Adding Exercise To Your Mediterranean Diet Plan

Looking to get in shape?

The Mediterranean diet is a great way to start. It’s based on the traditional eating habits of people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Their diets are high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, fish and olive oil – all of which have been linked with health benefits.

You don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods when you follow the Mediterranean diet.

In fact, many of the foods in this diet are staples in many cultures around the world. So you can enjoy delicious meals while getting fit at the same time.

Adding exercise to your diet can also make a great impact on your health, as well as speed weight loss, if that's your goal.

Your Exercise Plan On The Mediterranean Diet

It is a good idea to have an exercise plan. When you combine the Mediterranean diet with consistent exercise, you'll lose weight, get in great shape, and can brag about your newfound fitness levels.

Calories On Vs. Calories Out

explanation of calories in vs. calories out for weight loss

There is a simple formula for losing weight. You need to burn off more calories than you take in.

The Mediterranean diet will take care of your “calories in”. Check out: 13 Steps To Using The Mediterranean Diet For Fat Loss

Exercise and non-exercise activity will take care of your “calories out”.

  • “Calories in” means the number of calories you take in each day via food and drink.
  • “Calories out” means the number of calories you burn up through all types of activity.

To lose weight, there must be a calorie deficit. This means that you need to burn off more calories than you eat daily, and over time.

Exercise can be broken down into two categories- cardio (aerobics) and weight training, or resistance training (anaerobic).

Weight Training

Weight training is great for burning calories because your body uses energy during the workout- but also causes your body to burn more calories throughout the day (even when you're not exercising), due to your increased lean muscle.

Some good weight training exercises are

  • Bench press (chest)
  • Tricep kickbacks (triceps)
  • Lunges (quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes)
  • Squats

Check out our complete article on weight training.

Bodyweight Workouts

Bodyweight Workouts are also beneficial. They can be done at home and require no equipment.

Some good bodyweight exercises are

  • Crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Planks
  • Lunges
  • Pushups
  • Planks

Check out our article on bodyweight workouts here.


Running, jogging, or sprinting are great cardio workouts that burn a lot of calories. You can burn 500 calories by walking briskly for 1 hour and 30 minutes, jogging for 50 minutes, or cycling for 40 minutes.

Some other good cardio exercises are

  • Stair climbing machine (the “stepper”).
  • The elliptical.
  • Swimming.
  • Walking the dog around the block.

Check out our article on cardio here.

The key to losing weight with exercise is to do both types- weight training and cardio/aerobics. You can split your exercise days up so that you have one day for each type

You can also do both types of exercises depending on your personal fitness goals.

Keep A Food Journal

Keep a food journal to track your progress. Be sure to write down what you eat, the amount you eat, and how much time has elapsed between each meal. This will help you to know exactly how many calories you're eating.