Thursday, May 12, 2005

Pour on the Mayo – the Mayo Diet, that Is!

Posted by Jeff Dedrick

You may have heard of the “Mayo Clinic Diet”. Would you believe that this diet not only didn’t originate at the Mayo Clinic, but the Clinic doesn’t even endorse it! Indeed, for over thirty years, the Mayo Clinic has been combating the rumor that they recommend a version of a quick weight loss diet that touts the consumption of grapefruit, vegetables, fruits and unlimited portions of meat and fat. Well, the truth is that they have gone so far as to state that it may be unhealthy for some people.

You can visit the Mayo Clinic web site and discover the REAL Mayo Clinic diet, including their recommendations and guidance for weight loss that is healthy and permanent.

Here’s the Scoop.

Weight loss results from expending more calories than you consume. The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you use in your daily activities. The only way to achieve permanent weight loss is by adopting a balanced, healthy diet with portions that fit your lifestyle, and engage in regular physical activity. I’ll wager you’ve heard this before!

There is no 'one perfect eating plan' that will work for you 'for the rest of your life' because your body needs different things at different stages. Illnesses and allergies, high stress periods - all result in changing nutritional needs for your body.

Basic Recommendations: The Seven Basic Rules

1. Eat more fruit and vegetables.
2. Reduce intake of saturated fats and cholesterol (But many researchers are touting that we need the good fats in our diets in order to lose weight.)
3. Cut back on sweets and salt
4. Drink alcohol in moderation, if you must drink at all
5. Learn to eat moderate portions of food
6. Control the number of calories you consume
7. Include physical activity in your daily activities

Here are some extra helpful tips.

Increase the ratio of fruits and vegetables in meals
Experiment with new foods and combinations.
Start with a soup or salad.
Learn healthy cooking techniques.
Consider energy density of food.

One of the contentions of the Mayo Clinic is that one-size fits all diets won't work for everyone. Check out their Daily Calorie Calculator in their Nutrition Center. It will help you calculate a personalized eating plan to help you lose weight.

You may have heard of “energy density” as it relates to food. The Mayo Clinic defines energy density as the number of calories in food vs. the actual amount of food. A dessert may have extremely high energy density – in other words, a small serving provides a lot of calories. But, it takes far more of that food to make your body feel full. Foods like broccoli have a much less energy density - 15 calories in a regular portion. You eat far less of it and feel full more quickly.

The basic recommendations made by the Mayo Clinic aren't new or ground-breaking. They advocate sensible eating, low calories and increasing your physical activity. The suggestion to aim for 1-2 pounds lost per week is touted by nearly every other medically noteworthy institute in the country. It's a real diet - the real Mayo Clinic Diet, that is.

Posted by Jeff Dedrick
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