Mayo Clinic Plan

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The Official Mayo Clinic Plan is a great diet, designed by medical professionals from a reputable health institute.

The diet promotes a nutritious diet of fruit and vegetables with starchy carbs and then proteins and dairy.

This is based on the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid.

With the Mayo Clinic plan you eat practically unlimited amounts of vegetables and fruit, plus whole-grain foods, lean protein and heart-healthy fats.

The objective is to eat foods containing a small number of calories in large amounts, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, poultry, fish and whole grains.

Also on the menu are low-fat dairy and unsaturated fats (especially from nuts and olive and canola oils). This is not a restrictive diet plan, so carries its own incentive to stick with it long-term.

The result is a balanced, nutritious diet to achieve a healthy weight. The Mayo Clinic claims that the plan can help reduce your risk for heart disease (by lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol), cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

This diet shouldn’t be confused with the unofficial “fad” version.

The Official Mayo Clinic Diet Plan Basics

the-official-mayo-clinic-dietThe Mayo Clinic Diet Plan encompasses more than adjusting eating habits and is a complete lifestyle change program. Dieters are provided with tools and advice that will help them to let go of negative behaviors while incorporating positive habits.

For the first two weeks dieters follow the ‘lose it’ phase, which helps to kick-start weight loss and allow dieters to lose up to ten pounds. After these initial two weeks dieters progress to the ‘live it’ phase, which is followed over the long term for healthy weight management.

The authors say that the key to weight loss is to eliminate five bad habits, adopt five good habits and, over the longer term, take on five bonus habits.

Adopt Five Good Habits:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast, but don’t eat too much.
  • Eat at least 3 to 4 servings of vegetables and fruits a day.
  • Eat whole grains, such as whole-grain bread.
  • Eat healthy fats, such as olive oil and nuts.
  • Walk or exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

Eliminate Five Bad Habits:

  • Don’t watch TV while eating, and spend no more time watching TV than you do exercising.
  • Eat no sugar except what is naturally found in fruit.
  • Eat no snacks except vegetables and fruits.
  • Limit the amount of meat and low-fat dairy that you eat.
  • Eat no restaurant food unless it fits in the diet program.

Add five bonus habits:

  • Keep records of what you eat.
  • Keep records of your physical activity.
  • Walk or exercise at least 60 minutes a day.
  • Eat mostly fresh foods and healthy frozen or canned foods.
  • Write down your daily goals.

Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet


The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet is a program to help diabetics safely lose weight to improve and control their blood sugar. It was designed for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

Losing weight can help you:

  • Prevent yourself from ever getting diabetes.
  • Reduce your need for diabetes medications.
  • Prevent complications associated with diabetes including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, kidney disease and eye damage.

Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet Basics

This program differs from the general Mayo Clinic Diet because it includes information and advice specific to those with diabetes.

The basic principles are the same. However, on this plan you will not only lose weight but also learn how to safely improve your blood sugar.

Phase 1: Lose It!

Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet begins with a two-week quick start diet. This is designed to jump-start your weight loss and release 6 to 10 pounds in a safe and healthy way.

Within the first few days after starting your diet you should begin to see a decrease in your blood sugar levels.

You will also start to learn how long-term changes in diet will help you better manage your diabetes.

Phase 2: Live It!

Following this you continue to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week until you reach your goal weight.

You will then maintain that weight for the rest of your life. That is why there is no specific length for this phase.

If you want to boost your weight loss again at any time you can repeat the first phase.

Recommended Foods

Those following this diet can expect to eat the following foods:

Oatmeal, whole-grain bread, brown rice, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, eggs, tuna, halibut, salmon, peanut butter, almonds, legumes, bananas, berries, pineapple, grapes, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach, avocado, olive oil, cinnamon.

Sample Meal Plan

A sample meal might include:

  • Pancakes with syrup and strawberries
  • Dilled Pasta Salad with Spring Vegetables
  • Rosemary Lemon Chicken
  • Fresh Apricots

Here’s a 3 day sample meal plan for the non-diabetic version.

Day 1Day 2 Day 3
1 cup nonfat, skim milk
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 1/4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 pancakes, from mix (4” diameter)
1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp margarine
1 cup nonfat, skim milk
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup honeydew melon
Poached Egg with toast and orange juice
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tsp margarine
1 cup orange juice, calcium-fortified
Southwestern Salad
1/2 whole-wheat, approximately 6” (2 oz.) pita bread
1 cup nonfat, skim milk
Dilled Pasta Salad with Spring Vegetables
1 small apple
1 cup nonfat, skim milk
Tuna Salad Pita
1 bell pepper
1 small apple
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
1 slice whole wheat bread
5 baby carrots
1 cup nonfat, skim milk
1 cup cantaloupe
Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Sweet Green Beans and Brown Rice with Green Onions
1 cup nonfat, skim milk
6 tomato slices
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup cantaloupe
Tomato-Basil Pita Pizza with salad and cantaloupe
2 cups lettuce, romaine or lettuce of choice
1 cup chopped or sliced cucumber
2 Tbsp. dressing, Italian low fat
1 cup cantaloupe
1 cup nonfat, skim milk
7 whole almonds
1 cup red or green grapes
1 small pear
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
Vegetable juice
1 medium banana
1/2 cup canned vegetable juice
6 Whole Wheat crackers

Look for other high protein meal ideas here.

Exercise Recommendations

Physical activity is an important component of The Official Mayo Clinic Diet and any way that you can increase your daily activity level is encouraged such as cleaning the house, shopping, and gardening.

This will help to increase your calorie expenditure and burn fat. However, structured exercise such as walking, cycling and swimming are also regarded as important with 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous exercise recommended on most days of the week.

Brisk walking and gardening that involves constant motion can be substituted for aerobic exercise so long as they increase your heart and breathing rate.

Costs and Expenses

The Mayo Clinic Diet retails for $25.99. Also available is the Mayo Clinic Diet Journal for an additional $9.99.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet retails at $25.99.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.


  • Book comes with a money-back guarantee.
  • Educates dieters about portion control.
  • Rapid weight loss in the first phase can boost dieter’s motivation.
  • Encourages exercise.
  • Based on scientific research.
  • Additional resources are available on the Mayo Clinic website.


  • Does not allow snacking except vegetables and fruits.
  • May be difficult to eat out and stick with the program.
  • May take some time for dieters to learn to judge serving sizes.


The Official Mayo Clinic Plan altogether appears to be comprehensive and effective in its goals. It should appeal to many looking for a long-term lifestyle in which a healthy weight can be achieved and maintained without causing undue stress – in fact, it promotes a healthier life overall.

The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet helps at-risk people prevent and manage diabetes by losing weight quickly and safely.

It then supports maintenance of an ideal body weight while also ensuring blood sugar levels are kept under control.

Mayo Clinic Plan
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 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
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  • Shiela

    The diet that most people are saying they have started – or will be starting – has nothing to do with the new Mayo Clinic diet. The old grapefruit and protein diet was not even associated with the Mayo Clinic – wasn’t endorsed by them either. How did this entire board get to the point where the subject isn’t even about what was reviewed?

  • Heba

    Hi, I purchased the book and I am really looking forward to start the diet, I just need more meal plans and recipes!
    Any ideas?

  • jessica adams

    I desperately need to lose weight.
    Can you please forward me the mayo clinic diet .

  • Lilly Klunder

    I bought the diet book, the journal & two of the cook books. Stared using it right away. I’m disabled and can only walk for exercise so mine been slow. How ever my husband in 4 months lost 31 lbs. My husband was 308 lbs. He has tried every diet over the last 6 years he might loss a couple pound ds then get tired 8f it and quit. With this it started out so different that made it so much easier. I have learned to cook differently and we actually like it. Wasn’t sure we would. Don’t hesitate to buy the book best price I found was amazon. We only got one journal to start and ended up ordering another one. They really help you see what you are doing wrong. A regular tablet won’t give you all the info it does that also helps. The best diet ever. Should be a relearning to cook and eat book not diet.

  • norman

    Hi will you send me the old mayo clinic diet plan.

    by Alison Stanton on 1/9/12

    There is no old mayo clinic diet. What is being refered to is a fad diet that was not endorsed by the mayo clinic. It is not a healthy diet. It is pretty much just like the atkins diet was and just a fake diet that will leave you nutritionally hampered and gaining the weight back when you stop.

    • Deb

      This diet is not that unhealthy. Me and my husband have been on it from time to time just to get back on track and I have lost 43 lbs on it over a few years. You do not feel deprived and also there are some foods that I know I must avoid or the weight will go back on. Exercise, exercise, exercise and if nothing else you get STRONGER!!!

  • cyndy currie

    what can you drink istead of grapfruit juice as it causes me heartburn

  • Alison Stanton

    Hi will you send me the old mayo clinic diet plan.

  • Amber

    I love the other “Mayo Clinic Diet” that contains the eggs,bacon, salad, grapefruit, and etc.. IT REALLY WORKS!!

    • Queen

      Do you have that diet? That’s the one I’m looking for, can you send it to me ? Thanks

    • Anolise

      I also love that diet and it does work while it tastes good too.

  • Gladys

    I saw the show on PBS – it makes so much sense.


    HI ERICA ,


  • katherine creamer

    i need some help as my doctor said my triglyceides are up and he wanted me to start a new food program.

  • A.H. Al Omar

    Should tell what to avoid. Otherwise it is great.

  • ivan

    I had the old diet and cant find it is there any way you could email it to me.
    i am gonna try to use this on line until i hear from you. i need to loose 25# and am not doing a good job tell me what i can eat that would kill a sweet tooth.

  • marianne gach

    I licke to your diet for one week.

  • pam

    can you eat chicken on this diet???? and pork i need to know lose about 6lbs and haven’t loss any more been eatting chicken and pork

  • Sebass

    Day 1 of the diet feeling good about 2 hit the gym wish me luck

  • Shauntia McLeod

    Im renewaling my wedding vows in 5 months and really need to lose some weight. Ive tried everything and was told to try out the mayo diet. I have nothing to loose and in it to win it. So wish me luck.

  • Hhelen Lewinski

    I cannot eat grapefruit, What can I substitute?

  • Grandma Barb

    I have tried the grapefruit diet, and to my surprise I lost 70 pounds. Used the tread mill everyday. Felt full of energy. Even cut back on using my inhalers.

  • Gerri

    I understand that the diet says salad for lunch but what can i put on the salad? and if peas and corn are starches them what’s a veggie?

  • antionette

    today is jan/17/2011 i am starting the diet at 339lbs and i am trying to lose a 100lbs i am praying that i can stick to it ,i have tried many diets and cant stick to them.

  • Trish

    I can’t eat grapefruit with my blood pressure meds. Any suggestions for a substitute?

  • stephanie

    I can’t eat eggs.. Any suggestions to make this work? I fail at diets every year. Most diet plans start the day with eggs or cereal. I tend to eat too much cereal and get tired of it quick… I have tried egg substitutes and ended up in the hospital… Anything else I can eat or substitute?

  • keith

    I’m a truck driver wanting to loose some weight. I am 6′ and weigh 315 lbs right now. I am active on a daily basis and eat as healthy as possible with no resaults… considering the mayo clinic diet that ruben posted and am wondering if eating the same breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday will still work? I have limited access out here on the road to be able to mix up lunches and dinners. Thanks for the help, Keith

  • stema71

    ted, thanks for your comment.
    I have stopped using salt and it makes a huge difference, I have tried this diet and have been using spices-except salt- such as paprika, curry, cinnamon, fenugreek and nutmeg (not all of them at the same time of course). I have also used fresh basil, parsley, mint, onions (red), plenty of garlic -I am a smoker and it supposedly acts as a boost to the system against cancer as well as heart disease- and plenty of lemon and at times some vinegar.
    Since I have started , not just this diet (September the 1st I have lost 16 kilos/35 pounds) and it shows. I am starting again this particular diet and I am going to try it with less spices etc, because I only lost 1 and a half kilo a week (about 3 pounds) when I did it last time, and my goal is to lose a minimum of 2 kilos per week.
    Anyway, for anyone thinking of doing this diet I would recommend it, especially if you are exercising because it has plenty of protein.
    My only comment is that after a few weeks, you might want to do a different diet because this doesn’t have any olive oil which is something the body needs.
    Good luck to everyone trying to lose weight,
    eat less, exercise and you’ll see the difference however small or huge.

  • stema71

    Hi there Reuben, Could you please post if you know ,
    what about salt,
    or spices,
    or onions & garlic
    and lemon or vinegar with salads & vegetables
    with the diet you’ve just posted?
    Thanks and all the best with your dieting and your life :)

    • ted

      @ Stema71, from what I understand most spices and garlic would be fine as they are for the most part calorie free. Salt should be limited as it causes water retention.

  • Reuben ראובן

    OOPS! I’ve made a spelling error. I meant that “I tried SEVERAL diets and managed to LOOSE 40 Kilograms!”
    LOL sorry for my silly mistake!

  • Reuben ראובן

    I tried SEVERAL diets and managed to lost 40 Kilograms!!
    I assure you – with enough willpower you can move mountains. Anyone can… the Mayo Clinic Diet is just one of a few diets, and I recommend this because its really safe and healthy. if you use it the proper way. My father got this one from his friend, and he went on this diet several times, and lost a great amount of weight.
    Here’s the diet. Feel free to print it out :)


    * No alcoholic beverages
    * Abstain from eating anything NOT included in this diet and be sure to eat what is assign rather that do without
    * No eating between meals
    * Vegetables without butter – Salads without oil
    * Lean meat
    * Coffee or tea… clear
    Weight should drop 20 LBS in two (2) weeks. In any event not less than 12 LBS. The basis of the diet is chemical. Its maintenance of of normal energy while reducing makes it possible for all workers, as well as non-workers, to embark on it.
    Quantities are less important, EXCEPT where indicated.
    Grapefruit (not canned), 1 or 2 eggs, coffee or tea.
    LUNCH: Fruit salad (all or any fruit). Eat as much as desired
    DINNER: Steak, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, cucumber, coffee
    LUNCH: Cold chicken, tomatoes, grapefruit
    DINNER: 2 eggs, combination salad, 1 piece of dry toast, grapefruit, coffee
    LUNCH: Skim milk, cheese, tomatoes, coffee
    DINNER: 2 lamb chops, celery, cucumber, coffee
    LUNCH: Fruit salad (all or any fruit). Eat as much as desired.
    DINNER: Steak, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, cucumber, coffee
    LUNCH: Eggs, spinach, coffee
    DINNER: Fish (boiled), salad, 1 piece of dry toast, grapefruit
    LUNCH: Skim milk, cheese, spinach, coffee
    DINNER: Plenty of steak (grilled), celery, cucumber, tomatoes, coffee
    LUNCH: Fruit salad (all or any fruit). Eat as much as desired
    DINNER: Chicken, tomatoes, raw carrots, cooked cabbage, grapefruit, coffee


    And to LORENE, don’t give up! Read this self-esteem poem and realize that you’re also worth it :)

    * Little Things in Life *

    Too often we don’t realize
    what we have until it is gone;
    Too often we wait too late to say
    “I’m sorry – I was wrong”

    Sometimes it seems we hurt the ones
    we hold dearest to our hearts;
    And we allow foolish things
    to tear our lives apart

    Far too many times we let
    unimportant things into our minds;
    And then it’s usually too late
    to see what made us blind

    So be sure that you let people know
    how much they mean to you;
    Take that time to say the words
    before your time is through

    Be sure that you appreciate
    everything you’ve got
    And be thankful for the little things
    in life that mean a lot

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