General Diet Plans and Questions - Grapefruit Diet

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03-24-2004, 11:43 PM
I just started my new diet today. It's a variation of the grapefruit diet. Instead of eating grapefruit, I'm drinking the juice. The promise of this diet is to lose 52 lbs. in 2 and 1/2 months. Has anyone ever tried this diet before? I'm certainly not expecting to lose as much as it promises, but this is a diet that I can easily live with. I'm just wondering if anyone has tried it and had success. I think it also goes by the name "Mayo Clinic Diet." Can anyone give me any advice?

03-25-2004, 12:24 AM
Okay...first off let's get the myth of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" out of the way with a word from The Mayo Clinic...

The Mayo Clinic Diet Myth
For more than 30 years the so-called "Mayo Clinic Diet" has surfaced in many forms and places. Various versions push grapefruit or eggs or meat and promise to peel off pounds magically.

We can offer you clear and official advice: don't believe any of these diets. They did not originate at Mayo Clinic and are not approved by Mayo Clinic. These diets may promote temporary quick weight loss. However, they are not nutritionally balanced or a safe method of weight loss for long-term success. Such diets can be dangerous for some individuals.

The diets prescribed by Mayo doctors and dietitians are individualized for each patient's needs, taking into account medical history and current eating and exercise habits. There is no one diet that works for everyone.

Instead of relying on so-called miracle diets promising rapid weight loss, take stock of your current eating and exercise habits and compare them with recommendations made by reputable organizations. (For example, the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide a wealth of information to get you started.)

A healthy diet along with exercise that results in a 1/2- to 1-pound loss each week is considered safe and effective. Think long-term and work on changes in your food selections and exercise habits that you can maintain for life. If you need help, seek advice from a health care professional such as your doctor or registered dietitian.

Section of Clinical Nutrition
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota

And with that word from the Mayo Clinic itself, let's get into some more details about WHY this is so unhealthful, the same way that the Cabbage Soup diet is, ultimately, doomed to failure and unhealthy. What you should be looking for in an eating plan is something you can live with for LIFE, not a one-shot deal. Think about it: do you *really* want to lose a few pounds for a very short time period (BTW most of that quick weight loss will be water and lean tissue - VERY little fat) only to gain it back - along with some extra pounds? I don't think so...

Here's another article I found on these kind of diets...

The Mayo Clinic Diet:
Does it Exist? Is it Safe?

Does the headline above make this diet sound a little fishy? Well, it definitely should. When one of our forum visitors recently asked about the Mayo Clinic Diet, I decided to do some research into it. Although I have heard people refer to it in the past, I had never looked into its eating plan or wondered if it actually was recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

A community member responded to the forum visitor that the diet is in fact not recommended by the Clinic and I have found -- beyond a doubt -- that that member was absolutely correct: not only is this diet not nutritionally-sound, most significantly, it is not recommended or approved by the actual Mayo Clinic in any way.

The Mayo Clinic Diet has been around for approximately 30 years and was first shared through junk mail, word-of-mouth and bulletin boards; then with the dawn of fax machines, offices everywhere were indundated with anonymous faxes touting this miracle diet. Now it has reached more people than ever, being shared via the Internet by e-mail and on personal Web pages. A preface to the diet often promises that you can lose up to 52 pounds in just a couple of months. Mayo Clinic dieticians, nutritionists and media personnel have being trying to get the word out for years: there is no, nor will there ever be, an official Mayo Clinic Diet.

In order to avoid perpetuating this diet's eating plan by posting it here, I read several different versions of it on personal homepages and will provide some highlights: The Mayo Clinic Diet is usually three or seven days in duration and is a high-protein, high-fat plan. There are several different incarnations; almost all of them include unlimited amounts of meat and poultry, fish and just a few veggies and encourage you to eat a lot of grapefruit or eggs. The main principle of each version is the consumption of high-fat and high-cholesterol foods. The plan also claims that the grapefruit burns up fat. Smacks of a fad diet to me.

Here are some warning signs that an eating plan is a fad diet:

Ruling out of entire food groups
"Unlimited" consumption of anything high in fat or sugar
Promotion of increased caffeinne intake
No variety or extremely strict rules
Certain food combinations to "burn" fat
Promising that certain foods increase your metabolism

The following statements really sent off warning bells in my head: "Do not eliminate anything from the diet, especially do not skip bacon at breakfast…" and "Grapefruit is what starts the fat-burning up process." As well as, "If you eat the combination of foods suggested, you will not get hungry." Could the phrase "eat all the meat you want" as part of the plan have possibly anything to do with not feeling hungry? The fad diet detective in me says, "Yes, indeed."

Whichever version of the Mayo Clinic Diet you encounter, they all have one thing in common: they say you will lose lots of weight, very quickly… like magic. Actually, you probably would lose a lot of weight rather quickly. But, like many other quick-weight-loss diets, most of that weight is actually going to be water... and as we have all heard in recent years: quick weight loss equals temporary results. And if the weight loss continues as rapidly as the diet claims -- 52 pounds in two months -- common sense says that a diet bringing such drastic results so quickly cannot be safe.

Even the proponents of this diet say the results aren't permanent. The dieter's page I used as a reference said, "This probably isn't safe to live on. In fact you probably shouldn't be on this for more than two months. After that you should probably start a low-carb diet maintenace plan." In other words, if you go back to eating normally, you're going to gain it all back… and then some, most likely.

If the changes a diet recommends are something you cannot do for the rest of your life, or in this case, are unsafe to do for more than a short period of time, there's your first indication that it's not worth doing. As the official Mayo Clinic Web site says: "These diets may promote temporary quick weight loss, however, they are not nutritionally balanced or a safe method of weight loss for long-term success." The Clinic instead recommends that we follow the nutrition guidelines set forth in the food guide pyramid.

You can find more information about the dietary guidelines at the DHHS Web site, or you can write to the Consumer Information Center, Department 378-C, Pueblo, CO. The Clinic has also set up a special recorded message about the diet at (507) 538-0287.

~ Jennifer R. Scott

03-25-2004, 12:32 AM
Well, my mom tried it and said that she lost 18 lbs. in a month. Would it make any difference if I incorporated exercise into it as well? Or no?

03-25-2004, 01:03 AM
Is there any other diet you can recommend? I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and I need something that has very clear, precise standards. The last time I went on a diet, it was a low-cal diet, but I HAD to keep it restricted to 500/day. I also had to plan my meals WEEKS ahead of time and I most often skipped both breakfast and lunch. I guess I need some strict guidelines to follow in order to do it. I've also tried fasting and that works wonders, but it dropped my energy level down to nothing. I need a diet that will MAKE me eat. My biggest problem with dieting is that even when I do well and follow the diet, I suffer from this weird "guilty" feeling (for lack of a better term). Eating in general just makes me feel awful, even if it's nothing more than a salad. The grapefruit diet seemed like a good idea, because everything is so precise, and that absorbs a little of the "guilt." I'd like to go back on my low-cal diet, but everyone I know is opposed to it. Last time it went out of control, and I was hoping that this might be a good alternative. Do you know what I mean? Any suggestions?

03-25-2004, 08:25 AM
Sounds like to me that you would thrive on structure. I know several people - not necessarily diagnosed as OCD, but self-proclaimed OCD - who went with Jenny Craig and were pleased with the results. Whatever you do, don't have the thought of "Quick Loss" in your head. Think of each pound as "Gone Forever."

I'm sure you'll find something that will work for you.

Now for the reason I opened this thread to begin with....I have a grapefruit tree in my yard that is LOADED down and we can't keep up with eating it all. :o

03-25-2004, 06:26 PM
Nothing wrong with grapefruit - its a GREAT fruit :) - I just wouldn't make it the MAJOR part of my diet. 500 calories is WAY too low, dangerously low.

Well, my mom tried it and said that she lost 18 lbs. in a month. Would it make any difference if I incorporated exercise into it as well? Or no?

Tell me something - how long ago did your mom say she lost 18 pounds - and more importantly is that 18 pounds STILL GONE? 500 calories a day PLUS exercise - that is a sure-fire recipe to force your metabolism to shut down completely and cause your body to start burning muscle rather than fat.

IMO, if you have OCD and want to follow a structured plan, I'd say talk to your doctor - perhaps get a referral to a nutritionist who can work with you. But for God's sake, don't follow some phony "Mayo diet" that doesn't exist and will only cause you to rebound big time and gain all the weight back and, most likely, several more pounds to boot!

Suzanne 3FC
03-25-2004, 07:18 PM
Excellent advice, MrsJim :)

The biggest problem with fad diets is that they just might cause the quick weight loss in the first month or so, but that weight loss is largely water and muscle, and the severe decrease in calories will cause the body to change the way it metabolizes fat after a while. The body thinks it's going into a period of starvation, so it starts to burn fewer calories doing normal things, than it did previously. So you consume less, but you need less. You counteract the benefits. If you add more calories, then you regain it quickly. The point isn't to lose 20 pounds this month and regain it next month. The point should be to lose 20 lbs forever. To do this, you need a healthy and balanced diet and exercise program which will result in long term, permanent results.

I can understand how having OCD would affect your choice in a diet. A nutritionist with your doctor's office will provide you with a diet plan, and you can report to them regularly to check your progress. If you are not able to do that, then there are a lot of balanced diet programs that you can follow. Weight Watchers might be a good choice, because you have specific guidelines to follow. They give out sample menus at meetings, so you'll have something to follow. The South Beach Diet is also a more balanced diet plan you might consider. While SBD does claim you don't have to count calories, carbs, etc, they do include sample menus in the book, so you will have something you can follow.

I'm glad you chose to investigate the grapefruit diet before starting it. There are so many fad diets out there that promise unrealistic losses, and far too many people fall for their claims. My own mother has followed fad diets such as that in the past. She did lose, but then she regained it. She finally achieved her goal weight through Weight Watchers and she has maintained that loss.

Good luck :)

03-27-2004, 09:04 AM
When I was in my early 20's I went on a very low calorie diet, same as you 500 or less a day, Yes, i lost weight and I also wound up very sick and almost in the hospital, my blood pressure shot sky high and the doctor was testing me for kidney damage.

DON'T DO IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Follow something safe and realistic and don't do what others are doing just for a quick weight loss, you'll only pay for it later on.

04-28-2004, 12:32 PM
OH TIG....
Wish I lived closer..I'd come help you eat those pesky grapefruits!!!