The Mayo Clinic Diet is the official diet developed by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
It focuses not just on what you eat and how much you weigh but also on your overall health and lifestyle.
The plan provides tips on breaking old, unhealthy habits (like eating while watching TV) and forming new, healthy ones (like exercising).
The program has two phases: “Lose It!” and “Live It!”
The “Live It!” phase lasts the rest of your life.
During this phase, Mayo Clinic claims you can drop 1-2 pounds a week until you reach your goal weight.
Is this the diet for you
This is a diet most docs would get behind, because it emphasizes balanced eating and also wants you to move, which is key to being in the best shape you can be.
Another plus is that it’s not that costly, since you aren’t paying a fee or buying prepackaged food.
Also, this type of diet can help prevent many chronic diseases.
The downside is that it will be hard work, and because there are no personal meetings, you will have to toe the line without someone pushing you.
Also, you will have to spend the time to grocery shop and cook at home.
If you are a self-motivated person and can commit, this may be for a good choice for you.
Foods to Eat
The Mayo Clinic Diet’s food pyramid allows you a certain number of servings from various food groups.
For example, a 1,400-calorie plan includes 4 or more servings each of vegetables and fruits, 5 servings of carbs, 4 servings of protein or dairy, and 3 servings of fats.
While no foods are strictly off-limits, some foods are recommended over others.
The diet recommends:
- Fruits: fresh, frozen, or canned in juice or water — including up to 4 ounces (120 ml) a day of 100% fruit juice
- Vegetables: fresh or frozen
- Whole grains: cereal, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, pasta, and brown or wild rice
- Protein: canned beans, low-sodium tuna, other fish, skinless white-meat poultry, egg whites, tofu
- Dairy: low-fat or fat-free yogurt, cheese, and milk
- Fats: unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts
- Sweets: up to 75 calories per day of sweets, including cookies, pastries, table sugar, and alcohol (only during the diet’s second phase)
Foods to Avoid
No foods are completely banned on the Mayo Clinic Diet plan.
During the “Lose it!” phase, alcohol and added sugars are prohibited, but after the first two weeks, you can have up to 75 calories of sweets or alcoholic beverages per day.
Foods you should limit or avoid on the Mayo Clinic Diet include:
- Fruits: fruits canned in syrup, more than 4 ounces (120 ml) a day of 100% fruit juice, and juice products that are not 100% fruit
- Vegetables: starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes — which count as a carb choice
- Carbohydrates: white flour — such as in white breads and pastas — and refined sugars, such as table sugar
- Protein: meats high in saturated fats, such as ground beef and sausages
- Dairy: full-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Fats: saturated fats, such as those in egg yolks, butter, coconut oil, and red meats, as well as trans fats found in processed foods
- Sweets: more than 75 calories per day of candies, pastries, cookies, cake, or alcoholic beverages
Here is a 3-day sample menu for a 1,200-calorie plan. Higher-calorie plans will include more servings of carbs, protein, dairy, and fats.
Breakfast: 3/4 cup (68 grams) of oatmeal, 1 apple, and black coffee or tea
Lunch: 2 cups (472 grams) of mixed greens with 3 ounces (85 grams) of tuna, 1/2 cup (43 grams) of low-fat shredded cheese, 1 whole-wheat toast slice with 1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams) of margarine, and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of blueberries
Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of tilapia cooked in 1 1/2 teaspoon (7 ml) of olive oil, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of roasted potatoes, and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of cauliflower
Snacks: 1 orange and 1 cup (125 grams) of baby carrots with 8 whole-grain crackers
Breakfast: 1 slice of whole-wheat toast with 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) of margarine, 3 egg whites, 1 pear, and black coffee or tea
Lunch: 3 ounces (85 grams) of grilled chicken, 1 cup (180 grams) of steamed asparagus, 6 ounces (170 grams) of low-fat yogurt, and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of raspberries
Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of shrimp cooked in 1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams) of olive oil, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of brown rice, and 1 cup (150 grams) of broccoli
Snacks: half a banana and 1 cup (100 grams) of sliced cucumbers with 2 rice cakes
Breakfast: 3/4 cup (30 grams) of oat bran flakes, 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk, half a banana, and black coffee or tea
Lunch: 1 slice of whole-wheat toast with 3 ounces (85 grams) of sliced turkey, 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) of margarine, and 1 1/2 cup of grapes
Dinner: 1 cup (100 grams) of cooked whole-wheat pasta, 1/2 cup (120 grams) of low-fat tomato sauce, 3 ounces (85 grams) of grilled chicken breast, and 1/2 cup (58 grams) of green beans cooked in 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 ml) of olive oil
Snacks: 1 pear and 10 cherry tomatoes
Using the Food Pyramid
To assist you with your journey, the Mayo Clinic diet created a food pyramid for people to follow.
However, the food pyramid is only effective if people understand how to use it.
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the food pyramid:
- Eat Healthy Food– Processed food is bad for you, avoid it. Frozen food such as veggies and fruits, on the other hand, contain many nutrients.
- Count Servings– Dips, dressings, creams, milk, and sugar are all toppings that we out on food. When writing down the servings, include them as well.
- Be Healthy, not Strict– Although it’s better that you eat food that’s healthy, you can’t deprive yourself of certain food for longer periods of time.
- You like chocolate, substitute for dark chocolate instead. You like chips, eat baked chips then. The key is to make healthier choices.
- Seek Shortcuts– Purchase pre-cut fruits and vegetables, shredded low-fat cheese, and precooked meats. This will enable you to cook up a healthy meal within seconds.
- Eat something different each day– You may not want to eat veggies or fruits each day, so try to switch it up. You can find healthy recipes online to create at home.
Choose Healthy Every time
Eating healthy isn’t a challenge especially when there is an array of healthy food choices that you can make.
Due to the many choices available, you can make a healthy choice every time.
The following steps will coach you into making healthier choices:
Plan the Menu– Sit down every Sunday to come up with a meal plan to follow for each week. It will save you time, as you won’t be wandering what to make each day.
Tis’ the Season to be Healthy– Each season an array of fresh veggies and fruits are available. Visit your local farmer’s market to stock your fridge with fresh veggies and fruits available that season.
Try Something New– Quinoa, bok choy, tofu are all exotic food that are healthy. Try to eat something new once in a while and it might just become your favorite dish.
Always Choose Health– You should get in the habit to read the labels on the food. Look for calories, sodium, and fat. Introduce healthy food into your life such as instant brown rice and frozen entrees.
Save Leftovers– When you make food, make it enough that it lasts for two days at least.
Make 20 Minute Healthy Recipes– Search for recipes that are nutritious and take the least amount of time to make.
Exercise is a key component in the Mayo Clinic diet.
You want to stay active whether it is a formal exercise routine or just upping your physical activity through the day.
Whichever you choose you want to commit to it on a daily basis for 30-60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity.
If you’ve been inactive for a long period of time or were recently injured, speak with your health care provider before beginning any activity.
You will start out with 5-10 minutes a day then gradually increase to 30-60 minutes.
Physical activity helps with maintaining your weight.
You need energy to exercise; you get this energy from the food you take in (calories). These calories will burn off while your being active.
Cleaning the house, making the bed, doing outside chores are all examples of physical activity, doing these activities on a daily basis will burn calories that you’ve consumed.
It will also improve your fitness and lower your stress.
You want to break a light sweat while doing whatever activity you chose.
You want to set goals without setting poundage goals.
For example, you may make it a goal to cut down the number of servings of high fat foods in your diet.
Another goal may be to increase the amount of time you are exercising.
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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This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.