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The Mayo Clinic Diet Difference: What It Is and Why You Should Try It

Diet Plan| Senior Health Care | The Senior Life

What’s the absolute best diet? The best diet is the one you’ll actually follow. The best diet plan is the one that becomes a lifestyle – a habit that you adopt for life.

Because, let’s face it, all diets work…until you stop following them! People quit diets for a variety of reasons. Usually, dieters get overwhelmed by too many rules, too many restrictions, and too much complexity. Or, rather than being a realistic long-term solution, the diet truly is just a “quick fix” fad.

So if it’s true that a successful dietary plan requires the elements of simplicity, practicality, and sustainability, which diet plans fit the bill?

Some of the best, most effective diets are those that offer balance.

One such plan – The Mayo Clinic Diet – is a balanced meal plan that focuses on healthy foods, health habits, and consistent exercise. Rather than forbidding certain foods, the diet focuses on replacing unhealthy behaviors with ones that are more likely to encourage weight loss. The goal is to make small, easy changes to achieve a healthier weight and to give you the tools for maintaining that weight for the rest of your life.

Could the Mayo Clinic Diet be your soulmate diet plan? Read on to find out…

What Is the Mayo Clinic Diet?

Created by a team of weight-loss experts at the Mayo Clinic — one of the top hospital systems in the United States — the Mayo Clinic Diet is a long-term weight management program. This diet was created to help you enjoy better health and a fitter body by adopting new good-for-you habits and dropping unhealthy old ones.


The original Mayo Clinic Diet book was first published in 1949 and updated in 2017. The purpose of the Mayo Clinic Diet is to help you drop excess pounds and adopt healthier habits that are both pleasurable and easy to maintain. These new habits may include eating less processed food and meats, adding more vegetables at mealtime, and walking or working out for 30 minutes a day.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is also designed to help you master the mental aspect of weight loss, such as harnessing the motivation to change and getting past obstacles.

How Does It Work?

The Mayo Clinic Diet uses a pyramid to promote exercise and demonstrate quantities of particular foods you should eat. Fruits, vegetables, and physical activity make up the base of the pyramid, followed by carbs, protein, fats, and sweets. The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid serves as a sensible guide for making wise food choices. Although the diet doesn’t require you to eliminate any foods, the idea is to eat most of your food from the groups at the base of the pyramid and less from those at the top.

The Mayo Clinic Diet Has Two Main Parts

Part One: Lose It!

This two-week phase is designed to kick-off your weight loss in a safe and healthy way. In this phase, you zero in on lifestyle habits that are associated with weight reduction. The diet will teach you how to add five healthy habits, break five unhealthy habits, and adopt an additional five bonus habits.

Part Two: Live It!

In this phase, you learn about food choices, portion control, meal planning, and physical activity. This phase reinforces the healthy habits established in part one, helping you maintain your goal weight long-term.

Increase Your Physical Activity

The Mayo Clinic Diet offers ideas for adding more physical activity and exercise to your daily routine. The diet recommends getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day and even more exercise for enhanced health benefits and weight loss. If you’ve been inactive or you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor or health care provider before starting a new workout program.

What Are the Benefits?

The Mayo Clinic Diet is designed to help you lose up to 6 to 10 pounds during the initial two-week phase. After that, you transition into the second phase, where you continue to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week until you reach your target weight. By continuing to practice the healthy habits that you’ve acquired, you can stay at your goal weight for the rest of your life.

Other Health Benefits

In general, losing weight by following a nutritious diet like the Mayo Clinic Diet can reduce your risk of weight-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. If you have any of these conditions, they may be improved dramatically if you lose weight.

Who is the Mayo Clinic Diet Best Suited For?

There are lots of reasons to choose the Mayo Clinic Diet. This diet is best for you if you want to:

  • Follow a diet that has been developed by medical professionals
  • Follow a diet that is based on research and clinical experience
  • Be free of strict calorie-counting, dietary rules, and restrictions
  • Learn how to drop unhealthy lifestyle habits and pick up healthy, realistic ones
  • Improve your health and reduce your health risks, while losing weight and gaining more energy
  • Enjoy long-lasting, easy-to-manage results for the rest of your life

The Mayo Clinic Diet is generally safe for most adults. It does encourage unlimited amounts of vegetables and fruits. Therefore, if you have diabetes or any other health conditions or concerns, work with your physician to adjust the Mayo Clinic Diet for your situation.

Permanent Weight Loss

The best characteristic of the Mayo Clinic Diet is that it is designed to help you keep weight off permanently. It focuses on eating healthy foods that you’ll love to eat and increasing your workouts and physical activity in a safe, natural way. When you adopt body-positive habits and lifestyle changes, like the Mayo Clinic Diet* teaches you to do, you’ll find that weight loss doesn’t have to be a struggle — and weight management doesn’t have to scare you. With so many healthy strategies in your arsenal, maintaining a fit body will come very naturally to you.

Check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions.

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