The real Mayo Clinic Diet which was created by a team of medical professionals is not to be confused with a bogus fad diet with the same name. The Official Mayo Clinic Diet follows a diet protocol which is very similar to the US Government's Food Pyramid, yet they termed their pyramid the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid.
The basic premise of this diet is to cut back on your calorie consumption while increasing your physical activity. In the end it comes down to calories in versus calories out for weight loss and the Mayo Clinic team wants you do it in a healthy way by eating a combination of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, and exercising more while altering your daily habits.
Depending on your gender and starting weight, your caloric intake on the Mayo Clinic Diet will be somewhere between 1,200 and 1,800 calories per day. If you follow a 1,200 calorie per day plan you will consume four or more servings of vegetables, at least three servings of fruits, four servings of "smart" carbohydrates such as whole grains, three servings of lean protein or reduced-fat dairy, and three servings of healthy fats.
Recommended foods on the Mayo Clinic diet are vegetables, fruits, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, nonfat or low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, nuts, seeds and olive oil. Artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and sweets are not allowed during the jumpstart portion of the plan.
The first part of the diet is a two week jumpstart called “Lose It!” You could lose six to ten pounds during this two week period and it is here where you will start modifying your daily habits. The Mayo Clinic team devised five habits to break and five habits to implement to assist in your weight loss.
The five daily habits to eliminate are:
- Only eat sugar that is naturally found in fruit.
- Eat only vegetables and fruits for snacks.
- Limit meat and low-fat dairy intake.
- Do not eat while watching TV, and limit your TV time to the same amount as you do exercising.
- When dining out, find foods that fit into the diet program.
The five healthy habits to start incorporating into your lifestyle are:
- Consume a healthy, portion-controlled breakfast.
- Eat a minimum three to four servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
- Eat whole grains regularly.
- Choose healthy fats for consumption.
- Walk or exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Part two of the diet is called “Live It!” and it starts after your initial two weeks. You will lose approximately one to two pounds a week during this portion of the program until you reach your goal weight.
Here is a sample daily menu.
Breakfast: One cup oatmeal with one cup nonfat milk and a banana
Lunch: Dilled pasta salad with vegetables, a small apple and one cup nonfat milk
Dinner: Rosemary lemon chicken with green beans, brown rice with green onions, one cup nonfat milk, six tomato slices with one teaspoon vinegar, one cup cantaloupe.
Snack: One small pear with 3/4 cup fresh blueberries.
The Mayo Clinic Diet has a supplemental cookbook with a variety of recipes from soups to salads to desserts. Some of the featured recipes include:
- Tropical Fruits with Mint and Spices
- Swordfish Tacos with Lime and Cilantro
- Yogurt-Almond Ice Cream
- Two-Potato Gratin
- Artichokes Alla Romana
- Cornmeal-Crusted Sole with Chili Vinaigrette
- Jamaican Barbecued Pork Tenderloin
It is recommended that you exercise such as brisk walking for 30 to 60 minutes every day. This can be accumulated throughout the day; not just in one session.
The book offers strategies for breaking bad habits and adopting better, healthier habits to lose weight and maintain a weight loss. Diets that promote a slow weight loss, like the Mayo Clinic’s suggested one percent of your body weight per week, will have better success at keeping it off.
Learn about portion control along with tips for healthy eating such as flavoring fruits and veggies, choosing smart proteins, and saving sweets for treats.
Some dieters may have some difficulty getting the support and motivation for this diet or the energy to make the necessary behavior changes.
This is a highly recommended diet program based on scientific research. The two week jumpstart will help motivate you to continue to lose weight. By adding and deleting certain habits from your lifestyle, you will achieve long term success in the weight loss arena.