What is the New Mayo Clinic Diet? How it works and what to eat

What is the New Mayo Clinic Diet? How it works and what to eat

mayo clinic diet

There’s no shortage of diet plans out there.

There’s the grapefruit diet, the military diet, the raw food diet and countless other weight-loss fads and gimmicks.

But the Mayo Clinic Diet, first developed after World War II by experts at the renowned Minnesota-based medical center, has consistently been ranked one of the best, healthiest and most effective diets ever.

And now, the New Mayo Clinic Diet boasts a wide range of meal plans based on your dietary preferences and your lifestyle — plus some online tools designed to help dieters succeed.

Here’s the skinny on the New Mayo Clinic Diet and how to get started.

What is the Mayo Clinic Diet?

The Mayo Clinic Diet was first published as a book in 1949, authored by a Mayo Clinic team of doctors and weight-loss experts.

One of the most popular and effective features of the diet has been the two-stage program known as Lose It and Live It.

During the Lose It phase, dieters who stick to the plan for the first two weeks can shed between 6 and 10 pounds, according to the Mayo Clinic Diet website.

Like other diets, the Mayo Clinic Diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables.

Next, in the Live It phase, people learn how to dine out, travel and manage everyday stress while sticking to their newly acquired health habits for continued weight loss and other benefits.

Over the diet’s 74-year lifespan, it has gone through several updates, based on new medical studies and insights into diet, nutrition and weight loss.

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“As new research comes out, as new tools are available, things should change,” Dr. Donald D. Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, told Healio.

“But they should do so in an evolutionary manner, not a revolutionary manner, which is why we are very focused on people’s habits at this time,” Hensrud added.

New Mayo Clinic Diet

The latest updates to the popular diet plan — which is consistently ranked one of the world’s best, by US News & World Report and other diet lists — include new interactive features to help dieters stay on track.

The New Mayo Clinic Diet offers a new mobile app with tools to help people maintain healthy habits, plus meal plans with new recipes that are fast and easy to prepare.

Also new is the “habit optimizer,” which encourages dieters to find ways to substitute old, unhealthy habits for new, health-focused ones, such as switching from plain white bread to healthier whole-grain bread.

The New Mayo Clinic Diet boasts online interactive features.
Mayo Clinic

Because these new diet features are adaptable to individual food preferences and lifestyles, the New Mayo Clinic Diet shows users how to incorporate healthy keto, high-protein, vegetarian and Mediterranean diet foods into their meals.

“We’ve taken those plans that many people follow, modified them according to the Mayo Clinic Diet and made them healthier,” Hensrud said.

“We also have a new digital wellness platform that includes tools where people can track their progress, lock their meals, record their meals, keep track of their exercise and their body weights and measurements,” he added.

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In addition to the Lose It and Live It phases of the diet, there’s now a third Love It phase.

After six months on the program, dieters spend five days logging into the app and tracking their eating habits, as a means of making the diet a lifetime way of eating.

Mayo Clinic Diet reviews

Medical professionals and dieters alike have consistently chosen the Mayo Clinic Diet over other diets for weight loss and additional health benefits.

The diet is tied for the No. 3 slot among US News’ Best Weight-Loss Diets, and is No. 5 among US News’ Easiest Diets to Follow.

The New Mayo Clinic Diet includes online recipes and meal suggestions.
Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic Diet helped Becky Hubbard lose 43 pounds and 28 inches on her waist in just six months. “It doesn’t feel restrictive at all to me,” Hubbard told The Post in 2022. “I like that freedom.”

“The psychological aspects of weight management are tremendous and underappreciated,” Hensrud said. “People should not be beating themselves up over something that’s very, very challenging.”

Despite its high rankings, some online reviewers claim that the initial two-week Lose It phase might be too restrictive for some dieters — there are numerous rules to follow and the program’s cost might be prohibitive.

How to start on the Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic Diet is a membership-based program — it costs $19.99 a month for 12 months — that uses a five-level food pyramid to guide people through the diet plan.

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Fruits, vegetables and physical activity make up the base of the pyramid, and each level upward gets smaller, representing less of what you’re eating. Carbs comprise the next layer, followed by protein, fats and finally, occasional sweet treats like candy.

Dieters can also choose to follow the Mayo Clinic Diet by simply reading the book, without any support, and the Mayo Clinic website has some free tools and weight loss ideas. There’s also a private Facebook group, The New Mayo Clinic Diet Member Community. 

Subscribers can get personalized meal plans, fitness plans, and recipes; and access food-tracking tools to stick to new lifestyle habits. There are also virtual group video sessions with doctors that users can join.

These innovative support options allow followers of the New Mayo Clinic Diet to approach their individual weight loss goals in a more “positive manner,” Hensrud said.

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