Grapefruit Diet: The “Fake” Mayo Clinic Diet?

Grapefruit Diet: The “Fake” Mayo Clinic Diet?

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The Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet has been circulating around the internet for years now, but what is it exactly and how does it work? Is it just another fad diet, or is it actually a safe and healthy way to lose weight?

In this Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet review, we’ll answer all of these questions and more, so you can get the real answers about this “fad” diet, and why it’s something most people should avoid [1].

Keep reading to below to get the full Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet details:

What is the Grapefruit Diet?

a plate of sliced grapefruit

This first thing you should know about the Grapefruit Diet, is that it isn’t actually endorsed by the Mayo Clinic – see how the real Mayo Clinic Diet works here.

We’ve scoured the internet for information about the Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet, and while it there is plenty of information about a grapefruit diet, there’s nothing that suggests that it’s actually from the Mayo Clinic.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite:

The new Mayo Clinic Diet that is now available in book format, and online, was actually authored as a way to combat the misinformation. The team at Mayo Clinic became aware of this fad diet that had somehow adopted their name, so they release a diet that is actually healthy, and base on scientific research [1].

That’s the diet to follow, if you’re looking for a program designed the world-class health institution based out of Minnesota.

Now that we have that out of the way, here’s one version of the Grapefruit Diet that has been circulation [2]. Keep in mind, though, this appears to be nothing more than a fad diet, which means we don’t recommend it as a safe and healthy way to lose weight.

If you plan on trying the Grapefruit Diet or another program, be sure to consult with a medical doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough for it, or better yet, just go with a healthier alternative.

The 14 Day Grapefruit Diet Plan

The most popular version of the Unofficial Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet that I have found circulating revolves around a 2 week meal plan. It’s really pretty simple, and actually involves eating a lot more than just grapefruit.


Each day for breakfast, you’ll want to eat the following:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Strips of Bacon
  • Half a Grapefruit (or 4 ounces of Fresh Grapefruit Juice)


grapefruit diet lunch

  • Salad with Your Favorite Dressing
  • Another Serving of Grapefruit or Juice
  • Protein: Meat, Fish, Chicken (Can be On Your Salad)


  • Protein: Meat, Fish, or Chicken
  • Veggies
  • More Grapefruit


  • Glass of Milk (Fat Free)
  • Tomato Juice

When it comes to both lunch and dinner, you can eat as much salad, veggies, and protein as you see fit. That said, I wouldn’t over do it, but just eat until you’re full, not stuffed.

Most versions of the 14-Day Grapefruit Diet that I have found recommend following this eating plan for 12 days, and then you take 2 days off. If you haven’t hit your weight loss goals at that point, you can continue on with another 14 day cycle of the Grapefruit Diet.

Foods to Avoid

several loafs of bread, which should be avoided on this diet

The outline above is pretty easy to follow, really, but there are some foods that certain publications recommend avoiding on the Grapefruit Diet if you’re trying to lose weight.

These include:

  • Sugar
  • Starchy Foods Like Potatoes
  • Celery
  • White Onions
  • Wheat (Particularly Breads and Pastas)

In addition to the foods you shouldn’t eat, there are also some things you will want to consume in limited quantities, including:

  • Caffeine 
  • Alcohol

Grapefruit Diet Side Effects

a girl suffering side effects from the diet

On its surface, it doesn’t appear that the Grapefruit Diet should cause too many side effects, really. Again, talk to your doctor before trying this diet, though. They can warn you about any possible side effects, if there are any that you need to be worried about.

I have come across reports of a few side effects from folks who have tried the (unofficial) Mayo Clinic Grapefruit diet, and these include:

  • Gas
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Stomach Issues
  • Dizziness
  • Concentration Issues

Some may say the diet is too high in fat and too low in fiber, which could potentially cause issues for you. Because of these reports, it isn’t recommended as a long-term dieting solution.

How Does the Real Mayo Clinic Diet Work?

stephanies mayo clinic diet success story

While the Mayo Clinic may not have an official grapefruit diet, they do have a diet plan that actually works, and is safe and healthy for most people too [3].

The official Mayo Clinic Diet uses a much more balanced approach than the grapefruit diet, and is actually a program that you can follow over the long-term.

It’s a programmed that is backed by science, and features lots of healthy food and exercise.

Here’s how it works:

Phase 1: Lose it!

The Mayo Clinic Diet rolls out in two main phases, with the first one being Lose it! During this phase, you’re going to be learning what it takes to eat healthy, and how much exercise you should be getting everyday.

As an added bonus, you can expect to lose up to 8 to 10 pounds of weight during these first two weeks of the Mayo Clinic Diet. On top of that, you will see the exact bad habits that are causing you to pack on extra pounds, but you’ll also learn how to replace them with habits that are good.

Phase 2: Live it!

During the second Phase of the real Mayo Clinic Diet, you’re going to be living the program. And remember, this is a diet that is teaching you how to make healthy eating and exercise choices for life, so it’s something you should be able to follow over the long term. Especially if you want to keep the weight off, and stay healthier!

Final Thoughts

The Grapefruit Diet is a popular fad diet, that isn’t actually the official diet of the Mayo Clinic. While it appears to be a diet that people have used to lose weight, we prefer to use programs that are backed by science, are safe, and healthy.

The Mayo Clinic does have an actual diet that checks all of these boxes, and on top of that, it has helped people lose a lot of weight.

See our list of best weight loss diets here, to see if there’s a healthier option for.


  1. Christine Mugolo, What You Should Know About the Unofficial Mayo Clinic Grapefruit Diet, Livestrong. Retrieved from
  2. Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, The Mayo Clinic Diet, WebMD. Retrieved from
  3. Brian Krans, The Grapefruit Diet, Healthline. Retrieved from
  4. Mayo Clinic Diet, U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from