Fruit Diet: How to Start, What to Eat & What to Avoid

Updated in January 2024

The fruit diet is characterized by the increased consumption of fruits with vegetables, whey protein and lean protein. This diet is rich in fiber, which can increase bowel movements, reduce abdominal bloating and keep you full. These factors can all play an important role in weight loss.

The fruit diet was developed by Registered Dietitian, Jay Robb, who stipulates that you should adhere to this diet for 3 day. He states that these days can give the digestive system a break from consuming processed foods. This helps to detox the body and boost fat burning.

However, there are no scientific studies available that prove the benefits of the fruit diet for health or weight loss. Therefore, if you are thinking about starting a fruit diet, you should consult a registered dietitian for a complete assessment and customized meal plan.

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How to start

The fruit diet should be followed for only 3 consecutive days. It proposes a total intake of 900 to 1000 calories per day.

On the first day of the diet, you should only consume whey protein, vegetables and healthy fats. On the second and third days, you can eat fruit and 100 to 125 g of lean proteins.

The consumption of lean protein in this diet helps to preserve muscle mass, while the fruits and vegetables provide fiber, vitamins and minerals that are important for managing hunger and bodily functions.

How fast can you lose weight?

It is believed that the fruit diet can lead to a weight loss of 9 kg (or 20 lb) in 3 days. However, weight loss, which is the same as losing body fat, is only possible if you maintain a low-calorie diet for at least 7 days.

The fruit diet can help to eliminate excess body fluid and improve bowel movements, which can lead to reduced abdominal swelling and waist circumference. 

What to eat

The foods allowed in the fruit diet are:

  • Fresh and organic fruits, such as papaya, strawberries, bacuri, melon, banana, pineapple, apple and avocado
  • Fresh and organic vegetables, preferably raw, such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, kale, chayote, cucumber and tomatoes
  • Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs, turkey and tofu;
  • Healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil or flaxseed oil;
  • Whey protein

The creator of this diet also recommends exercising at a low intensity, like walking or stretching. You should also aim to drink around 12 glasses of water per day.

You should also eat your meals and snacks  every 2 hour between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

What to avoid

Foods that should not be consumed during the fruit diet include:

  • Carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, wheat flour, bread, cakes, cookies and pasta
  • Sweets and sugar of all types, such as chocolates, cakes and cookies
  • Processed meats such as sausage, sausage, mortadella, bacon, salami, ham and turkey breast
  • Processed food such as ready-made juices, soda, canned food, powdered seasonings, vegetable and meat broth
  • Salt and high salt foods such as dressings, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and frozen ready-to-eat meals;
  • Drinks such as soda, alcoholic drinks, coffee, black tea and green tea.

In addition to the foods listed, you should also avoid taking dietary supplements when on a fruit diet.

Also recommended: High Carb Foods: 28 Healthy Options to Eat in Moderation

Meal plan

The following table outlines a sample 3-day meal plan for the fruit diet:

Meal Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Breakfast (8 am) Protein shake with 20 to 40 g of whey protein and water  2 cups of chopped melon 1 medium banana
Morning snack  (10 am) Protein shake with 20 to 40 g of whey protein and water  2 cups of chopped kiwi 2 cups of strawberries
Lunch (12 pm) Protein shake with 20 to 40 g of whey protein and water  2 medium apples  1 large pear
Afternoon snack  (4 pm) Protein shake with 20 to 40 g of whey protein and water  1 large mango 2 slices of watermelon
Dinner (6 pm) 3 to 6 cups of salad made with lettuce, carrots, squash and, tomato seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 150 g of grilled chicken 3 to 6 cups of salad with arugula, lettuce, onion, beets, cucumber and half an avocado and 150 g of grilled fish 3 to 6 cups of lettuce with peppers, tomatoes, squash, cabbage and spinach  seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 150 g of grilled chicken

This meal plan is just an example of the fruit diet, and can vary depending from person to person depending on their health history and nutritional needs. Before starting any diet, you should consult a registered dietitian for a full assessment and customized meal plan.

Side effects and contraindications

The fruit diet can cause hunger, tiredness, dizziness, weakness or fainting due to the low calorie intake. Furthermore, when followed for more than 3 days, this diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies or increase blood sugar levels.

Because it is very restrictive in nutrients and calories, the fruit diet should not be maintained when pregnant or breastfeeding. It is also not recommended for older adults, children, adolescents or people with a history of anemia, osteoporosis or problems with the heart, kidneys, liver or gallbladder.

This diet should also be by people with a history of binge eating, anorexia, diabetes, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance or polycystic ovary syndrome.

How to lose weight in a healthy way

Some tips that can help you lose weight in a healthy way are:

  • Participate in a dietary re-education, which encourages healthier food choices, helping with weight loss.
  • Exercise regularly by weight training, cycling, dancing or fighting. This can accelerate metabolism and help with weight loss.
  • Adhere to a low carb diet, which is characterized by a reduced intake of high carb and high fat food. This also boosts metabolism and promotes weight loss. 
  • Avoid ultra-processed foods, such as soda, ice cream, and fast food, as many of these foods are high in sugar and fat. This increases your overall calorie intake and can interfere with weight loss.

To lose weight in a healthy way, it is also important to sleep 7 to 9 hours a night. This is because ghrelin and leptin are produced during sleep, and these hormones are importnat for regulating hunger and appetite.