The Grapefruit Diet

The Grapefruit Diet

Whether you’re a tween or a mid-lifer, chances are you’ve heard of the grapefruit diet. Considered one of the most enduring fad diets, the Grapefruit Diet has existed since the 1930s. Popular books like The Grapefruit and Apple Cider Vinegar Combo Diet and The Grapefruit Solution prove that this diet isn’t pulling a vanishing act any time soon.

Despite its name, the Grapefruit Diet is not all about eating grapefruits and water. The foundation of the grapefruit diet is based on a so-called wonder ingredient in grapefruits, that, when consumed with protein, theoretically triggers fat burning and results in weight loss. Most versions promise that you’ll lose 10 pounds during the 12-day eating plan. The diet is designed to spur rapid weight loss, but any changes in the scale are primarily from fluid loss (not fat) and usually return as soon as the person goes off the diet.

How does the Grapefruit Diet work?

In most cases, a variety of foods are consumed at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at bedtime. Snacking is only allowed after dinner. Dieters are instructed to drink black coffee and a large amount of water during the day.

A sample grapefruit diet menu: a breakfast of eggs and grapefruit juice, a lunch of salad accompanied by half a grapefruit and unlimited meat, a dinner of nonstarchy vegetables with half a grapefruit and unlimited fish, and a bedtime snack (bonus points if you choose another grapefruit).

Dieters who want to remain on the program for more than 12 days must wait 2 days before beginning the diet again. The diet focuses on short-term weight loss and provides no long-term maintenance plan.

Legit or Not?

No scientific studies have given legitimacy to the claims that grapefruit can burn fat. A 2006 study sponsored by the Florida Department of Citrus found that eating half a grapefruit or drinking four ounces of juice with meals resulted in an average weight loss of more than three pounds in 12 weeks. Researchers theorized that the addition of grapefruit to the otherwise diet-friendly meals lowered insulin levels and promoted a modest weight loss.

Most people on the grapefruit diet will lose weight, but only because the diet is extremely low-calorie (800-1,100 per day on average). Eating grapefruit does have multiple benefits. Grapefruit is rich in Vitamin C and fiber, making it a great snack for individuals on a diet. The fiber in grapefruits can help improve digestion and curb hunger. But there is no evidence that the fruit contains fat-burning properties, so if you’re looking for a magic bullet, don’t bank on an ordinary fruit.


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