Weight Loss Through Mediterranean Diet
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Weight Loss Through Mediterranean Diet

As a petite, something that is really important to understand is that it takes time to lose weight. For Rose*, she lost a total of 18kg over a period of three years through a combination of boxing training, trail running, HIIT and the CICO method. It was weight loss through a Mediterranean diet, with lots of beans, greens, roasted veggies, hummus & all the other great Mediterranean dips, olives, pita, tofu, healthy cheeses like feta & kefir.

There are lots of places on the internet where you can see before and after photos of weight loss. They can be great to look at and to help visualise what you might look like when you lose your weight. What I’ve always found frustrating is that there is usually no information on HOW they did it and what struggles they overcame to achieve their weight loss goals. I’m bringing you these stories in my series called Real Life Weight Loss Stories. It’s about real people and their stories and I’m hoping that one of these stories will help you lose your weight too.

The stats

Age: Unknown
Height: 5’0″ (152, 153, 154 cm)
Starting weight: 140lb / 64kg
Current weight: 100lb / 45kg
Weight loss: 40lb / 18kg
Time taken: 3 years
Method: CICO

Her story – weight loss through Mediterranean diet

Rose answers questions about her weight loss journey below.

YOUR WAIST! Amazing work!

Thanks! Guess it was all sitting right there in the middle

You look fantastic! Love the arm definition

Thank you!! I feel like arms are an area of weakness for me, so appreciate that so much!

I’m 5ft and 143lbs. You are such an inspiration right now!

Ah thank you, that’s so nice to hear! It’s crazy how what seems like a small amount of weight makes such a big difference on a short frame. I never though I could look like this, so if I can do it, anyone can. You’ve got this!!

Were you in a cut for three years?? Trying to decide how long i should stay at maintenance for!

It was definitely a very lazy cut haha. I cut down to 110 pretty fast, within about 9 months, but then cycled between like 105-115 for a loooong time staying at maintenance & falling off the wagon haha. I’m still trying to figure out the right maintenance level now!

If you don’t mind, would you share your measurements?

Yeah! I didn’t really measure my upper body but my waist is a 23 and my hips are 33. Weight distribution is so interesting – it was easy for me to lose in my upper torso but it wasn’t until I was <105 and running & jump roping that I felt like my lower body leaned up, too.

May I ask how your diet was?

Thank you! I try to eat between 1200-1400, sometimes I dip a little below if I have a period of inactivity. I mostly eat a whole foods, vegetarian Mediterranean diet – lots of beans, greens, roasted veggies, hummus & all the other great Mediterranean dips, olives, pita, tofu, healthy cheeses like feta & kefir, etc. I can’t overstate though how much adding in exercise helped me create a deficit I could maintain at this height.

Do you know how many calories you ordinarily burn when eating 1200-1400? Do you always try and eat less?

I loosely estimated my exercise calories on MFP, but I kind of viewed any exercise burn as a bonus way to add some wiggle room with preciseness in tracking food calories. When I got <110 my TDEE was only like 1400-1500, and I knew I didn’t have the discipline to accurately track a 200-cal deficit every.single.day to lose weight. Like, one little snack or extra oil in cooking can ruin that small of a margin! So I knew I if I stayed active every day, too, I would either create a bigger deficit or even out any errors in tracking and still stay under maintenance. And a lot of my exercise turned into sports conditioning and a necessary tool for good mental health, so I’d be doing it anyway. Right now though I’m trying to figure out how to properly eat back exercise calories to meet fitness goals without regaining!

How often do you exercise if you don’t mind me asking?

Thank you! Pre-COVID, I was going to the gym 5-6x a week training boxing & BJJ. During the pandemic, I had to add in a lot more variety to not go crazy haha. I do at least 3-4x boxing workouts a week in my garage—jump roping, shadowboxing, push-ups, squats, planks, & punching the heavy bag. I also try to do short trail runs 3-4x week. I’ll also cycle in yoga sessions each night & HIIT YouTube videos 1-2x week to mix it up. Would like to work in weights but they’re at an insane pandemic markup everywhere lol. Picking up a sport really helped motivate me to start being and to stay active!

Your 3 yrs shows that you made it stick for the long haul and in a realistic way. I go through spurts of healthy eating/regular workouts and can lose 10 but then fall off the exercise bandwagon and gain it all back. It’s tough to make it stick!

I feel you on that – I lost & regained between 105-115 like two or three different times in this process. What always reassured me was that I knew that I now had the tools & knowledge to work through it and not let it snowball further into the original weight gain—I considered that a success and tried to go gentle on myself. And if I knew If I was falling off the exercise wagon due to travel, mental health, whatever, I’d focus just on CICO tracking. Vice versa, if I had days/weeks where I didn’t have time to closely control my nutrition by making homecooked whole food meals, I’d focus even more on exercise and getting enough sleep & water. Of course it was best when this all worked in tandem, but that definitely wasn’t realistic for me all the time!

Did you fast or intermittent fast?

I haven’t tried IF, but I did calorie count pretty closely. I did that same 115-105 cut several times in this journey. What seemed to help me break plateaus was to eat in a slight deficit (1200-1300) and change up exercising – either increasing the intensity or duration of what I was already doing or adding new variety of movement. Even just adding in a 30 min-1 hr walk every day helped my body respond with change. I’d also vary calorie levels, eating at or above maintenance for a few days every other week or so. It’s like I had to trick my body with variety. Reducing bread & wheat pasta and eating lentils & more protein also helped a lot!

Good luck!! I didn’t think this was possible but it’s completely doable!

Here’s some more inspiring weight loss stories:

Weight loss with PCOS, a success story

What is the CICO method?


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