Mayo Clinic Diet
A community member responded to the forum visitor that the diet is in fact not recommended by the Clinic and I have found -- beyond a doubt -- that that member was absolutely correct: not only is this diet not nutritionally-sound, most significantly, it is not recommended or approved by the actual Mayo Clinic in any way.
The Mayo Clinic Diet has been around for approximately 30 years and was first shared through junk mail, word-of-mouth and bulletin boards; then with the dawn of fax machines, offices everywhere were inundated with anonymous faxes touting this miracle diet.
Now it has reached more people than ever, being shared via the Internet by e-mail and on personal Web pages. A preface to the diet often promises that you can lose up to 52 pounds in just a couple of months. Mayo Clinic dieticians, nutritionists and media personnel have being trying to get the word out for years: there is no, nor will there ever be, an official Mayo Clinic Diet.
In order to avoid perpetuating this diet's eating plan by posting it here, I read several different versions of it on personal homepages and will provide some highlights: The Mayo Clinic Diet is usually three or seven days in duration and is a high-protein, high-fat plan. There are several different incarnations; almost all of them include unlimited amounts of meat and poultry, fish and just a few veggies and encourage you to eat a lot of grapefruit or eggs. The main principle of each version is the consumption of high-fat and high-cholesterol foods. The plan also claims that the grapefruit burns up fat. Smacks of a fad diet to me.
Here are some warning signs that an eating plan is a fad diet:
Ruling out of entire food groups
"Unlimited" consumption of anything high in fat or sugar
Promotion of increased caffeine intake
No variety or extremely strict rules
Certain food combinations to "burn" fat
Promising that certain foods increase your metabolism
The following statements really sent off warning bells in my head: "Do not eliminate anything from the diet, especially do not skip bacon at breakfast" and "Grapefruit is what starts the fat-burning up process." As well as, "If you eat the combination of foods suggested, you will not get hungry." Could the phrase "eat all the meat you want" as part of the plan have possibly anything to do with not feeling hungry? The fad diet detective in me says, "Yes, indeed."
Whichever version of the Mayo Clinic Diet you encounter, they all have one thing in common: they say you will lose lots of weight, very quickly like magic. Actually, you probably would lose a lot of weight rather quickly. But, like many other quick-weight-loss diets, most of that weight is actually going to be water...
and as we have all heard in recent years: quick weight loss equals temporary results. And if the weight loss continues as rapidly as the diet claims -- 52 pounds in two months -- common sense says that a diet bringing such drastic results so quickly cannot be safe.
Even the proponents of this diet say the results aren't permanent. The dieter's page I used as a reference said, "This probably isn't safe to live on. In fact you probably shouldn't be on this for more than two months. After that you should probably start a low-carb diet maintenance plan." In other words, if you go back to eating normally, you're going to gain it all back and then some, most likely.
If the changes a diet recommends are something you cannot do for the rest of your life, or in this case, are unsafe to do for more than a short period of time, there's your first indication that it's not worth doing. As the official Mayo Clinic Web site says: "These diets may promote temporary quick weight loss, however, they are not nutritionally balanced or a safe method of weight loss for long-term success." The Clinic instead recommends that we follow the nutrition guidelines set forth in the food guide pyramid.
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