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 1 Day 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

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 online plan offers a free trial.

The Mayo Clinic Diet book 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 book 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.


  • Smith, A. M., Lopez-Jimenez, F., McMahon, M. M., Thomas, R. J., Wellik, M. A., Jensen, M. D., & Hensrud, D. D. (2005, April). Action on obesity: report of a mayo clinic national summit. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 527-532). Elsevier. link
  • Hensrud, D. D. (2001). Dietary Treatment and Long‐Term Weight Loss and Maintenance in Type 2 Diabetes. Obesity Research, 9(S11), 348S-353S. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: October 30, 2017. Disclaimer


  1. tarshiea skinner

    the mayo clinic diet really works if u stick with it and exercise.itsnot a quick fix its hard work but you can do it. i was 276 pouhds when i started 90 days ago. now im 232 im down 44 pounds i have 72 pounds to go to my goal and iknow ill make it to 160 pounds because it works.dont give up keep going and believe you deserve it.

  2. Getting Married in 6 Weeks

    I am 297lbs., a size 22/24, 30 years old and about 5’8″ and I’m getting married in 6 weeks…I eat healthy…NOW, but just haven’t been motivated to exercise. I joined a ZUMBA class yesterday to attend twice a week, and I have a wedding workout that I have no choice but to stick to it so the race to a better, healthier, happier me has already begun! PLUS, I have a WII that has been collecting dust since Christmas! My father bought my dress one size smaller and I promised myself that I would fit into it with NO ALTERATIONS, because it was perfect in my eyes the first time I saw it. I’ve done this diet before, lost approx. 20lbs and fell backwards about 5 years ago, but I want to glow on “our” wedding day, and we both want to be healthier so that when we have children, mommy and daddy can keep up with them! My fiance is approx. 300lbs as well and we are both going on this diet starting July 29th for 30 days until SHOWTIME and then we will take our lives back and do this thing FORREAL!! Wish us luck…I know we can do it…we want to spend a lifetime together and that starts today! Prayer makes things happen, send’em up and stay inspired everyone! We can all DO IT!

  3. Bea

    Well everyone out there just started the Mayo clinic diet today. Really need to lose weight. I wish everyone luck on losing. People we can do it…

  4. Angela

    I tried many diets including the mayo clinic (FAD)diet, most fad diets like this try to avoid starch all together but the pyramid is the most health way to loose weight. Most problems with diets are that most people don’t know portions and what is considered as a meat, dairy, fat, or starch …(fruit is easy). Did you know peas and corn are starch’s, and 2 tbs. peanut butter is one meat, or that cheese is considered a meat? One cup of raw veggies or 1/2 cup cooked veggies = one portion
    one 3oz pork chop = 3 portions of meat….each oz is a portion. So if you have 2eggs scrambled with i slice cheese and on bread with 1 slice deli ham and a glass of milk (2%) you already have used 4 meats, 2 starch, and 1 dairy on the pyramid scale… The trick to success is to plan each meal for the day and stick to it! Keep a log on how many of each portion you want to eat and stick to it! Exercise daily even if it is only short 5 minute walks (inside or out) and stick to it! Did you notice I said to STICK TO IT 3 time? Well good luck with all of you who are dieting! I am with you on this all the way! Knowledge is the key to success.

  5. Wynetta

    I weigh 275lbs and I am very concerned about my health since most people in my family are overweight and have died at young ages including my parents. My sons try and push me everyday to lose the weight, I join gyms and give up, I walk and give up. I want to try this diet. I am going on vacation in the beginning of July can u please help me by sending me the diet plan. Also do I need to work out daily and if so how many days and how long? PLEASE HELP ME!!

  6. Rob

    The sample diet you posted doesn’t really have anything to do with the food pyramid above it… Shouldn’t each meal include a 2-4 whole fruits and more veggies, since they are unlimited, and minimal amounts of everything else?

    You have PANCAKES for crying out loud, let alone pasta. The sample meals look more like unlimited grain based carbs, minimal fruits/veg. It’s going to give people diabetes!

    Sample meal should look more like-
    2 apples, 2 oranges, bowl of veggies[spinach, carrots, onions, peppers, cucumbers, etc..], a few nuts, and maybe 2-3 oz lean meat if you can stomach it.

  7. phyllis dudley

    i want to start the mayo clinic diet today but have
    so much fear of failure and dont know why..

  8. rita mayo

    this monday is my first day of the diet

  9. Charley

    I did the old mayo clinic diet 8 years ago and lost 23 lbs in 6 weeks and kept it off for about 7 years. after the very strict diet of only eggs, bacon,salad, meat or fish and veg’s also 4oz of grapefruit juice at each meal for 12 days on 2 days off and again for 12 days.After I lost the weight I started to introduce small amounts of crabs such as for my breakfast ate berries apposed to fruit stayed away from sweets and breads.It became a life style.I fell of the wagon about 2 yrs ago and gained 10lbs eating everything I could get my mouth on LOL… so I started the 12 day diet again. wish me luck!

  10. maie

    i am about to start the diet on monday i heard that you can drink whiskey on the diet is that true?

  11. lexi

    i started the diet yesterday i eat two egg & two bacon an 8% grapefruit x3 meals or juice lunch and dinner any meat and a veggie or salad my water and skim milk for snack can i have another snack other than bedtime

  12. Lorinda

    Any diet that includes healthy carbs, fruits and vegies will work if you stick to it and watch your portions(portion control is the key in any diet. Also how the foods are prepared is very important-staying away from fried foods also helps.

  13. Lorene

    Hello Erica everyday I come on this site to see if you have answered. Please Erica I pray god that you one day you will be in my email add. If someone know Erica tell her many people are inspired by her testimonials and her willpower to shed all that kgs. Please share with all the xxxxl sizes.