5 Core Values of the Mediterranean Lifestyle
by Caitlin H,
Jan 17, 2022
You may have heard of the Mediterranean Diet. It’s been growing in popularity for some time now – and for good reason.
The diet revolves around eating only meals created with healthy, wholesome ingredients and avoiding things like sugar and refined fats. Meals should be rich in things like vegetables, legumes, nuts, lean protein and whole grains – all of which go a long way towards keeping you full, satisfied and energetic.
Plus, its health benefits truly span far and wide. Studies show the Mediterranean Diet can lead to weight loss *, combat heart disease and stroke, and help you avoid Type 2 diabetes and premature death.
Here’s the thing: The Mediterranean Diet is more than just what you eat. It’s also about creating a lifestyle that revolves around several key elements that are as much a part of the culture it came from as the food itself.
With that in mind, we rounded up 5 core values that are pillars of making the Mediterranean Diet more than just your meals. Live by these values, and you’ll likely find your life is enriched in ways you never thought possible.
Value 1: Eat more wholesome food, fewer meats and sweets.
While many types of food and ingredients are included in the Mediterranean Diet, there are some that you should definitely eat more often than others. Oldways’ Mediterranean Diet Pyramid outlines the diet’s staples. Ultimately, you should consume the foods at the base of the pyramid as much as possible, and fewer the foods from each narrower section of the pyramid. Plus, eat smaller meals more often and pay attention to portion size. Massive, supersize-like portion sizes have no place in the Mediterranean lifestyle!
Value 2: Eat with friends and family, rather than alone.
Tables full of family and friends are a pillar of the Mediterranean Diet lifestyle. If you’re used to sitting down in front of the TV with your meal on your lap, it’s time for a change. Make dinner a social hour with your family. Invite neighbors or friends over to enjoy your cooking. Prioritizing not eating alone is an excellent way to amp up your social life, slow down to enjoy your meals and create more meaningful, deep relationships with the people in your life.
Value 3: Enjoy the simple things.
It’s more than just the ingredients that are wholesome in the Mediterranean Diet. A big part of the Mediterranean lifestyle is to be grateful and content with what you have and not always longing for what you don’t have. Take a moment to consider all the blessings in your life. Make a list of what you’re grateful for. Seek out ways to laugh each day, and look for opportunities to help others find joy.
Value 4: Engage in natural exercise.
The Mediterranean lifestyle is not about cranking out hours upon hours of weightlifting or cardio at the gym. It’s not about agonizing over whether you’re going to make it through another fitness class. It’s about exercising in a natural way – such as going on long walks to enjoy nature or walking to and from work, doing some good ‘ole fashioned manual labor or volunteering. The key is to be active, but in a way that feels more enjoyable and becomes a natural part of your day-to-day living, rather than something you dread.
Value 5: Treasure moments and people, not possessions.
People living the Mediterranean lifestyle tend to be minimalistic by nature. They don’t buy in bulk or own a multitude of worldly possessions they don’t really need or use. On the contrary, valuing the time you spend doing simple activities and the people you do with them is the real treasure, and that’s what the Mediterranean lifestyle is all about.
Ultimately, a Mediterranean lifestyle is about eating foods rich in fiber, healthy fats and lean protein. It’s also about slowing down to enjoy the simple things in life, moving naturally every day and looking to the people and moments for fulfillment, rather than what you own. Live by these values, and you’re sure to find a whole new level of fulfillment.
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.