The Texas Grapefruit Diet Fad
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Many notable writers have remarked that America is a nation obsessed with image and artifice. From the iconic faces we see on the Silver Screen to the real life heroes of our everyday world, Americans love and respect perfection in all of its forms. Perhaps that is why we emulate our heroes every chance we get. But this can be a dangerous proposition, especially with regard to weight.
For decades, women have attempted to duplicate the lithe bodies and impossibly slender frames the media has defined as the idea female body type. The tragic result of this unabashed media barrage has been eating disorders and lots of dead dieters. In this article we are going to turn our attention to one of the first fad diets in the history of America.
Only a few years after the Texas grapefruit or “Ruby” became a household name, young starlets in Hollywood started sloughing off the pounds in short order. When asked about their weight loss trick, they simply said, “Grapefruits.”
Not surprisingly, the new diet fad was called the grapefruit or Hollywood diet and it would prove to be quite dangerous. The problem, of course, was not the grapefruits. Texas grapefruits are one of the world's healthiest foods and if eaten as part of a balanced diet they can help take off the pounds. The only problem was that these women were eating grapefruits and little else.
That's right! The grapefruit diet recommended eating half a grapefruit a day along with a few glasses of Texas grapefruit juice and a sensible dinner. Though the regimen of these diets did vary a bit, most of them allowed no more than 800 calories per day. On average, a healthy adult woman needs at least two-thousand calories a day to sustain normal body functions.
As we said, the grapefruit diet was dangerous, but not because of the grapefruits.Eating citrus fruits, like oranges, while on the grapefruit diet can provide the nutrients the body needs along with fiber without packing on calories. Fortunately, it did not achieve success in the 1930's. But still, the diet hung around for decades and finally resurfaced stronger than ever in the 1970's.
This time around the grapefruit diet became an unmitigated diet fad, possibly the first of its kind. It seemed that just about everybody was either on the grapefruit diet or had recently come off it. Those that were on it were quick to extol its many virtues, which included dramatic weight loss in days, not weeks. But what many of them did not know is that their bodies were literally starving.
In fact, many Texas grapefruit dieters who went to their doctors to complain about insomnia, lack of energy or an inability to concentrate were told that they were actually suffering from malnutrition. Those were the lucky ones. Tragically, a number of inveterate dieters passed away while on the grapefruit diet, which quickly put an end to one of the first American diet fads.