The Mayo Clinic diet is a lifestyle approach to healthy weight loss. This article illustrates the overview, advantages, and disadvantages of this diet.
The Mayo Clinic diet is one of the official diets introduced by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic diet is a long-term diet program managed by a team of experts to lose excess weight and find a healthy way of eating that can sustain for a lifetime. The Mayo Clinic diet provides a sustainable plan that one can follow for life.
The Mayo Clinic diet is a healthy meal plan that focuses on healthy foods and regular exercise.
The Mayo Clinic diet was introduced and developed by weight-loss experts at the Mayo Clinic, one of the top hospitals in the United States.
The diet plan is based on the original Mayo Clinic diet book, which was first published in 1949 and updated most recently in 2017.
The Mayo Clinic diet consists of a food pyramid system that encourages exercise and illustrates quantities of particular foods that one should eat while on a diet.
Fruits, vegetables, and physical activity constitute the base of the pyramid. Carbohydrates comprise the next layer, followed by fats, proteins, and finally, sweets.
Under the carbohydrates section, along with bread and grains, certain starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes are also included in the diet.
The diet plan encourages limiting the quantity or portion sizes and teaches how to plan the meal around the food pyramid.
There are two phases of diet followed, and these include-
The first two weeks are aimed to jumpstart the weight loss.
The second phase is designed in such a way it has to be maintained for life.
In the first phase of the diet, it focuses on 15 habits -
Five habits to break.
Five habits to practice.
Five bonus habits to optimize the results.
Habits to Break:
The following habits are advised to stop or discontinue for best results.
Habits to Follow:
People following the Mayo Clinic diet are advised to incorporate the following habits.
Bonus Habits to Follow:
The bonus habits to follow include-
Exercise for 60 minutes or more per day.
Track the food intake and whether it follows the diet’s rules.
Update the activity journals regularly.
Get involved in any kind of physical activity every day.
Avoid processed foods.
In the first phase, the weight loss of 6 to 10 pounds (2.7 to 4.5 kg) occurs in a span of two weeks.
The diet suggests how many servings of protein, fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, dairy, and fats should be taken based on the calorie goals.
For example, in a 1400-calorie plan, four or more servings of vegetables and fruits, five servings of carbohydrates, four servings of dairy or protein, and three servings of fats.
The restrictions for calories are evaluated based on the starting weight and range from 1,400 to 1,800 for men and 1,200 to 1,600 for women.
This diet plan includes a fruit serving about the size of a tennis ball and a serving of protein in the quantity of about approximately three ounces (85 grams).
The diet aims to reduce intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day in the second phase of the diet, which results in a loss of one to two pounds (0.5 to 1 kilograms) per week.
Once after reaching the desired weight, it is advisable to eat the number of calories that helps in maintaining the weight.
This diet includes a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with exercise, which aids in complete weight loss. Exercising with a low-calorie diet promotes effective weight loss rather than dieting alone.
This diet rich in fiber boosts weight loss by feeling full and decreasing hunger.
The increase in fiber intake benefits diabetes people by losing weight compared to those people who did not take fiber intake.
Simultaneous exercise and dieting help maintain muscle mass which further promotes weight loss by boosting metabolism.
Through this diet, several habits are incorporated which are beneficial to health.
The Mayo Clinic diet recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, which reduces the risk of conditions such as heart diseases and diabetes. It also insists on more exercises in daily routine (avoiding escalators and taking up the stairs).
Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, which results in low blood sugar levels. It is also associated with reducing inflammation and risk factors for heart diseases such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
This diet also brings about behavior-based weight loss by adding more fruits and health-conscious foods to the routine and making up a regular exercise schedule.
Behavior-based weight loss not only helps in greater weight loss in a shorter duration but also helps in regaining less weight in the future and lowers the risk for diabetes.
The main disadvantage of this diet is that it is more demanding and labor-intensive. One should put in a lot more effort to maintain and follow this diet.
A person has to spend a lot more time in the kitchen - planning the meals, grocery shopping, and preparation of food based on the guidelines.
This diet restricts some food items that provide nutrition and health benefits, such as egg yolk.
Eating out is completely restricted, and the snacks are limited to fruits and vegetables.
The Mayo Clinic diet recommends-
The fruit juices may be fresh, frozen, or canned - up to 120 milliliters a day.
Protein sources are gained from canned beans, egg whites, low-sodium tuna, skinless white meat poultry, and tofu.
Low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Milk and cheese.
Unsaturated fats, olive oil, nuts, and avocados.
Any fresh or frozen vegetables.
Cereals, whole-grain bread, pasta, oatmeal, and brown or wild rice.
Sweets can include up to 75 % of calories per day, including pastries, cookies, sugar, and alcohol (which can be included only during the diet's second phase).
Certain foods are to be limited or avoided in the Mayo diet plan -
Canned fruit syrup of more than 120 milliliters per day of 100 % fruit juice and juices that are not 100 % should be avoided.
Carbohydrates obtained in the form of refined white sugar and white flour in white bread and pasta should be completely avoided.
Starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes
Meats high in saturated fats, such as sausages and ground beef.
Cheese, full-fat milk, and yogurt.
Saturated fats in butter, coconut oil, red meats, and egg yolks, and also trans fats are found in processed or packaged foods.
Sweets consuming more than 75 % calories per day of cookies, candies, pastries, cake, and alcoholic beverages should be limited.
The Mayo Clinic diet is a balanced meal plan focused on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. If a person is looking for a diet that they can maintain for life, then the Mayo Clinic diet is beneficial and the best option to adopt. Self-motivation and commitment are the two key factors involved in the success of this diet. Maintaining routine diet aids in the prevention of certain chronic diseases.
Last reviewed at:
27 Jun 2022 - 6 min read
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