Fad diets and detox plans have been common and raved about since the dawn of dieting. Question is… do any of them work? The short answer is simply ‘yes’ with some caveats however:
- They are NOT sustainable
- Plenty of them just are NOT healthy
- They might wreak havoc on your digestion
- Insulin sensitivity can be compromised
- And of course… you’ll probably gain it all back anyway
What is a grapefruit diet anyway?
Are all fad-diets a bust and should be avoided?
No, some of those ‘fad diets’ aren’t fads at all and are in fact rooted in medical-professional opinion backed by positive results. For instance the cabbage soup ‘diet’ is a big one. The grapefruit diet falls somewhere in the middle as it’s not all about eating a bunch of grapefruits and that’s it. Instead the idea works like this:
- Reduce your sugar intake, cut down on carbs and starches
- Consume more food that’s high in protein and fat
- Have eggs & bacon for breakfast (yes, this is true)
- Have a salad with some form of protein for lunch
- Eat non-starchy veggies and some kind of protein for dinner
- Have a glass of tomato juice or skim milk before bed
- You MUST eat ½ a grapefruit with each meal…
- Or have 4oz of 100% grapefruit juice as a substitute
Nobody knows exactly where this diet concept came from but it dates back to somewhere in the 1930’s and has been in the public eye for the fact it actually seems to work, but judging from the details laid out above is there any wonder why? Here’s a hint… everything listed up there seems rather keto-friendly, doesn’t it?
Why does it work?
One of the qualities a grapefruit holds is flavonoids which are chemicals known for benefits such as being anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic. All great things within themselves but it doesn’t stop there.
Naringin- this is a type of flavonoid which is plentiful in grapefruits and has potential in weight loss for a few reasons. This compound found naturally in a grapefruit contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory stuff in it (I know, very technical terms we’re using here) but what really sets this flavonoid apart from its siblings is it’s observed benefits in fending off obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome which is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Water with fiber helps weight loss
Another detail which might be obvious to some of us is the fact that a grapefruit contains water and fiber that’s know to be helpful in filling us up so we eat less. Flavonoids aside, it’s considered that the simple act of eating a grapefruit before each meal causes the mind to register feelings of being satiated much quicker when compared to not eating that grapefruit first.
Ever hear of Nootkatone?
Well, it’s in that grapefruit you’re probably thinking about eating now. It’s an essential oil which has been studied for its potential to enhance the metabolism and aid in weight loss. Nootkatone is what gives off that familiar citrus-aroma anytime you slice into a fresh grapefruit.
Although the reason for this essential’s helpfulness in losing weight is still somewhat unknown the idea is that it helps increase the metabolism of fat and glucose in your liver and muscles. Some tests have been done to better understand the workings of Nootkatone but things are still inconclusive, it’s only know that it does have a positive effect, not too sure why just yet.
Does the grapefruit diet actually work?
It depends on what you mean by that question. Will it help you shed some extra weight and do it quickly? Yes, it can absolutely have that positive effect in the short-term but it’s not going to be a diet you will want to stick with for long unless you use it only as a supplementary thing periodically.
Water weight vs fat loss
The problem with crash diets is the end result of gaining all that weight back and often times even more! This is oftentimes caused by the effect the body has on your metabolism when you restrict calories for too long. It works like this…
When losing weight we shed a lot of water along with it. Every glycogen molecule is bound to a water molecule so when you burn fat you’re also getting the effect of that water molecule essentially breaking off and getting flushed through your system. That’s why you’ll often times hear of people having an increase in the frequency of urination when on a diet, it’s the water in your body which was bound to a fat molecule literally being flushed out of your body.
On the positive side, that water wouldn’t be flushing through you if you were not also shedding fat along side it. Things get tricky however when you start stepping on the scale. It takes days for your body to tac on more fat to your frame but extra water weight can show up on the scale literally overnight! This is why after only a single day of deviating from your diet you can see the scale jump up many pounds. That’s water weight, but it still doesn’t do anything good for the ego and motivation to see that.
A risk of kidney stones
By drinking 250mL a day of grapefruit juice you open yourself up to an increased potential of kidney stones which are no fun at all. By drinking (or eating) about 4oz of grapefruit juice per each meal every single day you’re running a bit of a risk here so it’s important to be aware of that.
Is grapefruit even keto?
Alright, so this is the part which might have been slightly misleading because although a grapefruit can have some great benefits for your health, it really doesn’t mix well on a keto diet. On average you’re looking at about 26 grams of carbs per each fruit and no fat to speak of. It’ll probably spike your insulin which is terrible for ketosis and if you get kicked out of your keto-state then you’ll have to wait a few days potentially to finally enter back into it again.
If you want to try this grapefruit diet then by all means give it a shot for a few days, chances are you’ll grow tired of it anyway because eating all those grapefruits really is just not fun. But for sustained results and far superior results you’re going to find a keto diet your best bet.