Grapefruit diet review

July 2, 2013


Big hit from the 80’s, already once discarded; grapefruit diet may get a second chance thanks to a new studies.

Characterized by consuming vast amounts of grapefruits but very limited choice of other ingredients and dangerously low in daily calorie intake, grapefruit diet was described by nutritionists as unhealthy and not recommended fad diet.

Also, it is stated that losing weight is not contributed to any magical characteristic of grapefruit itself, but the fact that this diet suggest calorie intake to be way bellow healthy 1200 to 1500 calories per day.

Nevertheless, it was a very popular diet back then, promising loss of 10 pounds in 12 days without ever being hungry. Unfortunately that lost weight is mainly water and it is easily replenished when dieter goes back to its normal menu.

However, new study shows that grapefruit should not be that easily discarded in weight loss process.

What is the grapefruit diet?

Grapefruit diet also known as Mayo Clinic Diet, although not affiliated or even recommended by them, is a low carb diet that promotes meals based on ingredients with high protein and fats and limits calorie intake to just 800 per day.

It lasts 12 days followed by 2 break days.

Grapefruit is very nutritious fruit that contains only 66-84 calories per serving. It is loaded with fiber and vitamin C.

The premise of the grapefruit diet is that eating a half of grapefruit before every meal will make you less hungry which will prevent you from overeating, and also that it contains an enzyme that helps burns fat, but that was never scientifically proven.

Grapefruit, combined with a low carbs meals, should make you lose up to 10 pound in 12 days, or even up to 52 pounds in a couple of months, according to grapefruit diet plan.

 The new grapefruit diet description

According to a new study carried out by Nutritional and Medical Research Center at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, eating a half of grapefruit or drinking 4 oz. of grapefruit juice before every meal may in fact have positive influence on weight loss.

And that’s while you eat your usual food, without upholding the dreadful restrictions from the old grapefruit diet. Still, some slight increase in physical activities should be practiced by most of the dieters.

The study was conducted on focus group that included 100 obese people, divided in three groups.

First group was instructed to eat half a grapefruit before each of their usual meal, three times per day, same with second group, except that it was grapefruit juice and the third group had no changes in their eating habits. In 12 weeks, first group have lost 3.6 pounds on average, second group 3.3 pounds and third group 0.5 pounds.

During this study, another beneficial trait of grapefruit was spotted. It was found noted that participant that have consumed grapefruit had lower insulin levels, a hormone in charge of regulating blood sugar level and fat metabolism.

It is concluded that grapefruit may have an influence on weight loss by regulating utilizations of blood sugar thus preventing it to be process into fat.

High levels of insulin actually prevent the body to use fat as source of energy. Also, people with lower levels of insulin tend to feel hungry less often.

With all of this in mind it’s not hard to see how lower levels of insulin can be beneficial in weight loss process. However, the link between grapefruit and lower levels of insulin is still unclear and further studies will be conducted.

How-to video

Grapefruit diet meal plan

Heavily based on ingredients with high concentrations of proteins and fats, such as meat, eggs, butter, lots of water and coffee and off course grapefruit, grapefruit diet is very limiting. Any ingredient that contains higher levels of carbohydrates, such as sugar, vegetables, sweet fruits and grain based products, are not allowed. Snacks are only allowed after dinner.

The base for old daily menu was:

    • Half a grapefruit or 4 oz. of grapefruit juice before each meal
    • Two eggs with slices of bacon for breakfast
    • Your choice of protein source and salad with dressing for lunch
    • Meat, fish and vegetables for dinner
    • Glass of skim milk or tomato juice at bedtime

With some modifications added this could still be a great way lose weight. The new grapefruit diet menu could follow these rules:

        • Breakfast: half a grapefruit or 4 oz. of grapefruit juice stays but only for breakfast which should now contain at most 400 calories, and at least 20 grams of protein. Instead of grapefruit you can use a medium orange, apple, ½ of medium banana.
        • Lunch and dinner: normal balanced meal, with a serving of fresh fruits, or a cup of broth-based soup or tomato/vegetable juice or just 16 ounces of water before a meal
        • Snack: fruit or vegetable

Some breakfast suggestions could be found here, and if you are looking for other ways to incorporate grapefruit in your life, other than going on grapefruit diet, you can find some helpful tips here.

Does the grapefruit diet work?

As any low calorie and low carbohydrates diet, grapefruit diet should also produce results. It promises up to 10 pounds in weight loss in 12 days, but that is mainly loss of fluids, not fat. Without switching to more balanced, healthier meals and regular physical activities, dieter cannot expect to reduce or maintain weight in the long run.

Positive sides

        • Grapefruit may have an positive impact on your insulin levels and consequently on your weight loss, even if it doesn’t adding fruits to your diet is always a good idea

Negative sides

        • Old diet doesn’t makes your eating habits much healthier
        • Due to a low calorie limitations and few allowed food groups you will quickly get bored
        • Grapefruit or grapefruit juice can be harmful for dieters that are on certain medications and doctor should be consulted

Final verdict

We cannot recommend the original, very restricting and unhealthy version of grapefruit diet, that doesn’t promotes exercise or balanced meal plans.

But although further research is needed to confirm or disapprove connection between grapefruit and weight loss, we can certainly recommend adding grapefruit along with other fruits to your daily menu.

One Comment

  1. GaviMensch

    October 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Be careful, there might be an interaction between grapefruit and medication, consult your doctor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × three =