The Pineapple Diet: Weight Loss’ Juicy Secret

The Pineapple Diet
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Highlights

What Is The Pineapple Diet?

The pineapple diet is basically what it sounds like: you eat pineapples, and little else, for two to five days. Marketed as a weight loss* or detox plan, advocates claim* the diet will help you lose* water weight, shed stored body fat, and detoxify your body resulting in glowing skin and a toned body filled with renewed energy. No one really knows who popularized or created it.

The pineapple diet is an example of a mono diet. A mono diet is any diet that involves eating only one food item or type of food.

How Does It Work?

Advocates of mono diets claim* that by eating just one type of food or food item for a period of time aids* in digestion because the body has to metabolize fewer nutrients and, therefore, requires fewer digestive enzymes. Because the body is not working as hard, this supposedly decreases* bloating and maximizes nutrient absorption so that the body is satisfied with fewer calories and without food cravings.

What Can I Eat?

Pineapple a Day

The diet requires you to eat 2 kilograms (almost 4 ½ pounds) of pineapple a day for two to five days. While some versions of the pineapple diet only allow the fruit, others allow a small amount of tuna and other nutritious foods as well. It appears that the longer you follow the diet for, the more you would include foods other than pineapple.
Eating 2 kilograms of fresh pineapple provides* 1,000 calories, 2 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, and 28 grams of fiber with most of your calories coming from carbohydrates and natural sugars. This amount of pineapple provides* your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, thiamin, and vitamin B6, but you will be coming up short on essential nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin A, potassium, and the other B vitamins as well as essential fatty acids.

One pineapple weighs roughly 1 kilogram, so you will need 2-3 per day.

Sample 2-Day Diet

  • Breakfast: 1 ½ cups pineapple
  • Snack: 1 cup fresh pineapple juice*
  • Lunch: 1 ½ cups pineapple
  • Snack: 1 cup fresh pineapple juice*
  • Dinner: 1 ½ cups pineapple
  • Beverages: water, green tea, lemon water

Sample 5-Day Diet

  • Breakfast: 1 ½ cups pineapple + oatmeal + low-fat yogurt
  • Snack: 1 cup fresh pineapple juice* + 1 hard-boiled egg
  • Lunch: Grilled tuna + 1 ½ cups pineapple
  • Snack: 1 cup fresh pineapple juice* + low-fat yogurt
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken + tomato, asparagus, pineapple salad
  • Beverages: water, green tea, lemon water

*1 cup fresh pineapple juice = 3/8 of a pineapple fruit

What Are The Benefits of ‘Pineapple Diet’?

Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps break down and digest protein in the stomach and can help reduce* inflammation.

Pineapples are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. The fiber content can help keep you feeling full, despite the low amount of calories, and aid* in waste elimination.

As with any severely restrictive diet, you will probably lose* weight, and fast.

Pineapple Benefits Info

Is It Supported By Science?

No clinical studies have been done on the Pineapple Diet, nor are there studies on mono diets and their effectiveness (or lack thereof) for weight loss*. There is no scientific evidence to back up the health claims* behind the Pineapple diet or any other mono diet; only anecdotal evidence.

Bromelain’s effects on fat cells are still under investigation, but results look promising.

Is It Safe?

While following what is essentially a crash diet for a few days probably will not cause lasting damage, it is still not recommended. If followed for longer periods of time, restrictive diets can lead to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss, irregular heartbeat, and electrolyte imbalances.

Diets high in fruit can also lead to GI woes – bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Pineapple in particular is acidic, so those who are prone to heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease may find this diet quite painful. Sores can form on the tongue or in the mouth.

Being particularly high in carbohydrates and sugar, even if it is naturally-occurring, pineapples can cause elevated blood sugar levels, especially in diabetics. Blood sugar spikes can lead to feelings of fatigue and increased cravings.

Bromelain has known interactions with several medications, notably certain antibiotics and anticoagulants.

Those with an allergy to latex may also experience an allergic reaction to eating pineapple.

Repeatedly following fad diets can result in an unhealthy relationship with food and your body and yo-yo dieting has been linked to adverse health outcomes, like heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and gut dysfunction.

The Pineapple Diet Review – Does It Work?

The Pineapple Diet work

In a word, yes, it will work. Any restrictive diet that limits the amount of calories that you eat in a day will probably result in weight loss*. However, as with anything else, the more extreme the approach, the greater the likelihood that the results will not last. Once you go back to eating how you were before, the weight will come back on.

While incorporating more fruit into your diet may help improve* the quality of your overall diet and crowd out higher-calorie and processed foods, pineapples are not a magic* food – there is no such thing as a fat-burning food.

Bottom Line

While promises* of quick weight loss* are attractive and sexy, you should really focus on forming healthier habits in your everyday life. Small changes made over time can lead to big results. Swap your white bread for wheat bread, eat a big salad every day, carry a water bottle with you, move your body every day.

If you love pineapple, then fitting a serving or two in your otherwise balanced and varied diet can be an excellent addition. Find the joy in eating a balanced diet consisting of simple ingredients from whole-foods and working up a sweat in new, fun ways.

Image Credits
Feature Image: Istockphoto.com
In-Post Image: Istockphoto.com & pinterest.com

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Author

Expert Author : Ellen Ratliff (Consumer Health Digest)

Ellen Ratliff, MS, RD, LD is an Ohio-based nutrition expert and owner of Ellen the RD, LLC, an online nutrition coaching business. You can read more of her articles at EllenRatliffRD.com and connect her on LinkedIn.