For many of us, the watermelon diet sounds like pretty much what we ate during the hottest summer months of our childhoods. That said, believe it or not, it is actually an eating strategy that promises to provide weight loss results. That said, before you hop on board, it’s a very good idea to take a closer look at what it’s all about, what it promises, and if it’s safe and appropriate for you.
As appealing as the watermelon diet might sound if you’re reading this on a hot day, the disappointing news is that it is really nothing more than an updated version of the grapefruit diet that was a fad in the 1970s and that continues to make the rounds on occasion.
While Brooke Shields is often associated with popularizing the grapefruit-eating strategy (regardless of whether or not it’s true), the watermelon diet has been associated with the Netflix series Cheer, in which Gabi Butler describes it to her mother in one of the episodes. She mentioned that she and a teammate would be using it as a cleanse. That was all it took for people to want to copy it, regardless of a lack of any supporting evidence that it is helpful or even safe for that matter.
Despite the fact that the docuseries does not pretend to provide quality dietary or medical advice, the mention was all it took for people to want to begin a watermelon diet, just like what they saw on TV. Since there were no specific directions given, people – and marketers – were quick to hop on the band wagon and try to develop their own versions of the strategy.
Overall, its clear that they are all different versions of a fad diet based on fasting. It is highly unlikely that any doctor or nutrition expert would recommend eating in this way under pretty much any circumstance.
As there are tons of different versions of the watermelon diet circulating the internet, there isn’t really one way of practicing it. On the whole though, it’s an eating strategy that involves eating nothing but that one fruit for a certain set amount of time. Among the variations that are getting the most attention online include spans of time from three to seven days. After that point, people gradually return to the foods they would normally eat.
Claims vary widely in both what they are and whether they are trustworthy. YouTubers, TikTokers and other social media users have claimed everything from 13 pounds of weight loss in a week to reducing junk food cravings, feeling more energized, thinking more clearly, seeing skin complexion improvements and feeling less bloated.
That said, ask any medical professional or nutrition expert and they will tell you that this diet is far harder on your body and its organs than whatever you are trying to cleanse out of it. It strains the body systems and slashes vital nutrient intake. Any benefits recorded are more likely to be water loss than actual fat loss, combined with the placebo effect. It comes with risks that range from mild to quite serious and is not recommended.
If weight loss is your goal, consider sustainable and healthy changes to your eating habits, physical activity level, stress control, and sleep quality, as well as the best diet pills to support your efforts and help to overcome some of the challenges that can appear particularly early on. Discuss any questions with your doctor to know you’re choosing a safe and appropriate strategy for your unique health needs and expected results.