The Mayo Clinic Diet – Book Review and Recipe

The Mayo Clinic Diet isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Using clinically tested techniques, it puts you in charge of reshaping your lifestyle by adopting healthy new habits and breaking unhealthy old ones. – from The Mayo Clinic Diet, Introduction –

I don’t diet. Ever. I hate the idea of measuring out portions, following rigid guidelines, and being limited to a specific number of calories per day. I also know all the statistics that show that diets don’t work over the long haul.

So, I was very happy to see that The Mayo Clinic Diet is not like other diets out there. The weight experts at the Mayo Clinic have put together a book which is not only colorful and easy to read, but makes losing weight more about lifestyle changes than about hard and fast dieting.

The book is separated into three distinct parts.

The first section is a two-week “jump start” program that requires little preparation but claims to help you lose 6-10 pounds in two weeks. Essentially it sets you up to add five healthy habits (including things like eating breakfast every morning, adding whole grains to your diet and eating healthy fats), getting rid of five unhealthy habits (such as not watching television while you eat and not eating in restaurants), and adopting five bonus habits (things like writing down your goals and keeping an activity log).

The second section is a healthy lifestyle section which is focused on the long-term lifestyle changes which will help you maintain your weight (or continue to lose at a slower rate). Things I liked about this part of the book included visual representations of food servings (so you don’t need to measure out serving sizes), and a list of calorie burning activities to add to your life.

The final section of the book covers things like determining YOUR healthy weight, understanding nutrition and weight control, and barriers to weight loss (including motivational issues). There are some simple recipes and menus included in this last section as well, as well as a great section on adapting recipes for healthier eating.

All sections include colorful, simple diagrams or photos, and easy to understand language. The book has an accompanying journal to track your progress and activity.

Readers who have struggled with weight loss, or who don’t want just another fad diet, will most likely find information in The Mayo Clinic Diet which will appeal to them. Some may find it almost too simplistic, but I see that as more of a strength of the book than a weakness.

Below is a recipe which I have permission to reprint here on my blog:

Morning Glory Muffins
By the weight-loss experts at Mayo Clinic and Donald Hensrud, M.D., M.P.H.
Authors of The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat well. Enjoy life. Lose weight.


1 c. all-purpose (plain) flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
¾ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
¾ c. egg substitute
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. chopped apples, unpeeled
½ c. raisins
¾ c. grated carrots
2 tbsp. chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

3. In a bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to blend evenly.

4. In a separate bowl, add egg substitute, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Stir in apples, raisins and carrots. Add to the flour mixture and blend just until moistened but still slightly lumpy.

5. Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and bake until springy to the touch, about 35 minutes.

6. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve.

Fruits 1
Carbohydrates 1
Fats 1
Calories 170
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrate 25 g
Total Fat 7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol trace
Sodium 195 mg
Fiber 2 g

The above is an excerpt from the book The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat well. Enjoy life. Lose weight., by the weight-loss experts at Mayo Clinic and Donald Hensrud, M.D., M.P.H. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Reprinted from The Mayo Clinic Diet, © 2010 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Good Books ( Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Donald Hensrud, M.D.

Donald Hensrud, M.D., M.P.H., is chair of the Division of Preventive, Occupational, and Aerospace Medicine and a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. He is also an associate professor of preventive medicine and nutrition at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. A specialist in nutrition and weight management, Dr. Hensrud advises individuals on how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. He conducts research in weight management, and he writes and lectures widely on nutrition-related topics. He helped publish two award-winning Mayo Clinic cookbooks.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy that the needs of the patient come first. Over 3,600 physicians and scientists and 50,000 allied staff work at Mayo, which has sites in Rochester, Minn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, Mayo Clinic treats more than 500,000 patients a year.

For more than 100 years, millions of people from all walks of life have found answers at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic works with many insurance companies, does not require a physician referral in most cases and is an in-network provider for millions of people.For more information, please visit

FTC Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review by the publisher.

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    • Philip123 on February 26, 2010 at 16:49

    There’s an interesting post over at the Health Journal Club that makes the case that people should just not eat anything that wasn’t a food 100 years ago. Gets rid of the aspartame, bleached GM flour, high fructose corn syrup garbage they try to pass off as food these days. If interested you can read on it here,

    • Jenners on February 26, 2010 at 19:55

    I could use something to help me get going on losing weight again. Lord knows I try but I can never keep it up!

    • Wendy on March 1, 2010 at 15:13

    Philip: Than ks for the link!

    Jenners: LOL – I’m with you, babe!

    • Allie on March 3, 2010 at 10:32

    I have a different Mayo Clinic cookbook that has AMAZING recipes. They’re all a little labor intensive, but always worth the effort.

    • Wendy on March 6, 2010 at 09:12

    Allie: This was my first encounter with the Mayo Clinic books – nice to know their recipes are worth it!

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