Mayo Clinic Diet undergoes ‘evolutionary’ update


December 01, 2021

2 min read

Healio Interview

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The stewards of the Mayo Clinic Diet recently updated the 72-year-old eating plan.

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

An infographic with a quote that reads: The psychological aspects of weight management are tremendous and underappreciated.” The source of the quote is: Donald D. Hensrud, MD, MS.

He said the Mayo Clinic Diet still encourages consuming healthy foods with fewer calories, including unlimited fruits, vegetables, whole-grain carbohydrates, lean sources of protein such as legumes, fish and low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. However, followers of the Mayo Clinic Diet are now offered options that align with vegetarian, Mediterranean, high protein, healthy keto and other eating plans.

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

The Mayo Clinic Diet’s two main parts, lose it and live it — whereby followers add five healthy habits to their daily lives and break five bad ones, usually leading to a 6 lb to 10 lb loss over a 2-week period — now also includes a habit optimizer, according to Hensrud. This new component allows users to pick habits that closely align with their weight-loss goals and lifestyle.

“In clinical medicine, we individualize treatment based on the condition and based on the individual,” he said. “This approach also works for weight management.”

The update to the Mayo Clinic Diet also includes unlimited access to online support groups and other Mayo Clinic Diet followers, Hensrud said.

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

These new support options allow Mayo Clinic Diet followers to approach weight loss and management in a “positive manner,” Hensrud said.


The Mayo Clinic Diet: A weight-loss program for life. Accessed Nov. 18, 2021.

WorldCat. Mayo Clinic Diet Manual: A Handbook of Nutrition Practices. Accessed Nov. 18, 2021.


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