Cantaloupe first grew in the Middle East, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates the name comes from a city in Italy called Cantalupo. A diet of cantaloupe may help you lose weight, but eating only cantaloupe in an attempt to lose weight quickly can result in a lack of nutrient intake and quick regain of any weight lost.
Cantaloupe alone does not contain all the nutrients you need for survival, and a publication from the University of Colorado Wellness Center states that a diet that recommends focusing the majority of your caloric intake on a single food resides in the "fad diet" category. When losing weight, you can certainly eat cantaloupe as part of your daily 1 1/2 cups of fruit, but also include other fruits, 1 1/2 to 2 cups of vegetables, several ounces of meat, 5 oz. of whole grains, 2 1/2 cups of dairy and healthy fats from either nuts, seeds or canola oil.
Calories and Nutrients
The calories in cantaloupe are few in relation to volume, making it a wise choice when dieting. A cup of cubed cantaloupe contains 54 calories, and an entire 5-inch diameter cantaloupe has only 188 calories. A cup of cantaloupe contains 1.3 g of protein, a trace of fat, 1.4 g of fiber and 12.6 g of natural sugars. You need about 4,700 mg of potassium a day, and 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C a day. Cantaloupe gives you 9 percent of potassium requirement and about 65 to 77 percent of the vitamin C you need.
Weight Loss Benefits
In addition to the low calories, cantaloupe contains a high percentage of its volume in water. A study published in the February 2011 issue of the journal "Nutrition and Metabolism" found that when participants consumed grapefruit, which has a high water content, grapefruit juice or water before a meal, they reduced the amount of food they ate by 20 to 29 percent and lost weight. Eating cantaloupe as an appetizer before lunch or dinner may help you reduce the number of calories you eat during the meal.
Substitute 1 cup of cantaloupe for a higher-calorie snack, such as 1/4 cup of trail mix, to save 220 calories. Combine finely diced cantaloupe with onions, herbs and a dash of olive oil for a cantaloupe salsa, or puree cantaloupe in a blender and freeze the puree in a frozen pop mold. Top green salad with strawberries and cantaloupe, add diced cantaloupe to Greek yogurt or combine cantaloupe with other fruits for a low-calorie fruit salad.