Hey Angels and Alphas,
Let’s talk a little bit about the grapefruit diet and its effects on weight loss.
If you’re not familiar with the grapefruit diet, it’s pretty much a diet that has outlasted several decades of diet fads and nutrition trends.
It was once called the Hollywood diet, and it was born way back in the 1930s. It involves eating half a grapefruit with each meal.
But does this bitter-sweet juicy citrus fruit actually hold up to any of the hype?
To be honest, not really. Sadly, the myth of the grapefruit diet and its amazing results on weight loss has been around for years and it refuses to die.
Let’s be honest – depending on what protocol you follow, you may either consume the fresh fruit or drink the juice of a grapefruit before a meal. A couple of decades ago, grapefruit was believed to be one of those foods that promote weight loss.
But technically speaking, what people called the “Hollywood diet” was just a 12-day diet that brought you down to about 1,000 calories a day… and it’s easy to see why someone might be losing weight by following that.
The truth is that, if you’re consuming the juice of a grapefruit, depending on whether you bought it at the store or you squeezed it yourself, you might be adding a ton of unnecessary sugar to your meal. You might as well be drinking high-sugar lemonade or sweet tea. And when you’re drinking this, you’re not helping your body burn any extra fat. On the contrary – you’re helping your body store more fat with this excess sugar you’re throwing on top of your meal.
Here’s the science behind it…
Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with eating grapefruit. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s still a great fruit, but there’s just no evidence that this citrus fruit “dissolves fat” or whatever it’s being promoted as. It’s not a magic ingredient for weight loss.
Some of the research suggesting grapefruit works this way is so old and so small you might as well ignore it altogether and the people doing the research came to an entirely different conclusion than what they actually set out to research.
There’s no data proving that grapefruit is anything more than a delicious fruit.
There was this neat little study done back in 2012 that evaluated 74 overweight (but healthy) adults. They broke them down into two groups:
- One group consumed ½ grapefruit 15 minutes before each meal.
- The other group consumed a control diet for 6 weeks.
Both groups were told to restrict fruit and veggie consumption.
The results were exactly what you would expect – grapefruit did not help people eat fewer calories and they didn’t lose any significant amount of weight. That being said, they did notice grapefruit lead to a decrease in waist circumference. This is one of the studies that fueled the idea that citrus fruits help reduce the risk of heart disease.
An earlier study published in Nutrition and Metabolism did something interesting. They randomly assigned obese adults to start consuming grapefruit and grapefruit juice or a few glasses of water before meals for 12 weeks.
What they found is that people did in fact eat less of the meal when they consumed grapefruit… but the effect was just the same as when drank water before the meal.
Let’s talk about the volumetrics approach.
Researches in the second study concluded that this is evidence for the volumetrics approach to eating. One tactic is to eat or drink something that’s rich in water before a meal, so the volume fills you up before the meal even starts. Volumetrics actually has a lot of data behind its potential for weight loss. It actually works. And this could be one of the reasons why grapefruit was initially deemed effective.
But let’s be honest – who wants to eat half a grapefruit before every meal? That’s going to get really old really fast. Imagine eating a grapefruit before digging into veggie pizza. How uninspiring. And let’s not forget the acidity of citrus fruits can cause major GI distress.
Instead, use the volumetrics approach to your advantage. A cup of herbal tea, broth-based soup, a salad, or even plain water, can help you consume less calories with every meal.
Here’s the bottom line…
Grapefruit does not have magical weight-loss powers, sorry to say. If you’re a fan of it, keep eating it, but don’t expect any weight loss to happen as a result of that.
If you do see it happening, it’s likely going to be because of the volumetrics approach to eating which can be achieved just by drinking a glass of water before a meal.