What Is It?
grapefruit diet is a protein-rich meal plan that focuses on consuming
grapefruit or grapefruit juice at every meal. The diet's goal is quick weight
loss, and it's a 12-day plan. While several versions of the diet exist, the
majority of them include a daily caloric intake of less than 1,000 calories.
the guidelines of the diet, the foods can be prepared with any amount of
spices, salad dressings, or butter. Some caveats of the diet include no
extremely hot or extremely cold foods, nothing prepared in aluminum pans, and
keeping "protein meals" and "starch meals" at least four
hours apart, though not all agree on these rules.
of the meals include:
- Breakfast: two boiled eggs,
two slices of bacon, and 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice
- Lunch: salad with
dressing, any meat in any amount, and 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit
- Dinner: any kind of
meat prepared any way, salad or red and green vegetables, coffee or tea, and
1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice
- Bedtime snack: 8 ounces of
grapefruit diet promises quick results — as much as losing 10 pounds in 12 days
— due to fat-burning enzymes found in grapefruits. It promises these results
without starvation and eating normal meals at normal times.
Pros and Cons
biggest pro of the diet is its results. Many people have found the quick weight
loss results encouraging, especially for special events where they want to look
their best. Also, it may be a useful way to kick-start weight loss before
finding another diet program to use after the 12 days are over.
low-calorie, highly nutritious foods like grapefruit is a smart and healthy
choice not only for weight loss, but for overall general health. The vitamin C
alone is great protection for the immune system.
the claims of some magical fat-burning enzyme aren't backed by any research.
The core of the diet is the low-calorie and low-carb intake, which would result
in quick, temporary weight loss even without the grapefruit. Weight loss of 10
pounds in 12 days is unrealistic and could very likely include loss of water
and muscle, and possibly some fat.
grapefruit juice and fresh grapefruit can be part of a balanced, healthy diet,
according to the Food and Drug
Administration, they can also interfere with certain medications,
- some statin drugs (used to lower cholesterol), including atorvastatin
(Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), and pravastatin (Pravachol)
- nifedipine, a blood pressure medication
- some antihistamines, such as Allegra
- certain antianxiety drugs, including buspirone (BuSpar)
- some organ transplant rejection drugs
- amiodarone, an antiarrhythmia drug
juice tends to interfere with the action of these drugs. For example, drinking
grapefruit juice while taking statins increases the absorption of the drug into
the bloodstream. Higher concentrations of these drugs in your blood can
increase your risk for complications. These can include liver and kidney
problems. For other drugs, such as antihistamines, grapefruit juice can reduce
the amount of the drug that is absorbed. This can reduce the drug's
effectiveness. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can have fresh grapefruit
or grapefruit juice while taking these and other medications.
negative aspect of the diet plan is its limitations. Twelve days on such a
restricted plan may be possible, but eating the same foods every day could lead
some people to ultimately abandon the plan.
misconceptions about grapefruit should be cleared up: Outside of a couple small
studies, there is no evidence to suggest there is any magical power found in
grapefruit other than the fact that it is a low-calorie, highly nutritious
only real benefit to this diet could be if you're looking to quickly slim down
for a vacation to Cancun or for an upcoming high school reunion, but the weight
will return nearly as quickly as it left. The weight that is lost under the
diet is what is known as "water weight" because it’s mostly water,
not fat. It's a quick fix without any real potential of long-term
sustainability, and it's not especially healthy.
a limited diet would be almost impossible to commit to in the long term. With
so many foods excluded, it is highly unlikely that the mundane, repetitive
nature of the diet would have any long-term followers, plus the fact that not
very many people love grapefruit enough to eat it several times per day! In
addition, most salad dressing and meats — especially the daily morning bacon — are
high in saturated fats and cholesterol, so while the quick weight loss might
feel and look nice, the grapefruit diet can do more long-term damage than good.
are good. The grapefruit diet isn't.