Mayo Diet: Operation, Menus & Notice

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

The Mayo diet is a nutritional program developed in the 1980s. It can help you achieve your desired weight by following 8 basic rules but perhaps at the expense of your health. Let’s see what this particular diet is and how it works.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

What is the Mayo diet?

THE ketogenic diet Mayo is a dietary strategy invented at the beginning of the last century. It was revived with some modifications in the 1980s. The Mayo diet is not weighted but uses a daily calorie intake well below 1000 kcal. The Mayo diet originated in the 1940s. Over time, it underwent changes and then it developed and became very popular in the 1980s. Very little is known about the origin and name of this diet. .

Mayo Diet
During this diet, you need to eat your 3 daily meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. But be careful to respect the cardinal principles.

Cardinal principles

The cardinal principles of this diet are as follows:

  • avoidance of sugar and sweet foods;
  • consumption of 6 to 36 eggs per week, with the possibility of replacing them with grilled or steamed meat or fish
  • unlimited consumption of beverages such as coffee and tea;
  • vegetables to eat are cucumbers, salads, tomatoes, spinach and celery;
  • avoidance of other condiments
  • fruit consumption is limited to grapefruit;
  • the elimination of milk and its derivatives;
  • and banishing potatoes from your diet.

Manage main meals

The main meals of the Mayo diet (28 in total) “should” be managed as follows:

  • ten to twelve egg meals
  • ten to twelve meat-based meals
  • three fish meals
  • two fruit-based meals
  • a yogurt-based meal

Not to be confused with the Mayo Clinic diet

Many have associated the Mayo diet with an American clinic, the Mayo Clinic, located in Rochester. But there is no connection between the two. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester has developed a diet of the same name. Many British sites call it the Real Mayo Clinic Diet, precisely to avoid confusing it with the Mayo diet. The Mayo Clinic diet is based on a food pyramid model that is unrelated to the Mayo diet. In the Mayo diet, we tend to favor and highlight three foods: grapefruit, eggs and meat.

How does the Mayo diet work?

This diet has a very low energy intake for the body. It is therefore very restrictive. For this reason, this diet cannot be followed for more than two consecutive weeks. The number of foods you can eat is very limited and the calorie intake of the Mayo diet is 800 to 1000 calories per day.

Given the rigidity of the Mayo diet, it is recommended for those who are very determined and do not get discouraged very easily. Also taking into account the severity of the diet, it is good to be followed by a doctor or dietitian if you decide to try it, in order to keep under control certain values ​​that this diet could alter.

It is an unbalanced diet with a very high level of stress on the body during diet days. This is why the Mayo diet is often not recommended by doctors and nutritionists. Carbohydrates are absolutely insufficient and the level of animal fats is really excessive, producing imbalances and spikes in cholesterol.

What attracts the Mayo method is the ease of weight loss, as one can lose 5 to 7 kilos in 14 days if it is strictly followed. He has a very strict weekly meal structure, following pre-established menus. During the two weeks of the diet, there are 12 slimming days and 2 rest days.

Main Features of the Mayo Diet

It is a low-calorie diet you consume 600 to 900 calories daily. It is also a high protein diet since more than 50% of foods consumed are proteins. This diet is low in carbohydrates and fats. Which is interesting for weight loss without rebound effect. The biggest advantage of this diet is that it acts as a powerful fat burner, so weight is normally lost very quickly. This is partly because of fluid loss and because protein fills you up quickly. It turns out to be a effective appetite suppressant to make you eat less.

high protein diet
By following the Mayo diet, you will eat a lot of animal (fish, meat, eggs) and plant (vegetables) proteins.

The advantages of the Mayo diet: advantages

The Mayo diet is easy to put into practice and follow because the menus are predetermined. It does not require any special culinary skills or endless interpretations of labels. Also know that your weekly shopping will be reduced to very little. Unlike diets that cost you an arm and a leg, the Mayo diet does not put a strain on your wallet.

If you decide to follow this diet, you will need to exercise strict discipline. But if you’re really determined, the Mayo method can help you lose weight quickly. By following it to the letter, you are sure to lose 5 kg to 7 kg in 14 days.

Cons: risks and disadvantages

By relying on an excessive intake of lipids and cholesterol, the Mayo diet is likely to cause serious metabolic complications if followed for more than two weeks. It can in particular promote atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, as well as cause a series of cardiovascular problems. In addition, it causes serious deficiencies in proteins, vitamins and minerals (especially calcium and potassium) due to the absence of dairy products and insufficient consumption of fruits.

The Mayo diet is unbalanced. Too many essential nutrients are missing. This diet includes poor and decidedly incomplete meals. As if that were not enough, the monotony of the menus cancels out the pleasure of the table and leads to pure and simple despair. Pervasive feeling of hunger, loss of muscle tone, boredom with taste are all harmful consequences of the Mayo diet.

Contraindications of the Mayo diet

The Mayo diet is absolutely prohibited for people suffering from serious illnesses. Under no circumstances should it be followed without seeking the advice of your doctor as it could have serious side effects. It could be defined as an unbalanced diet and in certain respects risky for health. It is a diet that aims for rapid weight loss, but the risk is to lose not only fat but also muscle mass. And in the worst cases, also bone and skin mass.

In addition, the Mayo diet does not take into account the need for micronutrients, so salt and vitamin deficiencies can occur during periods of restriction. It favors proteins and saturated animal fats, which are accompanied by a lot of cholesterol. Caloric intake is mainly based on proteins which, in the absence of carbohydrates and lipids, inevitably leads to depletion of muscle mass.

Is the Mayo diet worth it? Is it really effective?

Opinions on the use of the Mayo diet are very divided. Supporters praise a quick way to lose weight. In turn, opponents are sounding the alarm and warning of the negative effects of such treatment. A two-week restrictive diet depletes the body of essential minerals and raises cholesterol by eating a few eggs each day.

But if you treat yourself to a 5-day treatment with the Mayo diet, your body will not suffer as much. For the diet to be effective, you must follow its strict rules while using common sense. By getting rid of excess fat, the Mayo diet works like a effective fat burner and natural. You will then have a slimmer figure, but you will not exhaust your body.


The Mayo diet lasts approximately 14 days, 12 of which are for weight loss and 2 for rest or recovery. This is a fairly extreme method, which aims to significantly reduce weight in a useful time of two weeks.

Lose weight through dieting
The Mayo diet is very effective in helping you lose weight.

How much weight can you expect to lose on the Mayo diet?

Generally, around 2 kg to 2.5 kg are lost per week, provided you combine this diet with moderate physical exercise on a regular basis. As you already know, exercise promotes greater and more effective weight loss because it burns fat. Likewise, at the beginning of the diet, the speed of weight loss is greater, and when the weight stabilizes, it begins to slow down.

To do this, you can alternate the Mayo diet with other weight loss systems and take a break of at least one week each month. As I previously mentioned, you should not extend this diet beyond a month because it can cause harm to your body.

Typical days: special Mayo diet menus and recipes


1er daygrapefruit 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs + 1 unsweetened coffee/teaunsweetened coffee/tea + 1 mixed salad
+ boiled eggs
2 boiled eggs + 1 tomato + unsweetened coffee/tea
2e daygrapefruit 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs +1 unsweetened coffee/teaunsweetened tea/coffee +2 lamb chops + 1 cucumber + 1 celery2 eggs + spinach + tomatoes
3e day1 unsweetened coffee/tea + 1 grapefruit + 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs unsweetened coffee/tea +1 tomato + 1 celery + 1 cucumber +1 lettuce1 grapefruit + 2 boiled eggs
4e daygrapefruit 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs +1 unsweetened coffee/tea2 boiled eggs + cream cheese
+ 1 cooked cauliflower + 1 slice of bread
unsweetened coffee/tea + tomatoes + 2 boiled eggs + spinach
5e day1 grapefruit 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs +1 unsweetened coffee/tea1 slice of toast + fish cooked without oil with lemonunsweetened coffee/tea + boiled eggs + spinach
6e daygrapefruit 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs +1 unsweetened coffee/teaslice of toast
+ fish cooked without oil with lemon
2 boiled eggs + spinach + unsweetened coffee/tea
7e daygrapefruit 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs +1 unsweetened coffee/teagrated carrots + steamed chicken1 grapefruit + steamed chicken tomatoes

Some tips for use

Do not substitute foods that appear on the menu. You should drink around 3 liters of water per day. Do not eat between meals, except teas and infusions. You should not consume alcoholic beverages. I offer a version with meat and fish as an alternative to eggs to alternate and make the diet more varied. These are the basic principles of the diet. And remember that you should consult your doctor before doing this type of diet.

The opinion of health professionals

It would be best to be under the supervision of a doctor if you decide to start a diet of this type. A doctor could help keep certain values ​​under control that may be altered with this diet. It is not a balanced diet and doctors do not recommend it due to the many risks to which the body is subjected. Carbohydrates are excessive and fats are not enough. It also causes an increase in cholesterol. A diet of this type involves rapid weight loss, but it is not recommended due to a number of problems it can cause.

Consumer reviews

The Mayo diet is extremely difficult to follow. It is a diet that induces a lot of suffering and is deficient in all nutritional aspects. The Mayo diet is an absolutely uneducational and ineffective technique in the long term, because the sudden weight loss and the absence of post-therapy tutoring cause the recovery of all the lost kilograms. In addition, it increases the risk of prolonging an absolutely unbalanced diet. It is therefore dangerous for the health of those who practice it.

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