Is The Mayo Clinic Diet Effective?

When it comes to dieting, people do it for different reasons, from losing weight to adapting healthy eating habits and more. There is always an end goal aided by a specific diet plan that should be followed carefully to the end. You would want to know if a diet specifically delivers what it promises within a specified timeline. Mayo Clinic Diet is one of the most common diets, and just like any other diet, anyone would want to know if it is effective. How does it work? What does it entail, and is it effective? Read on to know if the Mayo Clinic Diet is effective. 

What is the Mayo Clinic Diet?

Before delving into the effectiveness of the diet, it is important to understand what it is. The Mayo Clinic Diet is a unique food pyramid that mainly focuses on whole grains, fruits, and veggies. It simply helps you to replace your bad eating habits and your healthy ones. While it is a weight loss diets, it is the nudge you need to exercise and learn about the different food quantities for your diet.

The food pyramid base is comprised of physical activities, fruits and vegetables. The following layer is made up of carbs, then proteins, and sweets being the last. It is important to note that the diet emphasizes on food portions and working around meals in the diet’s pyramid.

How it Works

On how the Mayo Clinic Diet works, it is more of a lifestyle and diet and less of a fad diet since it aims to help you adjust your eating behavior. In fact, in 2020, U.S. News ranked it second on its list for best diabetes diets and it also takes the fifth position for their Best Diets Overall. 

The diet is divided into two phases. The first phase is the “lose it” phase which is structured to help kickstart the weightloss process. Here, you would expect to lose about 6 to 10 pounds within a period of two weeks. The second phase is the “live it” phase that is ment to help maintain the healthy lifestyle you adopt at the begining of the diet. While you are expected to follow through the rules from the beginning of the diet, this phase allows for breaks in-between. 

The diet also has a focus on calories, where there are limitations for both women and men, 1,200-1,600 and 1,400-1,800 respectively. Depending on your calorie goals, the diet helps to determine your food portion and servings for every meal.

Just like any other diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet has its pros and cons as explained below.


Lifestyle Advice

The diet incorporates physical activity in its food pyramid to help improve on lifestyle. It recommends about 30-60 minutes of physical exercise every day and also advices against unhealthy habits. It focuses on the relationship between weigh loss, physical activity, and overall wellness.

Nutritious Foods

The nutrition standards and recommendations for Mayo Clinic Diet are nutritious and healthy. From the base of the pyramid to the top, the nutrition is solid and what’s more, it limits unhealthy eating habits for both weight loss and general health like sugar, processed foods, and salt. 

Potion Control vs Calorie Counting

Unlike most fad diets that encourage calorie counting, the Mayo Clinic Diet emphasizes more on portion control. So, you get to learn how to control your food portion and sticking to healthier choices later in life after the live it phase. 

However, it has a few drawbacks.



The first phase is restrictive as users are required to cut off restaurant food, sugar(completely), and alcohol. On the brighter side, it is only for a short while.

No In-person Support

Another disadvantage is that there is no in-person support, so unless you have a friend who is also interested to join with you, you will have to do it alone.


When it comes to food preparation, it might take a little more time than usual, especially when you are used to eating ready-made food from restaurants.

Bottom Line

So, is the Mayo Clinic Diet effective for weight loss? That depends on whether you do as the diet requires you to. Also, it might be necessary to consult a nutrition expert if you have a special health case. However, PatriciaandCarolyn examined the effectiveness of the Mayo Clinic Diet for weight loss and other healthy diet habits. If you choose to start the Mayo Clinic Diet, you need to be disciplined in following it through because it is the only way you will achieve your goals.