The Watermelon Diet: Cleanse your body and lose weight simultaneously

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Watermelons are the perfect snack to cool of on a hot summer day but they can also help cleanse our bodies and assist in weight-loss. Watermelons are about 91% water and contain only 6% sugar. They also have some essential nutrients to offer: vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamins B1 and B6, lycopene (an antioxidant), potassium and magnesium. Concerning calories, watermelons don’t deliver much of that as 100 grams of watermelon translates into approximately 30 calories.

We will show you two types of Watermelon diet, one that works on a longer term (9-13 days) and a shorter one that consists of a 5-day meal plan.

Eating watermelonLong-term plan

There is one long-term Watermelon Diet which is in fact a detox diet, but since it cuts back calories, it’s also an effective way of losing weight. This diet is easy to follow although like with any diet, it’s recommended you seek the doctor’s advice before following it. The Watermelon diet consists of two stages:

Stage 1

The first stage is actually a mono diet. For three days you have to eat nothing else but watermelon. It is restrictive in both calories and nutrients, although for a healthy individual there shouldn’t be any problems, since it only lasts 3 days.

Stage 2

The second stage will include 2 meals a day, watermelon being used as a snack between them. This stage lasts between 6-10 days. It’s not as restrictive as the first phase of the diet, but it does provide little food variety. We recommend following this stage for the minimum period, meaning 6 days.

Since watermelons have a lot of water, you might not feel the need to drink plain water. You should only drink plain water if you feel thirsty between meals and snacks.

Breakfast

– 1 bowl of whole cereals with milk
– 1 slice of cheese

Snack

– 2-3 slices of watermelon

Lunch

– Your choice of the following: grilled or boiled chicken (skinless), fish or lean beef with no added fats.
– 1 salad made with any vegetables you want. As dressing you can only use a few drops of olive oil and small amounts of vinegar or lemon.

Dinner

– 2-3 slices of watermelon

WatermelonThe 5-days Watermelon Diet

This diet also has great detoxifying effects, but it lasts only 5 days and introduces a wider food variety than the long-term watermelon diet. The diet is effective, as long as you stick to the meal plan.

This means you cannot add any extra calories to it.

Day 1

Breakfast

– 1 slice of watermelon
– 1 cup of coffee or green tea

Lunch

– 150 grams of boiled lean beef
– 150 grams of boiled rice
– 1 slice of watermelon

Dinner

– 60 grams of cottage cheese
– 1 slice of whole bread
– 1 slice of watermelon

Day 2

Breakfast

– 1 slice of watermelon
– 1 slice of toast
– 1 cup of coffee or green tea

Lunch

– 100 grams of boiled skinless chicken
– 1 slice of whole bread
– 1 slice of watermelon

Dinner

– 100 grams of grilled fish (any fish you like)
– 100 grams of boiled rice
– 2 slices of watermelon

Day 3

Breakfast

– 1 slice of watermelon
– 1 slice of toast
– 1 cup of coffee or green tea

Lunch

– 50 grams of pasta with tomato sauce
– 3 slices of watermelon

Dinner

– Vegetable salad
– As much watermelon as you want

Day 4

Breakfast

– 2 slices of watermelon

Lunch

– 1 bowl of cream broccoli soup (cover 3 cups of broccoli and ½ onion with water, bring to a boil and puree with a blender or food processor. Add salt to taste)
– 1 slice of whole bread
– 2 slices of watermelon

Dinner

– 3 medium potatoes (oven-baked)
– 2 slices of watermelon

Day 5

Breakfast

– 3 slices of watermelon

Lunch

– 150 grams of boiled lean beef
– As much watermelon as you want

Dinner

– 1 slice of whole bread
– 60 grams of cottage cheese
– 3 slices of watermelon

Both long-term and short-term meal plans are in fact low-calorie diets. If you don’t have any health problems the Watermelon diet won’t do you any harm. Nevertheless, the severe calorie restriction and little food variety can make you prone to overeating once the diet is over.  As soon as you get off this diet plan try to incorporate whole, nutritious foods in your meals and stick to regular-sized portions.

If you’re also exercising during this diet you should keep your workouts light. Since the Watermelon diet provides only few calories, you may feel tired, dizzy and/or lightheaded if your workouts are too intense. If you experience these or other unpleasant symptoms it’s definitely recommended you stop following this diet.

Even if you really love watermelons it doesn’t mean the Watermelon Diet is suitable for you. There are plenty of weight-loss programs you can choose from so feel free to check our dedicated section for more diet plans, weight-loss tips and information!

[UPDATE] One of our readers asked a question which I consider incredibly important, so I chose to detail the answer here, rather than in the comments section. I suspect others had this thought, and perhaps posting the answer here can make the clarification more visible.

Question from Shane:

“I know I am posting this late. What happens if I stay with stage 1 of the diet for a large amount of time? Other than not getting the required nutrients, what may be the issues?”

My answer

Firstly, I am not a doctor, I’m just someone focused on understanding how our bodies work and how they are affected by everything that surrounds us. You don’t have to take for granted anything I say. In fact, I strongly recommend you gather information from multiple alternative sources just so you can get the complete picture and be able to draw your own conclusions. With that said, let’s get to the point.

I don’t think eating any single food that’s available on this planet for a long period of time can be considered healthy. “Not getting the required nutrients” may seem like just one problem, but it can wreak havoc on your body in so many ways.

Looking at the macros, watermelons contain mostly sugar, an insignificant amount of protein and NO FATS. The human body may be resilient and survive even with little or no food variety, but we’re not striving for survival alone anymore. Sure,  the sugar in watermelon is not processed sugar and it is by all means, natural. Nevertheless it is still SUGAR – that simple carb most of us already eat/drink to much of, and causes a variety of health issues, from weight gain and hormone imbalance to serious chronic conditions like diabetes.

Then there’s the lack of fats and proteins – Protein is the main building block from which our bodies are made of and it’s used to make muscles, skin, organs and tendons but also plays a critical role in the production of hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes and other chemicals required for bodily functions. Proteins are made of small molecules called amino-acids. Some of these can be produced by the human organism, but many cannot – hence the term ‘essential amino-acids’.

Besides the fact we absolutely need protein in our diet, it also serves another important purpose. together with fat these nutrients are very satiating and keep hunger at bay for a long time after eating. Appetite control is extremely important for long-term weight loss.

Fat is a very controversial subject. Some still see it as the nutrition devil, and if we’re talking about fat sources such as refined vegetable oils and margarine – it actually is. But fat from natural foods (both plant and animal) is another story entirely. Even saturated fats have health benefits, and they’re not as bad as the mainstream media wants us to think.

Fat as a nutrient is needed for many things. You need it to absorb fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, your brain needs fatty acids to work properly, just like protein is needed for hormone production. Not eating enough fat can actually lower HDL (‘good’) cholesterol levels, and if you avoid it for a long time you’re likely to get dry, flaky skin.

Furthermore, you’re never going to get all the vitamins and minerals you need from watermelon (or any other single food). What problems can this cause? Take a look at the watermelon’s nutritional chart, it’s easy to see what it lacks. And finding the signs of a certain nutrient deficiency is just one Google search away.

The biggest problem is, all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed to nourish our bodies act together as a complex matrix and despite all of the research that’s been done on the matter, no one can really predict what exactly is going to happen if you choose to completely ignore all of this and commit to eating a single food for a long time. Just don’t expect anything good to come out of it.

A ‘heavy’ answer for an even ‘heavier’ question. And still I only scratched the surface – this could be easily turned into a Wikipedia-style beefy post. Bottom line is, if you have a lot of weight to lose, your best bet is to simply make some lifestyle changes (even if you do it one step at a time) or find a plan that was designed for long term – something the Watermelon Diet – is definitely not.

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Watermelon