Hold the Mayo
Those of you who have seen me recently may have noticed I lost some weight. In fact, I lost 30 pounds within a few months of going on the Mayo Clinic Diet (the “Diet”) a year ago! I found it on the Mayo Clinic website (www.mayoclinic.com), which for years I’ve considered to be one of the best sources of online health information. I’ve long respected the Mayo Clinic as one of the top hospitals in the U.S. (It’s often where the President, top CEOs, and other “bigwigs” go with serious medical needs.) The Diet worked for me, it can work for you too!
The Diet helps you lose weight and find a way of eating that you can enjoy for a lifetime. It teaches how to choose healthy foods and portions and to develop healthy habits to maintain a healthy weight for life. It is the official diet developed by Mayo Clinic, based on research and clinical experience and detailed in the book of the same name, published in 2010. It says that successful, long-term weight control needs to focus on your overall health, not just what you eat. It also emphasizes that the best way to manage weight long-term requires changing your lifestyle and adopting new health habits. It can be tailored to your own individual needs and situations.
The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid
The basis for the Diet is the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid, which illustrates the importance of balance between exercise and eating healthy foods.
Eat healthy foods and portions
The base of the Pyramid focuses on generous amounts of healthy foods that contain a small number of calories in a large volume of food, particularly fruits and vegetables. Healthy choices in moderate amounts make up the rest of the pyramid, which encourages selecting whole-grain carbohydrates, lean sources of protein such as legumes, fish and low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
The Diet doesn’t focus on counting calories, nor does it require you to eliminate certain foods. It teaches you how to estimate portion sizes and plan meals.
Two Main Parts to the Diet
<>1. Lose It! This is a two-week phase that allows you to jump-start your weight loss, losing as much as 6 to 10 pounds in a healthy way. In this phase, you focus on lifestyle habits. You learn how to add five healthy habits, break five unhealthy habits and adopt another five bonus healthy habits. This phase also includes getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity or exercise every day.
2. Live It! This phase is a lifelong approach to diet and health. In this phase, you learn more about food choices, portion sizes, menu planning and sticking to healthy habits. You continue steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week until you reach your goal weight. By continuing the healthy lifestyle habits you adopted, you can maintain your goal weight permanently. In this phase, you also learn how to set a goal weight and how to develop long-term healthy-eating patterns. Regular physical activity remains a central part of this phase.
Increase your physical activity
The Diet promotes regular physical activity and exercise, as well as healthy eating. When you’re active, your body uses energy (calories) to work, helping to burn the calories you take in. If you’ve been inactive or you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor or health care provider before starting a new physical activity program. Most people can begin with five- or 10-minute activity sessions and increase the time gradually.
The Diet recommends getting at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise every day, and even more exercise for further health benefits. Brisk walking and yardwork that entails near constant motion are examples of moderately intense activity.