The grapefruit diet is based on the belief that by combining protein and low carbs with grapefruit, excess weight can be shed. Proponents of this diet claim that grapefruit contains a fat-burning enzyme that dissolves fat, yet so far no scientific study supports this. A small study funded by the Florida Department of Citrus did discover that the addition of grapefruit with meals resulted in minor weight loss. But researchers suspect the cause is more likely to be water loss and the low amount of daily calories being consumed.
The standard grapefruit diet consists of three daily meals that contain meat, fish, vegetables, a side salad, and grapefruit or 8 ounces of unsweetened grapefruit juice for 12 days. It does not allow complex carbs or snacking between meals. Each day's food intake shouldn't exceed 800 calories, which is a dangerously low amount. For optimum health, doctors and nutritionists advise that a person's daily calorie intake should not drop below 1,100, which is an important factor to consider before you decide to undertake such a restrictive diet.
A typical breakfast would be eggs, bacon, and grapefruit. An example of lunch and dinner would be a protein such as fish, beef or chicken and, of course, grapefruit. Other permitted foods are red onions, bell peppers, radishes, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, scallions, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, mayonnaise, cheese, hot dogs, coleslaw, salad dressing, butter pickles and dried nuts. Triple helpings of meat, salad or vegetables are encouraged.
Create variety while on the grapefruit diet by alternating recipes with the proteins and side dishes you're allowed to have. For example, if you eat fish for lunch, have beef or chicken for dinner prepared in a different and innovative way than the day before. Avoid repeating the same dishes. This will make the grapefruit diet less monotonous and much more fun.
Exercise is to be avoided while on the grapefruit diet due to the limited amount of calories being consumed.
Pay attention to possible side effects while on the grapefruit diet, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness or lethargy. These are signs that you're not receiving proper nutrients, and you should immediately return to your normal way of eating. If you experience stomach pain or digestive disorders, you may not be able to tolerate the high acidity of grapefruit.
If you're on certain medications, check with your doctor before beginning the grapefruit diet. Grapefruit may also interfere with certain drugs, including oral contraceptives. The British Dietetic Association issued a warning that grapefruit can interfere with statin absorption, and users of statins are advised not to eat grapefruit for this reason.
After 12 days of dieting, if you wish to continue take at least 2 days off before doing so.