Customer Reviews: The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat well, Enjoy Life, Lose Weight
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on August 14, 2010
Some reviewers give this book 5 stars, others give it 1. So how do you know whom to believe? I think I can help you.

This book is NOT for you if:
- You are looking for a magic weight loss plan, or a new theory of weight control
- You are looking for a lot of recipes

This book MIGHT be for you if:
- You subscribe to the old, tried-and-true formula for weight loss (eat fewer calories, exercise more), but need to know the details and need some help in getting, and staying, motivated.

The book is based on a version of the familiar food pyramid, and the diet can be summarized as: Eat a lot -- in fact as much as you want -- of fruits and vegetables (most of your favorites will be allowed, and you can eat them raw or cooked, and use fresh or frozen, and in some cases canned). Eat limited, though reasonable, amounts of carbs, protein and dairy, and fats. Exercise 30 minutes a day.

If you try it, good luck to you. I'm trying it, too; good luck to me as well.
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on January 2, 2010
I have read through this book and find it to be a fascinating easy to follow program that will produce results!

The Mayo Clinic Diet Book starts out with a 2 week period of ADDING 5 Habits - BREAKING 5 Habits and ADOPTING 5 Habits. What I love about this method is that it is doable. That's right... it is simple steps that the journal (I love the journal!) helps you calculate and keep up on day to day.
The Journal has a Habit Tracker within it so you can put in your starting weight... and check off the habits you are applying each day. This is great for someone wired like me as I have to have the visual in front of me.... plus, I like goals... and challenges...
With great habits to remember like eating a healthy breakfast, fruits and vegies daily, eating whole grains, healthy fats - and my favorite habit: MOVE! That's right - get out there and well, MOVE! :)
In the two week period you will also be encouraged to break 5 habits and this is good to doccument as well - like no eating while watching TV (guilty!), No sugar, no snacks, only moderate meat and dairy, and no eating at restaurants.
Now this is just part of the journal habits to break. In the two week period if we focus on breaking these habits we are on our way to new and healthier ways to enjoy life... The back of the book has a break down of good carbs and healthy choices as well as recipes. This book will be one I can refer to again and again!

The book talks about what motivates us... find what will give you an ongoing, burning desire to succeed. For me - I love being fit. I feel better about myself, I have more energy and I am just better. I dont know any other way to describe it. In September of this past year I fell a little off my routine and have yet to get back into where I was. I started not eating as healthy and skipping some of my workouts. My time management became cluttered and now in January I find myself 7 pounds heaver than my usual 125 pounds.
So - in light of this review - a new year, a great read... I am starting this two week program today. I will probably do a recap at the end of the two weeks on how I did. This book has motivated me to do what I need to do to get back on track. Using the journal as a guide and the book to help me with those pitfalls I am looking forward to and expecting success.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this book and cant say enough about the journal. Having a workbook that I need to keep track of what I am doing daily is a great motivator for me.
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on December 30, 2009
My husband and I were part of the initial study for this book. I will tell you that it is a lifestyle change but once you figure it out, it becomes second nature. I lost 8 pounds in two weeks and my husband lost 14. The study ended after 2 weeks. I did learn a lot but it certainly took time to figure out what foods are approved. I highly recommend this diet and intend to give it another try, this time adding the maintenance portions.
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on February 8, 2010
If you want to lose weight than GET THIS BOOK! I lost 6 pounds the first week (6-10 was the range)and am beginning my fifth week and have lost a total of 14 pounds. I have 150 to lose. I also have Diabetes. This book has changed my life, my perspective on food, helped me change bad habits and replace them with good habits, and is one I can live with and feed my family the same foods too. I have been on every diet known to man. I have been overweight for 20 years. I will do it this time and be healthier and happier. These people at Mayo Clinic have given us a chance to be thin and healthy again. Get the book. It will change your life. I recommended it to my sister and sister-in-law as well. They are changing their lives too. My 20 year old daughter is also doing this diet with me. She only has 20 pounds to lose. It is so easy and is a life style change. I hate even calling it a diet. I will never go back to the way I used to eat. I still have that occasional chocolate cake and don't even have guilt. It is allowed. Everything in moderation is the key. I promise you won't regret spending the money for this book! Get the accompanying Journal as well!
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on February 10, 2010
I understand that there is no quick fix, fad diet that will take the weight of and keep it off. Eating the right (whole) foods in the right (small) portions and exercising are the keys to weight loss, maintenance and good health. Since I get all that, I can appreciate the Mayo Clinic Diet for several reasons.

It is not another fad diet. The program outlines simple, and healthy changes that will result in weight loss.

It is based on the research of doctors who have worked with thousands of patients. The doctors have boiled down their research into the five simple habits to help you take off the extra weight and five habits to break so that you can keep it from coming back.

The diet is broken down into two simple phases - Lose it and Live It. In the two week Losing It phase, add five healthy habits like eating a healthy breakfast, healthy fats and adding exercise. Break five habits like no TV while eating, and no sugar (only what is naturally found in fruit). In Phase 2, "Live It" (the long-term plan) you continue to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week until you reach your goal. Then you learn how to maintain your healthy weight for life.

The Mayo Clinic Diet book has all the necessary tools, is simple to skim through, and is well organized. The book includes meal planners, recipes and tips on overcoming challenges, staying motivated, adapting recipes and sticking to the diet when eating out.

The book comes with a companion journal. To help monitor your progress, the companion journal has over 200 pages, consisting of a weight record to plot your weight and the habit tracker to record your foods eaten and your exercise. The easy-to-use diet journal allows you follow your progress during both phases of the program.

The proceeds from the book help support the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit group practice. When you purchase Mayo Clinic books, you help support programs, including medical education and research.
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VINE VOICEon March 10, 2010
The premise of the "The Mayo Clinic Diet" is that it will be the last diet you will ever need. The Mayo Clinic has helped many individuals lose weight and keep it off, and "The Mayo Clinic Diet" is the compilation of these tested techniques. Each section draws on the experience of various health care professionals - internists, psychologists, nutritionists and so on - and emphasizes creating your own plan using the concepts in the book. One of the motivational tools suggested in "The Mayo Clinic Diet" is recording your food intake, level of exercise and goals for the day. While this recording can be done in any notebook, the book does come with a companion journal which can be helpful in keeping you on track.

"The Mayo Clinic Diet" consists of two parts: Lose It and Live It. The Lose It part is designed to help you lose 6 to 10 lbs. in 2 weeks to give you a jump start and results to keep you going with the program. The Live It part is longer and chock full of tips and suggestions for healthy and active living. This part discusses things like portion control, changing damaging behaviors, and making good choices while eating out. While following the rules of the first part for longer than 2 weeks may result in faster weight loss, the Live It part is easier to follow and more adoptable to an every day lifestyle.

I decided to follow at least the Lose It part and see if "The Mayo Clinic Diet" would live up to its weight loss promises. The rules were simple: break 5 habits, add 5 habits and add 5 bonus habits for 2 weeks. These habits included things like fitting in at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, eating whole grains, avoiding sugar and snacks, and not watching TV while eating. I also took advantage of The Mayo Clinic Diet Journal and recorded my progress. On the first day, I recorded my starting weight, BMI and waist measurement, as well as my goal weight. I also took the time to write down my daily goal, everything I ate and what physical activity I accomplished that day. At the end of 2 weeks, I lost 5 lbs and I believe I could have lost more if I did not cheat on a few occasions.

I found "The Mayo Clinic Diet" to be a refreshing change to the usually restrictive and unsustainable fad diets. The book was colorful, well organized, pretty easy to follow and just enjoyable to read. I finished the first part in one seating and could not wait to start implementing the habits into my day - they seemed like a very straight forward way to get rid of some extra poundage. I am now making my way through the Live It part and learning how to make healthy choices every day.
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VINE VOICEon May 24, 2010
The Mayo Clinic Diet is a good, common sense approach to losing weight. Reduce calories, eat more fruits and veggies, and get active. None of this is new and anyone who is a vetran of weight loss will find nothing new or ground breaking here.

However, this book reinforces the basic nutrion rules that keep most repeat dieters from losing weight. Calories in VS Calories out is the most simple, easiest way to lose weight. You could do that Atkins diet or any of the semi-fad diets out there and many of them will work, if you can stick to the rigid rules. The Mayo Clinic Diet gives you a calorie limit and suggests the number of servings for fruits,veggies,Protein/Dairy,Carbs...ect. Essentially, you can eat anything you want so long as you don't go over your calorie limits and don't get too many servings of each group. However, fruits and veggies are typically "all you can eat" (to a point of course). Fruits nad veggies take up a lot of volume compared to the caloric content. They make you feel more full, so it's hard to go over your caloric intake limit if you make fruits and veggies the two primary portions of your diet.

They also recommend some 30-60 minutes of exercise per day depending on which of the phases you are in.

That's the gist of the diet, but the book is more detailed in how to do it and the reasons for doing it. There are also sample menus and recipes and a focus on the mental aspect of weight loss.

The book is a very good looking, full color book. Lots of pictures and charts and very well oranized for quick reference.

Some may be upset that this diet introduces nothing new, which is true to a point. However, I have not found another book (Or at least read one) that packages all of the basics like this. The fact of the matter is that most of those that continuosly try to lose weight and fail are either trying over complicated diet plans or have a mental lapse each time. The Mayo Clinic is both simple and addresses the mental aspects of weight loss, which are probably the two most frequent barriers to success.
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on February 10, 2010
This is the first time I bought a diet book (or actually went on a "diet"). FYI: I'm a male. What drew me to this book was that it was published by the Mayo Clinic and is not a fad diet. The concepts in the book work. I actually lost about 8 pounds in the first 2.5 weeks on the diet and about another 2 pounds in the following week (my goal is to lose 15 pounds). The book motivated me to start to eat right and exercise (which I do for about 1 hour every day; burning between 300 and 500 calories on the oliptical + some light weight exercise). I became somewhat obsessed with eating the right foods as suggested in the book and got into an "exercise rut" (no matter how tired I was I exercised). The book is laid out fairly well and easily readable; although I find that it jumps around a bit - I would suggest reading Part 3 first (like I did) to get a basic understanding of eating and exercise and then go full bore into Lose It (Part 1). And read Part 2 and Part 3 (again). I saw results and that motivates me to continue to eat healthier and exercise. Good Luck!
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on May 29, 2010
I have had the privilege of being treated at the Mayo Clinic, and as part of that evaluation I had a consultation with a registered dietitian on their staff. This book contains nearly all the information and guidance she gave me (without the personalized dietary prescription, of course), as well as a lot of helpful advice on coping with the behavioral issues associated with weight control.

I have followed this plan fairly closely for three weeks and have lost more weight than I really expected to. Other reviews describe the two stage approach taken by the book, so I won't repeat that here.

Good things about the book: it's beautifully produced, with well designed pages, all in full color, and for once some of the people shots actually show overweight people. The tables given for calorie intake at various weight levels and especially the "calories burned" tables for activity recognize that some people are quite overweight and go up to high weight levels. The book quite straghtforwardly recognizes that the way to lose weight, permanently, is to consume fewer calories than your body uses - ultimately that is the only way. And by focusing on eating healthy foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, the book tries to help you change your habits. Despite the criticism of another reviewer, I did not find that the book recommended highly processed foods. They are included in the book's tables for helping you determine how many servings of each food category you eat each day, but they are not "starred" foods, which means they are not recommended foods. Instead the recommendation is for fresh foods whenever possible, and for minimally processed foods otherwise. In the real world I live in, organic, locally grown produce, meat, and dairy is not obtainable within a 50 mile drive of home - so any diet that doesn't recognize that reality won't work for me. I also don't mind the word "diet" in the title. Diet in its larger sense simply refers to the food we consume. We can have a healthy diet or an unhealthy one. This one is healthy. Finally, this book is unequivocal that physical activity is essential to weight management, and it offers many suggestions for how to incorporate physical activity into your daily life.

Bad things about the book (why it didn't get 5 stars): The few recipes included make a ridiculously large number of servings - usually 8. They are useless for me and I suspect for most households. Might as well have left them out, really. The opening "Lose It!" section, though intended to simplify your food decisions for two weeks, was surprisingly hard to comprehend - I found myself going back on a daily basis to re-read sections to make sure I understood what I was supposed to be doing. Some of the guidelines proved impossible for me to follow. For instance, given the work I do, the requirement that no more time be spent in front of a TV or computer screen than is spent exercising would have meant that I spent every waking moment away from my job exercising. The overall reading difficulty level was a little high, but perhaps not unreasonably so - someone who is willing and able to buy and read a book can probably read this one.

As other reviewers have noted, this is not a book with "breakthrough" new information. Most "breakthrough" weight loss information comes attached to diet scams and money making schemes, anyway. This takes what you probably already know, adds some things you should know, and packages it into a workable plan for managing your weight. With few reservations I recommend the book
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on November 13, 2011
I have now been on this "diet" (because, more accurately, it is a lifestyle change) for almost 3 months, and I am really excited about how well it is working! I lost 10 lbs in the first 2 weeks, while my husband lost 12. Since then, we have continued to each lose about a pound a week. We eat lots of veggies and fruit, and what we really changed the most was portions and servings of carbs and protein. I have lost a total of 18 lbs and am finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight! It is nearly effortless at this point, as we have really made this a lifestyle and not just a diet. Our 3 year old eats what we eat, with added dairy and carbs, and all of us are trying and loving new vegetables and seasonings. I love that it is HEALTHY! Unlike so many fad diets, this one really helps you get all your nutrients and lowers your intake of unhealthy fats and processed foods. This diet works great with my own commitment to eating whole, organic foods.

As others have mentioned, this is not a recipe book. It is also very common sense. For us, it was the easy approach and detailed instructions on portion sizes that was revolutionary. I recommend using My Fitness Pal (we used the iphone app) to track calories, eating habits, and weight loss. The initial fast weight loss keeps you excited, and with further weight loss has come even more energy and motivation.
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