The Mayr Method is a popular diet plan that has been around for nearly 100 years.
Often touted as a quick and convenient way to lose weight, the program has been endorsed by celebrities and wellness gurus alike in recent years.
However, while some claim that the plan is effective and easy to follow, others note that it’s restrictive and eliminates several healthy food groups.
This article takes a closer look at the Mayr Method, including what it is, how it works, and whether it’s worth a try.
The Mayr Method is an eating plan developed by Austrian physician Dr. Franz Xaver Mayr in the 1920s.
The program is based on the idea that improving your gut health is key to promoting weight loss and health.
It focuses on eliminating certain foods from your diet to enhance digestive health and incorporating mindful eating practices such as chewing food thoroughly and avoiding distractions while eating.
Although the plan is designed to be followed for just 14 days, many of the practices are intended to become long-term habits to support overall health.
The Mayr Method is an eating plan developed by Dr. Franz Xaver Mayr in the 1920s. It’s a 14-day program that focuses on enhancing gut health and increasing weight loss by limiting certain foods and promoting mindful eating.
To kick-start the Mayr Method program, some dieters opt to stay at VIVAMAYR, luxury wellness resorts that claim to support the cleansing and renewal of the body using the principles of the diet.
However, because staying at VIVAMAYR resorts can be expensive, you can instead follow the diet at home using guidelines outlined in the book “The Viva Mayr Diet: 14 Days to a Flatter Stomach and a Younger You.”
The 14-day plan instructs you to eliminate sugar and caffeine, eat plenty of alkaline foods, and limit your intake of gluten and dairy. It also involves minimizing distractions during meals, such as watching television or using your smartphone.
Additionally, the program encourages you to:
- 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.
You can follow the Mayr Method by going to a luxury VIVAMAYR health resort or by following the guidelines outlined in its book at home. The program limits sugar, caffeine, gluten, and dairy and sets strict rules on how, what, and when you should eat.
The Mayr Method sets guidelines about which foods to eat and avoid.
Foods to eat
The Mayr Method prioritizes foods that are considered alkaline, meaning they supposedly produce a higher pH when digested.
This includes foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Heart-healthy fats, gluten-free grains, and proteins such as meat, fish, and poultry are also encouraged.
Here are some of the foods permitted on the diet:
- Fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, berries, pears, peaches, plums
- Vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, peppers, mushrooms
- Proteins: salmon, trout, tofu, turkey, lamb, beef, legumes, eggs
- Grains: oats, risotto, buckwheat, millet, polenta
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts
- Seeds: chia seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed
- Healthy fats: coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed oils
- Beverages: water, pomegranate juice, green tea
- Herbs and spices: black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, cilantro, parsley
Foods to avoid
Gluten, sugar, and caffeine should be restricted on the Mayr Method plan.
The program also limits dairy products and natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup, although these may be permitted in small amounts.
Here are some of the foods to limit or avoid on the diet:
- Gluten: products containing wheat, barley, or rye
- Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream
- Added sugar: table sugar, syrup, fruit juice, candy, baked goods
- Processed foods: convenience meals, chips, cookies, fast food, processed meats, breakfast cereal
- Beverages: coffee, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks
The Mayr Method encourages eating alkaline whole foods and limits gluten, dairy, added sugar, caffeine, and processed foods.
Currently, there are no studies specifically evaluating the effectiveness of the Mayr Method. However, several principles of the diet have been shown to support weight loss.
For example, the program prioritizes nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
What’s more, the method promotes mindful eating practices such as chewing food thoroughly and decreasing distractions during meals.
One review of 10 studies concluded that practicing mindful eating was as effective at decreasing body weight as conventional diet programs (
Additionally, chewing your food thoroughly could improve digestion and gut health (
The Mayr Method encourages eating nutrient-dense foods and promotes mindful eating, which may benefit weight loss. It also limits added sugar and processed foods, both of which can contribute to weight gain.
In addition to increasing weight loss, the program may be associated with other benefits.
Encourages healthy foods
Other foods that are encouraged on the diet, including nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and legumes, also supply essential vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, the program limits processed foods and added sugars.
According to a recent review of 23 studies, regularly eating ultra-processed foods could be tied to a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes (
What’s more, added sugar consumption may contribute to health issues like diabetes, liver problems, and heart disease (
Mindful eating has been associated with a long list of benefits that extend beyond weight loss.
In one study, 57 people participating in an 8-week mindful eating program experienced improved self-compassion, reductions in overeating, and less anxiety (
Another review of 68 studies similarly found that practicing mindfulness could help prevent emotional eating and binge eating (
Structured and simple to follow
While some people prefer diet plans with more flexibility, others benefit from structured programs with clear and simple guidelines — like the Mayr Method.
The book offers plenty of resources to help you get started, including shopping lists, detailed meal plans, and recipes.
And, unlike many other diets, this program doesn’t require you to count calories, weigh your food, or track your intake of macronutrients. This may appeal to those looking to lose weight without a significant time commitment.
The Mayr Method encourages healthy foods and promotes mindful eating. It’s also structured and easy to follow, which may appeal to some people.
Although the Mayr Method may be associated with several health benefits, there are a few downsides to keep in mind as well.
For starters, it encourages that you eat alkaline foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, to increase the pH level in your body.
However, although these foods are highly nutritious, there is limited research to support the principles of the alkaline diet. In fact, studies show that eating more alkaline foods is unlikely to impact your body’s pH levels at all (
Additionally, certain aspects of the diet may trigger unhealthy habits for people with a history of disordered eating. For example, the program sets strict rules for when you should eat and how many times you should chew your food.
The diet also limits some foods that are rich in important nutrients, such as dairy products and gluten-containing grains.
While some people — including those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance, or a dairy allergy — may benefit from restricting their intake of these foods, most people don’t need to avoid them (
The Mayr Method incorporates principles of the alkaline diet, which is not supported by science. It also eliminates several nutrient-dense foods and may not be suitable for those with a history of disordered eating.
The Mayr Method is a 14-day diet plan intended to promote weight loss by improving gut health and modifying certain eating behaviors.
Although it encourages eating many nutritious foods and promotes mindfulness, it also eliminates several healthy food groups and may not be suitable for those with a history of disordered eating.
Furthermore, it’s based on certain concepts that are not backed by science, such as the alkaline diet.
Incorporating some key concepts of the plan — like practicing mindfulness and reducing your intake of processed foods and added sugar — into a healthy, well-rounded diet may be a better approach for long-term, sustainable weight loss.