During the Lose It! phase of the Mayo Clinic Diet, challenge yourself to add the following five habits to your routine every day.
Eat a healthy breakfast — but not too much.
Eating breakfast can help you lose weight and keep you from overeating later in the day. You don't need to eat a lot — just something to get you off to a good start. Try whole-grain cereal — hot or cold — or toast, low-fat or skim milk, or an egg. Other good options include fat-free or low-fat yogurt, nuts, seeds, or nut butters. If you're not in the habit of eating breakfast, start by grabbing a piece of fruit and gradually add other foods.
Eat vegetables and fruits.
Eat at least four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits every day. Fresh vegetables and fruits are the foundation of a healthy diet and successful weight loss. You can eat generous portions while consuming fewer calories. Have as many veggies and fruits as you want — they also make great snacks.
Eat whole grains.
Choose brown rice, barley, whole-grain breads, cereals or pastas, and other whole-grain products instead of white, refined and highly processed grain products. Whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and fill you up. Check food labels for the term "whole." This tells you the product isn't highly processed.
Eat healthy fats.
Choose olive or vegetable oils, avocado, nuts, nut butters and the oils that come from nuts. These fats, called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, are the most heart healthy. Look for products with little or no saturated fat and avoid trans fats altogether. All fats are high calorie, so even the healthy ones should be used sparingly. Just use a drizzle on a salad or when cooking.
Walk or exercise for 30 minutes or more every day. The more physically active you are, the more calories you burn. Physical activity and exercise also offer countless other health benefits. If you haven't been physically active, start slowly and give your body a chance to get used to increased activity.