There are three different Mayo diets two of which have been disavowed by the prestigious Mayo Clinic for which they are named. The diets are based on grapefruit, cabbage soup, or plain old common sense.
The grapefruit diet has also been labeled the Mayo diet, however the famous clinic says it does not endorse the eating program. In this diet, you have either a half of a grapefruit or an 8 ounce glass of grapefruit juice with each meal. The meals are quite prescribed as well.
At breakfast, you have 2 eggs and 2 slices of bacon. At lunch, you have a salad with olive oil based dressing and as much lean meat as you need to make you feel full. Dinner time brings on unlimited meat or fish plus all of the non-starchy vegetables you can handle. You should always eat until you are full but not stuffed. About an hour before you go to bed, drink an 8 ounce glass of skim milk.
You will notice that you do not have hardly any carbohydrates on this version of the Mayo diet. In fact, the grapefruit diet is seen by some as precursors to the modern Adkins and low carb diet movements. In particular, you must stay away from potatoes, rice, corn, bread and other starchy foods.
This diet works mainly because most people eat less than 1000 calories while they are on it. The grapefruit is seen as the “magic” fat burning property, but no scientific studies have been able to substantiate that it has any special ability to help you lose weight. Grapefruit is, however, a nutritious, low calorie fruit, and adding this quantity of the food to your diet is not harmful.
The next version of the Mayo diet that I want to explore is the Cabbage Soup Diet. The cabbage soup diet allows you to eat as much of the soup as you want per day along with specified foods depending on the day. There are many versions of the cabbage soup recipe, but a basic one is:
· 6 large green onions
· 2 green peppers
· 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
· 3 Carrots
· 1 Container (10 oz. or so) Mushrooms
· 1 bunch of celery
· half a head of cabbage
· 1 package Lipton soup mix
· 1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional)
· 1 48oz can V8 juice (optional) (reduce water by appropriate amount if used)
· Season to taste with salt, pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc.
· 12 cups water
Depending on the day, you will have foods to supplement the soup. On day 1, you can have all fruits except bananas. On day 2, you can have all vegetables including one large baked potato with butter. On day 3, you can have all fruits and vegetables except bananas and potatoes. On day 4, you can have up to 8 bananas and 8 glasses of skim milk. You finally get some meat on day 5 up to 20 ounces. You can also have up to 6 tomatoes on this day. Day 6 is pretty lenient you get beef, skinless chicken, fish, and all vegetables except potatoes. Day 7 brings the diet to a close with brown rice, vegetables except potatoes, and all fruit juices being acceptable.
You are not supposed to stay on the cabbage soup version of the Mayo diet for more than 7 days. The diet works largely because it is a modified fast. Cabbage (like grapefruit) has no magical diet properties. The reason this works is because it is extremely low in calories.
So, if the Mayo Clinic doesn’t recommend these two programs, what do they say you should do? Well, the actual Mayo diet is basic: eat foods low on the USDA’s food pyramid and get regular exercise. They also say you should set reasonable goals and achieve them.
The real Mayo diet is not about magic foods. The Mayo diet really is all about being sensible in your diet.