Everything You Need to Know About the Watermelon Diet

With only 85 calories per serving, watermelon makes a perfect snack between meals. It's healthy and refreshing, providing both flavor and nutrition. Plus, it fills you up quickly and curbs sugar cravings.

Low in calories, watermelon makes a healthy snack for dieters. Credit: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images

The watermelon diet, though, won't necessarily help you get in shape for the summer. In fact, you might end up gaining weight once you return to normal eating.

Tips

This diet plan requires eating nothing but watermelon for five to seven days. It's too low in calories and may lead to nutrient deficiencies. In the long run, it can slow down your metabolism and affect lean body mass.

Read more: 9 Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

What Is the Watermelon Diet?

The watermelon diet is promoted as a detox plan that cleanses your body and aids in weight loss. Its proponents claim that it helps flush out toxins, boosts your energy levels and wards off infections.

Sounds good, doesn't it? There's a catch, though. You must eat nothing but watermelon for five to seven days — or even 10 days. That's rule number one.

The second rule says that dieters must eat 1 kilogram of watermelon for every 10 kilograms of body weight. Some versions include two or more phases to help you keep the pounds off.

Read more: What Are Benefits of Eating Watermelon to Lose Belly Fat?

Does It Work?

Just like the pineapple diet or the cantaloupe diet, this slimming plan is low in calories and lacks variety. To put it simply, it's a crash diet that limits your food choices and can take a toll on your metabolism.

According to a 2018 study published by the European Society of Cardiology, crash diets may accelerate weight loss, lower blood pressure and improve diabetes symptoms. The downside is that they may affect cardiovascular function and worsen existing heart problems. Subjects who followed a diet providing only 600 to 800 calories per day experienced a 44 percent increase in heart fat levels after just one week.

Read more: The 14 Best Foods for Your Heart

As MedlinePlus notes, fad diets rarely have lasting results and can deprive the body of essential nutrients. Furthermore, they may cause muscle loss and slow down your metabolism, so you'll burn fewer calories throughout the day.

What this means is that the watermelon diet can help you get leaner, but its risks outweigh the benefits. There are safer ways to lose those pesky pounds and keep them off.

Watermelon Benefits and Nutrition Facts

Watermelon has its place in a balanced diet. This fruit is over 90 percent water, so it helps keep you hydrated and quench your thirst. Plus, it's rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron and antioxidants. One serving provides:

  • 85.8 calories
  • 1.7 grams of protein
  • 21.6 grams of carbs
  • 0.4 gram of fat
  • 1.1 grams of fiber
  • 33 percent of the DV (daily value) of vitamin A
  • 39 percent of the DV of vitamin C
  • 6 percent of the DV of thiamin
  • 9 percent of the DV of potassium
  • 7 percent of the DV of magnesium

As you can see, this fruit offers more than one-third of the daily recommended intake of vitamins A and C. These nutrients exhibit antioxidant properties and may protect against heart disease, cancer and free radical damage. Watermelon is also a good source of l-arginine, l-citrulline and various antioxidants that may help decrease post-exercise inflammation and boost immune function, according to a 2016 review published in the journal Nutrients.

Watermelon benefits your heart too. A 2014 study featured in the American Journal of Hypertension found that this fruit may reduce cardiac stress and aortic blood pressure in obese adults. Lycopene, one of the most abundant antioxidants in watermelon, may lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Delicious Ways to Enjoy Watermelon

The watermelon diet alone may not be healthy, but the fruit itself packs a hefty nutritional punch. Replacing your go-to snacks with watermelon can help reduce your calorie intake and keep you full longer, making weight loss easier.

If you're craving dessert, dip this fruit in dark chocolate and let it set in the fridge. To make ice cream, blend watermelon, coconut milk and vanilla extract, and then freeze the mixture for about half an hour.

Read more: Benefits of Juicing Watermelon and Watermelon Water

Experiment with watermelon smoothies, lollipops, frozen fruit pops and salsa. You can even add watermelon to soups, salads and other savory dishes. It's a simple, convenient way to boost your antioxidant intake and stay hydrated.

references
Load Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.