While most weight loss diets offer structure and more detailed instructions, the Mediterranean way of eating isn’t really a diet designed specifically for weight loss. Instead, it’s based on the common elements from Greek, Italian, French and Spanish cuisine, countries with a traditionally lower rate of obesity.

If you’re ready to take on an eating pattern in which you control the your calorie intake and follow the loose guidelines, learn more about Mediterranean diet pros and cons, from its health benefits to its less appealing elements.

Mediterranean Diet Pros

The cardiovascular health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are undeniable, and this way of eating can also help prevent and control diabetes. 

If you’re looking for a long term lifestyle that can help you lose weight and keep it off without any restrictions, then it might be the right choice.

Provides Sustainable Weight Loss

One of the biggest Mediterranean diet pros is that you don’t have to worry about keeping the weight off if you continue to follow its guidelines. The common elements shared by diets around the Mediterranean include less red meat, saturated fat and sugar, with a bigger emphasis on fresh and healthy produce.

Offers Multiple Health Benefits

Multiple studies have confirmed the anecdotal evidence that shows the Mediterranean diet leads to a decreased risk for heart disease, with lower levels of cholesterol. The risk of developing type II diabetes is also a lot lower if you decide to follow these dietary guidelines.

See also: 10 Best Spices for Weight Loss

It’s Very Flexible

You can decide how to follow the Mediterranean diet yourself, as long as you pay attention to fundamentals. Flexibility is one of the biggest Mediterranean diet pros, but you’ll need to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, along with fish and seafood. Olive oil and red wine are other staples of this way of eating.

Mediterranean Foods

Taste and Diversity Are Guaranteed

When it comes to taste, you can’t go wrong with flavorful dishes that are tipically associated with the diet. Because whole grains and fiber rich vegetables are a big part of it, you’re also not likely to struggle with hunger.

It’s Safe for Everyone

As long as you keep an eye on calories and sodium, one of the most attractive Mediterranean diet pros is that it’s suitable for everyone, from children to pregnant women. However, if you’re dealing with major health conditions, you might need to seek medical advice before jumping on board.

Doesn’t Include Any Strict Restrictions

Even if red meats and sugar rich foods are more occasional treats, this is one way of eating that doesn’t restrict any food groups. That applies when it comes to alcohol. A glass of red wine per day isn’t just allowed, it’s recommended.

More: Eating Habits of Skinny People

Mediterranean Diet Cons

If you thrive with a structured weight loss plan, you won’t find this eating pattern very appealing. Another downside is that weight loss is gradual, and it’s up to you to cap your calories.

Lets You Control Your Eating Patterns

A major point in the list of Mediterranean Diet cons is the fact that you’ll need to choose your own recipes and follow the guidelines when eating out without any outside help.

Results Aren’t Dramatic

Both short and long term weight loss is guaranteed, but if you want to lose a few pounds quickly, then the Mediterranean diet won’t work for you. But it is a good choice if you want a sustainable long term solution.

Mediterranean Diet Cons

You’ll Have to Collect Your Own Recipes

One of the biggest Mediterranean Diet cons is that there’s no big authority in the field. You can purchase plenty of recipe books, but it’s up to you to decide which are best.

It Can Get Pricey

Extra virgin olive oil might put a dent in your grocery shopping budget, along with seafood and fresh produce. Red wine could also prove expensive if you’re a connoisseur.

Works Best with an Active Lifestyle

You don’t have to exercise 5 days a week to get results, but one of the Mediterranean Diet cons you need to accept is that the diet delivers better results for active people. That means around 3 hours of moderate activity per week.