The grapefruit diet is a well known fad diet that has been around since the 1930s in the United States. Having been called many names over the years, this diet is a short-term weight loss plan that varies widely depending on the source. It is generally viewed as an unhealthy and potentially dangerous diet.
What is the Grapefruit Diet?
There are many variations of this diet, but generally it involves eating a half grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice with every meal. Additionally, the diet typically entails cutting caloric intake very low, often below 800 calories per day. The diet is based on the premise that grapefruit is made up of a fat-burning enzyme or some similar property.
Most versions of this diet state that you will lose 10 pounds during this 12-day diet program. Exercise is recommended in some versions of this plan, while not in others. This is not a plan that takes into account long-term weight loss and maintenance.
What are the Benefits of the Grapefruit Diet?
Most people will lose weight on the grapefruit diet for the sole reason that it is a low carbohydrate and moderated protein diet that limits caloric intake to just about 800 calories daily. With or without the inclusion of grapefruit, when calories are dramatically reduced like this, it is almost guaranteed you will lose weight.
If you like grapefruit, you may enjoy this diet. Grapefruit has no fat, has a lot of Vitamin C and is very low in calories. Pink grapefruit also contains beta-carotene. If you like coffee, this diet may also appeal to you, as coffee drinking is strongly encouraged as part of the grapefruit diet.
Grapefruit is a nutritious and low-calorie fruit that is packed with fiber and Vitamin C. The low calorie count, high fiber levels and low glycemic index helps to reduce insulin levels and makes you feel fuller (and in turn eat fewer calories).
What are the Cons of the Grapefruit Diet?
There are no scientific studies that back up the claims that grapefruit has the power to burn fat. It is a low calorie food, but does not hold any magical powers for helping you to lose weight. Because this is a low-calorie diet and encourages dieters to drink large amounts of caffeinated beverages, this diet is particularly dangerous.
This diet can also be quite dangerous for people that are taking prescription medicines, as many drugs have adverse interactions with grapefruit juice. Talk to your doctor before beginning this diet if you are taking any prescription medications.
Beyond these facts, researchers and dieticians agree that this diet should not be used for long-term and sustainable weight loss. The lack of variety and restrictive food options do not help dieters in improving their eating habits and behaviors. This type of diet is one that often leaves dieters so bored and frustrated with dieting that they often give up on dieting altogether.
Grapefruit Diet and Nutrition
Grapefruit is a healthy choice and can compliment any healthy weight loss plan. It is very nutritious and can help you eat fewer calories per meal. However, the traditional grapefruit diet is low in fiber and protein and lacks several important vitamins and minerals.
If you choose to do this diet, be sure to take a multivitamin supplement, and talk to your doctor about any underlying health problems.