Mayo Clinic Diet undergoes ‘evolutionary’ update – Healio

December 26, 2021 by No Comments

Alicia Romano, MS, RD, LDN

The new Mayo Clinic Diet is promising sensible and sustainable weight loss. I would be interested to know how they are defining sustainable (eg, how long must individuals keeping the weight off to be sustainable?). My skepticism is driven by current research, which shows us time and time again that diets don’t work — especially when they have a weight-centric end goal in mind.

Although there are some positive pearls that may come from the Mayo Clinic Diet, I am seeing a great deal of diet culture streamed throughout the program itself. The problem with this is that most diets focus on external cues rather than internal (eg, meal plan, meal tracking) and focus on weight loss as the primary metric of success — this diet seems no different. The problem with that is that 90% to 95% of diets fail. In addition, although most individuals who follow a diet may lose tremendous weight in the first 6 to 12 months, they fail to keep weight off and may end up gaining more back. This can lead to weight cycling and metabolic and psychological health-related problems.

A “pro” of the new Mayo Clinic Diet is that it now has a Habit Optimizer, which seems to focus on health-related habits that are non-weight centric. Identifying well thought-out, simple goals (with action steps) is an important step in making lasting behavioral changes, regardless of a weight-related outcome. I would be interested to see how these habits are created and tracked over time. I also appreciate how there is a focus on diet quality, with individual notations for food groups (eg, fruits, vegetables and proteins). This is a great way to monitor meaningful health-related behaviors regarding nutritious food intake that may have far more reaching benefits than weight reduction itself.

A “con” of the new Mayo Clinic Diet is the abundant focus on weight as a focal point. We have to remember that weight is not a behavior and a promise of a certain amount of weight loss sounds not only gimmicky, but like something that may set a person up for failure. The diet mentions that the tools will “boost psychological well-being,” which I find hard to grasp from a diet standpoint, especially when we are asking people to track their food, follow a meal plan and have a weight-related goal (remember, we can’t always control weight!).

Although I do not have enough information available to fully evaluate the Mayo Clinic Diet, my overall …….



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *