged kale salad with grilled chicken
- Snacks: Carrots with hummus, trail mix and pear
- Breakfast: Veggie omelet with tomatoes, peppers, onions, broccoli and feta
- Lunch: Buddha bowl with flank steak and cashew sauce
- Dinner: Ground turkey and spinach stuffed portobello mushrooms with asparagus
- Snacks: Handful of walnuts, fruit salad and celery with peanut butter
- Breakfast: Greek yogurt with mixed berries and chia seeds
- Lunch: Leftover Buddha bowl with flank steak and cashew sauce
- Dinner: Garlic parmesan zucchini noodles with grilled chicken
- Snacks: Spicy roasted pumpkin seeds, apple and cottage cheese
- Breakfast: Breakfast salad with hard-boiled eggs, roasted potatoes, avocado and leafy greens
- Lunch: Butternut squash ravioli with grilled veggies
- Dinner: Greek salad with sliced steak, spinach, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and extra-virgin olive oil
- Snacks: Probiotic yogurt, grapes and roasted chickpeas
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with raw honey, apple slices and flaxseed
- Lunch: Leftover butternut squash ravioli with grilled veggies
- Dinner: Baked grouper with coconut cilantro sauce with roasted broccoli and Mediterranean couscous
- Snacks: Mixed nuts, olives and bell peppers with guacamole
- Breakfast: Crustless spinach quiche
- Lunch: Chicken, spinach and pesto soup with baked potato
- Dinner: White bean and veggie skillet with Mediterranean couscous
- Snacks: Zucchini chips, fruit kabobs and air-popped popcorn
Mediterranean Diet Meal Prep Tips
Meal prepping is a simple yet effective way to stay on track and reach your goals on any type of diet, including the Mediterranean diet. Here are a few quick and easy tips to make your Mediterranean diet meal plan prep a breeze.
1. Plan Your Meals
Making a Mediterranean diet meal plan for beginners tailored to your personal preferences is the first step to ensuring success on the diet. Simply mix and match your favorite ingredients from the Mediterranean diet pyramid, ensuring you’re including a good source of protein and veggies with each and every meal. There are also plenty of Mediterranean diet 30 day meal plan ideas and Mediterranean diet recipes out there, which you can use for inspiration to decide what foods to include. You can make adjustments as needed to make your Mediterranean diet meal plan 2,000 calories, 1,750 calories or 1,500 calories, based on your specific nutritional needs.
2. Make a Grocery List
Going to the grocery store is much easier when you’re armed and prepared with a shopping list on hand. Making a grocery list can help prevent impulse purchases to benefit both your waistline and your wallet. Categorizing your list based on specific food groups or where ingredients are located in the store can also make grocery shopping even easier than ever.
3. Invest in Quality Containers
If you’re interested in prepping for an authentic Mediterranean diet meal plan, you’ll definitely want to consider investing in a set of high-quality containers to store your food in throughout the week. Ideally, be sure to have at least seven to 10 containers for meals and snacks on hand, and look for a brand that is stackable to make it easier to stay organized.
4. Set Aside Time to Meal Prep
Once you’ve got all the tools ready to start meal prepping, you just need to set aside some time to actually do it. Setting a specific frame of time each week is the easiest and most effective way to make sure you have plenty of time to prepare a variety of healthy Mediterranean diet breakfast, lunch and dinner options to get your day started on the right foot. Whether you prefer to meal prep on Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights or any time in between, find what works for you and stick to it.
5. Mix it Up
It can get boring eating the same meals week after week. Be sure to add a little variety to your meals by using different spices, experimenting with new veggies or throwing new types of protein into the mix. You can also try preparing ingredients separately and keeping a few veggie, grain and protein options on hand to combine them in new and interesting ways in your meals throughout the week.
Mediterranean Diet Shopping List
So what foods are not allowed on the Mediterranean diet? And what foods should you start stocking up on your next trip to the grocery store for your Mediterranean diet weekly meal plan? Check out this Mediterranean diet food list and use this handy Mediterranean diet meal plan shopping list to help get you going:
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
- Wild-caught fish
- Grass-fed, lean cuts of red meat
- Pasture-raised poultry
- Organic eggs
- Brown rice
- Raw milk
- Goat milk
- Healthy cheeses
- Cottage cheese
- Goat cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Pecorino Romano
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Herbs and Spices:
- Black pepper
- The Mediterranean diet is a popular diet plan that has been associated with a number of health benefits, including improved heart health, better blood sugar control and enhanced cognitive function.
- The plan involves eating plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, seafood, healthy fats, herbs and spices. Poultry, eggs, red meat and dairy products are allowed on the diet in moderation.
- Creating a Mediterranean diet meal plan can help ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs while also adding a bit of variety to your daily diet.
- Meal prepping is also a great way to stay on track toward your goals while also saving time, money and energy.
Read Next: The Best Diet Plans to Lose Weight
Source: dr axe