Sometimes it seems that there are as many fad diets and weight loss programs out there as there are people who want to lose weight. In your search for a weight loss program that works, you’ve probably stumbled across more than one variation of the Grapefruit Diet.
Also known as the Hollywood Diet, this is one that relies largely on grapefruit to keep calorie intake down and jumpstart your body’s metabolism. The 7 Day Grapefruit and Egg Diet expands on the idea by pairing the fruit with compact, convenient, and nutritious eggs. But, does it do what you want it to do, and will the food restrictions drive you crazy? I dug in to find out.
What Is the 7 Day Egg and Grapefruit Diet?
Grapefruit diets have risen and fallen in popularity repeatedly over the past few decades. In most iterations of this diet, grapefruit was the only constant, often being consumed alone for one or more meals a day.
In the 7 Day Egg and Grapefruit Diet, low-calorie, high nutrition grapefruit is accompanied by protein-rich eggs for a more balanced approach. Otherwise, this diet is pretty much what it sounds like: a seven-day plan in which egg and grapefruit play central roles.
They aren’t the only foods eaten during the course of the diet. Meals can also include other lean proteins, leafy greens and fresh fruits or vegetables. You’ll also sometimes see versions of this diet that persist over 10, 14 or 30 days.
Pros and Cons of This Diet
On the plus side, people who follow this diet will almost certainly lose weight. This is because, if followed directly, this is a low calorie diet, and, when you take in fewer calories than you expend, weight loss typically follows.
The restrictive nature is, however, also one of the downsides of this diet. For optimum health, it’s important to eat a wide range of foods. People following this diet need to ensure that the other foods that they eat satisfy nutritional requirements.
Eating the same foods at each meal every day can lead to food fatigue. In some cases, food fatigue leads to lack of appetite. It can be harder to get all the energy and nutrition you need every day if you don’t want to eat. Food fatigue can also make cheating and snacking more tempting. If a too-small meal at lunch means you are sneaking down to the vending machines later, this can sabotage all your discipline and hard work.
However, the short span of this diet means that these not likely to be a huge issue. People looking at doing longer versions, however, could run into problems.
The core foods at the center of this diet are solid choices. Each has some great health benefits that also have properties that help people lose weight.
Benefits of Egg
Eggs are one of those foods that can be misunderstood. In the past, people worried about the cholesterol and fat content of eggs, and thought that they made these convenient orbs unhealthy. But, newer research shows that they are cheap and versatile nutritional powerhouses. In most people, eating eggs does not increase LDL cholesterol (generally called the “bad” cholesterol). However, it increases HDL levels, which is good for heart health.
Eggs are a great source of protein, which provides energy, helps build lean muscle and keeps you feeling full between meals. Nutritionists generally say that 12 to 20 percent of your calories each day should come from protein. However, if you are working on losing weight or building muscle, you may wish to go for more protein in your diet each day. Your body will use it for energy, as well as building muscle.
They supply vital vitamins and minerals that include vitamins D, E, A and a range of B vitamins. Even people who get a lot of sun are often deficient in vitamin D, which can lead to fatigue, depression and bone pain. All of these make it harder to stick with a healthy diet. Getting the right nutrition is a habit that builds on itself, making it easier to make healthy choices later on.
Depending on what chickens are fed, their eggs can also be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. In studies, people who consumed omega-3s lost more fat and gained more muscle than those in the control group. While the effect did not come to more than a pound of each throughout the study, every bit helps!
Nutritional Profile of Egg
Eggs’ nutritional profile breaks down like this:
- Calories: 77
- Fat: 5 grams
- Cholesterol 187 mg
- Carbohydrates: 0.6 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Selenium: 22%
- Vitamin B-12: 9%
- Vitamin B-2: 15%
- Vitamin A: 6%
Benefits of Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a tropical citrus fruit that is low on calories, but high on taste. Researchers have looked at this fruit extensively and found that it has a wealth of health benefits. It can help support heart health and help you lose weight.
Grapefruit gets certain characteristics of its aroma from a compound called nootkatone. Japanese researchers have found evidence that this compound can significantly reduce hunger and stimulate your metabolism to speed up weight loss.
This fruit is also rich in vitamin C. A single grapefruit half gets you two-thirds of the way to your daily minimum allowance. High vitamin C intake is correlated with a faster metabolism, as well.
Grapefruit provides valuable antioxidants. These improve heart health, reduce your risk of cancer and help support healthy looking skin. So, not only will you be slimmer, you will look better in general.
Most of a grapefruit’s bulk is water, which helps you stay hydrated throughout the day. Often, our bodies send signals to snack when we’re actually thirsty instead. Keeping yourself well-hydrated can reduce hunger pangs and make it easier for you to stay on your diet.
Plus, it’s high in fiber. Like protein, fiber helps you feel fuller for longer, which can cut down on the temptation to snack in between meals. Fiber also lowers insulin levels. Researchers also have found that grapefruit reduces insulin resistance, which protects you from diabetes and helps your body use the fuel you consume more efficiently.
The nutritional profile of grapefruit
The breakdown nutritional profile of half a medium-sized grapefruit looks about like this:
- Calories: 52
- Fat: 0 mg
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Carbohydrates: 13 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Vitamin C: 64%
- Vitamin A: 28%
- Vitamin B-6: 5%
- Calcium: 2%
- Magnesium 2%
What are other people saying?
Expert opinions on the egg and grapefruit diet are mixed. While writers at Healthline say that the jury is still out on this diet and that there isn’t enough research to determine what connection, if any, there is between a grapefruit diet and weight loss. They attribute any rapid weight gain to the calorie restrictions of the diet and not specifically to individual foods or nutrients eaten while you are on the egg and grapefruit diet.
However, preliminary studies do seem to show some benefit to this diet. In a 2014 study, researchers found that waist circumference, body weight and BMI all went down in women who ate grapefruit daily.
Dr. Oz is one of the experts who tout the power of grapefruit in a weight-loss diet. Oz had a group of dieters test a version of the grapefruit diet on his show over a period of seven says. The participants shed an average of nine pounds during the diet. Additionally, they found that grapefruit consumption helped them jumpstart healthy eating habits that kept them losing weight. They reported losing up to 30 pounds over the 12 weeks that followed their grapefruit-centered diet.
Grapefruit and Egg Diet reviews do seem to indicate that the diet works for people who can stick with it. But, many people say that the find it too restrictive.
What makes the 7 Day Egg and Grapefruit Diet different?
Grapefruit diets have been around for decades, but this one is a bit different from past variations. The fact that it balances out the grapefruit with nutritious eggs and other foods mean that it’s not quite as restrictive as the previous fad versions.
Who is this diet for?
This is a diet that is probably best for people who do not require a huge amount of variety in their day to day meals. If you can eat the same breakfast and lunch every day, you can thrive on the Egg and Grapefruit diet. It’s probably a perfect pick for people who meal prep a week of the same lunch at a time, since this can help you control what you eat.
It’s also important to note who this diet isn’t for. Grapefruit juice can block the action of an enzyme called CYP3A4. This enzyme is needed to break down a lot of medications that include certain beta-blockers and statins. If you take any daily medications, double-check to make sure that you can have grapefruit while you are on them. And obviously, if you’re allergic to eggs, a different diet will be a better choice for you.
What You’d Eat on the 7 Day Egg and Grapefruit Diet
Like most diets with a specific food in the name, the Egg and Grapefruit Diet has you eat other foods. The trick to making it work is carefully selecting your other foods throughout the day and keeping quantities carefully controlled.
This is not a long term diet option. On average, you’ll consume around 800 calories a day on the Egg and Grapefruit Diet. This is good for weight loss, but too little for long term management.
Because eggs are fairly versatile, you do have a few options for changing things throughout the week. Be creative with low and no calorie flavorings like lemon juice, vinegar, hot sauce and spices.
Not sure what to eat on this diet? This is a sample 7 day egg and grapefruit diet menu that you can adapt to fit your specific tastes:
Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs and one grapefruit.
Lunch: 3 ounces poached salmon, steamed broccoli and 1/2 grapefruit.
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast served with a large green salad.
Breakfast: 2 poached eggs on dry toast and one grapefruit.
Lunch: Roast chicken breast seasoned with lemon and oregano. A salad topped with half a grapefruit in slices.
Dinner: Grilled steak and sauteed spinach.
Breakfast: Fruit salad with one whole grapefruit in slices, mixed with 1/2 cup strawberries and 1/2 cup blueberries.
Lunch: Green salad topped with chilled and quartered hard-boiled eggs.
Dinner: Broiled white fish and steamed vegetables.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and half a grapefruit.
Lunch: Poached chicken breast, chilled and cubed over a green salad. One grapefruit, cut in slice.
Dinner: Roast salmon.
Breakfast: Two poached eggs. Half a grapefruit broiled with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
Lunch: Grilled lean steak served with roast brussel sprouts.
Dinner: Roast chicken breast served with plain cauliflower rice.
Breakfast: Omelet with fresh vegetables. One grapefruit.
Lunch: Chicken breast sauteed with fresh vegetables.
Dinner: Baked fish of choice.
Breakfast: One hard-boiled egg. One grapefruit.
Lunch: Two poached eggs served over sauteed spinach.
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast served with steamed vegetables.
It’s important to stay hydrated, so keep a glass of something calorie and sugar-free nearby throughout the day. Water is best. For variety, consider a squeeze of lemon or a slice of cucumber for flavoring. If you need a caffeine kick in the morning, skip the latte and drink black coffee or green tea instead. Alternative sweeteners have come a long way and many can give your beverage a boost without adding calories. Experiment with stevia or monk fruit sweeteners to see if these work for you.
Snacking is what throws a lot of diets out of whack. To satisfy cravings between meals, consider small, low-calorie options. A few choices include:
- 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
- cucumber slices with a bit of salt, lime and cayenne pepper
- 2-3 celery sticks
- 3-4 baby carrot sticks
My Opinion: Does the 7-Day Egg and Grapefruit Diet Really Work?
I like grapefruit and I like eggs, so this should be a simple diet for me to follow. I was able to mix things up a bit by changing how I prepared my eggs. By eating them boiled, scrambled or in omelets, I was able to make it so I wasn’t eating exactly the same thing every day. But, I was hampered by one factor I did not think about at first. I don’t like runny eggs, at all. So, someone who likes eggs poached, over easy or sunny-side up will have a more varied diet than I did.
By the time I was looking at day three or four’s 2 boiled eggs and half a grapefruit, I was ready to cry. There are so many other things that I enjoy eating! Also, the strict carb rationing and low-calorie count left me feeling hungry throughout the day. Low to no-calorie snacks just weren’t cutting it, and the portions at mealtimes were too low.
Now, this is a plan that, if you stick to it, will help you lose weight. As a high protein, low carb and low-calorie diet, it is one keeps your net calorie intake very restricted, so you are burning more than you eat. But, there have to be better ways to do this.
Alternatives to This Diet
As you can imagine, there are too many alternatives to the 7-Day Egg and Grapefruit Diet to list here. So, I’m just going to concentrate on one, Metabolic Cooking. This diet offers a much wider array of meal options than any version of the Egg and Grapefruit Diet.
I love the new ideas for how to season my meals!
Instead of relying on a few prescribed foods, you create a meal plan that works with your metabolism. Plus, it allows you to transition permanently to a healthier way of eating. It’s currently 50% off, which is a great savings.