The Mayo Diet was created based on clinical trials and research done by the Mayo Clinic. (See first reference). It advocates lifestyle changes and eating nutritional food for weight loss and general health. Choose your food from the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid. If you are active, stick to the pyramid's recommended servings and use portion control; the plan promises one to two pounds of weight loss per week.
The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid
The Mayo diet intends to help you find and maintain your healthy weight. Rather than provide a list of approved foods, the plan offers guidelines. For example, fruits and vegetables are the foundation of the pyramid. Eat a minimum of three fruits and four vegetables daily. After meeting the minimum, the diet allows as many servings of vegetables as you want throughout the day. All vegetables and fruits are acceptable. The goal is to get you to eat many high-volume, low-calorie foods throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Move your way up the pyramid and consume four to eight servings of carbohydrates on a daily basis. The plan encourages you to eat whole grains, so incorporate some of the following into your diet: brown rice, whole wheat couscous, quinoa, bulgur and whole wheat pasta. Moving up the pyramid, the plan tells you to consume three to seven servings of protein and dairy daily. Choose lean meats, fish, beans, low-fat yogurt, skim milk and low-fat cheese. The plan urges avoiding fatty meats. Incorporate three to five servings of unsaturated fat into your meals throughout the day. Examples include olive oil, canola oil and nuts. While on the plan, you can consume up to 75 calories of sweets per day. Just be careful with portion control. Seventy-five calories is equivalent to about half a candy bar.
When to Eat
The plan does not require that you eat at particular times; it instructs you to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. The plan does not encourage severe restriction or waiting until you are extremely hungry to eat. The Mayo Clinic's sample menu suggests breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. Experiment to learn what combination of snacks and meals accommodate your hunger and your lifestyle. Before beginning any new diet plan, consult your doctor to determine what is best for you.