There are two phases to the Mayo Clinic Diet: “Lose It!” and “Live It!”.1
You can reportedly lose six to 10 pounds during the first few weeks of the Lose It phase and then one to two pounds per week after that throughout the “Live It phase.
During the Lose It phase, followers “learn how to add five healthy habits, break five unhealthy habits, and adopt another five bonus healthy habits,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
These habits include avoiding snacks (except for fruits and vegetables) and cutting back on meat and full-fat dairy products. The Live It phase is a transition and maintenance period, during which followers “learn more about food choices, portion sizes, menu planning, physical activity, exercise, and sticking to healthy habits.”
The real Mayo Clinic Diet is a slow, steady, and reasonable approach to weight loss. The program is based on the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid, a five-tier food pyramid that emphasizes nutrient-dense whole foods. Here’s a look at what’s included in each tier.
Base tier: Unlimited consumption of fruits and vegetables is strongly encouraged.
Second tier: Whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread, should be consumed in moderate amounts.
Third tier: Protein is OK to consume in moderation—fewer servings than carbs, but more than healthy fats. Protein should come from lean sources, such as legumes, fish, and low-fat dairy products.
Fourth tier: Healthy fats make up the second-to-smallest category on the pyramid. Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
Fifth tier: Sweets and treats are allowed on occasion, but should be substantially limited.