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7-Day Mayo Clinic Diet

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
7-Day Mayo Clinic Diet
Grapefruit is the basis for the Mayo Clinic fad diet. Photo Credit: Image Source Pink/Image Source/Getty Images

The Mayo Clinic is a world-renowned medical facility based in Rochester, Minnesota. While there is an official Mayo Clinic diet, the seven-day version, which is really a 12-day diet, is a low-calorie, food-restricted fad diet that's been denounced by the medical facility. Consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet.

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Fad Diet Details

The fad version of the Mayo Clinic diet is sometimes referred to as the grapefruit diet because you are supposed to eat grapefruit at each meal. Each day, you eat the same food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. At breakfast you are allowed eggs, grapefruit, bacon and black coffee; at lunch and dinner you can have grapefruit, salad and all the meat you can eat and for a snack you can have a glass of nonfat milk or tomato juice. You eat the same foods for 12 days, then take two days off and resume the diet if you need to lose more weight.

Diet Concerns

You may lose weight quickly following the fad version of the Mayo Clinic diet, up to 10 pounds in 12 days, according to, but you may not be able to keep it off. Fast weight loss is usually the result of a decrease in water weight and muscle mass, not fat loss. This diet also restricts most of the major food groups, which might limit your intake of essential nutrients. And the emphasis on protein may put a strain on your kidneys. Also, some people may become bored eating the same foods day after day and may have a hard time sticking to the diet. There's also the potential interaction with grapefruit and medication.

Official Mayo Clinic Diet

While the Mayo Clinic denies ownership of the fad diet, it does have its own weight-loss diet plan. This diet includes a two-week jump start that works on creating healthy eating and lifestyle habits and promises to help you lose 6 to 10 pounds during that 14-day period, plus 1 to 2 pounds a week thereafter as you settle into the diet. The diet encourages you to eat mostly fruits and vegetables while filling in the rest with whole grains, lean proteins, dairy foods and healthy fats.

Finding the Right Diet

Any diet that restricts your calorie intake can help you lose weight. If you want to keep the weight off, however, you need to find a diet you can follow for the rest of your life. A healthy diet should include a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups. Eating this way not only ensures that your body gets all that it needs to stay healthy but also helps promote healthy eating habits. This makes it easy for you to stick with the plan.

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