Your Quick Guide to the Mayo Clinic Diet

Follow the Legitimate Version to Stay Healthy

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Are you considering The Mayo Clinic Diet to lose weight? If so, you need to be careful. There are different versions of this diet plan available online and some of the weight loss advice is bogus. Before you start any plan to slim down, make sure you're getting expert advice that is both healthy and medically sound.

The (Fake) Mayo Diet

There is a Mayo Clinic Diet offered online that is not recommended or approved by the actual Mayo Clinic and is not considered to be nutritionally-sound by experts.

This fake version of the Mayo Clinic Diet has been around for about 30 years and was originally shared through junk mail, word-of-mouth, and bulletin boards. Now, thanks to the internet and e-mail, the diet has reached more people than ever.

The (fake) Mayo Clinic Diet directs you to eat three to seven day, high-protein and high-fat meals per day. There are several different versions of this plan floating around, each having different foods included in the plan. 

Almost all versions of this diet suggest you eat unlimited amounts of high-fat and high-cholesterol foods. All versions greatly limit the number of vegetables you can eat. The most unusual part of the plan is that you are required to eat a lot of grapefruit and eggs. The plan claims that eating grapefruit burns up fat.

The fake Mayo Clinic Diet promises you can lose up to 52 pounds in just a couple of months if you follow the plan perfectly. This statement should send off warning bells to any smart consumer. Weight loss at this rate is generally not possible and usually not safe. Real Mayo Clinic dieticians, nutritionists and media personnel have tried to inform the public that this diet is not, and never has been, affiliated with the medical organization.

The (Real) Mayo Clinic Diet

In 2006, The Mayo Clinic developed The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid that provides healthy eating recommendations, but it in no way resembles the diet plan that's been falsely using the clinic's name all these years. The organization also provides an online program for dieters who want a healthy approach to weight loss. There is also a Mayo Clinic Diet book available for purchase as well.

So what does real Mayo Clinic diet look like? If you want to lose weight on the plan, you can expect a slow, steady and reasonable approach to weight loss. Women consume 1,200 - 1,600 calories per day on the plan and men consume 1,400 - 1,800 per day. The diet promotes healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Dieters avoid added sugars, unhealthy fats, and habits that lead to overeating.

The Mayo Clinic Diet claims that you can lose 6-10 pounds during the first few weeks of the plan (the Lose It! phase) and 1-2 pounds per week in the weeks that follow (the Live It! phase). Expert evaluations of the diet have been positive and many nutritionists have promoted the diet as being healthy and nutritious.

How to Spot a Fad Diet

The (fake) Mayo Clinic Diet is a fad diet—one that promises quick results and isn't healthy or nutritious. But if you're like many dieters, you find it hard to distinguish the fakes from the real deals—especially when the fake diet uses a recognizable name like The Mayo Clinic.

As a general rule of thumb, any diet that promises quick and massive weight loss is likely to be a fake. If you're not sure about the health or safety of a weight loss program, check in with your doctor or ask a certified health coach or personal trainer or use this guide.

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