" I see some diets recommending having grapefruit at breakfast to help with fat burning.  Can grapefruit help with fat loss? how so?"


Ah yes, the Grapefruit Diet.  Before I waste too much of your time the first thing you need to know is that the principles of this diet are to eat around 800 calories and have half a grapefruilt or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice with every meal.  "They" recommend to do this diet for 12 days.  Hmm, sounds like a fad to me.


Now it doesn't take a degree in nutrition to know that if you eat 800 calories you will lose weight, grapefruit or not.


"They" reckon that the enzymes in grapefruit stimulate fat burning.  This diet has been around since the 1930's and has been named the Hollywood Diet, The Mayo Clinic Diet and The Scarsdale Diet.  I'm sure there must be other names, but they all mean the same thing, starve yourself and have a grapefruit or 2.


A study published in 2006, found that over a 12 week period subjects taking fresh grapefruit lost 1.6kg, the grapefruit juice group lost 1.5kg and the grapefruit capsule group lost 1.1kg.  The placebo group lost 0.3kg.  But before you all go and rush out for grapefruit by the bundle, the conclusion states "Although the mechanism of this weight loss is unknown it would appear reasonable to include grapefruit in a weight reduction diet".  Yes, that's right folks, they did not attribute the weight loss to the grapefruit.  The purpose of this study was in fact to test grapefruits effects on insulin resistance.


If I lost only 1.6kg in 12 weeks on a clinically controlled diet (if it was in fact controlled), I'd want my money back.


But back to the main point...the actual grapefruit diet is only 800 calories.  If you eat your normal food and expect the addition of grapefruit to be a miracle fat melter, then you will be disappointed.


Grapefruit has been shown to improve cholesterol and serum triglycerides, but one study reports that "The addition of fresh red grapefruit to generally accepted diets could be beneficial for hyperlipidemic, especially hypertriglyceridemic, patients suffering from coronary atherosclerosis"


Do you actually have coronary atherosclerosis?  Whether you do or not, this study still doesn't prove grapefruit will burn your fat for you.


This diet works similarly to the Lemon Detox Diet.  Starve yourself, lose weight through water, muscle, a bit of fat and a few toxins and then when you can't sustain it anymore put the weight back on.


Eat grapefruit, it's good for you (like all fruit and veg), but if you want to "burn" fat, you require oxygen to do so...and that means get puffing.  If you don't want to put back on the fat you have just burnt, then don't overeat.  And finally, if you don't want to screw up your metabolism to make it harder to burn this fat then don't eat refined junk.



The Effects of Grapefruit on Weight and Insulin Resistance: Relationship to the Metabolic Syndrome.  Ken Fujioka, Frank Greenway, Judy Sheard, Yu Ying. Journal of Medicinal Food. Spring 2006, 9(1): 49-54. doi:10.1089/jmf.2006.9.49.

Red Grapefruit Positively Influences Serum Triglyceride Level in Patients Suffering from Coronary Atherosclerosis: Studies in Vitro and in Humans J. Agric. Food Chem., 2006, 54 (5), pp 1887-1892 DOI: 10.1021/jf058171g

7 Oct 10

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