'Mayo Clinic diet': Does it exist?

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'Mayo Clinic diet': Does it exist?

Question

Can you send me the latest version of the Mayo Clinic diet?

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Answer

Each year, Mayo Clinic gets deluged with phone calls inquiring about the so-called Mayo Clinic Diet, versions of which have popped up across the country and around the world for decades. Various versions push grapefruit or eggs or meat and promise to peel off pounds magically. The only problem is that none of these diets is associated with or has been endorsed by Mayo Clinic.

No one knows the origin of the diet myth, but Mayo dietitians say it's been around since the 1940s. Over the years, the supposed Mayo Clinic Diet has emerged in many forms, but all share a common characteristic: They are "one-size-fits-all" diets. They also limit the variety of foods and promise dramatic weight loss. These are sure signs of a hoax.

If anything comes close to a "real" Mayo Clinic Diet, it would be the healthy-eating principles described in the Mayo Clinic book, Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody (2005, Mayo Clinic Health Information). This book presents a practical, no-gimmicks program to help readers adopt a lifestyle that allows them to achieve and maintain a healthy weight for life. The program is based on the principles of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid, which at its base allows unlimited fruits and vegetables, and at its core has enjoyable physical activity. More than a diet, it's a lifestyle.

The wide variety of food choices advocated in the book gives you a nutrient-rich diet that also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. With an emphasis on foods that fill you up without loading you down, you shouldn't feel hungry.

Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody includes a 12-week program designed to help readers lose and keep off 12 to 24 pounds. It's the start of a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Included are menus, shopping lists, dietitians tips, strategies for success, and recipes. The book also includes an action guide to overcoming barriers to weight loss, and what you need to know about finding your healthy weight, the fundamentals of healthy eating, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.

If you want the "real" Mayo Clinic Diet, check out Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody.

Last Updated: 02/28/2005
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