- With Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist
Donald Hensrud, M.D.read biographyclose window
Donald Hensrud, M.D.Donald Hensrud, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Dr. Donald D. Hensrud is chair of the Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine with a joint appointment in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic. He is an associate professor of preventive medicine and nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Dr. Hensrud directed the Executive Health Program at Mayo Clinic for more than 10 years.
He received his B.S. from the University of North Dakota, M.D. from the University of Hawaii, M.P.H. from the University of Minnesota and M.S. in nutrition sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in preventive medicine at Mayo Clinic and completed a clinical nutrition fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Hensrud is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists, of which he is a past president.
His career interests have combined nutrition, weight management, and prevention. He is the author of many scientific articles and book chapters and was editor of Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody; The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook, which won a 2005 James Beard Foundation award; The Mayo Clinic Plan: 10 Essential Steps to a Better Body & Healthier Life; and The Mayo Clinic Diet, published in January 2010.
Dr. Hensrud says healthy lifestyle habits in diet and physical activity are extremely important as evidenced by a large body of scientific evidence. He also says implementing these lifestyle habits is realistic, sustainable and enjoyable. A primary goal of his work is to help people achieve this.
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The Mayo Clinic Diet blog
Aug. 23, 2011
When it comes to weight loss, there's no magic bullet
By Donald Hensrud, M.D.
Human nature being what it is, we want to believe there's a quick fix somewhere to help us lose weight, and we just need to find it. This belief can be strong, so strong that even when we know something makes little sense, we still want to try it, hoping that at last we've found the magic bullet for weight loss.
Consider this — if there was a magic bullet, wouldn't everyone be using it and successful at losing weight? People spend literally billions of dollars on dietary supplements. Yet, despite the promises of all the many supplements out there, virtually none of them are effective in promoting long-term weight loss.
The only over the counter product that has any effect is orlistat, which is also available by prescription. However, weight loss is usually very modest at best, and at a relatively large cost. When it comes to supplements, save your money.
Fad diets have been popular for years and the list is long. Some of them were falsely called "The Mayo Clinic Diet", and they seemed to change from year to year. Cabbage soup, grapefruit, and bacon and eggs were some of the foods emphasized on these so called Mayo Clinic diets, but none of them were associated with Mayo Clinic.
The HCG diet has made a resurgence in the past few years. Years ago, it was originally used along with a 500 calorie per day diet — anyone would lose weight eating that few calories. But it's not safe and not recommended.
Recently, I looked at some of the fad diets that were popular years ago. I didn't recognize many and hardly any of them are still around. Most tend to run their course until the next fad comes along.
When considering a dietary program for weight loss, you should ask some basic questions:
- Is it safe?
- Does it promote good nutrition and improve health?
- Is it enjoyable?
- Is it practical and sustainable — can you continue it for a long time to keep excess weight off?
The answer should be yes to all of these questions before embarking on any weight loss diet.
While it's tempting to jump in and try a product or program promising effortless weight loss, consider it carefully before investing time and money. The old adage holds true in this case — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.blog index