The Grapefruit Diet Plan

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The original Grapefruit Diet plan dates back to the 1930s when it was referred to as the “MayoClinic Diet” or the “Hollywood Diet.” Even though the diet was not associated with the Mayo Clinic, eventually, it became one of the most famous diets for fast weight loss.

Surprisingly, there’s no information about who engineered the diet or from where it originated. In the early 1900s, it circulated via typewriters, copy machines, faxes and eventually as technology moved forward, it made its way prolifically throughout the Interent. Although the diet has changed a little over the years, the basic premise still remains the same; people who follow the Grapefruit Diet plan will lose 10 pounds in 12 days.   

Grapefruit Diet PlanGrapefruit Diet Menu

The Grapefruit Diet is a derivative of the famous low carbohydrate, high protein Atkins diet, which is why it helps people lose weight quickly. Dieters should drink plenty of water, along with black coffee and tea if desired.

Breakfast: Eat one half grapefruit or 8 oz. of unsweetened grapefruit juice, 2 eggs prepared any style and 2 pieces of bacon

Lunch: Eat one half grapefruit or 8 oz. of unsweetened grapefruit juice, eat as much meat as you like, any kind, style and cooked any way you like. Eat a salad.

Dinner: One half grapefruit or 8 oz. of unsweetened grapefruit juice, meat or fish, any style, cooked any way you like, a salad and black coffee or tea

Bedtime: 8 oz. glass of tomato juice or skim milk/non-fat milk

You may have as much butter and salad dressing as you like, as long as the salad dressing does not have a lot of carbohydrates. Butter has zero carbohydrates, but be careful with salad dressings. Salad dressings like Ranch typically have fewer carbohydrates than others. Be sure check the ingredient list. If sugar is one of the first four ingredients, there’s probably a lot of carbohydrates. You can also check the Total Carbohydrates on the label.

How Do Low Carbohydrate Diets Work?

According to the MayoClinic, the theory behind the low-carbohydrate diet is that the body converts carbohydrates into sugar to be used for energy, and “insulin prevents fat breakdown in the body by allowing sugar to be used for energy.” Insulin also prevents fat breakdown in the body by using sugar instead. When there’s not that much sugar in your blood, insulin levels drop. Proponents of low-carb diets believe that lower insulin levels cause the body to burn stored fat for energy.

Grapefruit Diet Benefits and Research

In 2006 a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food revealed that eating grapefruit may help dieters shed pounds. Ninety-one obese participants were divided into four groups. Over the course of 12 weeks, three of the groups took apple juice or grapefruit juice along with a grapefruit capsule or a placebo before meals. The fourth group had grapefruit juice and fresh grapefruit before meals and lost a significant amount of weight compared to the participants in the other three groups. The fourth group also showed improved insulin resistance.

Health experts agree that grapefruits are packed with healthy nutrients. Grapefruit is packed with vitamin C, and it’s also rich in vitamin A, potassium, folate and thiamin. Pink grapefruit has lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help protect people from heart disease and cancer. Grapefruits are also low in calories. They have between 65 to 85 calories each, which make them a low-calorie, nutritious food. Still, many health experts believe there is not enough evidence to support grapefruit as a magical weight-loss food.

Grapefruit Diet Warnings

Most health experts do not recommend that most people lose weight fast because typically most gain the weight back as soon as they return to their normal eating habits. In addition, fad or crash diets may perpetuate yo-yo dieting, which can be detrimental to one’s health. Unless someone is under the supervision of doctor, he or she should not consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day.

One More Caveat

If you’re considering following the grapefruit diet plan, be sure to speak with a doctor first, especially if you’re taking any medications. Grapefruit can interact with prescription medicines like anti-anxiety prescriptions, some types of cholesterol-lowering statins, high blood pressure medication and antihistamines.


“Low-Carb Diet.” MayoClinic. 

“The Allure of Grapefruit for Weight Loss: What’s Under the Skin.” Environmental Nutrition. May 2011.  34. 5. Pg. 7.

Diet like a Floridian: The Grapefruit Diet



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