Mayo Clinic Diet Review

What Is Mayo Clinic Diet?

The Mayo Clinic Diet came to life in 2010, and is based off of research and clinical experience from the Mayo Clinic staff. It comes in the form of a book or an online weekly subscription that can be purchased. The program is essentially a weight loss and diet program created by experts to help one maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle long term. They use the healthy weight pyramid as a guide for what you can and cannot eat. This program aims to teach the individual how to choose healthy food options, correct portions, and develop a consistent exercise routine.

This diet does is not a “one size fits all,” as it can be tailored to each person’s individual needs. This diet has been formulated by medical professionals, and truly is geared toward getting people back on the right track that will service their long-term health.* When looking into the actual subscription portion of Mayo Clinic Diet, it seems rather expensive to get charged for information that is readily available on the Internet in today’s society.*

Mayo Clinic Diet Subscription Program

The program claims to provide you with healthy habit tips, recipes, and motivational messages to move you toward losing weight weekly.* Within the recipes you will receive personalized meal plans, hundreds of healthy recipes, and simple portion control guides. Expanding on what you receive within the healthy habits section, you will gain access to the Mayo Clinic mobile app, a Weight Tracker, A Healthy Habits Tracker, and a Food and Fitness Journal. With the personalized fitness routines, you will get access to personalized workouts, walking and running guides, as well as fitness tips for all levels.

There are two main parts to the program:

  1. Lose It: This is essentially a two-week section of the program that aids in starting the weight loss journey. You learn how to adopt healthy habits into your diet, and get rid of unhealthy habits in your diet to kick-start your long-term success. Within this program, they require at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
  2. Live It: This phase is a lifelong approach to health and lifestyle commitments. In this section you are educated on choosing healthy foods, portions, and meal planning. On top of this information, you are taught how to stick with your new healthy habits, and are supported along the way. During this phase you will also learn to set a goal weight, and how to maintain healthy eating choices.

-Focus on REAL foods like fruits and vegetables: Focusing on fruits and vegetables in large quantities make up large portions of the meals. Other choices such as select grains; legumes and fish in moderation and portion make up the rest of the table.

-Exercise: This is part of the pyramid, because they believe at the Mayo Clinic that daily exercise is vital to a long-term healthy lifestyle. Thirty minutes is the recommended amount, but many people will have to work up to this number.

Mayo Clinic Diet Pros

  • Not a quick fix diet, that will leave you regaining weight, and frustrated.
  • Established by medical professionals at the world famous Mayo Clinic.
  • Provides lifelong tools to individuals who need to change their lifestyles long term with an easy to follow guide.

Mayo Clinic Diet Cons

  • The online program itself charges you $52.00 per quarter instead of their $4.00 marketed price per month.
  • The online program does not reinvent the wheel, and provides common ways to lose weight.
  • Some of the tools provided to you are unnecessary, and can be found online for free.

Mayo Clinic Diet Sample Menu:

Take a look at a typical 1,200-calorie a day menu:

Breakfast: A simple fruit and yogurt parfait. Mix one cup of low-fat yogurt with a small blend of fresh fruit.

Lunch: One serving of tuna and pasta salad (combine 1 can water-packed tuna, 4 cups cooked shell pasta, 2 cups diced carrots and zucchini, and 4 tablespoons low-calorie mayonnaise — serves 4); 1 small orange. Or you can substitute chicken for tuna in the same amount.

Snack: A small piece of fruit

Dinner: Two oz. of broiled beef tenderloin, 2/3 cup of steamed vegetables, 3 baby potatoes with one teaspoon of butter, Salad made with 2 cups butter head lettuce or leaf lettuce, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons fat-free salad dressing.

Mayo Clinic Diet Results

This program has seen success from thousands of people. With the easy to follow guides to losing healthy weight, and learning how to live a consistent lifestyle, this program is not a doubtable option. Because it is so concise, and to the point it is rather easy to follow for someone just beginning, which is reassuring! While this all sounds great, the subscription program seems efficient and convenient, but it may be the opposite, with the recurring charge for information that may be readily available for free on the Internet.

Mayo Clinic Diet Reviews

Linda West Eckhardt* said, “Cliche ridden, poorly organized, impossible to use in real life. Recipes make 8 servings. How many times do you see 8 member households on a diet? Calls for well-known processed foods disproven for health and wellness: egg beaters, nonfat milk, margarine. How far behind can Mayo be? The latest science shows butter to be a necessary and healthy part of a diet.Much needed for brain health.” The book has no central premise on organizing thoughts for the reader, as there are many different chapters written by different authors who sometimes contradicted each other.

JB* said, “I supposed it depends on where you are in your education process about healthy vs unhealthy eating habits and food choices, but for me, this book was a total waste of money. I understand that not everyone already has the information that I already have, but what bothers me about the marketing of this book, is that you can't tell what you are or are not getting.” If they had been more clear on the level of basic information that the book was full of that he would not have bought it.

Mark Wilsonwood * said, “Some reviewers give this book 5 stars, others give it 1. So how do you know whom to believe? I think I can help you. This book is NOT for you if: You are looking for a magic weight loss plan, or a new theory of weight control You are looking for a lot of recipesThis book MIGHT be for you if: You subscribe to the old, tried-and-true formula for weight loss (eat fewer calories, exercise more), but need to know the details and need some help in getting, and staying, motivated.” Overall, the book is based on a version of the familiar food pyramid and a basic breakdown of the diet is to eat a lot of fruits and veggies. Eat a limited amount of carbs, proteins, and dairy+fats. Exercise 30 minutes per day.

To see the reviews click here.

Mayo Clinic Diet Alternatives

Based on historical data from Google searches, people considering the Mayo Clinic Diet also search for the following 6 diets. I’ll put each to the test, head-to-head using my own experiences, my extensive research and previous reviews:

  1. DASH
  2. Weight Watchers
  3. Mediterranean Diet
  4. South Beach Diet
  5. Paleo Diet
  6. Trim Down Club (Recommended)

Let me say at the outset, I gave most of these diets I researched and reviewed a thumbs-up, or in the case of a couple, a ‘It Depends,’ which is my default bottom line when I feel the diet may be effective or safe for some.

Mayo Clinic Diet vs DASH Diet

In a Mayo Clinic Diet vs. DASH Diet, the odds are pretty evenly split. The Mayo Clinic Diet and the DASH Diet, the former developed by the nation’s perhaps most well-known medical center and the latter developed in part by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), both are rock solid on the nutrition front, though DASH may seek out points here over Mayo Clinic. Each mandates dieters avoid, or preferably eliminate altogether, overly processed foods, sugar- and calorie-laden sweets and snacks, and of course all fast and junk foods, and in the case of DASH, red meats, too. Mayo shoots for low-energy dense foods, meaning foods you can eat a lot of without lots of calories, like vegetables. The Mayo food pyramid includes mostly whole grains, fruits, and veggies. It teaches you good eating habits with it's book and recipes. On the other hadn, although DASH includes essentially the same foods, you’re also to cut way back on the salt and skip the steaks and burgers. Both of these diets are about changing the way you eat for life to prevent heart disease and diabetes, for example, or help to keep those diseases in check if you already have one or the other. As a result, weight loss is really a bonus since neither was designed to be necessarily a “weight loss plan”; rather it’s a welcome result when you drop pounds. Since we are focused on weight loss, how do they compare? Interestingly, they are ranked as tied in the weight loss category (#12) by US News & World Report's Best Diets. And both are close when it comes to short term loss, but I’m always interested in the long term loss; can you keep the weight off for good? In this category, DASH comes out ahead, but just by a nose. So try the DASH Diet over Mayo Clinic in this case.

Mayo Clinic Diet vs Weight Wathers

Mayo Clinic vs Weight Watchers. This one is a little bit easier for me to decide on and here’s why: I have done Weight Watchers before. Not once, not twice, but three times. Each time I was successful. Until I stopped doing it and like the sun also returns every morning, so too did those pounds (that I hoped I’d lost forever) return and when they did, stayed close to home. Too close. And that was my problem with Weight Watchers. But apparently that’s not the case with many others who have successfully kept the weight off. The one thing many will agree on is that Weight Watchers is also about selling it's products to it's dieters. And those food products, for the most part, are processed, some dry packaged and some frozen. There may not be a Weight Watchers aficionado out there who has not eaten Weight Watchers snack cakes, candies, and bars, and the issue, besides the ingredients in processed foods (check any WW food label and you’ll see all the sugar, fructose, corn syrup and refined this-and-that) is that it’s a trick really; it’s about portion control. A frozen chicken and rice entree is made with white rice (not a whole grain) and rubbery chicken (akin to what the inside of a nugget resembles) and a lots of carrots (all frozen entrees are packed with carrots; I know because I have tried every one of them before I came to my senses about two years ago.) Sucralose in its pasta? How about modified corn starch, dextrose, and more sugar? Check the labels of all their packaged foods and you’ll see for yourself: none of this is what we should be eating. Cook whole fresh foods like whole grains, legumes, lots of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats just as the battle winner the Mayo Clinic Diet suggests. Still, Weight Watchers, if you don’t waste your money on all its crappy packaged, processed foods, is still one of the best and most popular diets on the planet and you will lose weight on it.

Mayo Clinic Diet vs Mediterranean Diet

The Mayo Clinic Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet. Now this should be interesting. What I love, as do nations of people, about the Mediterranean Diet is not just that it's core principles are ancient and the peoples of the Mediterranean are among the most healthy in the world (proof, I’d say of its efficacy) based on their diet of whole grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, fish, fruit, some dairy and olive oil as the go-to fat but this: you can eat grains! While I know that severely restricting carbs will lead to quick weight loss (since the body has to burn fat for fuel) it is not sustainable. Period. At least not for most of the world. Just make sure the grains are whole, meaning not overly processed and made from refined white flours which are nutritionally incomplete and can help us stay fat. Now the Mayo Clinic Diet agrees in principle here and its foods are basically the same save for the NILB-created DASH Diet, the Mediterranean Diet is just the healthiest way to eat and in terms of weight loss, if you stick to it for life, you have a better chance at long-term weight loss. So it’s the Mediterranean Diet on top.

Mayo Clinic Diet vs South Beach Diet

In the South Beach Diet vs. Mayo Clinic Diet there’s barely a contest. While I agree that restricting or eliminating bad-for-you carbs is a great way to eat, as I said with Weight Watchers, purchasing and eating pre-packaged meals is a no-way. I’m not saying that the South Beach Diet mandates you purchase it's meals (well at least it’s not restricting you to its packaged foods for now, as I’ll explain in a moment). It offers plenty of good advice on how to avoid the bad carbs that help keep us chubby. One problem though is the first phase of the South Beach Diet, like Atkins for example, is too extreme; no carbs at all. This restriction that puts the body into ketosis and health professionals are not always fans, but otherwise science does like the idea of getting carbs from vegetables and some whole grains. Now, here’s the rub: South Beach Diet was recently purchased by pre-packaged diet guru Nutrisystem so I’m thinking South Beach is heading in that direction. And that wouldn't be good for people looking to limit processed, packaged foods. Just sayin'. So it’s the Mayo Clinic Diet as champion.

Mayo Clinic Diet vs Paleo Diet

Again, hardly a matchup: the Mayo Clinic Diet vs. Paleo Diet, which I am here to say is a fad diet. Sorry but that’s my feeling. It hopes to mimic (with some tweaking for convenience sake and, well, it cheats, like with alcohol) the nutritional diet of our prehistoric ancestors; people who lived in caves and were primarily hunter-gatherers, living off of roots and plant-based foods they foraged and meat from animals they either hunted or scavenged. No grains of any kind, no legumes and no dairy. The diet wants us to go back pre-agriculture and so is in many ways the antithesis of the aforementioned Mediterranean Diet. The idea is with no carbs, we burn only fat. And the fat comes mostly from meat. Obviously the Mayo Clinic Diet finds that a load of nonsense given it promotes heart-healthy whole grains and legumes. No-brainer: The Mayo Clinic Diet in a first-round knock-down.

Mayo Clinic Diet vs Trim Down Club

So in the final analysis, after looking at all these diets vs. the Mayo Clinic Diet, and the Trim Down Club vs. the Mayo Clinic Diet, for me, it’s the Trim Down Club. Why? Well first, the foods it recommends you eat are, at the heart, the same foods you are supposed to eat on the Mayo Clinic Diet, the DASH Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet; lots and lots of healthy nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits, heart-healthy whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. And, all the above diets stress exercise as part of the new way you’ll eat. So too does the Trim Down Club. I didn't mention it in this review but have previously, that one of the things I always thought made Weight Watchers so successful (54-years-old and still as popular as ever) is the camaraderie, the support, the we’re-in-this-together part of the diet. Back in the day it was in a church basement or community center where we weighed-in and a Weight Watcher’s leader or coach cheered us on. There fellow Weight Watchers shared with each other and supported each other. What the Trim Down Club gets totally 100-percent right is the idea that we’re all in the same boat and we should rely on each other for support and sharing; be it recipes or workout routines, great foods we’ve discovered or, in the case of support, just to vent or seek out a little motivation. The Trim Down Club is all about healthy eating, no junk food, and a community of like-minded folks akin to those I used to meet in that church basement on Saturday mornings, but now, virtual. Anytime, anywhere, you can meet up with other Club members which is really convenient and it’s super cheap to join. So it’s the Trim Down Club for me. And you.

Is Mayo Clinic Diet Worth to Try?

Overall this diet program has seen success from a majority of the users. As with anything, people who are willing to take the time to incorporate what the program is teaching will see success. With its subscription people have said it is easy to follow, and that it promotes weight loss the healthy way. They Mayo Clinic is one of the world’s most prestigious hospitals, and the fact that this program was written by its specialists speaks volumes. The subscription program itself, at the end of the day, may not be a good investment long term, as there are many free resources readily available to people on the Internet without the hassle of being charged.*

Review Sources

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#1PS1000 ProgramReviewVisit
#2Trim Down ClubReviewVisit
#3Ketogenic DietReviewVisit
#4Weight WatchersReviewVisit

*Individual results will vary.