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Mayo Clinic Diet

This article is about the official Mayo Clinic program invented by doctors from the honorable health institution in Minnesota. It is a popular lifestyle plan designed for losing weight and improving health. Unlike numerous fad diets (like fake Mayo Clinic diets), this one does not promise quick weight-loss but promotes healthy eating habits that will help you to slim down and start feeling much better.

How Does It Work?

The diet is based on the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid, explaining the importance of balance between healthy eating and exercise. Its wide base is occupied by vegetables and fruits, which can be eaten in an unlimited amount. Carbohydrates are allowed no more than 4–5 daily servings. Dairy and protein are limited to 3–7 servings, fats to 3–5 servings, and sweets to 75 calories.

The program consists of two phases: “Lose It!” and “Live It!”. The first one lasts two weeks. Dieters learn how to get rid of bad eating habits and adopt healthy ones. Every day it is necessary to get about half an hour of physical activity. As a rule, one can lose from five to ten pounds. The “Live It!” phase is a lifelong way of eating and living that makes it possible to get and maintain a goal weight. Exercises should be practiced on a regular basis.

The Mayo Clinic plan encourages every day physical activity. One can begin with short session increasing the time little by little until you get at least half an hour of exercise per day. The activity should be moderately intense, with increased breathing and heart rates. For better results you’d better get up to one hour of training at least five days a week.

Are There Any Health Risks?

The diet is safe for grown-ups and children but you should better consult your doctor before starting if you have problems with your health or have been inactive for a long time.

What Foods Should Be Eaten?

The Mayo diet recommends eating vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, whole-grains, and healthy unsaturated fats, like fish, olive oil and beans. The plan is very flexible, so you will have a number of choices.

Almost all recommended products are sold at most grocery stores. You should better write down a list before you go shopping.

The diet allows many cooking methods, like grilling, baking, roasting, steaming, braising, sautéing, stir-frying, and broiling.

The program suggests various calorie levels. A typical 1,200 cal menu looks like this.

  • Breakfast: one cup fat-free yogurt; one serving of fruit.
  • Lunch: one serving pasta and tuna salad; one orange.
  • Dinner: broiled fish with beans; green salad.
  • Snack: an apple.

You may have a calorie-free drink with each meal.

What Foods Should Be Avoided?

You should not buy fast-food and packaged meals.

Alcohol is prohibited on the “Lose It!” step. When you are on the “Live It!” stage, you may drink alcohol, but no more than 75 cal per day.

Bottom Line

The Mayo Clinic diet helps to lose excessive weight and maintain results. It promotes healthy eating and physical exercises. Dieters lose weight quickly during the first phase which boosts their motivation. One can find much important and helpful information and support on the official website. Most people find it pretty easy to stick with the diet and do not have any problems with it.

Thus the program is effective in the goals so it can be recommended to everyone who wants to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Of course, if you are going to try it, you should buy the book

P.S. Beware of numerous imitators using the name of the Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic Diet Plan

The diet does not provide a strict plan. You can choose what to eat taking into account numerous recommendations. The basis of the program is the Mayo Clinic Weight Pyramid explaining the healthy balance between various groups of foods in the menu:

  • Fruits – unlimited
  • Vegetables – unlimited
  • Carbohydrates – from four to eight daily servings
  • Dairy and protein – from three to seven daily servings
  • Fats – from three to five daily servings
  • Sweets – no more than 75 calories per day

Two Phases

The program consists of two major phases:

  • Lose It!

This two-week stage helps to replace bad eating and lifestyle habits with healthy ones, including regular exercise and physical activity. If you follow all recommendations you will lose up to ten pounds.

  • Live It!

This phase lasts throughout your life. You will plan your menu according to the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid and continue doing physical exercises on most days of week. You will have weight loss of about one – two pounds a week.

Changing Your Habits

The authors of the Mayo Clinic diet say that you should replace five main bad habits with good ones and suggest adopting five more bonus healthy habits. All of them are enlisted below:

Eliminating Bad Habits

  • Stop eating dairy and meat in an unlimited amount.
  • Stop watching TV while eating or doing exercises.
  • Stop eating in cafés and restaurants unless the food fits the Mayo Clinic diet.
  • Stop eating snacks except for fruits and vegetables.
  • Stop eating sugar.

Adopting Healthy Habits

  • Your breakfast should be healthy and not too big.
  • You should eat three – four servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • You should give preference to healthy fats.
  • You should eat only whole grains.
  • Exercise moderately for at least half an hour every day.

Adding Bonus Healthy Habits

  • Eat fresh, canned or frozen healthy foods.
  • Write down what you eat.
  • Write down what exercises you do.
  • Write down the goals.
  • Exercise for no less than one hour a day.

Sample Menu

Here is a sample day menu for the Mayo clinic dieters.


  • A banana
  • One cup fat-free milk
  • One cup bran cereal
  • Tea


  • Tuna salad
  • 2 cups sweet pepper
  • An apple


  • Broiled cod
  • Steamed green beans
  • Sliced beets
  • Tomatoes and lettuce with olive oil and balsamic vinegar


  • A pear

More information about the Mayo Clinic diet you will find in the official book written by specialists of this authoritative health institution.