The Grapefruit Diet (cont.)

Beyond the nutritious grapefruit, experts agree, the Grapefruit Diet has numerous pitfalls and should not be used for anyone looking for sustainable, long-term weight control. The limited variety of foods is so restrictive it does little to help dieters improve their eating habits or behaviors.

And such a limited variety of foods in small portions is a prescription for boredom, monotony, and taste fatigue. It's exactly the formula that causes most dieters to throw in the towel, disgusted with trying to lose weight.

"On again, off again diets perpetuate the misunderstanding of healthy weight loss," says Washington University Nutrition Director, Diekman. "Sure, you will lose weight, but it will be primarily fluids and not the fat associated with health risks. And most people regain it as fast as they lost it -- so why bother?" she says.

Healthy weight loss is a process not a promise. "If you want long-term success, don't waste your time on the Grapefruit Diet," Diekman says. "Look for a flexible weight loss diet individualized to your needs, [one] that addresses behaviors, includes a wide variety of healthy foods, exercise, and can be enjoyed."

The Grapefruit Diet: Food for Thought

The expert consensus seems to be pretty clear: Don't bother with the Grapefruit Diet.

While nutritious grapefruit certainly can be part of a healthy weight loss plan, it contains no mysterious fat-burning properties. If you love grapefruit, reap the benefits of this supernutritious food by enjoying a serving before meals. The addition of a half grapefruit or a glass of grapefruit juice before meals may help fill you up so you'll eat fewer calories at meals, potentially losing weight. For added nutrition, choose pink grapefruit, which is rich in beta-carotene.

Along with a well-balanced, sensible, calorie-controlled diet, don't forget to include a regular dose of physical activity -- a scientifically proven way to burn fat and lose weight.

A claim the Grapefruit Diet just can't make.


Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, LD, FADA, president-elect, American Dietetic Association; director of university nutrition, Washington University, St Louis; Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, professor of psychology, Yale University, director, the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders. Fujioka, K. Journal of Medicinal Food, Spring 2006; vol 9(1): pp 49-54.

Reviewed on January 12, 2010

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Last Editorial Review: 1/12/2010 8:19:51 PM