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History and Health Effects of the Grapefruit Diet to Help Celebrities Lose Weight

History and Health Effects of the Grapefruit Diet to Help Celebrities Lose Weight

  • May 29, 2022

With recent trends in obesity and increasing height, diet and weight loss have become popular topics in everyday conversations. The ever-growing food industry has spawned numerous products and unusual diet tips to capitalize on our increasing obsession. Many of these “fad diets” make pseudoscientific claims that appeal to people looking to shed a few pounds. The focus on a specific food group or secret healthy food gives many of these diets the mystery of becoming popular. In recent history, one of the more popular of these diets has focused on consuming only grapefruit.

The grapefruit diet, also known as the Hollywood diet, originated in the USA in the 1930s. The diet focuses on claims that grapefruit has exceptional weight-loss properties, such as a fat-burning enzyme. The grapefruit diet is considered unhealthy by most nutritionists due to the lack of essential vitamins and minerals and the low calorie count (less than 1,200 calories per day). On the other hand, including a grapefruit with each meal may prove beneficial to a healthy person’s diet, provided the dieter is not allergic to grapefruit or taking medications that interact with citrus fruits.

The Grapefruit Diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that generally occurs on a 2-week cycle (12-day diet with 2-day off) that is repeated until desired body weight is achieved. Proponents of the diet suggest that grapefruit helps burn body fat when eaten with foods high in dietary fat. Accordingly, the diet includes the consumption of meat, eggs, and fish while limiting the consumption of sugar, sweet fruits, grains, and other carbohydrate sources. For best results, the diet requires three high-fat, high-protein meals, supplemented with a grapefruit, and with a daily calorie intake of less than 1,200 calories.

The diet gained popularity in the 1970s after being incorrectly dubbed “the Mayo Clinic diet.” Although the clinic had nothing to do with the diet, the name branding helped popularize the diet. In the 1980s, the diet was shortened to just 10 days with 2 days off, earning the nickname the “10 days, 10 pounds off diet.” A 2004 study by the Florida Citrus Department analyzed whether grapefruit could help you lose weight. Participants were encouraged to eat half a grapefruit with every meal and to exercise regularly. The results were encouraging: a number of participants lost more than 10 pounds in 12 weeks. Note that the study focused on adding grapefruit to a healthy diet and not a regular grapefruit diet. Nonetheless, some people claim that the diet is successful in the short term, but maintaining weight loss long-term still requires adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks to Bryan D Holekamp

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