Losing weight and eating healthy food shouldn't be complicated. And
the Mayo Clinic Diet book does a brilliant job of showing how easy it
can be to eat right, get fit, and lose weight. This user-friendly book is full
of pictures, graphics, tips, recipes, and artwork that make understanding
weight management simple.
The Mayo Clinic Diet was created in part to counter a bogus version
of the diet which was not developed by -- and has no connection to -- the
prestigious Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Donald Hensrud, MD, medical editor of
The Mayo Clinic Diet, says the fad diet has been making the rounds for
years, inspiring experts at the clinic to set the record straight with a
healthy weight loss plan.
Editor's Note: Food Pyramid Replaced
In June 2011, the USDA replaced the food pyramid with a new plate icon.
The phony "Mayo Clinic" diet is a low-carb, high-fat plan that attributes
miraculous fat-burning powers to grapefruit. Dieters go on the plan for 12
days, then off for two days, and continue this cycle for 10 weeks with the
promise of a 50- to 55-pound weight loss.
But the real Mayo Clinic Diet is a scientifically sound, healthy
approach to long-term weight management.
"Our plan is about lifestyle changes and helping people lose weight the
healthy way while developing habits for a lifetime," says Hensrud, associate
professor and chair of preventive medicine and nutrition.
The keys to The Mayo Clinic Diet -- the real one -- are:
Eating according to the clinic's Healthy Weight Pyramid, which tells you
how many servings from each food group you need to reach your calorie
Being more physically active.
Adopting healthy habits.
Defining realistic goals.
The Mayo Clinic Diet: What You Can Eat
The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid -- which is similar to the U.S.
government's Food Pyramid -- recommends eating a variety of nutritious
Serving recommendations and portion sizes for each food group are included
to help dieters plan their own menus. How much you eat depends on your calorie
goal, which can range from 1,200-1,800 per day depending on your sex and
Here's a sample of the foods on a 1,200-calorie menu:
4 or more servings of vegetables
3 or more servings of fruits
4 servings of "smart" carbohydrates (whole grains and more)
3 servings of lean protein or reduced-fat dairy
3 servings of healthy fats
But these are just guidelines, the experts say. Because vegetables and
fruits are the foundation of the plan, these are the foods you should turn to
Artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and sweets are not permitted during the
initial, quick-start portion of the plan. After that, they are limited to an
average of 75 calories per day.
The Mayo Clinic Diet: How It Works
The Mayo Clinic Diet begins with a two-week jump-start phase called "Lose
It!" designed to help you safely lose 6-10 pounds in two weeks. "Losing weight
with the quick-start program helps dieters become motivated when they see they
can lose weight and keep it up as they progress on the program," says