Watermelon Diet for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Going on a watermelon diet may sound like a delicious way to lose weight and cleanse the body, but there are a number of factors you need to consider before going on such a restrictive diet.

What is a Watermelon Diet?

A watermelon diet can come in a few different forms, but they are generally a short-term cleanse or detox period, where you exclusively eat watermelon. In some versions, a 3 or 4-day period of watermelon consumption is followed by a reduced diet plan, which can make this diet more effective. In other, easier versions of this diet, you can return to a normal diet after the 3-day flush.

How Does a Watermelon Diet Work?

Watermelon diet is effective because it is rich in fiber and water, and has a low level of calories, making you feel full and hydrated, and at the same time promotes weight loss. This can create a large calorie deficit and help with rapid weight loss.

Watermelon juice in a mason jar and a glass with straws, and sliced watermelon

The watermelon diet is more of a cleanse. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

As with many detox diets or extremely restrictive flash diets, there is a great deal of controversy around this diet, as it can provide measurable results, but they are difficult to maintain, and many people gain the lost weight back very rapidly after they finish this cleanse. According to a 2015 report published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, no randomized controlled trials have been conducted on humans to gauge the effectiveness of detox diets. This is why most detox diets become popular only on anecdotal evidence of sudden weight loss, but the potential risks are not into consideration.

People who have used the watermelon diet claim that it can help with weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, and immune system issues. However, since watermelon doesn’t provide a complete nutrient profile, and is completely lacking in protein, it should only be practiced in limited, short spurts.

How To Go On a Watermelon Diet?

For the first three days of a watermelon diet, you should only eat watermelon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and should only drink water. Following those first three days, you will eat two meals a day, and snack on watermelon in between to curb the hunger pangs. The two meals should be high in fiber, grains, and lean protein.

Note: It is advisable to check with your doctor before making any extreme changes to your diet, especially if you have health problems.

Benefits of Watermelon

If you responsibly follow a watermelon diet for weight loss, you will experience a few other health benefits, including improved digestion due to the high fiber content and a detoxified system, thanks to these fruits being composed of more than 90% water.

The takeaway is that fad diets do not work in the long-term and so it is advisable to make lifestyle changes like incorporating healthy food choices and regular physical activity instead.

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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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