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Proponents of the 12-day grapefruit diet claim you can lose a lot of weight in a short time while still eating a lot of the foods you like. Although the grapefruit diet has been around since the 1930s, nobody has ever claimed to be the originator.


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For breakfast, have 8 ounces of unsweetened juice or one-half grapefruit, two eggs and two slices of bacon.

For lunch, have 8 ounces of unsweetened juice or one-half grapefruit, a salad with low-fat dressing and one meat entree cooked in any style. You may double or triple your portions if you desire.

For dinner, have 8 ounces of unsweetened juice or one-half grapefruit, a salad with low-fat dressing, one red or green vegetable (cooked in butter with spices if desired) and any meat or fish, cooked in any style. Double or triple your entree if desired. Accompany it with one cup of coffee or tea (caffeine is limited on this diet.)

For a bedtime snack, have 8 ounces of tomato juice or skim milk.

You also must drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water over the course of the day.

This menu is low-carb and high-protein. It lacks bread. The fruit juice enzymes help burn calories. While you may double up on salads or meat, you should not change the amount of liquids.

For those whose medicines may interact adversely with grapefruit, you may substitute 8 ounces of fruit juice. Although you may cook in any style, please see the list of non-allowable items below. Don't eat hamburger in a tomato-based spaghetti dish, for example, since it includes tomatoes and onions.

Allowable Foods

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Allowable foods for this diet include bell peppers, broccoli, cereal, corn, corn chips, fruit, jelly or jam, leaf spinach, peanut butter, pretzels, radishes, red onions, starchy vegetables and sweet pickles.

Non-allowable Foods

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As a general rule, do not eat desserts, breads, sweet potatoes or white vegetables. Foods to avoid include bread and butter pickles, celery, carrots, chili, cucumbers, cabbage, cheese (any kind), coleslaw, dill pickles, green beans, green onions, green vegetables (except leaf spinach or salad), hot dogs, mayonnaise, nuts, peas, potato chips, potatoes, salad dressing (regular), tomatoes and white onions.


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Snacking is permitted only after dinner. You may eat all of the allowable foods or double meal portions. You may use butter and low-calorie dressings liberally. However, you must consume the minimum called for in the basic diet. Drinking the eight 8-ounce glasses of water is an important part of the grapefruit diet.