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Finally shedding unwanted pounds should be simple. Yet most of the time, it’s anything but simple. Well, enter The Mayo Clinic Diet. Not only is it easy to eat right, get fit and lose weight with this eating plan – it’s also informative as it comes with a book full of graphics, tips and recipes designed to illustrate how easy weight management is.

Interestingly, The Mayo Clinic Diet was designed to counter a replicate version that definitely was not created by the renowned Mayo Clinic. Donald Hensrud, MD of The Mayo Clinic Diet, says this diet has been circulating online for years and is far from a healthy eating plan. Naturally, the experts at The (actual) Mayo Clinic had to create a healthy eating plan that actually worked.

The fake Mayo Clinic diet is an odd one. Why? Well, it’s low-carb, high-fat and heavily promotes consumption of none other than grapefruit. Followers of the fad diet go on the plan for 12 days then off for 2 days and do so for a total of 10 weeks. The worst part is the fact this shoddy diet promises followers weight loss of up to 50-55 pounds. Thankfully, the actual Mayo Clinic Diet is a scientifically researched and proven diet with long-term weight management success.

Here’s what to expect if you follow The (real) Mayo Clinic Diet:

  • You will adopt new healthy habits and ditch old unhealthy ones
  • The plan will teach you how to define realistic weight loss goals
  • You will learn what food groups to eat and how many servings of each food to eat
  • Exercise will become a regular part of your life


What Can I Eat? What Can’t I Eat?

The Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Weight Pyramid teaches dieters how to eat a variety of nutritious foods. This includes portion sizes and serving recommendations for each food group so you can plan your own menu. Your daily calorie limit will vary depending on your starting weight, age, gender and your end goal weight. Generally speaking it will be between 1,200-1,800 calories per day.

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 healthy carbs (e.g. whole grains)
  • 3 servings of lean protein or reduced-fat dairy products
  • 3 servings of healthy fats

That being said, these are simple guidelines not strict rules to follow. However it’s worth remembering vegetables and fruits are the foundation of this plan which means they’re what you should consume first. Things like alcohol, sugary sweets and artificial sweeteners are restricted in the initial phase of the plan.


How Does It Work?

What’s especially interesting about The Mayo Clinic Diet is the initial two-week jump-start phase designed to help you safely shift up to 10 pounds in the first two weeks.

This initial phase is designed to:

  • Help you add five healthy habits to your lifestyle like eating breakfast or more vegetables
  • Break five unhealthy habits like eating sweets or drinking too much alcohol
  • Pick five extra habits like keeping an exercise log (as well as exercising more)

The second phase equips you with the tools to maintain the healthy habits you developed by:

  • Understanding portion control
  • Setting realistic weight loss goals
  • Exercising more
  • Eating according to the Mayo Healthy Weight Pyramid

During the second phase you can expect to lose up to 2 pounds per week making it a great weight loss maintenance plan.

What Does The Expert Say?

Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says she’s a huge fan of The Mayo Clinic Diet as it gives followers straight forward tools and tips that teach them how to lose weight in a fun and maintainable way.

“It is a reliable approach for the entire family, whether you want to lose or maintain weight, because it is based on eating healthy food and becoming more active,” she says. However, Ruth does give one word of warning and that’s that this diet often sets unrealistic expectations with some followers expecting to lose 10 pounds in the first week.

Yes weight loss is inevitable but some people may lose a lot less than the expected amount. “In my 20 years of experience helping patients lose weight, most people lose about 1% of their weight in a week,” she says, “so a 200-pound person will average a 2-pound loss, and that includes initial fluid loss.”

The Final Verdict

The (real) Mayo Clinic Diet is substantially more than just another diet. Better yet, it’s anything but a quick fix. It’s a fantastic starting point for anyone ready to overhaul their lifestyle in order to achieve real long lasting weight loss success. Given it’s heavily backed by scientific research, The Mayo Clinic Diet works and is undoubtedly one of the best diets available.