Mayo Clinic Diet
Out of all the diets out there, it’s hard to come across the ones that actually help you lose weight and maintain that weight loss for life; no, those are few and far between. Although this diet can be found in a book, it is not your typical fad diet. The principles are sound and work if you can stick to them. The focus is on making healthy lifestyle choices, not just on making healthy food choices. This new and improved Mayo Clinic diet is scientifically proven to work because it relies on basic principles of health and weight loss: eating a variety of foods, controlling caloric intake, and being happy enough with those choices that you can continue them for life.
A New Approach to Weight Loss
The Mayo Clinic diet is based off a few basic principles, but principles that make total sense.
- Eating according to the clinic’s Healthy Weight Pyramid, which gives serving sizes of each group that should be eaten per day.
- Being more physically active.
- Adopting healthy life-style and eating habits.
- Defining goals that are reachable.
- Staying motivated.
The Healthy Weight Pyramid
The Healthy Weight Pyramid has similar ideas to the Food Guide Pyramid. Everyone has a different number of calories that they can eat, generally from 1,200-1,800. Here’s a sample from a 1,200-calorie menu:
- 4 or more servings of vegetables
- 3 or more servings of fruits
- 4 servings of “smart” carbohydrates, like whole grains
- 3 servings of lean protein or low-fat dairy
- 3 servings of healthy fats
Fruits and vegetables are always the “go-to” choices because they have the least amount of calories and a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Phases of the Diet
There are two main phases to the diet, and then a maintenance phase to keep you at your goal weight for life.
Phase 1: Lose it! This phase lasts for 2 weeks and is designed to allow you to see results within this time frame, and noticeable results at that. The typical weight loss is 7-10 pounds. A weight loss of 10 pounds is not the amount that will be lost for every week because this is not particularly safe. However, an initial weight loss of this is just right to get you kick-started, and granted, it does provide a hefty dose of motivation. From the beginning, the goal is to start changing habits that can last for a lifetime.
Phase 2: Live it! This phase continues after the two-week phase has ended. A weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is what should be expected until the goal weight is reached. Habits are continuously tweaked, but don’t get discouraged if they aren’t perfected.
Increasing Physical Activity
Dieting isn’t just about making healthier food choices and cutting calories, it is also important to incorporate physical activity. Not only can physical activity burn calories, it is good for your overall health for other reasons, such as improving your mood, helping you sleep better, and giving you the opportunity to live longer! The longer and harder you work during the physical activity, the more calories you will burn. 30-60 minutes a day is plenty; it can all be done at one time, or spread out throughout the day. You will know when you’re working hard enough when you’re having trouble completing a whole sentence.
Putting the Plan Together
Let’s not sugarcoat this, losing weight is not easy. It takes time, hard work, dedication, and a plan. You always need to have a plan, otherwise you will get off track and find it hard to jump back into it. Remember, if you mess up one day, it’s ok; get over it and start again the next day. Do your best, and with the right amount of self-will, you will reach your goal.