Mayo Clinic Diet: What You Need to Know

How the Mayo Clinic Diet Works

Even more so than the Mediterranean Diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet is as much a lifestyle as it is a diet. The primary function of the Mayo Clinic Diet is to drop your bad eating and lifestyle habits and replace them with healthy practices.

While there are two stages of the Mayo Clinic Diet, it's not a diet that has repeating cycles (such as six weeks on, one week off). There's just an introductory two-week stage dubbed "Lose it," followed by the second stage ("Live it"), which is ongoing.

The two-week "Lose it" stage dangles the promise of losing -- and keeping off -- as much as 10 pounds. How? This is accomplished in part by eliminating five unhealthy habits from your routine, including the following:

  • Watching TV while eating
  • Snacking, except on fruits and veggies
  • Eating too much meat
  • Consuming too much sugar
  • Eating at restaurants (if doing so breaks any of these rules)

The dieter then replaces those bad habits with these five healthy habits that include exercise, eating a good breakfast, eating lots of fruits and veggies, as well as whole grains, and consuming healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats.

After the two-week "Lose It" phase is up and the dieter has adopted these new lifestyle habits, he or she begins the second stage: "Live it." During this phase, which continues for the rest of his life, the dieter builds on the progress he made in phase one by setting weight-loss goals, eating according to Mayo Clinic Diet food pyramid, and breaking a sweat by exercising for a half-hour to an hour as many days a week as possible.

While between 6 and 10 pounds may be lost during the "Lose It" stage, dieters in the "Live It" stage can expect to continue losing 1 to 2 pounds each week.

The Mayo Clinic Diet has advantages over other fad diets. For one thing, all food groups are represented in the Mayo Clinic Diet, meaning you're not restricted to certain foods that you may soon grow sick of. Also, foods in this diet are available in any grocery store, and this diet won't bust your budget. In fact, if you curb your restaurant habit as suggested, you may even save money with this diet.

But are there drawbacks to the Mayo Clinic Diet? We'll discuss those next.