The US is seeing a resurgence when it comes to interest regarding nutrition, dieting and healthy living. All of this has led to an increase with regards to diet programs, weight-loss plans and exercise regimes. Similarly, a lot of dieting fads from the early start of the century are also making a comeback. With so many different opinions and diets to choose from, how do you make the right choice? The first step in making a decision to follow a diet is to research the food and figure out whether it will work. Reading up on the menu and understanding the science it is based on will help you evaluate it and gauge whether it will help you. This time around, we will be taking a look at one such diet which has gained a lot of popularity recently- the Grapefruit Diet. So, here’s a look at everything you need to know about the grapefruit diet and whether it actually works!
What is the Grapefruit Diet?
The Grapefruit diet is rich in protein and primarily focuses on making the grapefruit a staple in your diet. It requires you to add either grapefruit or grapefruit juice as a part of every meal you eat. The primary goal of the diet is to aid in quick weight loss, and the entire program lasts for around 12 days. However, over time, several different versions of the diet have come up, with minor changes in the plan. Most of these plans share one thing in common, though, they all aim for calorie intake around the 1000 calorie mark. Also, the diet allows food to have enough spices, dressing, butter and even other condiments making it easier to cook tasty food on this diet. Other caveats include excluding very hot and cold foods, cooking in aluminum pans, and separating carb and protein meals by at least four hours. So, how much of this is scientifically relevant, and how helpful or safe is this diet?
Basic Grapefruit Diet Rules
- Cut back on sugar and carbs
- Exclude refined foodstuffs such as rice, starchy potatoes, and pasta
- Avoiding celery and white onions
- Eat foods rich in protein and fat
- Include a lot of eggs, pork, and other red meat in your diet
- Eat grapefruit or grapefruit juice with every meal
- Cut calories to as low as 800 calories/day
- Drink at least eight glasses of water daily
- Have not more than one cup of either coffee or tea a day
Grapefruit Diet Sample Menu
- Breakfast – Two boiled eggs + bacon slices + 1/2 grapefruit/8 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice
- Lunch – Salad with meat + 1/2 grapefruit/8 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice
- Dinner – Grilled Meat + Salad + coffee/tea + 1/2 grapefruit/8 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice
- Snack – 8 ounces of skimmed milk
Grapefruit Diet Promise
The grapefruit diet promises that you can lose up to 10 pounds in 12 days as the grapefruit contains fat-burning enzymes. The diet says that the weight loss will happen without any starvation or excessive dieting. However, does this promise hold true?
Grapefruit Diet Pros
- Obviously, the most significant advantage the diet provides is the quick result that it promises. Most people see this promise and feel a strong pull towards this diet as they think it will help them lose weight quickly.
- It helps people look good for an event or their wedding, which is to happen in two weeks. The quick result promise gets them motivated and inspired efficiently.
- Works as an excellent start-up diet before you switch to more sustainable foods after the end of the diet.
- Adding a lot of fruits such as grapefruit will help balance out your diet and make it more healthy and sustainable.
- High vitamin C intake will help with improving your immunity.
Is the Grapefruit Diet Scientifically Valid
Not all the claims that the grapefruit diet makes is scientifically quantified. For instance, while studies have shown the grapefruit to be a very healthy fruit, it might not be as great as these people make it out to be. Also, the diet is extremely restrictive and low-carb in nature. Many researchers believe that it is this low-carb, low-calorie structure that contributes to quick weight loss, rather than the inclusion of the grapefruit in the diet. Furthermore, trying to lose over 10 pounds in twelve weeks might not be a very realistic or healthy way of losing weight. Most of this weight loss happens as a result of the loss of water, muscle and very little fat, which isn’t sustainable at all.
The Food and Drug Administration believes that while the grapefruit is an excellent fruit that has a lot of medicinal benefits, no study proves that it contains fat-burning enzymes. Furthermore, the diet is very restrictive, and it might not be possible for people to last 12 days on just salads and grapefruit, with a little meat. Not only is the diet repetitive, but it can also place a lot of limitations on your diet, which can lead to other dietary issues.
Grapefruit Diet Drug Interference
Furthermore, the grapefruit diet also interferes with certain drugs and medications. Here’s a quick look at a list of drugs that might take a hit due to the menu. Therefore, all the people who are on such medication must consult their doctor before starting on the grapefruit diet.
- Statin drugs including Lipitor, Zocor and Pravachol
- BP medication nifedipine
- Antihistamines like Allegra
- Antianxiety drugs such as BuSpar
- Certain transplant rejection drugs
- Antiarrhythmic drugs like amiodarone
It definitely looks like science does not agree with the claims made by people supporting the grapefruit diet. While like most fruits, the grapefruit is a wonderful fruit that contains a lot of nutrients, it does not have fat-burning powers. Therefore, while the diet might work in case you want to slim down quickly in time for a school dance, prom or wedding, it will not be sustainable in the long run. The highly mundane and repetitive nature of the diet will make it difficult to follow on a long-term basis. Therefore, people may use this diet as a learner’s program and then quickly move on to more sustainable diets such as the keto diet.