The Mediterranean diet in Spain for weight loss

In the Netherlands there is a lot of talk about the Mediterranean diet. It is assumed that the countries around the Mediterranean Sea eat healthier than in the Netherlands. The use of a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit is to blame. In itself it is correct, but in the countries along the Mediterranean Sea we also see that people are getting fatter and it is becoming difficult to keep their weight under control, especially in children and middle-aged people. But those who can really stick to the Mediterranean diet will lose weight easily.

  • Spanish cuisine
  • Huge selection of vegetables makes the diet easy
  • Fruit from Spain
  • Drink
  • Fish from Spain
  • Breakfast is in Spanish Desayuno
  • Lunch is called La Comida
  • The five o’clock called Merienda
  • Dinner aka Cena
  • Example of a Spanish Mediterranean menu to lose weight quickly

 

Spanish cuisine

In the Netherlands there is a lot of talk about Mediterranean cuisine. Yet we also see in Spain that many people are getting fatter. Particularly when reaching middle age, people quickly become fat and the same complaints gradually develop as we know in the north. This is mainly due to the changing lifestyles of the Spaniards. Here too, young people and the elderly are drinking more beer and the sweets used are becoming more and more numerous. In Spain too, there are more and more ready-made meals for sale that contain additives that make us fat. In the shops we see the hamburgers in the display case, nice and cheap but greasy. Pizza and pasta are available for grabs on the shelves. However, the basis of the Mediterranean diet is still healthy and easy to prepare. Fish is cheap in Spain and there is a multitude of fruits and vegetables. Eggs are widely used in homemade pastries, entrees and tortillas. Taking the seasons into account, it is possible to add a lot of variation to the meals. In addition, enjoying meals together is a good habit. In Spain, many people meet in restaurants where they take plenty of time for La Comida. The evening meal, on the other hand, is eaten very late and the question is whether this is good for digestion. That is why people increasingly eat a light meal or just some small tapas in the evening. In Spain people do not have bread meals like in the Netherlands. People eat much more fruit and vegetables that have been ripened by the sun. People use fewer carbohydrates. However, a piece of bread is often eaten with the meal.

Huge selection of vegetables makes the diet easy

Anyone who goes to the market in Spain is amazed at the many types of fresh vegetables for sale. Depending on the season, you can buy the following vegetables:

  • Asparagus green and white
  • Artichokes and eggplants
  • Cauliflower and broccoli
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumber
  • Cabbage, Chinese, red and white cabbage
  • Pumpkin
  • Onions and leeks
  • Spinach and chard
  • Tomatoes
  • chicory
  • Peas, green beans, snow peas
  • Carrots

 

Fruit from Spain

Spain is the country of fresh fruit par excellence. Oranges, lemons and mandarins are widely available in winter. We also have apples and pears in the autumn. We should not forget the grapes and apricots that are available for much of the year. We also see strawberries early in the spring. Then follow the medlars. Nectarines and peaches appear from June to August. Small bananas are imported from the Canary Islands. Pomegranates are available in winter. In addition, dates, figs and almonds are for sale all year round. Various types of melon are also available almost all year round, but they are tastiest in summer and early autumn.

Drink

Spaniards drink coffee black, with a little milk or with a lot of milk. Tea is a good thirst quencher and is especially important if we want to lose weight. It is also a must to drink plenty of water. We must take into account that the mineral water you buy has a high salt content. In summer this may not be so bad, but especially in spring and autumn it is better to opt for a slightly lower salt content. There are brands available with a slightly lower salt content, such as Liviana. Many Spaniards extend the wine with water and vino de verano is for sale in the summer. In some regions this is called tinto de verano. Large bottles of wine mixed with mineral water. This is drunk ice cold and has fewer calories than regular wine. When purchasing, pay attention to the sugar content.

Fish from Spain

The choice of fish has decreased somewhat since 2010, but people can still choose from a wide range. We can think of:

  • Calamari
  • Sardines
  • Lubina
  • Cod (merluza)
  • salmon
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna
  • Shrimps
  • Dorada

 

Breakfast is in Spanish Desayuno

In Spain people actually have breakfast twice. The first time you drink a cup of coffee or tea and a piece of toasted bread (rebanada), spread with olive oil and tomato. Then around eleven o’clock they have a cup of chocolate or coffee with a Magdalena (type of cake). If you want to lose weight, you will have to omit the latter and opt for a fruit or a glass of skimmed milk.

Lunch is called La Comida

In Spain, lunch is still the most important meal. A lot of attention is paid to this. This meal always comes with a salad that is generously sprinkled with olive oil, a little salt and some vinegar. In addition, the starter is often a vegetable dish that is sometimes made with some chorizo or cheese. Legumes are also used for this. They eat some baguette with this. This is followed by fish or meat with either one potato or rice. For dessert, you have yoghurt or a choice of pudding, ice cream or fruit. You can buy yogurt without sugar and with 1% fat.

The five o’clock called Merienda

In Spain people like to have a tapa at about five o’clock. But if we want to lose weight, a glass of fruit juice or a piece of fruit is a better choice.

Dinner aka Cena

For the evening meal, choose a piece of fish or meat with a salad. A piece of fruit for dessert completes the meal. If you want it to be ready a little faster, a tortilla is sometimes made.

Example of a Spanish Mediterranean menu to lose weight quickly

In this example, something is eaten five times a day:

  • Desayno
  • Comida
  • MeriĆ«nda
  • Cena

 

Desayuno

One takes a glass of skimmed milk with two spoons of cocoa, three apricots and one slice of toasted bread with some oil. Then you take a bunch of grapes or an orange in between.

Comida

You can make a mixed salad for lunch. You then eat two small pieces of baguette. Then 100 grams of fish with 250 grams of vegetables of your choice. For dessert you can have one scoop of yoghurt ice cream.

Merienda

A glass of tomato juice or a smoothie can be made from various fruits.

Cena

In this example, the evening meal consists of a cold meat dish where you first eat some salad with a piece of baguette. For dessert you can serve a warm pear from the oven. This cold dish is made with the following ingredients:

  • 250 gram slices of lean pork (fricandeau or pork tenderloin)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • black pepper

Preparation

Put a little water in the pan and add the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Let this cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine and add the meat. Let the meat cook in this broth. Clean the eggplant and cut it into slices. Fry them quickly until brown in the frying pan. Then add the chopped tomatoes with the finely chopped garlic, a little salt and the olive oil. Remove the meat from the oven, let it cool and cover it with the eggplant.
You can experiment to your heart’s content provided you keep an eye on the basic rules. These are:

  • Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Eat fish more often
  • Always accompany the meal with a salad
  • Fry in olive oil (not extra virgin) but use the regular cheaper oil
  • Sprinkle some extra virgin oil on the salad
  • Use as little sugar as possible
  • Always present meat and fish with a slice of lemon.
  • Only use cheese as a substitute for dessert and then use low-fat cheese in a few small cubes.