Mayo Clinic Diet – What Is It & What Are Its Benefits?

Worried about your increasing waistline? Looking for an effective weight loss diet? Try the Mayo Clinic diet. It is important to understand that weight gain brings along a whole lot of associated health problems. If one feels his/her weight is going up, he/she should take immediate steps to start losing weight.

What is Mayo Clinic Diet?

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The Mayo Clinic Diet is a weight loss and lifestyle diet created by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic brings doctors, researchers and medical experts together for the purpose of research, education and treatment. It helps one lose weight in a healthy way. This diet is also presented in the form of a book, which is packed with recipes, tips, meals, and exercise plans. In short, it provides everything in one book, which states that for a healthy and successful weight management, one should focus on the overall health and not just on what you eat.

The Mayo Clinic diet is more of a lifestyle than a diet, and the main purpose of this diet is to help one lose excess weight and to teach how to choose healthy foods and portions. It also encourages one to develop healthy eating habits to maintain a healthy weight.

The best part about the Mayo diet is that it can be tailored according to individual needs and situation. The diet does not follow ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.


The Mayo diet claims that you can shed 6 to 10 pounds in two weeks by following this diet. You can continue losing one to twelve pounds weekly until you hit the desired weight.

Phases of the Mayo Clinic Diet:

There are two stages of the Mayo Clinic diet: “Lose it” and “Live it”.

A. Lose It:

‘Lose it’ is a two week phase of the diet, which jump starts the weight loss process. Focusing on healthy lifestyle habits, this phase helps one to lose as much as 10 pounds in a healthy way. It recommends adding 5 healthy habits, breaking 5 unhealthy habits and adopting 5 bonus healthy habits. The ‘lose it’ phase also recommends indulging in 30 minutes of exercise and physical activity every day.

Five Good Daily Habits:

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast every day.
  2. Eat whole grain foods.
  3. Eat healthy and monounsaturated fats.
  4. Eat four servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  5. Exercise daily for 30 minutes.

Replace Five Bad Habits:

  1. Stop adding extra sugar.
  2. Avoid eating processed snacks.
  3. Avoid taking extra servings of meat and dairy products.
  4. Avoid watching television while eating.
  5. Avoid eating meals at a restaurant.

B. Live It:

The “Lose it” phase is followed by the “Live it” phase. The “Live it” phase is a lifelong approach to health and diet, which teaches one to learn more about portion size, menu planning and food choices. It also teaches one to develop long-term healthy eating patterns. The person continues to lose weight every week until he/she reaches the goal. Regular physical activity and exercises remain the focal point in this phase.

Most people following the Mayo Clinic diet find the restrictive “Lose it” phase extremely difficult to follow. This is the reason that the restricted diet is recommended for two weeks only. The “Live it” phase is much more convenient to follow.

Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid:

The basis of the Mayo Clinic Diet is the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid, which helps one to make smart eating choices and encourages daily activities. With the help of this diet pyramid, one can rearrange the eating habits, break the bad ones and replace them with good ones.

1. Healthy Eating Choices:

The Mayo Clinic diet emphasizes on the consumption of healthy and non-fatty foods. It encourages selecting whole grain carbohydrates, lean sources of protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Low calorie foods like fruits and vegetables are highly recommended. The Mayo Clinic diet pyramid also teaches how to estimate the portion sizes.

2. Calories:

Unlike most weight loss diets, the Mayo Clinic diet does not require calorie counting. It only draws attention to the types of calories you are consuming. If the dieters want, they can estimate the calories they consume daily and adjust their intake accordingly.

3. Physical Activity:

The Mayo Clinic Diet lays immense importance on regular physical activity and exercise. An active body uses more energy to work, enabling one to burn more calories. Consult your doctor or health care expert before starting with a new physical program, especially if you suffer from any medical condition. People who are not used to exercise should begin with a 5 or 10 minute activity session, increasing the time gradually.

The diet recommends indulging in 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Moderate intensity activity or exercise will increase the heart beat rate, eventually leading to weight loss. Some common examples of moderate to intense exercise include swimming, jogging, brisk walking and aerobics.

4. Alcohol:

Alcohol is strictly prohibited during the “Lose it” phase. You can consume alcohol in the “Live it” phase, but in moderation.

5. Foods from All Groups:

The main advantage of the Mayo clinic diet is that it includes foods from all the food groups. This means that the dieters are not restricted to certain foods that people tend to get bored of with time. The foods prescribed in the diet are pocket-friendly and easily available in the nearest grocery store.

The Mayo Clinic diet gives you choices within six food groups. The groups include:

  • Fruits- 4 servings a day.
  • Vegetables- 4 servings a day.
  • Whole grains- 3 to 4 servings a day.
  • Leans meat and protein- 2 servings a day.
  • Unsaturated fats- 2 servings a day.
  • Sweets (in small amounts) 4 servings a week.

Cooking Method:

The preferred cooking methods in the Mayo Clinic diet are grilling, braising, roasting, steaming, sautéing, braising and poaching.

Benefits of the Mayo Clinic diet:

1. Weight Loss:

You are very likely to lose weight by following the rules of the Mayo Clinic diet. The Mayo Clinic diet claims that you can lose 6 to 10 pounds in the initial “Lose it” phase. Backed by substantial research, the Mayo Clinic diet is useful for weight loss and maintenance of the body. Developing healthy eating habits and encouraging one to make smart food and portion choices, this diet helps one to lose weight permanently.

2. Heart Health:

The Mayo Clinic diet has shown tremendous potential in improving heart health. The diet relies on an eating pattern heavy on fruits, whole grains and vegetables. It restricts the consumption of saturated fats and salt, which checks cholesterol and blood pressure level, and prevents heart diseases.

3. Cures Diabetes:

The Mayo Clinic eating pattern can also help to prevent and control diabetes. The diet encourages the consumption of high fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains that stabilize the blood sugar levels.

4. Other Health Benefits:

The Mayo Clinic diet recommends the consumption of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits and healthy fat, which helps to reduce the risk of certain health conditions. Reduced weight may reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, sleep apnea and heart diseases.

Side Effects:

Safe to follow, the Mayo Clinic diet does not pose any potential health risk. The diet may lead to minor side effects in some people. Common side effects include:

  • The diet encourages unlimited consumption of fruits and vegetables. Excess consumption of vegetables and fruits do not cause any issues. If you are not used to eating large amounts of vegetables and fruits, you might suffer from temporary digestive issues.
  • Eating many fruits at a go can temporarily raise the blood sugar levels. People suffering from diabetes and other health conditions should consult their doctor before starting the Mayo Clinic diet.

There is a lot of confusion regarding the Mayo Clinic diet and the real Mayo Clinic diet. The fake Mayo Clinic diet was in circulation before the real one came into notice. The fake Mayo Clinic diet recommended eating large amounts of grapefruit, which could help you to lose 50 pounds or more over a period of one year. Ensure to follow the real and official Mayo Clinic diet as issued on its website.

Consult your doctor before beginning with the Mayo Clinic diet, especially if you suffer from any health conditions.

Sample Diet Chart of Mayo Clinic Diet:

Here is a sample 1200 calorie diet chart of the Mayo Clinic diet.

Early morning- 7 am

  • 1 cup of unsweetened green tea.

Breakfast- 8 am

  • Two slices of whole grain bread with 1 cup of fruit yogurt parfait.
  • One serving of fruit.

Lunch- 1 pm

  • One small bowl of tuna and pasta salad with one small bowl of stir-fried vegetables.
  • One small orange.

Evening snack- 4 pm

  • A handful of nuts.
  • 1 glass of low fat smoothie

Dinner- 8 pm

  • Two slices of vegetable sandwich with 1 small bowl of homemade tomato soup.
  • A small bowl of green salad with 1 tablespoon of fat-free salad dressing.
  • You can also drink a calorie-free beverage once a day.

The Mayo Clinic diet is proven to provide effective results. It can be your best pal to help you accomplish your weight loss goals. Do share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

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