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22 Jan 2010

At last – a livable diet program worth keeping

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January 22, 2010 Category: Health Posted by:


Right about now, the guilt may be setting in. The holidays are one long season of over-indulgence for many of us. More than one holiday binge has led to an extra five or 10 pounds, and a pledge to get healthier in the New Year. Sadly for most Americans, such resolutions are often broken and forgotten by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around.


It’s never too late, however, to get back on track with a healthier lifestyle. You can lose the holiday weight, and guilt… and you just might improve your health and quality of life for the long haul.


Mayo Clinic, a leading authority on health and nutrition, offers some sensible, livable advice for managing your health and weight in 2010 and beyond.


For the first time in its history, Mayo Clinic has developed and published a diet. Recommending simple lifestyle changes and requiring no special foods, calculators, or food scales, “The Mayo Clinic Diet” is based on a common-sense approach to losing weight and keeping it off.


“Many patients I see have tried several diets in an attempt to lose weight, yet the weight keeps coming back,” says Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic specialist in preventive and internal medicine, and medical editor-in-chief of the book. “The key to weight loss is to eat well and exercise regularly. Our goal with this book is to give people real tools for doing that.”


Dietary advice in the book includes five habits to add to your lifestyle, such as eating unlimited servings of fruits and vegetables each day; five habits to break, like revising the kinds of snacks you eat; and for those who are especially motivated, five “bonus” habits to adopt such as keeping a journal of everything you eat.


As one of the foundations of the diet, Mayo Clinic also advocates using The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid that differs from the official USDA pyramid. The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid focuses on vegetables and fruits as the basis of a healthy diet, followed by progressively lesser amounts of whole grains, small portions of lean protein (the size of a deck of cards) and dairy foods, healthy fats and, finally, sweets.


Exercise also plays an important role in weight loss. While working out is beneficial, so is virtually any elevated level of physical activity, like walking more often, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn or gardening. Whatever moderately intense physical activity you choose, aim to do it 30 to 60 minutes per day most days of the week. To learn more about “The Mayo Clinic Diet”, log on to

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