What is the Grapefruit Juice Diet?
English: A grapefruit from California cut in half (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
All great diets have a hook, something designed to attract the public's attention. In the 1930s, when the national waistband was considerably slimmer, dieting was relegated to much smaller circles. Those who had to stay in shape for a living, like athletes and actresses, had diet secrets. One of the most popular ones was the aptly named Hollywood Diet, since it was a favorite of leading ladies and gentlemen alike. Introduced in 1930, it promised fast results, making it one of the very first fad diets. An actress who had to slim down for a role could use the diet to drop up to 10 pounds in 12 days. Today, we would call this type of diet a fad or crash diet. But what was the hook? In this case, the diet relied on an exotic fruit as its main ingredient.
The Grapefruit Juice Diet
Although the original plan used fresh grapefruits, the juice version is arguably more popular today because grapefruit juice is less expensive and easier to find than fresh grapefruit. The real question, of course, is does it work? The answer is probably yes, but not for the original, stated reasons.
Because the grapefruit was an exotic fruit in the 1930s, nobody knew that much about it. The creator of the Grapefruit Diet clearly used this ignorance to his/her advantage. The original claim that was used to sell the plan to the public was that the grapefruit contained a secret fat-burning enzyme. Of course, there is no evidence that any such enzyme exists, but that canard help sell the diet to the public.
Does it work?
Because we all lose weight differently, the 10 lbs. in 12 days claim is most likely just marketing. However, because you caloric consumption is restricted on this plan, as it is in all crash diets, users should drop pounds. Now, you may be wondering, why grapefruit? Why not apples or oranges or peaches or pears?
As we mentioned, there's no scientific evidence that the grapefruit helps burn calories all on its own. But there is a surprising amount of data that suggests that the grapefruit actually helps people stay fuller for longer. We don't know exactly why this is. But we can say with a fairly high degree of certainty that when people each a grapefruit or drink its juice before a meal, they often eat a lot less.
In addition to juice or fresh fruit, the Grapefruit Juice Plan restricts the intake of carbohydrates in favor of high-fat and protein-rich foods. Before embarking on a diet such as this, make sure you ask your doctor about possible health complications that may be caused by drug interactions.