Is The Mayo Clinic Diet For You?

Apr 30, 2014 6:55:21 AM

Developed by the well-respected Mayo Clinic, this diet is based on healthy eating habits and daily exercise in order to help you lose weight and then maintain that weight in the long term. If this sounds like the type of diet you’ve been looking for, then read on to discover if this could be the diet for you on your weight loss journey with Phen Caps.

Which Mayo Clinic Diet?

When discussing the Mayo Clinic Diet, there may be some confusion as, although there is only one official diet endorsed by the Mayo Clinic, this diet is one of two which are associated with the name of the famous clinic. The other ‘Mayo Clinic Diet’ is a fad diet and is not, and has never been, recommended by the Mayo Clinic. The unofficial diet is based around grapefruit, lots of salad and protein, and little carbohydrates, and promises rapid weight loss by promoting unhealthy and unsustainable eating habits, and is therefore not suitable for those wishing to lose weight in a healthy way. By comparison, the official May Clinic Diet was developed by their staff in Rochester, Minnesota, and encourages a healthy balanced diet and exercise for those looking to lose weight.

Mayo Clinic Diet Rules

The official Mayo Clinic Diet is based on research and clinical experience, which is detailed in the book of the same name, published in 2010. The diet states that successful, long-term weight control needs to focus on overall health, and not solely what you eat. It also emphasizes that the best way to manage weight long-term requires changing your lifestyle and adopting new health habits. What’s more, the Mayo Clinic Diet can be tailored to your own individual needs and situation, rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach to dieting, in favor of something that can be sustainable and successful for you in the long term.

 

The Mayo Clinic Diet is based on the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid as a guide to making smart eating choices and encouraging daily activity, as seen below:

mayo-clinic-diet

 

The diet includes all food types, with a focus on lots of fruit and vegetables, plus daily servings of healthy whole grain carbs, lean protein and dairy, and healthy fats, and even allows for a small amount of sweets each day.


The Mayo Clinic Diet has two phases:

 

1. Lose It! This is a two-week phase that allows you to jump-start your weight loss, losing as much as 6 to 10 pounds in a healthy way. In this phase, you focus on lifestyle habits by learning how to add five healthy habits, break five unhealthy habits and adopt another five bonus healthy habits. The healthy habits include eating a healthy breakfast, eating at least 3 to 4 servings of fruit or vegetables each day, and doing at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. The bad habits you must eliminate include watching TV while eating, spending more time watching TV than you do exercising, and eating restaurant food that does not fit in the diet program. The additional bonus habits include recording what you eat and the exercise you do, and writing down daily goals.

 

2. Live It! The second phase is a lifelong approach to diet and health. In this phase, you learn how to set a goal weight and how to develop long-term healthy-eating patterns in order to maintain your goal weight once you reach it by learning more about food choices, portion sizes, menu planning and sticking to healthy habits. You continue steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week until you reach your goal weight and by continuing the healthy lifestyle habits you adopted, you can maintain your goal weight permanently. Regular physical activity remains a central part of this phase.

The Mayo Clinic Meals & Exercise Recommendations

In-keeping with its individualist approach to dieting, the Mayo Clinic Diet has a range of different calorie levels. This is a sample menu from the 1,200 calorie-a-day menu on the plan, as obtained from the Mayo Clinic official website:

Breakfast
  • A fruit yogurt parfait (1 cup fat-free yogurt mixed with 1 serving fruit)
Lunch
  • 1 serving tuna and pasta salad (combine 1 can water-packed tuna, 4 cups cooked shell pasta, 2 cups diced carrots and zucchini, and 4 tablespoons low-calorie mayonnaise — serves 4)
  • 1 small orange
Dinner
  • One-third of a 12-inch crust cheese pizza
  • Green salad (2 cups lettuce with 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
  • Red onions and mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free salad dressing
Snack
  • 1 small apple, sliced
  • You can include 1 calorie-free beverage with each meal

Despite giving guidelines for daily calories, the diet focuses more on estimating correct portion sizes and planning meals, and does not limit itself or you to calorie counting or eliminating any types of foods. The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid serves as a long-term guide to help you visualize the components of your daily diet, with large to unlimited servings of healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables, healthy choices such as nuts, lean meats, low-fat dairy and healthy whole-grain carbs in moderate amounts. Plus, there is a small allowance for less-healthy treats, should you need them in order to be able to follow a set plan in the long term. Using the pyramid and the diet’s recipe ideas, you should be able to incorporate healthy foods into your lifestyle and learn how to eat healthily for life without feeling like you are on a diet.

 

As well as healthy eating, the Mayo Clinic Diet promotes regular physical activity and exercise. The diet advises that if you've been inactive or you have a medical condition, you should talk to your doctor before starting a new physical activity program, but most people can begin with five- or 10-minute activity sessions and increase the time gradually. At least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise every day is recommended, which can include brisk walking and yard work, for example, and more exercise is encouraged for further health benefits, if this is possible.

The Mayo Clinic Diet Review

Pros:

  • Based on scientific research
  • Encourages healthy balanced eating and exercise, with no banned foods
  • Focuses on adopting good habits and eliminating bad habits to create a healthy lifestyle based on more than just what you eat
  • Includes an encouraging weight-loss phase with a long-term maintenance phase

Cons:

  • Some of the habits could be difficult to incorporate into your lifestyle, such as writing down daily goals or never spending more time watching TV than you do exercising
  • It may be difficult to eat out and stick to the plan
  • Eating unlimited or large amounts of fruit could be harmful for those with diabetes, so the Mayo Clinic does advise that you speak to your doctor before starting this diet if you have diabetes

The Mayo Clinic Diet is a very well thought-out approach to weight loss and long-term weight maintenance, and it is particularly refreshing to see a diet which does not utilize a one-size-fits-all method to dieting, instead appreciating that some methods may be more suitable for certain people. Although some of the encouraged habits could be difficult to maintain and sticking to the plan could be difficult if you eat out, these problems should not greatly impact your ability to fulfil most of the diet’s rules or your overall ability to stick to the diet in the long term. Here at Phen.com, we recommend a balanced lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise that you can do now and forever, and The Mayo Clinic Diet is a great option for both for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance, and with the addition of Phen Caps as a weight loss supplement, your weight loss goal is more than achievable AND sustainable.

 

So, the Mayo Clinic Diet gets a thumbs up from us, but have you tried it? If so, what did you think, and would you recommend it? Let us know by commenting below.

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Posted in Diet tips By

Laura

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