What is it and how does it work

The Mayo Clinic introduced a diet in 2010 that became a New York Times bestseller and has been a popular choice for weight loss ever since. In December 2021, the Mayo Clinic released a revamped version of this diet that includes a digital platform and app so you can track your habits, diet, exercise, progress toward your goals, and more.

“It’s a way of taking a proven program that’s been around for a while and bringing it to more people in a digitally friendly way,” Donald Hensrud, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, says TODAY ‘ HUI.

How does the Mayo Clinic diet work?

The Mayo Clinic Diet focuses on creating new, healthy habits and breaking old, less healthy habits. It starts with a two week quick start phase where you add five habits, break five habits, and attack five bonus habits if you want to. This phase is designed to speed up your weight loss. “The more you change your habits, the more weight you will lose,” Dr. Hensrud said.

These habits can be things like eating breakfast, eating more fruits and vegetables, eliminating added sugar, not eating while watching TV, or watching TV only during your daily activity.

After the first two weeks, you move into the “Live It” phase, focusing on lasting diet and lifestyle changes that you can maintain over the long term. The initial program lasts 12 weeks, with the option to continue for as long as you want. It’s based on the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Weight Pyramid, with vegetables and fruits dominating the diet.

“It provides evidence-based advice,” said Dr Hensrud. “It’s not effortless, but it’s practical, realistic and enjoyable enough to be sustainable. This will not only help people manage their weight, but will improve their health in the process. “

What Does Mayo Clinic’s Diet Research Say?

Dr Hensrud said the changes in your habits that the diet encourages are evidence-based and have some support for weight management. And eating more plant-based foods – which the diet encourages – is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Monitoring or self-monitoring behaviors can also promote weight management. This is because they keep you connected to what you are doing and what is working for you. For example, tracking what you eat can show you if you are eating enough fruits and vegetables, or if your portions are too big. “These tools have been shown to be useful in numerous studies in helping people manage their weight,” said Samantha Cassetty, New York-based registered dietitian and co-author of “Sugar Shock” today. “These are all things that make you feel better emotionally and physically.”

Is the Mayo Clinic Diet Right For You?

“This diet is focused on promoting healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and it also aims to help you establish healthier habits,” Cassetty said. “He has a lot to offer. “

The two week “Lose It” phase may seem restrictive, but it can also speed up your weight loss. “It’s short enough to see some success and start making long-term lifestyle changes,” Dr. Hensrud said. Although the “Lose It” phase is not sustainable in the long term, it can give people confidence. “At first, when people start to change their ways, they’re intimidated. Once they get started and see that they are losing weight, they become self-reliant. They are here for the long term, ”he said.

So, if you want to push yourself for two weeks to see progress, this diet might be a good choice for you. “There is a good chance that you will lose weight because your eating habits have changed dramatically, and it can be motivating to take you to the next phase, where you can figure out what works for you in the long run,” said Cassetty.

This diet could be difficult if it is a complete overhaul of your eating habits. “It’s okay to feel like your health behavior is a little over the top,” Cassetty said. “But it still has to be able to adapt to your lifestyle.”

And if the diet brings up messy eating habits, you might want to find a different approach.

You will pay $ 20 to $ 50 per month for the plan, depending on how long you are enrolled. There is also a book based on an earlier version of the program.

What do you eat on the Mayo Clinic diet?

The original Mayo Clinic diet emphasizes vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, and includes smaller amounts of meat, cheese, and eggs.

You can also select variants focused on these diets:

  • More protein, which balances the protein in your meals to help control your appetite.
  • Healthy keto, a high fat, low carb diet that highlights olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
  • Vegetarian, which includes eggs and dairy products as well as bean and soy protein.
  • Mediterranean, which is plant-based and includes fish and meat.

On a typical day, you might eat:

  • Breakfast: Cheese breakfast burrito.
  • Breakfast: Italian chicken bread salad.
  • Having dinner: Teriyaki salmon and vegetable skewers.
  • Nibble: Fruits and vegetables.

The Mayo Clinic diet is similar to:

  • Mediterranean diet, which also emphasizes whole plant-based foods.
  • DASH Diet, or Diet Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which aims to reduce or control high blood pressure.
  • The MIND Diet, which combines the Mediterranean and DASH diets to help promote brain health.
  • Flexitarian diet, a predominantly vegetarian diet that includes meat.
  • The Blue Zones Diet, a plant-based diet inspired by the food choices of people around the world who live the longest.

Is the Mayo Clinic diet effective in the long term?

The “Live It” phase of the Mayo Clinic diet incorporates healthy eating and lifestyle changes that you can maintain throughout your life.

Talk to your doctor before starting the Mayo Clinic diet or any other regimen – your doctor or registered dietitian can recommend the best diet for you, based on your health needs.


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