The Grapefruit Diet: New and Improved

woman-eating-grapefruitThe Grapefruit Diet: New and Improved

The original Grapefruit Diet dates back to the 1930s. Now there’s new  interest in eating the citrus fruit to whittle your middle based on a new study that found that US women who ate grapefruit where thinner and had smaller waistlines than those who didn’t eat the fruit.

In another study, Vanderbilt University researchers put obese men and women on a diet that included grapefruit or grapefruit juice. The obese participants lost, on average, 15 pounds during the study.

Bottom line: Eating grapefruit before meals helps fill you up so you eat fewer calories for that meal.

The Original Grapefruit Dietgrapefruit

In case you are too young to remember the hoopla over the Grapefruit Diet, here’s the gist of it:

Rules of the Old Grapefruit Diet

  • Eat half a grapefruit or 4 oz. 100% grapefruit juice before each meal.
  • Eat two eggs and two slices of bacon for breakfast each day.
  • Eat protein of your choice with salad and dressing for lunch.
  • Dinner is meat, fish with vegetables.
  • At bedtime, you have a glass of skim milk or tomato juice.

Sample “Old” Grapefruit Diet Meal Plan

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, black coffee, 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces grapefruit juice

Lunch: Salad with salad dressing, unlimited meat, and 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces grapefruit juice

Dinner: Red or green vegetables (except starchy ones such as peas, beans, corn, sweet potatoes) or salad, unlimited meat or fish, and 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces grapefruit juice

Bedtime snack: 8 ounces skim milk or tomato juice

grapefruit_diet_menuThe Grapefruit Diet: New and Improved

I developed a new and improved Grapefruit Diet that includes eating half a grapefruit with a high-protein breakfast each day. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day for hunger management, adding both fruit and protein is an optimal combination for feeling fuller on fewer calories.

For lunch and dinner, eat other fruit, soup or beverages that are also known to fill you up, not out.

The New Rules:

  • Eat half a grapefruit as part of a calorie-controlled (up to 400 calorie) high-protein breakfast every day. Use the suggestions below that all deliver at least 20 grams protein and are less than 400 calories.  (If you can’t stomach grapefruit, have a medium orange, apple, 2 kiwifruit or ½ a medium banana instead)
  • Eat a serving of fresh fruit or a cup of a broth-based soup or tomato/vegetable juice or 16 ounces water before both lunch and dinner
  • Enjoy a mid-am and afternoon snack of fruit and/or veggies
  • Eat a balanced lunch and dinner

 7 New Grapefruit Diet High-Protein Breakfasts

Egg, Tomato & Arugula Sandwich

2 eggs + 2 whites scrambled served with 1 toasted Thomas’ whole-wheat Light English muffin with arugula, sliced tomato and 2 tsp. reduced fat mayonnaise

½ fresh grapefruit

Coffee or tea

Protein Pancakes with

½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt and

½ fresh grapefruit

Coffee or tea

Skinny Bacon and Egg Sandwich

1 OroWeat Toasted Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins with

1 soft-boiled egg with 2 slices Canadian Bacon and 1 oz low-fat cheese and slice of tomato with

½ fresh grapefruit

Coffee or tea

Cottage Cheese & Fruit

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese with

1 Toasted Thomas’ Light Whole Wheat English Muffin with 2 tsp. light spread and

½ fresh Grapefruit

Coffee or tea

Veggie Omelet

2 whole eggs and 2 whites whisked together with 1 Tbs. water

with 1 oz. shredded low-fat Feta cheese, salsa fresco and mushrooms and/or bell peppers

1 OroWeat Multi-Grain Sandwich thin

½ fresh Grapefruit

Coffee or tea

High Protein Cereal

1 cup high-protein cold cereal (ie Kashi GoLean) with 1/2 cup skim or 1% low-fat milk and

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 hard-boiled egg

1/2 fresh grapefruit

Coffee or tea

Breakfast Biscuits and Yogurt

1 Package Belvita Breakfast Biscuits with 8 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 fresh grapefruit

Coffee or tea


–Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD




  1. I love your website. You have some great articles. I am going to link to it.

  2. Thank you! We appreciate that

  3. Is it ok to eat tortilla chips?

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    Can you have tomatoes and avo in the salad for lunch?

  7. All diets follow the same structure. Caloric deficit + no junk food and voila, you’re slimming down.
    Have you ever noticed when buying a “fat loss” product that, for the most part, they come with a exercise and meal plan consisting of a low calorie + low carb diet? Some pills make you even pee a lot so it appears as if you’re loosing fat. HA HA! Focus on body fat reduction and not weight loss in general.

    Don’t get me wrong, the grapefurit diet seems like a good diet, Even the new version includes some carbs and better nutrition compared to the old retro one (which is basically nothing but another atkins/protein/no-no-carb diet).

  8. Thanks I was getting bored either baking and eggs.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love it. Can’ start!!


  1. [...] breakfast suggestions could be found here, and if you are looking for other ways to incorporate grapefruit in your life, other than going on [...]

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