The grapefruit diet has been in and out of dieting trends for the past few decades, but Dr. Oz recently declared that “grapefruit’s back for weight loss, and it's better than ever!” The renewed excitement around eating grapefruit for weight loss is partly due to natural health expert and The Dr. Oz Show regular Kellyann Petrucci, ND. The nutritionist's new-and-improved grapefruit diet meal plan turbocharges fat-fighting compounds in the fruit using modern science and a host of other super nutrients.
If you've ever tried a restrictive grapefruit diet from the past, you might wince at the idea of putting the words grapefruit and diet together ever again. But unlike ’80s grapefruit diets that included little more than grapefruit and black coffee, “this is a way of doing it that makes sense and is smart,” Dr. Oz insisted. “And we’ve already seen evidence that it works.” So, is grapefruit good to lose weight? Well, when Dr. Oz had folks test Dr. Petrucci's grapefruit-powered menus, they shed up to nine pounds in just seven days. On top of that, women who have used grapefruit to jumpstart long-term healthy eating report losing up to 30 pounds in 12 weeks. No wonder the grapefruit diet results are winning raves from not only Dr. Oz but also every dieter who tries the plan! But how well will it work for you? We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the new grapefruit diet to find out.
What do you eat on the grapefruit diet?
As you might expect, this plan goes far beyond the common practice of simply eating one grapefruit a day. “The golden rule is to eat half a grapefruit at every meal,” Dr. Oz explained. This “dosage” has proven effective in university research and at Dr. Petrucci's Pennsylvania clinic. To maximize the benefits of the citrus, Dr. Petrucci has dieters round out meals with unlimited veggies, plus healthy servings of metabolism-boosting protein, anti-inflammatory grains, and hunger-killing natural fats. With her helping hand, it's pretty easy to learn how to do the grapefruit diet. Just figure out whether you prefer eating grapefruit after meals or before them, and then you're ready to proceed.
Why the Grapefruit Diet Results Are So Amazing
Exciting preliminary evidence from Japan shows that a compound called nootkatone, which helps create grapefruit’s aroma, may significantly reduce hunger and “can stimulate metabolism and ramp up weight loss,” Dr. Petrucci revealed.
Nootkatone is so promising that it has garnered the attention of pharmaceutical companies. However, Dr. Petrucci says whole grapefruit may offer more benefits than a supplement. Credit goes to a host of slimming compounds, including a hefty dose of vitamin C, which is linked to a 20 percent faster metabolism. Findings also hint that an antioxidant in grapefruit called naringenin may act like lighter fluid in the liver, prompting the organ to burn fat faster. And per the journal Nutrition, lycopene — a pigment in pink and red grapefruit — raises levels of a belly-flattening hormone called adiponectin. Plus, evidence from the famous Scripps Clinic found that nutrients in grapefruit — including all of its antioxidants and fiber — dramatically lower levels of the hormone insulin, helping regular grapefruit eaters lose up to 500 percent more weight than those who skip the fruit, making it essential to any longevity diet.
Is there any protein in grapefruit?
Considering the heavy emphasis on protein in many diets, some folks might be wondering if the nutrient is present in grapefruit. As it turns out, there is a very small amount of protein in one grapefruit. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it's less than one gram. It's no wonder why people on the old grapefruit diets never felt full, if they weren't eating much else! That's why the new grapefruit diet encourages you to get protein from other healthy sources, such as lean meats and eggs. Instead of thinking of grapefruit as the star of the show, think of it instead as a supporting character.
What Sets the New Grapefruit Diet Apart From Others
Why is grapefruit good for diets? Grapefruit can give any healthy eating plan an edge. But to take it to the next level, Dr. Petrucci uses the fruit to anchor dishes, thus boosting the benefits found in the grapefruit diet meal plan. For example, protein and antioxidant-rich veggies further rev metabolism. Antioxidants and natural fat also help soothe a type of inflammation in our bodies that is linked to slow metabolism.
And Dr. Petrucci has folks get their starch from “ancient grains” — including quinoa, farro, teff, and spelt. “Unlike wheat, corn, and most modern grains, ancient grains haven’t been genetically modified, and I find our bodies respond to them far better,” she explains. One big reason is that they also help prevent blood-sugar spikes and inflammation, which can drive belly-fat storage, cravings, and bloating. The impact on bloat is so great, Dr. Oz said that having ancient grains plus grapefruit at dinner is a new strategy that lets “you wake up with a flatter belly!”
Grapefruit Diet Reviews From Our Readers
So how much weight can you lose on the grapefruit diet? When we asked readers to test Dr. Petrucci's plan, they offered stellar grapefruit diet reviews afterward. Rosie Mongold, 44, had been struggling with belly fat for more than 20 years. “I lost two inches from my stomach area in a week,” says the West Virginia assistant teacher. “I love grapefruit!” Amy Munshaw, 37, does as well. When she tried a grapefruit diet years ago, “I didn’t get results, and I remember really craving sugar,” says the Alberta mom. “On this version, my cravings disappeared and I was never hungry. Being shorter, my body doesn’t usually let go of excess weight that easily, but I lost nearly a full size. The new grapefruit diet is fast and effective.”
Your Grapefruit Detox Diet Menu
Our nutrition team used the same guidelines Dr. Petrucci shared with Dr. Oz to create this special version of a new grapefruit diet menu. To help you get noticeable grapefruit diet results quickly, the plan keeps calories low — but it also provides lots of nutrients from grapefruit and other foods to keep hunger and cravings down, so you’ll barely notice you’re eating less. Because these meals skip inflammatory foods (like sugar, wheat, and processed foods) and load you up on anti-inflammatory nutrients, you should eliminate a good bit of bloat, too. While using this plan, be sure to drink plenty of water. Add other low-cal extras (spices, vinegar, zero-cal sweetener) as desired. Always get a doctor’s OK to try a new plan, including this grapefruit anti-inflammatory plan.
Breakfast (Choose One Daily)
Two hard-cooked eggs or three links of organic chicken breakfast sausage (such as Amylu’s or Aidells brands), or 4 oz. nitrate-free ham
Overnight chia protein pudding: In jar with lid, mix 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 scoop no sugar-added protein powder (any flavor), plus stevia and spices/extract to taste. Shake vigorously, chill overnight, and enjoy. Serves two people.
Lunch (Choose One Daily)
Grapefruit and avocado salad: Place segments of 1/2 grapefruit and 1/3 diced avocado over unlimited baby spinach or kale, top with a squeeze of grapefruit or lemon juice for dressing, and add 1 Tbsp. toasted almonds, if desired.
1/2 grapefruit spicy peanut zoodles: Whisk 1 Tbs. water, juice of 1/4 lime, 1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1/4 tsp. soy sauce, 1/4 tsp. rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, ginger, red chili, and stevia to taste. Toss with spiraled zucchini and any other veggies desired, and drizzle with 1 tsp. sesame oil.
Unlimited chopped veggies and fresh herbs simmered in 2 cups reduced-sodium or bone broth. Serve drizzled with 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Dinner (Choose One Daily)
4 oz. chicken, fish, lean beef, or eggs; unlimited veggies sautéed in olive oil spray; unlimited veggies with Walden Farms zero-cal dressing; 1 cup cooked ancient grains such as quinoa, faro, freekeh, or spelt; top with herbs and optional 1 tsp. olive oil
Grapefruit power protein bowl: Mix 4 oz. grilled chicken, segments from 1/2 grapefruit, and 1 cup cooked quinoa over unlimited leafy greens, red onions, and bell peppers. Dress with a squeeze of grapefruit juice, optional 1 tsp. olive oil, and herbs to taste.
Summer shrimp bowl: Sauté unlimited tomato and zucchini in olive oil spray, toss with 4 oz. cooked shrimp, 1 cup cooked spelt or quinoa, juice of 1/4 lemon, optional 1 tsp. olive oil, and oregano to taste.
1/2 grapefruit, broiled to add sweetness
Make Your Own Grapefruit Diet Menu
At each meal, enjoy one-half grapefruit and unlimited non-starchy veggies. At breakfast, add a serving of a protein rich in natural fat, such as eggs or chia. At lunch, stick to veggies and healthy fat. At dinner, mix protein, veggies, fat, and one cup cooked quinoa, farro, freekeh, spelt, or teff. After one to two weeks, add an extra 8 oz. of protein, 2 Tbsp. of fat and 1 to 2 cups of an ancient grain each day. Continue enjoying one-half grapefruit at most meals. Find more tips at DrKellyAnn.com.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.