Grapefruit diet

Grapefruit diet or Hollywood diet is one of the first fad diets to come up. It implies eating grapefruit or drinking its juice with every meal. This was for weight loss. Is it effective? Are there any health benefits? What are it’s disadvantages?

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Grapefruit diet or Hollywood diet

Grapefruit diet or Hollywood diet is a controversial fad diet for weight loss. It became popular in the 1930s. And it was a craze at that time. Even now, there are some who support this diet even though it has no scientific backing for it.

In this diet, grapefruit or its juice is consumed with every meal. People who support and advocate this diet believe that grapefruit burns fat faster. They claim that you can see amazing results in twelve days. But no studies have proven this magical fat burning power of grapefruit.

Grapefruit diet
The Grapefruit diet (Source: Slide share)

There is a protein rich meal and along with each of the meal there is grapefruit. Unlike cabbage soup diet, it is not solely resting on just grapefruit. Moreover, there are claims that one can lose ten pounds in a matter of 12 days. There are anecdotes of success but no proper studies on this diet.

The exact details and benefits

There are several versions of this diet. But the usual duration is of two to three weeks. Every meal consists of less carbs and more protein rich foods. In one version of the diet, the slimmer is required to consume no more than 800 calories per day. Food preparation is as per the taste and wish of the slimmer. They can use butter, salad dressings, spices, herbs etc in making their meals. There are no restrictions on it.

Grapefruit is nutritious. It has low calories and lots of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Most importantly, it has vitamin C in it. One fruit provides 100% of the daily requirements of this vitamin. This is immunity boosting and increases production of collagen. Moreover, it enhances iron absorption.

Grapefruit diet
Protein meal with grapefruit (Source: Women world)

Potassium and magnesium also assist in better muscle strength, heart health, and blood pressure control. Risk of cardiovascular accidents lessen. The fiber makes you feel full and hence total calories intake reduces.

Despite all these good points of grapefruit, one needs to study its impact in weight management before recommending it.


The diet lacks evidence and scientific studies. Weight loss with this diet is due to low calories and may just be temporary. There is no lifestyle changes and weight might return on ceasing the diet. They are not effective in the long run.

This diet can cause fatigue and weakness. It might weaken the bones and teeth. Moreover, it can lower your metabolism and cause muscle loss and nutrition deficiencies. Additionally, restrictive and low calories diet are not adhered to and compliance issues arise.

Grapefruit diet
The Grapefruit diet (Source: Very well fit)

Also, read 9 healthy low calories breakfast options below 100 calories!

The diet has no proper guidelines and high fatty foods are allowed. This might be unhealthy for the heart and might increase blood cholesterol levels. Furthermore, grapefruit can interact with certain medications such as statins, blood pressure medications, cyclosporine, anti-anxiety drugs, corticosteroids, antihistamines, etc. It has furanocoumarins that increase the levels of these drugs in the blood causing their toxicity.