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The Grapefruit Diet: Does It Work?

Jan 2, 2008
The grapefruit diet works in the short-term, but does it have any staying power? In other words, if your goal is to drop weight quickly and gain it all back in a month, then go for it. If, however, your goal is to have lasting weight loss, the grapefruit diet is not for you. Here's why.

The grapefruit diet has been around for many years. It's been modified slightly over the years, but for the most part, it's the same. The basic diet plan for the grapefruit diet consists of four meals. Breakfast includes a half a grapefruit, three eggs, and two slices of bacon. Lunch is another half a grapefruit, a piece of meat (any kind), and a salad with any type of dressing. Dinner is again, a half a grapefruit, any piece of meat, salad and then added to that a cup of coffee. The last meal isn't really a meal, but either an 8 oz glass of tomato juice or fat-free milk.

Proponents of the grapefruit diet tout the grapefruit as having a fat-burning enzyme which is why it's added to all but one meal. Grapefruit is a wonderful fruit and a good healthy choice for fruit; but it's not magical! The grapefruit diet helps a person drop weight quickly because it's drastically low in calories. As with most fad diets a gimmick (in this case the grapefruit) is used to promote an extreme cut in calories. The grapefruit diet has a dieter eating around 800 calories per day which is not an adequate amount of calories to consume.

An average-sized woman who is moderately active needs around 1800-2000 calories per day for the body to function correctly. When the diet is varied and healthful, this 1800-2000 calories brings that woman optimum nutrition in terms of receiving all the recommended daily allowances of important vitamins, minerals and fiber. The grapefruit diet is seriously lacking in fiber, calcium, iron and many other important nutrients. Over time, this will cause and contribute to serious nutritional deficiency related problems such as anemia and osteoporosis. The lack of fiber will lead to gastrointestinal problems such as constipation. In addition, fiber has been shown to promote weight loss, lower serum cholesterol and aid in colon cancer prevention.

So, say hello to a thin body that will fit into the size zero dress, but you might want to pick up some make-up to cover the pale, sickly face you'll be sporting as well! And whoever said a hunched neck as seen in osteoporosis wasn't sexy? Healthy weight loss is not achieved with the grapefruit diet, bottom line! And more than likely, you should keep the tags on the size zero dress because the weight will be back as soon as you start eating normally again.

Seriously, lasting weight loss consists of slow, steady weight loss resulting from a healthy, varied diet, exercise and patience. The grapefruit diet contains none of these things. Start by figuring out your daily caloric needs for weight maintenance. There are many calorie calculators on the internet that utilize your height, weight, age, sex and activity level to determine the amount of calories needed for weight maintenance.

Next, realize that one pound of body fat is equivalent to roughly 3500 calories. Healthy weight loss is about one to two pounds per week. Therefore, if you wish to lose one pound per week, you'll need to decrease calorie intake and burn calories to the tune of 500 calories per day. This could be as simple as eliminating dessert at night and taking a brisk 2.5 mile walk. Two pound per week requires a debt of 1000 calories. This should only be achieved through calorie reduction combined with exercise, or you'll be right back to extreme calorie reduction seen in the grapefruit diet. Ramp up that work-out! Go another mile, use the incline, or increase resistance on the elliptical.

Lasting weight loss isn't about gimmicks and fads such as the grapefruit diet. Lasting weight loss requires a person to commit to changing their eating and exercise habits for good.
About the Author
From a sickly little girl to a healthy chef to the stars, Darlene Nicholson transformed herself into The "Kick in the Butt" Healthy Lifestyle Expert and creator of the popular DVD "The Healthy Grocery Store Tour". Grab a copy of her free ebook "4 Steps to Permanent Weight Loss"...guaranteed to open your eyes to how easy weight loss can be with the right plan of attack. http://free-weightloss-book.com/
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