Lose belly fat fast with ‘anti-ageing’ diet – delicious seven-day meal plan

After seeing celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Penelope Cruz, and John Goodman take on the “Mediterranean Diet”, people are trying it out for themselves.

Videos about the diet on TikTok have amassed over 18.2 million views – proving just how popular this dieting method has become.

But it’s nothing new. People who live in the (you guessed it) Mediterranean have been following this particular diet for centuries.

The Mediterranean Diet is built around the foundations of plant foods: vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts and herbs. Alongside eating moderate amounts of seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy.

Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet supports the prevention of “cardiovascular diseases, increases lifespan, and healthy ageing”.

READ MORE: Five lifestyle tweaks that could help you reach 100 years of age

According to a nutritionist at Total Shape, “when used in conjunction with caloric restriction, the diet may also support healthy weight loss.”

The nutrition experts have put together a simple but effective seven-day Mediterranean diet meal plan – including the health benefits of each meal.

Day one:

Breakfast – Greek yoghurt with berries and a sprinkle of nuts

Providing proteins and probiotics, Greek yoghurt is an excellent choice to start your day. The berries and nuts add antioxidants and healthy fats to your breakfast. If you’re aiming to lose weight, choose a Greek yoghurt that is low in added sugars.

Lunch – Greek salad with feta cheese, olives and grilled chicken

This is a lunch that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre supplied from fresh vegetables. Grilled chicken adds lean protein which is essential for bodily functions.

If you’re looking to add more flavour, feel free to use as many herbs or dressing as you please. Be cautious of using dressings that are high in fat and sugar. If you’re aiming to lose weight, keep added sugars and saturated fats to a minimum.

Dinner – Baked salmon with lemon and herbs, served with roasted vegetables

Baked salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, whilst essential nutrients are provided by the roasted vegetables.

It’s important to consume foods high in omega-3 as they can help reduce inflammation in the liver, and reduce the damage that fat in the liver can cause.

Vegetables really are superfoods. They’re high in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and potassium. These nutrients support your immune system, vision and help keep your heart healthy.

Day 2:

Breakfast – Whole grain toast with avocado and sliced tomatoes

Start your morning with some fibre and energy from whole grain toast, whilst avocado is rich in healthy fats, as well as essential nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and various B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.

Lunch – Mediterranean quinoa salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese

Quinoa is a complete protein, making it a pivotal part of a Mediterranean diet. Combine it with cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese you have yourself a lunch that is not only nutritious, but delicious.

Cucumber and tomatoes are also great sources of hydration. Cucumbers are composed of about 95 percent water, and they are very low in calories – making them a great addition to salads for people managing their calorie intake.

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Dinner – Grilled chicken kebabs with bell peppers and onions, served with a side of hummus

Grilled chicken is a lean source of protein, and is essential for muscle growth and repair. Bell peppers and onions provide some really useful vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fibre.

Hummus is good for heart health as it provides monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Day 3:

Breakfast – Oatmeal topped with fresh fruits and a drizzle of honey

Oatmeal helps keep your bowel movements steady as it’s a great source of fibre.

For people who have busy work days or are training at the gym, oatmeal is great for energy levels. It is a complex carbohydrate that provides a steady release of energy, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes.

Honey contains a variety of antioxidants which help combat oxidative stress in the body.

Lunch – Caprese salad with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil

Mozzarella cheese is a good source of high-quality protein, and a caprese salad combines this with tomatoes and basil – offering calcium, antioxidants, and most importantly, flavour.

Dinner – Whole wheat pasta with grilled shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and spinach

Complex carbohydrates are provided by whole wheat pasta, and grilled shrimp adds lean protein to the meal.

Spinach truly is a superfood, containing vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Day 4:

Breakfast – Veggie omelette with spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese

Packed with protein and vitamins from spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese, a veggie omelette is a great way to start your day.

It can be a relatively low-calorie meal option too if preferred without excessive amounts of added fats or cheeses, making it a suitable dish for those looking to manage their calorie intake.

Lunch – Greek-style grilled chicken wrap with tzatziki sauce and mixed greens

Lean protein is provided by the chicken, and vitamins by the greens. The tzatziki, typically made with yoghurt, contains probiotics that will help promote gut health.

Dinner – Baked cod with a Mediterranean tomato sauce, served with quinoa and steamed asparagus

Baked cod is a source of lean protein, and flavour and antioxidants are added to the meal by the Mediterranean tomato sauce.

Cod is also a really good source of essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin B6, phosphorus, selenium, and niacin, all of which play important roles in overall health.

Day 5:

Breakfast – Greek yoghurt with honey and sliced almonds

Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium whilst honey and almonds offer natural sweetness and heart-healthy fats that can help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering levels of “bad” cholesterol.

Lunch – Mediterranean chickpea salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives

Chickpeas are fibre-rich, and accompanied by fresh vegetables and olives offer a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Olives are a staple of a Mediterranean diet and are rich in antioxidants, and various phytonutrients which help protect cells from oxidative damage.

Dinner – Grilled lamb chops with a side of roasted potatoes and a Greek salad

Lamb is rich in heme iron, and is great when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. A Greek salad adds vitamins and freshness to the dish.

Iron is crucial for oxygen transport in the blood and preventing iron-deficiency anaemia.

Day 6:

Breakfast – Whole grain toast topped with almond butter and banana slices

A good source of plant-based protein, almond butter retains its protein content.

Bananas are an excellent natural source of carbohydrates, including sugars (such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose) which makes them a convenient and quick source of energy.

Lunch – Mediterranean tuna salad with white beans, red onions, and lemon dressing

Tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and high-quality protein, while white beans provide complex carbohydrates (as well as being a good source of protein) that are slowly digested, leading to gradual increases in blood sugar levels and sustained energy.

Red onions are anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. Lemon dressing is a low-calorie option to add flavour to your salads.

Dinner – Eggplant Parmesan served with a side of mixed greens

A delicious vegetarian option, Eggplant Parmesan is a good source of dietary fibre, promoting digestion, regulating blood sugar levels and helping you to feel full.

Day 7:

Breakfast – Spinach and feta cheese omelette with whole wheat toast

This breakfast provides protein, iron and calcium from the spinach and feta, and fibre from the whole wheat toast.

Lunch – Mediterranean stuffed peppers with quinoa, tomatoes, and feta cheese

An incredibly popular lunch as part of a Mediterranean diet, peppers, quinoa, tomatoes, and feta cheese, offer a balanced meal with vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Dinner – Grilled vegetable skewers with a side of couscous and a Greek salad

This is a versatile dinner option as you can opt for any vegetables you desire.

Adding extra-virgin olive oil to your Greek salad dressing will provide monounsaturated fats which are considered heart-healthy fats.

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