The Grapefruit Diet is a weight loss plan that is designed for super fast, short-term results, which is in stark contrast to what the Mayo Clinic usually preaches when it comes to their diets. So why has this diet become known as the “Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet?” No one knows for sure, but the Minnesota-based clinic says they didn’t design the plan, nor have they ever been on the record endorsing it as a viable weight loss solution.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at what the Grapefruit diet is all about, and then look at some possible alternatives to what is considered by many to be a “fad” diet, which we don’t usually endorse on TheDietDynamo.com.
How the Diet Works
The grapefruit diet typically takes place over a two week period and lays out a plan for what you need to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The key feature of the diet is grapefruit, obviously. While it’s not clear whether or not this diet actually works, here’s what its practitioners layout a the meal plan guidelines:
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Strips of Bacon
- Half a Grapefruit or Small Glass of Grapefruit Juice (4 ounces)
- Salad – as much as you want
- Grapefruit or Grapefruit Juice
- Meat of Your Choice – Salmon, Chicken, Steak, etc.
- Vegetables – as many as you want
- Meat of Your Choice
- Grapefruit or Grapefruit Juice
- Can be Before bedtime – Small Glass of Milk or Tomato Juice.
Using this Grapefruit diet menu as your guide, you would follow it for almost two weeks. From what I have read, you would eat this way for 12 days, then take a two-day break from the diet. Then, you start over again if you are still wanting to lose more weight.
It’s not exactly clear how much weight you could potentially lose following this plan, but the diet seems to have a loyal following, and a lot of people reporting substantial weight loss using this system for what that’s worth.
Foods You Aren’t Supposed to Eat
While freedom (you can eat as much meat and vegetables as you want at lunch and dinner) is one of the features that attracts many people to the grapefruit diet in the first place, there are some things you aren’t supposed to eat when following the diet plan. These are as follows:
- White Onions
- Limit Caffeine to One Drink per Meal
Again, I’m not sure there’s any scientific evidence backing these claims up, but the diet followers claim that grapefruit contains a special enzyme that can rev up your metabolism, this burning more fat at each meal. Whether or not this is true is up for debate, but there are plenty of people who say this diet works, so you can decide whether or not you want to believe it.
Are There Side Effects?
While the diet doesn’t list any official side effects, there are some well-known potential side effects that can come with eating these particular foods in isolation, and a few that dieters have reported when following this system:
- Lack of Focus
- Stomach Issues
These are just short-term issues that people have pointed out, but there are some other potential long-term side effects that have been associated with eating high fat, low fiber diets. Expert organizations like the American Heart Association say that following a diet that is high in protein, but low in fiber can lead to an increased risk for things like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease – just some food for thought.
It’s possible that you could try the grapefruit diet and lose weight, but this doesn’t appear to be a long-term solution to weight loss, and it’s not a diet that the Mayo Clinic actually recommends or endorses. They do, however, offer a more balanced and healthy approach to weight loss, that is less about short-term gains, and more about developing healthy habits that you can maintain for the rest of your life.
The actual Mayo Clinic Diet was developed by their team of experts and doctors and utilizes an approach based on their healthy eating pyramid. As you can see in the picture, the bulk of your foods should come from the base of the pyramid, and then as you work your way to the point you will be eating less and less of those foods:
The actual Mayo Clinic approach is heavy on fruits and vegetables, features a healthy amount of lean proteins, some healthy fats like nuts and avocados, and very limited amounts of sweets and dairy.
This being said, weight loss is still a priority with the Mayo Clinic Diet, and you can lose up to 10 pounds during your first week on the program. This means it’s a viable and healthy option for people looking to lose a decent amount of weight in a pretty short amount of time.
Other Fad Diet: