2019: New year, new you, right? How’s that going? Last year, 45% of Americans made “lose weight or get in shape” their New Year’s resolution. However, by February, 80% had failed. Are you in that 80%? If so, don’t despair. You can hit refresh and start your resolutions once more. If you haven’t heard of the Mayo Clinic Diet, it’s the perfect place to start on your goals.
What Is the Mayo Clinic Diet?
The Mayo Clinic Diet isn’t just some diet fad; it’s a weight-loss program for life. Developed by the Mayo Clinic, one of the top-ranked hospitals in the U.S. (and voted “The Best Hospital in the Nation” by U.S. News & World Report in its 2018-2019 rankings), the Mayo Clinic Diet strives to help you lose weight and keep it off.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “[t]he Mayo Clinic Diet is a long-term weight management program created by a team of weight-loss experts at Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic Diet is designed to help you reshape your lifestyle by adopting healthy new habits and breaking unhealthy old ones. The goal is to make simple, pleasurable changes that will result in a healthy weight that you can maintain for the rest of your life.”
Step 1: Lose It
The Mayo Clinic Diet is broken down into two parts: “Lose It” and “Live It.” The first part, “Lose It,” focuses on lifestyle. It teaches you five healthy habits you should incorporate into your life, five unhealthy habits you should break and five bonus health habits you should strive for.
In this phase, you’ll need to eat breakfast every morning (a mix of fruits and veggies, healthy fats and whole grains) and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. During this two week stage, you don’t need to worry about counting calories and you can have as many fruit and vegetable snacks as you want. You may lose up to 6 to 10 pounds.
Once the two week period is up, you’ll move on to part two: Live It.
Step Two: Live It
During the “Live It” phase of the Mayo Clinic Diet, you’ll focus on food and fitness. You’ll learn about menu planning, portion control, and optimal food choices. You’ll also learn about the benefits of physical fitness as well as more healthy habits to adopt. During this phase, you’ll likely continue to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.
The best part? No food group is forbidden! You don’t have to fully restrict anything in particular. You just have to learn to make healthy choices.More Info
So, now that you know that two phases, let’s look at a few more secrets that make the Mayo Clinic Diet less of a fad and more of a lifestyle.
Secret 1: Take the Stairs
The Mayo Clinic doesn’t just promote physical fitness for calorie-burning; fitness is for overall health and wellness. While a Barre class or Zumba class is great for burning calories and helping you reach your goal weight, did you know that the Mayo Clinic says that just thirty minutes of exercise a day can do the following?
- Boost energy
- Combat disease
- Improve mood
- Improve your sex life
- Promote better sleep
If you’re not ready for an in-studio fitness class, start small. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car in the farthest spot in the parking lot rather than the closest. Taking the escalator? Walk it, don’t just ride it.
Secret 2: No Screen-Time During Dinner
As much as we all love a good binge-watch, you should never do so while eating a meal. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating meals in front of the TV can cause you to gain weight. You’re distracted, so you aren’t monitoring how much you’re eating or paying attention to when your body tells you that you’re full.
The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding the TV, iPhones, iPads and any other type of tablet during mealtime too. This will help you focus on your food and avoid overeating.
Secret 3: Eat “Real Food”
“Real Food” is food that’s as close to its natural state as possible; think fresh pineapple rather than a fruit roll up. “Real food” includes meat, fish, vegetables, nuts and fruit and is healthier than processed foods as it has more nutrients and less fat, sugar, salt and calories. Processed foods include frozen meals, fast food, and more.
The Mayo Clinic Diet recommends cutting out as much processed food as you can and replacing it with “real food.” This doesn’t mean you can never eat at McDonald’s again. If just means that 9 times out of 10, make your own burger instead of going through the drive-through.
Secret 4: Start Cooking
If you cook your own meals, you’ll know exactly what’s in them. Generally, they’ll have less oil, butter, sugar and other fats and calories too. Not only can you control what’s in your food, but you’ll also have better portion control.
As Americans, we’re typically raised to “eat what’s on our plates” and “join the clean-plate club.” If you’re eating out and served a large portion, that clean-plate club membership can pack on the pounds!
Secret 5: Set Performance Goals
The Mayo Clinic suggests setting performance goals rather than “outcome goals.” While “outcome goals” focus on end results such as “I want to lose 45 pounds in six months,” performance goals focus on actions. Examples include “I will drink 8 glasses of water a day” or “I will walk for thirty minutes a day.”
Performance goals help you change your lifestyle, not just your eating habits, which is what the Mayo Clinic Diet is all about.Learn More About Mayo Clinic
If you’re looking to improve your health and lifestyle, give the Mayo Client Diet a try.