Best Grapefruit Diet Plan

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Unlike many fad diets, the grapefruit diet has been around for a long time – nearly 100 years, in fact – so understanding what it can offer is important if you’re trying to shed those extra pounds.

What is the Grapefruit Diet?

The grapefruit diet is an extreme calorie reduction diet that centers around consuming grapefruit in some form before or during every meal. Not only is grapefruit a densely nutritious fruit, but it also has a high water and fiber content, helping you to feel full and prevent overeating. There is no single form of this diet, and the severity of the diet may vary depending on which guidelines you follow. The bottom line for all grapefruit diets, however, is reducing sugar and carbs in a major way, while increasing your intake of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and low-calorie foods. Also, you will consume half a grapefruit or a glass of grapefruit juice with every meal. [1]

A grapefruit in one hand while measuring the waist with the other

Eating a grapefruit before meals will cause you to burn fat and lose weight, as per the Fruits and Veggies Organization. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

There is some controversy about the grapefruit diet, since many claim that it has incredible fat-burning properties. But in reality, the benefits of the diet are based on the calorie reduction and the appetite-suppressing nature of the diet. By reducing your diet to between 800 and 1,000 calories per day, you will naturally create a calorie deficit, which will lead to weight loss. The challenge with this diet, as with so many others, is that it promotes boredom, and makes it easier to cheat and break the diet, due to the repetitive nature of the food. [2]

Grapefruit Diet Menu

Most variations of the grapefruit diet last for at least 10 days, and most of the days consist of a similar pattern of consumption, particularly when it comes to 8 glasses of water per day and the grapefruit consumption at every meal.


  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1 cup of green tea or black coffee
  • 2 fried eggs (1 teaspoon of olive oil)
  • 2 turkey bacon slices


  • 1 cup of grapefruit juice (unsweetened)
  • 2 ounces of salmon
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian dressing


  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 2 ounces of turkey breast
  • 1 cup of steamed carrots or brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup of coffee or green tea

Bedtime Snack

Benefits of the Grapefruit Diet

Some of the benefits of the grapefruit diet include weight loss and an immune system boost, among others.

Weight Loss

By cutting back so drastically on calories, you will inevitably lose weight, so if this diet is intended for a fast weight drop, you will be thrilled with the results, but that slimmed down look may be short-lived. [3]

Boosts Immune System

The high concentration of vitamin C is enough to give your immune system a major boost, which you’ll need, as limiting your diet to such a narrow food selection can result in nutrient deficiencies and weakened immunity. [4]

Drawbacks of the Grapefruit Diet

The major drawback of the grapefruit diet is that it is so restrictive, in terms of calories, and repetitive, which can make it easier to break the diet. Furthermore, after the 10-12 days of the diet, while weight loss results may be easy to see, that weight can quickly return once a normal amount of calories are added back to your daily intake. In other words, the results can be short-lived, unless you quickly replace the grapefruit diet with another weight loss (or maintenance) strategy. [5] Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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