The notion of quick weight loss is very attractive. You're told that all you have to do is spend a few weeks on a diet and watch those unwanted pounds melt away. This is the appeal of fad diets like the Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet. In fact, the so-called Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet isn’t endorsed or associated with the prestigious Mayo Clinic in any way. The Mayo Clinic does offer a weight loss plan to the public, but it is based on sound principles of nutrition and exercise, not quick weight loss schemes.
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The distinctive feature of the Grapefruit Diet is that you are supposed to start every meal by eating half of a grapefruit. You can have red, green or yellow vegetables, but not white ones. Eggs and meat of any kind in any quantity are allowed and the use of butter is encouraged. You are not supposed to have any caffeine. Dairy products and grains are excluded except for a glass of skimmed milk before bed. Snacks between meals are also excluded, but you should drink eight glasses of water per day. You are supposed to maintain this routine for 12 days, take two days off and repeat the cycle until you reach your desired weight.
Proponents of the Grapefruit Diet suggest that grapefruit acts as a catalyst that causes the body to burn fat. Following the diet regimen is supposed to enable you to lose 23 to 25kg in 10 weeks. However, the Diet Channel points out that there is no substantive evidence to support these claims. Some individuals say they have lost weight, but this appears to be due primarily to appetite reduction resulting from eating the grapefruit before meals.
Effects and Risks
According to the Diet Channel, some people experience dizziness or stomach upsets when following the Grapefruit Diet. The diet also results in very low calorie consumption and lack of proper nutrition because grains and dairy products are excluded. The consumption of fat that is encouraged by the Grapefruit Diet may increase risks associated with heart disease and high blood pressure.
There is nothing wrong with grapefruit as a food item. It’s a good source of vitamin C and fibre, so adding grapefruit to your menu is a good idea. However, for healthy weight loss, you need a balanced diet that provides adequate nutrition with reduced calories combined with a regular programme of exercise. The Mayo Clinic offers its own healthy weight loss programme and also recommends the Mediterranean diet. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian to recommend a healthy diet programme that's right for you.
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