Breaking Down the Mayr Diet
As with many diet trends, everything old is new again. Case in point: the Mayr Method.
This weight loss program was developed some 100 years ago by Austrian physician Dr. Franz Mayr.
Mayr’s program is based on the ethos that improving your gut health is the key to promoting weight loss and general well-being.
Now celebs and wellness gurus are recommending it to improve gut health and, in turn, trigger weight loss. Here at Zenwise, we also believe in the importance of gut health and its impact on your overall well-being.
That’s why we decided to dig into this latest diet trend, including what it is and how it works.
Full disclosure before we start: We’re not big fans of modern diet culture for myriad reasons.
Diets that restrict calories and/or food groups can do short- and long-term damage to your body and metabolism.
Moreover, they don’t lead to long-term weight loss, as pounds pile back on once the diet ends.
But we’re all for adopting a healthy eating plan designed to fuel your body with whole, unprocessed foods, in moderate proportions, with plenty of room for the occasional indulgence.
Guided by this commonsense approach, we’ll tally up the pros and cons of the Mayr Method.
(But sorry, we can’t confirm if Rebel Wilson really did lose 80 pounds with this plan!)
This eating plan focuses on eliminating certain foods, such as coffee, sugar, gluten, and dairy. But that’s not all; the Mayr Method also incorporates a slew of mindful eating practices.
Advocates say that these two key components work in tandem to enhance gut health and facilitate weight loss.
How do celebs practice their Mayr Method? A luxury wellness clinic, of course! Tucked into a bucolic Austrian mountainside lies VivaMayr.
On the first day of the 14-day immersion, visitors meet with doctors who design a personalized eating plan. There are a few non-negotiable foods, including lots of alkaline foods, such as veggies, nuts, seeds, and fish. And forget about caffeine, gluten, dairy, and sugar.
Proponents of the Mayr Method say the goal of the diet is to improve digestion through alkaline foods and mindful eating.
And a high-end wellness joint wouldn’t be complete without some complementary treatments and activities. They range from hypoxic training, nasal reflexology, and vitamin drips to more familiar spa favorites such as aerial yoga, massages, and facials.
Disciples of the Mayr Method say that to follow this diet as intended, one must kickstart the plan at the VivaMayr resort, but it’s not the only way.
If you’re here, you may have started your personal research with a classic Google search and found this blog.
However, the official way to learn the ‘hows and whys’ of the Mayr Diet is to read The Viva Mayr Diet Book by Dr. Harald Stossier and Helena Frith Powell.
What Else Does the Mayr Method Involve?
We covered the types of foods that are frowned upon. However, there are also some other guidelines you'll need to follow.
- Chew each bite of food at least 40–60 times
- Eat your biggest meal early in the day
- Stop eating as soon as you start to feel full
- Eat only cooked food after 3 p.m.
- Avoid drinking water with meals
- Stop eating after 7 p.m.
- Ditch the distractions at mealtime (cell, laptop, TV, etc.)
We are all about nurturing gut health and eating mindfully and healthfully.
Limiting sugar and caffeine is especially good advice, too. Loading up on healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and healthy fats, gets our thumbs up as well.
The emphasis on slowing down and savoring meals, tuning into fullness cues, and avoiding late-night eating are also good tips.
The program doesn’t require calorie counting or weighing food, which may make it simpler to follow than other diets.
For all its supposed health benefits, the Mayr Method has plenty of downsides.
First, the whole premise that an alkaline diet will increase the healthy pH level in your body. We don’t disagree that these whole, natural foods are nutritious. However, there is limited research to support the principles of the alkaline diet. In fact, some studies suggest following an alkaline food plan won’t impact your body’s pH levels at all.
Another thing that disturbs us about this diet is the elimination of mealtime water intake. The benefits of drinking water with a meal may help you slow down between bites. Also, water aids digestion, and breaks down food so your body can better absorb the nutrients. Drinking water can also help prevent constipation.
For all its positives, we have to say, the Mayr Method still looks like a restrictive diet. And as we said before, restrictive eating plans seldom end well.
But by all means add those healthy whole foods into your diet, practice mindfulness, and make time for self-care (even if your wallet can’t support an algae wrap!).