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The Grapefruit Diet

Have you ever heard of the grapefruit diet? It has come into fashion a few times over the last few decades, and from what I understand, the basic idea is for your diet to consist almost entirely of grapfruit, save for an occasional egg or burnt toast. The claim is that if you stay on this diet for a few weeks, the magic properties of grapfruit will cause the weight to fall right off. Which is probably true; if you only ate grapefruit, you’d barely be eating 800 calories a day, and you probably would lose weight… of course, you would also HATE grapefruit and become severely malnourished.

Have any of you ever tried the grapefruit diet? More importantly, how many of you have made it more than 2 days? I had completely written off the grapefruit diet as a dumb fad that encouraged starvation, but there have been some interesting articles lately about the benefits of grapefruit and weight loss.

In a study by Fujioka et al, 91 obese subjects were studied to determine whether eating half of a grapefruit before meals could increase their weight loss. After 12 weeks on a reduced calorie diet, the subjects who ate the grapefruit lost significantly more weight than those who only drank water or received supplements. They also had lower glucose and insulin responses to their meals, which is a great indicator of reducing your chances for diabetes. However, there was a conflicting study that showed grapefruit did help weight loss, but not any more than just drinking water before a meal.

Another study found that regular grapefruit in the diet had a positive effect on blood lipids. People with high cholesterol saw a decrease in their cholesterol levels after eating one red grapefruit per day for 30 days. Also, because grapefruit is high in water and fiber, it may help you feel full and reduce your total caloric intake each day.

Some things to keep in mind:

-There are some drug interactions with large amounts of grapefruit, so if you are on medications, you need to check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe.

-Grapefruit is also highly acidic, so if you had problems with irritable bowel syndrome or heartburn, this diet may not be for you.

Overall, it does seem that adding grapefruit may have some positive effects, but in some cases water was just as effective. Try eating half a grapefruit before lunch and dinner each day and in combination with a lower calorie diet and exercise, it may increase your weight loss.

Let me know if you’ve ever tried this diet! What do you think?

-Sara

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for posting about this weird old diet… My parents did it many years ago (This is actually the 1st “Diet” I remember being aware of…) They did lose some weight. But, it wasn’t lasting. My understanding is that grapefruit has an appetite suppressant property… Thanks for looking up the science, too! I doubt that it is any more effective than drinking water and after months of eating grapefruit multiple times a day you really wouldn’t ever want to eat it again! It does cause significant drug interactions and could exacerbate GERD/Heartburn… I say eat your grapefruit like a normal person! No fad diets!!!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Carla on January 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    The diet I recall from the 60s was grapefruit and hard-boiled eggs. It’s not too bad for 3 or 4 days. You can find many versions of it online.

    Reply

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