The grapefruit diet is surely a controversial one. Many celebrities have championed it, but experts and scientists say it doesn’t do what it promises it will. Therefore, this conundrum has left people all over the world wondering – is the grapefruit diet, in fact, good or not? This article aims to shed some light on whether it is good or not and on how to do it should you want to take it up.
Why Is the Grapefruit Diet So Famous?
The main reason why the mass public has taken a great liking to the grapefruit diet is the fact that it promises amazing results in just a few days. In fact, some variations of this diet suggest you’ll lose up to 10 pounds in 12 days. This acts a mirage to people all over, especially the ones who plan on losing weight fast for a particular event such as their wedding.
Apart from the fabulous weight loss, the grapefruit diet is very easy to follow. Unlike other diets, who make you stay away from sweets, for example, and only eat combinations of seeds and green lettuce, the grapefruit diet actually tells you to eat bacon and meat cooked any way you like. The trick is to drink a lot of grapefruit juice every day. Evidently, seeing as grapefruit itself is quite a delicious fruit, this diet seems sent right from heaven. However, not a lot of people buy this.
The Pros and Cons of the Grapefruit Diet
As promised in the beginning, this article lists in detail all the pros and cons of the grapefruit diet. In this way, you will be able to make an informed decision when pondering whether or not to take it up.
#1. The results
The results promise to be fantastic. All you have to do is make sure you drink plenty of grapefruit juice or eat whole grapefruits during the day. The quick weight-loss is very encouraging to people, who are drawing by this almost magical way of losing pounds. It also encourages you to continue with other diets and, possibly, a healthier lifestyle.
#2. It’s healthy
Pink or yellow grapefruit is considered a very healthy piece of fruit, as well as remarkably nutritious. This means it’s a very smart choice, not just when you’re dieting, but for your general health and well-being too. It’s chock-full of Vitamin C, which helps the skin heal and gives it a natural, healthy glow. It also helps your hair grow faster and aids your immune system significantly.
#3. It’s very permissive
When following the grapefruit diet, you needn’t starve yourself or deprive yourself of certain foods. The diet suggests you eat normally every day, and to include foods such as desserts, bacon, and fried meat if you want.
All the meals are average and should be eaten at normal times. This benefit is surely a pro for the grapefruit diet, seeing as it differentiates it from other, much more restrictive diets.
#4. You don’t have to exercise
Given the fact that it’s based on grapefruit, which supposedly burns calories and the fat deposits themselves, the diet says you don’t have to exercise at all. Evidently, this is a pro, especially for people who don’t like to or don’t have time for sports at all. A diet that gives you a delicious fruit which will burn off all your excess fat and replaces going to the gym? Yes, please!
#5. It’s very easy to do
The grapefruit diet doesn’t require you to prepare the fruit itself in any way. You have to eat it as it is, peeled, of course, or juice it. That’s all. Therefore, this means all you have to do is stock up on grapefruit and make sure you eat it with every single meal of the day. Other diets usually require you to cook the food you eat in a certain way or to prepare shakes and flavored waters, so that you may keep on track. However, not the grapefruit diet. It’s as easy as a walk in the park. Provided you like grapefruit.
Unfortunately for this diet’s supporters, the cons list is a tad longer than the pros list.
#1. It’s not the grapefruit that gets the job done
Yes, indeed, the grapefruit diet is not about the grapefruit at all. The main idea with this diet is for you to cut sugar and carbs. This means you will not be able to eat anything made with flour anymore, such as bread, pasta, pie crust and so on. You can’t eat rice or potatoes anymore either, and you must cut down your sugar intake.
These restrictions reduce your carb intake down to 800 calories a day. As a consequence, you would be losing weight even without the grapefruit.
#2. Grapefruit burning off the fat has ‘myth busted’ written all over it
People who support the grapefruit diet have always claimed that its rich is some enzymes that literally burn the fat away. This is the reason why you don’t need to exercise at all while on this diet. However, researchers have proven this is not true. Grapefruit is not a miracle superfood that melts away the fat deposit in your cells, no matter how much you drink or eat.
Evidently, this is a con that shakes the very foundation the grapefruit diet is based on.
#3. The promised weight loss is unrealistic
Nutritionists say that what this diet promises, the loss of some 10 pounds in a mere 12 days is entirely unrealistic. Even with the low carb meal plans, you still wouldn’t be able to lose them all in such a short amount of time.
In fact, losing weight at the speed of light could lead to you losing muscle mass and lots of water, which will severely dehydrate you and leave you feeling weak and nauseated all the time. You are prone to headaches, back and leg pains, and to sleepless nights.
#4. Grapefruit interferes with certain medication
Even if it is very healthy, grapefruit does have the power of interfering with certain pills and their effects.
- Statin drugs – these medicines are often used to reduce cholesterol levels, but grapefruit basically renders them pointless. Some of these pills are the very popular Lipitor (its active substance is atorvastatin), Zocor (which has simvastatin as its active substance), and Pravachol (based on the active substance called pravastatin.
- Blood pressure medication – grapefruit also interferes with Nifedipine, which is supposed to lower the blood pressure
- Some antihistamines – Allegra being one of them.
- Antianxiety drugs – such as BuSpar, whose active substance is buspirone
- Some drugs meant to help the body not reject transplants
- Some antiarrhythmia drugs, including amiodarone.
This quite long list of important medication grapefruit is known to interact with in a bad way with means the grapefruit diet is not meant for everyone. In fact, doctors recommend all the people, ill or not, who want to go on this diet to talk to their physician first, to make sure it will not harm them.
What you need to remember from all this is that the diet is based on you drinking a lot of grapefruit juice every day. Seeing as it’s a potentially harmful fruit, the diet itself becomes moot.
#5. The diet is limited
Although all the foods the grapefruit diet is based on are tasty in themselves, they are repetitive. Eating the same thing for at least 12 days might turn out to be stressful. It will also make you unhappy because food variation plays a big part in our psychological well-being.
However, the most important reason why the diet’s limited food choices is a con is the fact that it’s not healthy. You probably already know that eating the same thing every day does not benefit your system at all. You need a varied meal plan, made up of as many things as you can eat.
#6. The weight returns as quickly as you lost it
If you, indeed, manage to lose the promised 10 pounds in 12 days, studies show you’ll bounce back up in no time. Simply because the diet is made so that you lose the pounds but not keep them off. After you’ve finished, you need to find another diet to go on or seriously start exercising, so as to not gain weight again.
Unfortunately, this reduces the plan from ‘diet’ status to ‘fad’.
#7. The weight you lose is not real fat
Researchers and nutritionists pointed out that, when going on the grapefruit diet, what you end up losing is the so-called ‘water weight’ and not real fat. This means you’re not actually skinnier. You’re just a lot more dehydrated than you know.
How to Follow the Grapefruit Diet
Here is the original basic menu for the grapefruit diet, so that you can enjoy all its benefits in an easy way.
- Start with half a grapefruit on an empty stomach
- Cook two eggs any way you like, including fried or with butter. You can even do one fried egg and one poached or boiled, for a healthier plan.
- Add two slices of bacon. You can fry it as well, and you can substitute regular pork bacon with turkey bacon, to make the meal healthier.
- Have another half a grapefruit before you start eating your lunch
- Green salad with a dressing of your choosing, no matter what it has in it, including mayo.
- Have as much meat as you want, no matter what type, cut or preparation style
- Half a grapefruit before you start on your dinner
- Another green salad with a dressing of your choosing. In case you don’t fancy another salad because you’ve already had one for lunch, you can replace it with a green or red vegetable sauteed in butter.
- Eat meat or fish, as much as you like, any way you like it
- Drink one cup of tea or coffee. This beverage is not optional.
- Eat half a grapefruit on an empty stomach
- Drink a cup of coffee or a cup of tea without adding any sugar or cream. The beverage is not optional.
- Eat half a grapefruit before starting on your lunch
- Two eggs, cooked any way you want
- Have a cucumber and tomato salad, without any dressing this time. You may add if you fancy, some balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
- Combine the salad with just one slice of toast.
- Have a cup of coffee or tea. The beverage is optional here since you already had one for breakfast. The grapefruit diet states you must drink one cup of coffee or tea per day, no matter what time it is.
- Eat half a grapefruit before starting on your meal, to put your stomach to work.
- Eat five ounces of very lean meat. To be sure, go for turkey or chicken instead of pork, for example. Seafood is a great alternative as well.
- Eat another salad. This time, it can be made up of lettuce and tomatoes. Do not add any dressing to it, but you can put balsamic vinegar or lemon and lime juice on it.
- Have a cup of coffee or tea after you’ve finished your dinner.
The grapefruit diet also specifies some healthier ways in which you can have your allotted fruit. Here are some tips.
- Instead of eating the fruit as it is, you can drink its juice. It’s far easier than eating the grapefruit, which is bitter and tangy.
- Instead of eating the grapefruit on its own before the meal, add it to your garden salad. You can also season your salad with grapefruit juice instead of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice as the meal plan advises.
- Make your own fruit salad at home with sugar-free fruit, such as melon and blueberries. Add the grapefruit as well. It will turn out to be a tasty salad that will also burn some calories.
As stated in the beginning, the grapefruit diet is somewhat controversial. While the research clearly shows how grapefruit is not a magical fruit that burns away all your extra kilos in under two weeks, the fact that this diet has been around since the 30s makes you think people might actually be onto something here. The bottom line is that you need to try it for yourself and see how many kilos you can lose.