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The Grapefruit Diet Explained: How & Why It Works!

By Katy Cowley / a couple of years ago

Different diets have come and go but eating more grapefruit to lose excess weight has persisted through the years. Even in the 1930s, people were already trying out a version of the grapefruit diet and seeing some results. Let’s take a look at this diet in more detail to see why many people are convinced of its effectiveness and if it’s worth considering.

How The Grapefruit Diet Started

The nutritional value of the grapefruit is well known. It’s rich in fiber and an excellent source of vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants and aids in regulating cholesterol levels. At the same time, it’s low in calories and fat. All these benefits and nutrients make it a perfect fruit to add to your regular diet. This could be one reason why a number of people prefer to replace their usual food with grapefruit as a weight loss diet plan.

One recent study has also been associated with the grapefruit diet. This study was conducted by Dr. Ken Fujioka at the Nutrition and Medical Research Centre at Scripps Clinic, where participants included either grapefruit or grapefruit juice in their meals every day. Their weights were tracked for 12 weeks and compared to a control group whose meals excluded grapefruit. Results showed a slightly higher amount of weight lost among those who ate grapefruit every day.

How Does The Grapefruit Diet Work?

The most accepted practice of this diet is to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice during mealtimes. The target is to lose a considerable amount of weight in a short amount of time, over 12 days. Taking all food, meals and snacks, into consideration, the total number of calories consumed per day must not exceed either 800 or 1,000 calories.

Aside from the calorie limit, there are some foods that you can eat as well as some foods that should be restricted. Protein-rich foods like meat are part of the diet, and most spices, sauces and dressings are allowed. Sweet foods and carbohydrates like bread should be minimized, however.

Benefits Of The Grapefruit Diet

If you don’t mind eating grapefruit despite its sour or bitter taste, you won’t have a problem with this diet. It’s fairly easy to follow and as long as you adhere to the allowed foods on the list, you won’t need to make much of an effort to prepare your meals. Another advantage of this diet is that it’s quite flexible and easy to adapt to your lifestyle. You can stick to the 800 calorie limit if you want to lose weight more quickly but if you need more energy or if it’s your first time to follow a diet plan, it’s best to use the 1,000 calorie plan. You may also exercise if you’d like to be fit and in better shape but for this diet plan, it’s not a must.


One of the major disadvantages of this diet is that grapefruit can affect the efficacy of some medications. If you’re currently taking medicine such as for hypertension, it’s best to avoid eating too much grapefruit as it might likely yield adverse results. Another concern is that if you have a health condition, you should also consult with your doctor first before trying out new diet plans especially those for drastic weight loss.


The grapefruit diet can be successful in producing results quickly, plus grapefruits are highly nutritious, but there is still some doubt to its sustainability over the long term. Though this diet can lead to weight loss because of its low calorie and low carbohydrate nature, if you’ll lose interest or get bored from eating the same food all the time, you might go back to unhealthy eating habits and gain back the weight you lost.


About the author

Katy Cowley

Katy has a great amount of knowledge when it comes to all things health. She has spent time testing out the latest diets, fitness techniques and more to make sure that she can provide you with solid information.