Decoding the “legend” of eating grapefruit to lose weight

Eating grapefruit for weight loss is a diet that has been around since the 1920s and has been in vogue again and again. This regimen is very restrictive, with promises of significant weight loss in the short term. Grapefruit is a nutritious fruit, but does it work to regulate weight?

The grapefruit diet may have appeared during the crisis of the 20s and became a trend of Hollywood actresses. It eventually became known as the Hollywood Diet. This diet saw a resurgence in the 70s. In 2004, the book The Grapefruit Solution (Grapefruit Solution) has suggested adding grapefruit to the diet to improve the odds of successful weight loss.

Features of the grapefruit diet for weight loss

Features of the grapefruit diet for weight loss

Although there are different versions, the basic requirement of this diet is to eat grapefruit before all three meals of the day, for a period of 7-10 days or more. In addition, those three meals have limitations that help cut many foods and calories.

Eat what?

Allowed foods:

  • Grapefruit
  • Egg
  • Bacon
  • Chicken or other meat
  • Salad or cooked vegetables

Food not allowed:

  • Other Fruits
  • All grains, starches and sugars
  • Beverages other than water, coffee, or tea
  • Dairy products

eat half a grapefruit before a meal

Grapefruit: As the foundation of this diet, the serving size is half a grapefruit, or about 240ml of grapefruit juice. You can also buy powdered grapefruit (capsule). Eat before meals.

Eggs and bacon (bacon): Some versions recommend eating two eggs and two strips of bacon a day for breakfast (after grapefruit).

Meat: Lunch and dinner include a portion of meat along with a salad. This diet does not distinguish between lean proteins and fatty meats (saturated fats) and does not limit meat portion sizes.

Salads and cooked vegetables: Accompany the meat with a salad or some cooked vegetables (some versions only allow red or green vegetables). Most salad dressings are allowed.

Other fruits: Some versions allow other fruits, others do not.

Grains, starches and sugars: All are excluded in the grapefruit diet, which is the hardest restriction.

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Drinks: Drink plenty of water and 1 or 2 cups of tea/coffee a day.

Dairy products: Some versions allow one 240ml glass of skim milk per day. Most other versions do not allow any dairy products.


drink grapefruit juice

While there may be some variation in the guidelines of the grapefruit diet, they all require eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice before meals. Most are consistent with three meals a day and do not snack, if a bedtime snack is usually a glass of skim milk or tomato juice.

What format?

If you don’t care about the taste of grapefruit, you can buy capsules containing powdered grapefruit. However, you will be missing out on some nutrients and all the fiber that you can get from eating whole fruit, which is one of the real benefits of this diet.


Remember that consuming grapefruit regularly or ingesting large amounts with certain medications (about 50 types) can have adverse health effects. If you are taking any medication, consult your doctor before trying to eat grapefruit to lose weight. Some of the more common medications on the grapefruit avoidance list include:

  • Thyroid medications: In many people taking thyroid hormone replacement therapy, consuming too much grapefruit can interfere with medications and make them less effective.
  • Statins (specifically Lipitor, Zocor, and Mevacor): These are medicines for people with high cholesterol. Grapefruit can interact with them and change blood levels of drugs, as well as increase side effects.
  • Antidepressants: Some antidepressants, as well as medications for bipolar disorder and other psychiatric conditions, can also be affected by certain enzymes in grapefruit.

Advantages of the grapefruit diet for weight loss

Advantages of the grapefruit diet for weight loss

Just adding grapefruit to your regular diet can offer a number of benefits, possibly even including weight loss. Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, lycopene and other antioxidants. Grapefruit is lower in calories and lower in carbohydrates than some other fruits.

A full serving of grapefruit (154g) has about 2.5g of natural fiber. This is a low-calorie snack that will keep you from snacking.

It’s hard to eat grapefruit too enthusiastically, because of its sour taste and the time it takes to peel it. You can’t mindlessly munch on hundreds of calories like with other snacks.

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A 2006 study found that eating grapefruit can lower blood sugar and lead to weight loss. Participants who ate half a grapefruit before meals for 12 weeks lost significantly more weight than the group that didn’t eat grapefruit. One-third showed no change in weight after the 6-week dietary intervention (eating half a fresh grapefruit 3 times a day), although there was some reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

So grapefruit itself has benefits. But the grapefruit diet is another matter and you should consult your doctor first.

Cons of the grapefruit diet


This diet is too restrictive to be considered healthy in the long run, as it excludes almost all carbohydrates and many nutritious foods (such as grains and fruits other than grapefruit). Consuming too much saturated fat when eating meat twice a day without prioritizing lean protein is also a bad thing.

One myth about grapefruit is that it contains a special enzyme that helps burn fat. This is not the truth. Eating any fruit before a meal can help with weight loss because it helps reduce hunger and can limit the amount of calories you consume. And although small studies have shown some weight loss effects with grapefruit, there are generally very few high-quality studies (large, randomized human studies) to support this claim.

Another argument for grapefruit is that it is a “negative calorie” food, meaning you burn more calories chewing and digesting the fruit than you do eating it. And when we burn more calories than we consume, we lose weight.

Yes, grapefruit contains a fairly small amount of calories, but it’s not like celery, which needs to be chewed through 4 30cm before loading 40 calories. Just half of a regular grapefruit has about 52 calories. So unless you’re jumping rope while peeling, eating, and digesting grapefruit, you’re not burning more calories than you’re consuming!

Compare with some other diets

Egg diet

Egg diet

How to eat? Some versions suggest eating only one egg dish at a meal, others recommend eating nothing but eggs and water, and others combine eggs with grapefruit.

Time: 2 weeks.

Safe: A one-meal-a-day egg-eating plan can be safe as long as the rest of the diet is nutritious and balanced. Restricted versions of everything but eggs (and grapefruit) are unsafe.

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Effective: As with other very restrictive diets, you can lose weight on the egg diet simply because you’ll consume fewer calories. But it is difficult to maintain this diet for a period of two weeks, or after two weeks you can gradually return to your old weight.

3-Day Military diet (3-Day Military diet)

crunchy biscuits

How to eat? Like the grapefruit diet, the military diet has a very specific list of foods to consume (like tuna, saltine crackers, broccoli, and grapefruit), which is said to have a beneficial effect. combination for weight gain.

Time: 3 days apply, 4 days off, repeat as needed.

Safe: After just 3 days, this diet is likely harmless, but it suggests eating some processed foods with very little nutritional value (sausages and crackers).

Effective: Also, this diet may work simply by getting users to cut calories, but experts warn that the weight lost is mostly water and muscle mass. It is a version of intermittent fasting. But high-calorie, high-fat foods like ice cream and hot dogs are not okay.

The M-Plan diet

The M-Plan diet

Describe: This is also a type of “one-course diet” like the grapefruit and egg diet. The M-Plan diet requires replacing one meal of the day with a mushroom dish.

Time: 2 weeks.

Safe: This diet is generally safe and healthy, depending on what you eat for the rest of your meals, although some experts have said it is not an effective weight loss regimen.

Effective: Mushrooms are very nutritious and make you feel full. This diet can help with weight loss if you switch from higher-calorie protein to lower-calorie mushrooms. But success will depend on your choices in other meals.

Conclusion about weight loss grapefruit diet

Like other fad diets, the grapefruit diet has some benefits for people looking to lose weight. People on this diet only eat about 1,000 calories a day, and grapefruit is a nutritious fruit.

However, this diet restricts many important food groups that should be included in a well-rounded diet. This may not be healthy in the long run. Equally, you should follow a better, more sustainable option, i.e. a healthy diet that includes grapefruit (if safe for you) as part of a sensible weight loss plan.

Reference source

What Is the Grapefruit Diet?
Access date: 5/12/2020

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