Grapefruit Diet- What Is It and What You Should Know About It

Updated on February 12th, 2020
Grapefruit Diet

The grapefruit diet is a low-carb, high-protein, low-calorie diet plan that concentrates on the inclusion of grapefruit or grapefruit juice in every meal of the day. It is based on the belief that grapefruit consists of fat-melting enzymes and has fat-burning properties that initiate considerable weight loss in just 12 days.

In fact, grapefruit, if eaten before other foods, helps to burn fat off your body. There are various versions of this 12-day diet plan, but the most popular ones stress on the intake of fewer than 1,000 calories per day.

There are some underlying tips and tricks which you need to follow when undertaking the grapefruit diet.

These include:

  • You can use any amount of salad dressing, spices, or butter to prepare the food during each meal.
  • Refrain from preparing your food in aluminum pans.
  • The food must not be too hot or too cold when being consumed.
  • There should be a minimum gap of 4 hours between protein-meals and starch-meals.

[ Read: Grapefruit Benefits ]

Researchers claim that the grapefruit diet plan can make you lose up to 10 pounds in just 12 days by eating normal meals at normal times of the day, without having to starve yourself.

Nutrition Facts

The grapefruit diet weight loss plan has multiple nutritional advantages.

  • It is low in carbohydrates and restricted to a calorie intake of 800 units or less per day.
  • This diet contains high levels of Vitamin C, which provides great protection to the immune system.
  • Grapefruit makes the right choice to be included in your diet as it contains only 40 calories per half fruit.
  • By being rich in fiber, the grapefruit diet curbs hunger immensely, helping you avoid unhealthy snacking.
  • It is rich in vitamin A which is a powerful antioxidant. This assists in fighting free radical damage, which might lead to innumerable health problems, including cancer. Also, vitamin A is perfect for good vision, initiates cell growth, and leads to a healthy immune system.
  • Grapefruit is absolutely fat-free and hence gives outstanding results when it comes to weight loss.

[ Read: Grapefruit for Weight Loss ]

Foods to Include and Avoid

The grapefruit diet(1) poses certain restrictions as to which foods one can include or avoid during meals. The first and foremost condition for someone who wants to undertake this diet plan is that they should be a grapefruit lover, as this meal-plan recommends the inclusion of grapefruit or grapefruit juice during every meal of the day. Other things which you can eat or avoid are as follows:

  • Celery and white onion should be avoided.
  • Sugar and carbs intake should be cut down, and hence pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. should be avoided altogether.
  • It is recommended to include foods that are rich sources of protein, fat, and cholesterol, such as egg, pork, and red meat.
  • You should have at least eight glasses of water and a cup of coffee every day along with the meal throughout the day.

[ Read: Benefits of Kumquat ]

Grapefruit comes in various colors. Pink is the most common; the others include white, red, and yellow.

Potential Pros and Cons

Health professionals claim that there are positive as well as negative sides of the grapefruit diet, which cannot be overlooked.


  • The quick weight loss results work wonderfully for those wanting to shed those extra kilos off for a special occasion or event in a short time.
  • The grapefruit diet is a smart choice to maintain overall general health, as grapefruit in itself is a healthy, low-calorie, high-in-nutrition fruit.
  • The presence of high Vitamin-C in grapefruit is a significant component that provides immense protection for the immune system.


  • Just like other fad diets, the grapefruit diet is a weight loss plan that gives results, but only temporarily. The crash diet leads to excessive consumption of food upon completion of the 12-day program, thereby leading to weight gain than weight loss during the period.
  • The grapefruit diet is not recommended for people who are on some cholesterol and blood pressure drugs like statins, as it may increase the effect of the drug on the body and lead to adverse conditions hours before or after taking these medicines.
  • The grapefruit diet adds a lot of unhealthy high-fat proteins like bacon and other forms of high-fat meat, which are your primary source of energy. However, having these in excess may result in one putting on weight rather than losing from this diet plan.

[ Read: Healthiest Fruits You Must Eat ]

The grapefruit diet dates back to 1930.

Meal Plan


The grapefruit diet plan is a 12-day program. In a day, you need to have half a grapefruit or its juice (unsweetened) before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, most necessarily. A typical grapefruit meal plan includes the following:

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs and two slices of bacon along with half grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice
  • Lunch: Unlimited meat and salad with salad dressing of your choice along with half a grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice.
  • Dinner: Non-starchy red and green vegetables or salad with salad dressing of your choice, unlimited meat or fish, along with half a grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice.
  • Bedtime snacks: A glass of tomato juice or skimmed milk before going to bed at night.

The grapefruit diet even allows the intake of black coffee or tea. Also, it would be best if you had plenty of water during the day, at least 64 ounces every day.

During each meal, you can eat as much as you want, until satisfied. However, you should avoid exercising due to the low intake count of calories.

The same meal plan should be repeated all 12 days to get the desired results at the end of day 12.

Grapefruit contains under 40 calories per half fruit and is very high in vitamin C and vitamin A.

Closing Thoughts

Grapefruit is a highly nutritious citrus fruit that is low in calories and high in fiber(2). However, the grapefruit diet weight loss program does not give long term results. It is a short-term quick-fix with no long term sustainability. Since this fruit fills you up before meals, you generally tend to eat less and intake fewer calories, thereby leading to a potential weight loss.

[ Read: Benefits of Dragon Fruit ]


1. How much weight can I lose on the grapefruit diet?

Ans: The grapefruit diet enables you to lose up to 10 pounds in 12 days.

2. Is grapefruit for breakfast healthy?

Ans: Grapefruit is extremely hydrating, filling, and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar and insulin levels when eaten during breakfast. Also, it comes packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants, which makes it a very healthy choice to start your day with.

3. Is it OK to eat grapefruit every day?

Ans: Eating grapefruit everyday poses excellent benefits for the immune system. The high content of vitamin C present in it has antioxidant properties that safeguard your cells from harmful bacteria and viruses.

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