What Is The Mayr Method?

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Thanks to the hard work of women like author and body image coach Anne Poirier and actress and activist Jameela Jamil, a few new terms like "body positivity," "body neutrality," and "intuitive eating" have entered the chat. They were tired of a sociocultural environment wrought with crash diets, laxative teas, and body shaming. 

By now, we all know that fad diets like the "Master Cleanse" and the "Grapefruit Diet," where you only eat grapefruit for 12 days, are not ideal and can result in severe consequences. However, not all diets are problematic. The Mediterranean Diet, for example, is recommended by the American Heart Association as one of the healthiest and easiest-to-follow eating plans out there. When a diet plan called the Mayr Method started making headlines, thanks to Rebel Wilson's slimmer physique, we decided to take a closer look. Here is what we learned, and what you should know about this diet.

Details of the Mayr Method diet

The Mayr Method was created in the 1920s by Dr. Franz Xaver Mayer, an Austrian gastroenterologist who believed that the food people were eating was poisoning them. He thought the only way to restore health and beauty was through healing the digestive tract (per Mayr Therapy).

People looking to start the diet usually spend a short stint at VivaMayr, a "medical center" intended to kickstart their new lifestyle. Attending one of the facilities in London or Austria will run you about $2,200 a week before airfare or accommodation, as is detailed by Eating Well. If you, like us, find that to be a bit steep, a book outlining the diet can be purchased online.

According to Healthline, the Mayr Method is intended to be a 14-day plan that you then try to incorporate into your daily life. When following the diet, you primarily eat fruits, vegetables, animal protein, fish, beans, nuts, legumes, healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, as well as seeds and grains like oats and polenta. Foods to avoid while following the Mayr Method include gluten, dairy, added sugar, processed foods, soda, energy drinks, and coffee.

The diet also encourages specific eating habits, like chewing each bite 40-60 times, eating your biggest meal early in the day, not eating after 7 p.m., only eating cooked vegetables after 3 p.m., and not drinking water while you eat.

What's the verdict on the Mayr Method?

To its credit, the Mayr Method encourages the incorporation of nutrient-dense foods and works to kick unhealthy eating habits by introducing some elements of mindful eating. However, it also eliminates a couple of important nutritious food groups. Unless you suffer from food allergies or sensitivities like lactose intolerance or celiac disease, there's no reason to avoid dairy and whole grains entirely. Healthline also notes that the restrictive rules and counted chewing might be triggering to those who suffer from disordered eating. Much of the diet is based on the alkaline diet, which has been widely discredited, per MedicalNewsToday.

As we attempt to venture into a new frontier where health at any size is more important than the size stitched into your jeans, it's crucial that we ditch fad diets that promote disordered eating. If you're looking to achieve and sustain a healthy weight, it might be better to integrate elements of the Mayr Method — like mindful eating and fewer processed foods — into a more well-rounded diet. Be sure to discuss any and all changes to your diet with your doctor before starting.