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The Mayo Diet Plan is a weight loss program developed by medical professionals that focuses on helping people lose weight while creating long-term healthy habits.
- Emphasizes lifelong weight management
- No in-person meetings
- No membership required
- No pre-packaged meals
- Must be self-motivated
How does the Mayo Clinic Diet work?
The Mayo Clinic Diet emphasizes that the best way to lose weight is through long-term lifestyle change. The plan divides all foods into six categories. No food group is off-limits during the diet, and there’s no emphasis on counting calories.
- Fruits are allowed in unlimited amounts during the Mayo Clinic Diet
- Vegetables are allowed in unlimited amounts during the Mayo Clinic Diet
- Whole grains from foods like brown rice are allowed in moderate amounts from foods like brown rice
- Lean protein from foods like beans, fish and chicken are allowed in small amounts
- Unsaturated fats such as olive oil can be used as a salad dressing or to cook meat and rice
- Sweets are allowed in small amounts
There are two phases of the Mayo Clinic Diet: “Lose It” and “Live It.” The first two weeks of the plan are the “Lose It” phase, which is designed to jump-start weight loss through breaking unhealthy habits, including snacking and watching television while eating meals. These habits are replaced with healthier habits, such as exercising for 30 minutes a day and making time for a healthy breakfast. During this phase, you’re challenged to set goals, work through setbacks and find your inner motivation for losing weight. According to the Mayo Clinic Diet’s website, participants can lose anywhere from six to 10 pounds during this period.
The second phase, called “Live It,” teaches you how to take a lifelong approach to weight loss and management. During this phase, you learn about portion control, meal prep and the importance of daily physical activity. It’s designed to help you meet your goal weight at a steady pace, and you can lose one to two pounds a week during this phase while transitioning your intake to maintain your weight permanently.
Sample meal plan
- 1 egg, hard-boiled or cooked
- 1 slice of whole-wheat toast
- An orange
- Large salad with lean protein, veggies of your choice and olive oil dressing
- A handful of berries
- Grilled salmon with spinach
- 1 dinner roll with butter
- A handful of berries
How much does the Mayo Clinic Diet cost?
The Mayo Clinic website has free resources, but you can access the full range of online support by paying $5 a week, which is billed quarterly ($65 for 13 weeks). The subscription gives you access to meal plans, weight loss ideas, real-time tracking data and custom fitness plans.
Does the Mayo Clinic Diet allow for dietary restrictions/preferences?
Yes. Because the Mayo Clinic Diet is a fruit- and vegetable-based diet, it can be easily adapted for vegans, vegetarians and people with other dietary restrictions or preferences.
Is the Mayo Clinic Diet worth it?
The Mayo Clinic Diet produces results if you’re dedicated to following the regimen. While cooking at home, shopping intentionally and not eating out can be challenging when you first start the program, it’s a great option for people who want to make a lifelong change and don’t need the accountability of in-person health coaching.
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