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The Grapefruit Diet

The aptly named diet which focuses around the consumption of Grapefruit with every meal, the belief behind it being that grapefruit has "Fat burning properties" The advocates of the diet claim that the fruit contains a special "enzyme" though there is no scientific proof of this in medical nutrition. The Grapefruit Diet and variations of, have actually existed since the 1930's and were made popular once again in the 1980's, though there is still no scientific evidence to support its claims.

The diet focuses around reducing calories in the participant's week to the point of possibly being considered a Very-Low Calorie Diet, which gives concerns to the way weight is lost on it. It is designed for short-term use and only lasts 12 days with 2 days off.

During the 12 Days of diet, the participant must consume 1/2 a grapefruit with each meal of the day, they must also completely eliminate all other sugars and starchy carbohydrates, including desserts, bread and white vegetables.

There are a few simple rules for following the diet, which seem to be based off the idea that the Grapefruit will do all the work;

  • The Grapefruit acts as the catalyst for calorie burning and must be consumed with every meal.
  • Meals should be mainly protein based (Meat, Eggs) with a salad or free vegetables, as Carbohydrates are forbidden.
  • Fat is allowed, including frying foods in butter or the rind on Bacon.
  • You may eat as much Meat, Salad and Fats as you desire until you are full so long as 1/2 a Grapefruit is consumed with the meal.
  • The dieter should avoid snacking between meals.

The diet lacks any longevity and is not designed for real changes, the majority of weight lost is most likely down to the reduction of calories, as the intake for each day is averaged at 800-1000 calories. The rapid loss of weight is an indication to malnourishment and sudden reduction in calories can have dramatic effects on insulin levels, if a participant goes back to old habits, they may find their bodies  will try to retain more fat and future weight loss will become harder.

There is no scientific evidence to support the original Grapefruit diet, though in more recent years a study involving a healthy, balanced diet that included grapefruit and exercise every day, showed participants losing 3-4 pounds a week on average. Though it was theorised that the grapefruit merely acted in reducing insulin levels.