Is white grapefruit good for weight loss?

Losing weight can be a challenge for many people. While there are no magic bullets for weight loss, some foods like grapefruit are thought to help support weight loss efforts. In this article, we’ll explore whether white grapefruit is good for weight loss.

What is Grapefruit?

Grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is a subtropical citrus fruit that is a hybrid of the pomelo and orange. It has a sweet, sour and bitter taste. There are several varieties of grapefruit, but the most common are white, pink and red grapefruit.

Grapefruit is low in calories but packed with nutrients. A half grapefruit contains:

  • Calories: 52
  • Carbs: 13 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 38% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 28% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI

It also contains small amounts of magnesium, copper, vitamin B6 and other micronutrients.

Grapefruit Nutrition Facts

Here is an overview of the nutrients found in 1 cup (230 grams) of white grapefruit sections:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 96
Carbs 23 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugar 15 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin C 89% of the RDI
Vitamin A 43% of the RDI
Potassium 8% of the RDI

Benefits of Grapefruit for Weight Loss

There are several reasons why grapefruit may be beneficial for weight loss:

Low in Calories

Grapefruit is low in calories but high in water and fiber. This makes it a great food to include in a low-calorie diet. The fiber can also help you feel full.

High in Water

Grapefruit is about 91% water, which can help with weight loss. Eating more high-water fruits and veggies can boost fullness and decrease calorie intake.

May Boost Metabolism

Some research indicates that grapefruit may increase levels of adiponectin, a hormone involved in metabolism and appetite regulation. Higher levels of adiponectin may help boost metabolism.

May Reduce Appetite

Eating grapefruit before meals may help reduce appetite and calorie intake. One study found eating half a grapefruit before meals resulted in significant weight loss.

Interacts With Some Medications

Grapefruit can affect how some medications are metabolized and absorbed in the body. This may lead to higher levels of the medication in your blood and increase the risk of side effects.

Does Grapefruit Burn Fat?

Grapefruit does not directly burn fat. However, it may support fat burning in a few ways:

Boosts Metabolism

As mentioned earlier, grapefruit may increase adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is involved in energy metabolism and may help your body burn fat more efficiently.

Reduces Appetite

Eating grapefruit before meals may help you eat fewer calories. This creates a calorie deficit needed for your body to start burning its fat stores.

Lowers Insulin Levels

Grapefruit may help lower insulin levels after meals, especially when eaten with high-carb foods. High insulin can increase fat storage, so lower levels may help with fat burning.

Does Grapefruit Juice Help You Lose Weight?

Like the fruit, grapefruit juice is low in calories and high in nutrients. Drinking grapefruit juice may provide some of the same weight loss benefits as the fruit.

In one study, obese participants drinking 8 oz (240 ml) of grapefruit juice before meals for 12 weeks lost significantly more weight and had a greater reduction in waist circumference compared to the control group.

However, grapefruit juice is higher in sugar and calories than the fruit. It’s best to stick to no more than 4–8 oz (118–237 ml) per day to limit your sugar intake.

Grapefruit Diet Plan

The grapefruit diet is a short-term, restrictive diet that centers around eating half a grapefruit before each meal. The premise is that grapefruit’s compounds boost weight loss.

Here is a sample 1-week grapefruit diet meal plan:


  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, egg white omelet, black coffee
  • Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, turkey sandwich, salad
  • Dinner: 1/2 grapefruit, baked chicken, veggies


  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, greek yogurt, nuts
  • Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, tuna salad, crackers
  • Dinner: 1/2 grapefruit, tilapia, brown rice, sautéed spinach


  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, protein shake
  • Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, lean turkey burger, sweet potato fries
  • Dinner: 1/2 grapefruit, chicken stir fry, broccoli


  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, oatmeal, nuts
  • Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, grilled chicken sandwich, fruit
  • Dinner: 1/2 grapefruit, salmon, quinoa, asparagus


  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, boiled egg, whole wheat toast
  • Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, crab salad, crackers
  • Dinner: 1/2 grapefruit, lean steak, sweet potato, green beans


  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, veggie omelet
  • Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, shrimp salad, melba toast
  • Dinner: 1/2 grapefruit, pork tenderloin, roasted veggies


  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, cereal, milk
  • Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, chicken quesadilla, salsa
  • Dinner: 1/2 grapefruit, veggie pizza, salad

Other Tips for Losing Weight with Grapefruit

Here are some other ways to boost weight loss with grapefruit:

  • Drink grapefruit infused water
  • Make a grapefruit smoothie with protein powder
  • Add grapefruit sections to a healthy salad
  • Broil or bake grapefruit halves sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Make a spinach grapefruit salad

Potential Side Effects

Eating grapefruit is generally safe. However, there are some side effects and precautions to consider:

  • Medication interactions: Grapefruit can interact with over 85 medications. Consult your doctor.
  • Heartburn: Grapefruit is acidic and may irritate reflux.
  • Drug withdrawal: Abruptly stopping medications can cause withdrawal.
  • Blood sugar spikes: Grapefruit has a high glycemic index and may spike blood sugar.
  • Tooth enamel erosion: Grapefruit juice is acidic and can damage tooth enamel if sipped slowly.

The Bottom Line

Grapefruit is nutritious and low in calories and may provide several benefits for weight loss. It helps boost fullness, hydration, metabolism and fat burning.

Enjoy grapefruit as part of a balanced, healthy diet and active lifestyle for the best chances of long-term weight loss success.

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