What is the Grapefruit Diet

The Grapefruit Diet’s title suggests that whatever the eating plan, grapefruit will be included with your daily meals.  The Grapefruit Diet first started appearing in the 1930s and was originally known as the "Hollywood Diet".  It has also been called the "Mayo Clinic Diet" even though it is not associated with the Mayo Clinic.  The diet is supposed to be a sure fire way to melt fat from your body by ingesting a "special enzyme" from grapefruit with each meal.

How the Grapefruit Diet Works

When following the Grapefruit Diet a person will eat three meals per day while incorporating grapefruit into each meal, whether in fruit form or juice form. A person will be allowed to choose from meats, seafood, dairy and vegetables to make up each meal. Sugars, starches and most fruits are forbidden from the diet plan. It is possible to do a quick internet search for sample Grapefruit Diet menus and you’ll see that the Grapefruit Diet is, with the exceptions of the allowance of unsweetened grapefruit juice, fresh grapefruit and tomato juice, largely a low carbohydrate eating plan that uses the "grapefruit enzyme" and caffeine via tea or coffee to help speed weight loss along. A person following the Grapefruit Diet should be able to get away with ignoring calorie counts.

What Experts Say about the Grapefruit Diet

Grapefruit has been a controversy for a long time in regards to weight loss and whether or not it has a special enzyme that promotes rapid weight reduction. A two year study done at Vanderbilt University in Texas by Heidi J. Silver and her team entitled "Effects of Grapefruit or Grapefruit Juice on Anthropometry, Dietary Intakes, Appetite, and Metabolic Profile in Overweight and Obese Young and Middle-Aged Adults (GJW)" was completed in 2008. The implications for what effect, if any, grapefruit has on weight loss were a part of the ensuing results. It was found that incorporating a "low energy dense dietary preload" was deemed beneficial to weight loss strategies.

However, the same study also concluded that it didn’t matter what the preload was, whether grapefruit and grape fruit juice or plain water, weight loss was still 7.1% overall for all subjects. What they did find was that those participants in the study who had the grapefruit incorporated in their eating plans experienced a rise in HDL ("good cholesterol") levels as opposed to a drop in the group who were given water instead. Overall, the Grapefruit Diet is a low carbohydrate eating plan with a non-restricted caloric intake that, when paired with exercise should result in weight loss over a period of time and have an added energy boost with caffeine intake.

Most dietary experts will also agree that the Grapefruit Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, for the most part. This diet "allows" almost all of the same foods that one would find on practically every low carbohydrate eating plan available today. People on these types of eating plans can generally keep from counting calories because of the higher protein intake. Protein acts as a natural appetite suppressant which usually results in a person eating less without doing any counting. In addition to this, grapefruit does not contain any known "special enzyme" that promotes fat loss and it can, in fact, be extremely harmful in large quantities if a person is taking medication for a variety of medical issues such as heart disease and anxiety. Overall, the Grapefruit Diet can help a person lose weight in the long term, but not for the reasons often cited.

What a Grapefruit Diet Menu Includes

The daily menus of the Grapefruit Diet should be used for a period of 10 - 12 days, followed by 2 days off, and then cycled over again until the desired amount of weight is lost. Before each meal is consumed, 8 oz. of unsweetened grapefruit juice, half a grapefruit, or a whole grapefruit needs to be ingested. In addition to this, any of the following foods can be incorporated into the meals while on the Grapefruit Diet:

  • 1 tsp Dried Nuts
  • Bacon
  • Beef
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Butter Pickles
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Green Beans
  • Green Onions
  • Green Vegetables
  • Hot Dogs
  • Leaf Spinach
  • Lettuce (all varieties)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pork
  • Radishes
  • Red Onions
  • Regular Salad Dressing
  • Shellfish
  • Skinless Chicken
  • Tomatoes

The foods that may not be included while on the Grapefruit Diet are:

  • Celery
  • Cereal
  • Corn
  • Corn Chips
  • Fruit
  • Jelly/Jam
  • Low Fat Foods
  • Pasta
  • Peanut Butter
  • Peas
  • Potato Chips
  • Potatoes
  • Pretzels
  • Sweet Pickles
  • White Onions

Sample Grapefruit Diet Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • A Choice of One of the Following:
    • 8 oz. of Unsweetened Grapefruit Juice
    • Half a Grapefruit
    • Whole Grapefruit
  • 1 Cup of Coffee or Tea
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Slices of Bacon

Lunch

  • A Choice of One of the Following:
    • 8 oz. of Unsweetened Grapefruit Juice
    • Half a Grapefruit
    • Whole Grapefruit
  • 1 Cup of Coffee or Tea
  • A Choice of Two of the Following:
    • Vegetable Salad (lettuce, cucumber, radishes, peppers etc.)
    • Lean Pork
    • Lean Chicken
    • Tuna
    • 1 Slice of Toast
    • Cottage Cheese

Dinner

  • A Choice of One of the Following:
    • 8 oz. of Unsweetened Grapefruit Juice
    • Half a Grapefruit
    • Whole Grapefruit
  • A Choice of Two of the Following:
    • Vegetable Salad (lettuce, cucumber, radishes, peppers etc.)
    • Fish
    • Melon
    • Skinless Chicken
    • Hamburger Patty (no bread)
    • Spinach
    • Green Pepper
    • Squash

Right Before Bed

  • A Choice of One of the Following:
    • 8 oz. of Milk
    • 8 oz. of Tomato Juice
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011