Picking the right diet for you is not an easy task. You need to research it, learn more about how it works, what makes it stand out and whether it will actually help you lose weight or not. Not all diets are based on scientific research which means they won’t give you the results you hope for. Some diets are fads started or endorsed by celebrities. In other words, knowing the ins and outs of the diet you’re going to follow for the next few months would go a long way in either getting you to shed the pounds or save you the time and money if it turns out to be just another fad. With that in mind, we review the Mayo Clinic diet. As far as scientific research goes, this system has an established medical organization behind it and it has been around for years so we can rule out the faddish aspect.
What is it
When the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota rolled out this diet their goal was to create a healthy way to lose weight while also promoting good health and educating dieters about the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps it’s because of that the diet comes with a book that offers many health tips, food recipes and exercise plans. So rather than following a certain food diet blindly, the reading material strives to offer a comprehensive system that changes your life and cuts down on the bad habits that led to the weight problem in the first place. In that respect, this is more than just a diet. It’s a healthy lifestyle that aims not just to help people lose weight but to also keep those extra pounds from coming back.
How it Works
Since this is more of a way of life rather than a simple diet, the philosophy behind the Mayo Clinic diet is built on two phases: losing the weight, and living life free of extra weight. The first phase takes two weeks to lose the extra weight. Losing the weight here is done in a healthy way that doesn’t impact your overall health and doesn’t lead to side effects. The goal is to lose 10 pounds during those first two weeks. While doing that you’ll need to learn 5 new healthy habits and unlearn 5 unhealthy ones. You’ll need to learn to eat a healthy breakfast, whole grain foods, healthy fats, have fruits and vegetables every day, and exercise for 30 minutes on a daily basis. At the same time, you’ll need to cut down on refined sugar in your food, processed foods, meat and dairy products, watching TV while eating, and eating out.
At the end of the two weeks, you would have lost enough weight to keep you going. It’s time to adopt a healthier lifestyle that will stay with you for life. You’ll learn about food portions, develop better eating patterns, improve your food choices, and cut down on bad eating habits. Following that system will help you lose more weight each week until you reach your goal.
The Mayo Clinic Diet Pyramid
Following its assertion on improving the dieter’s overall health and lifestyle, the Mayo Clinic diet uses a pyramid to get its message through. The pyramid has 5 sections which you can rearrange to suit your needs. The main focus is on making healthy eating choices. Because losing weight is sometimes easier than keeping it from coming back, learning to eat more whole grains and unsaturated fats, as well as fruits and vegetables as opposed to processed foods and refined sugar, will usually help people stay both healthy and fit. The diet also doesn’t require calorie counting, instead, it asks you to pay more attention to the type of calories you intake. In that respect, the Mayo Clinic diet is less restricting than other diets. But when it comes to alcohol, the diet prohibits it during the first two weeks. Another part of the pyramid is physical activity. Exercise will help you stay fit and healthy and prevent the lost pounds from showing up again.
One of the main advantages of the diet is that you lose weight during the first two weeks much faster. As you move on to the next phase you continue to lose weight while learning new healthy habits that will stay with you for life if you follow them. Another advantage is your heart health improves as you cut down on saturated fats and processed sugar while eating more fruits and vegetables. For some people with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the Mayo Clinic diet can prevent the disease or control it. And by incorporating physical exercise in your daily activities, you improve your heart health and stay healthy even after you’ve discontinued the diet. Most of the good habits you learn during the second phase are life-long habits aimed at promoting health and fitness.
Some of the disadvantages of the diet have to do with the first phase. Some people report that it is too difficult to follow. Another disadvantage has to do with the excessive amount of fruits consumed. The diet doesn’t put any limits on how much fruits and vegetables you can eat. But consuming too many fruits can raise your blood sugar even temporarily. And since the diet doesn’t focus on calorie counting it can lead to confusion for some people who prefer to count their calorie intake and adjust their exercise routines to burn out the extra calories to prevent weight gain.
The Mayo Clinic diet is based on medical and scientific research as it aims to improve the overall health and fitness of the dieter rather than focusing on simply losing weight.