The Grapefruit Diet began in the 1930's. This is when the Hollywood Diet debuted, which called for nibbling on a few select vegetables, small amounts of protein, and grapefruits, which were believed to contain a special fat-burning enzyme. It has spawned more than a dozen grapefruit diets over the decades.

Diet Length:
Three weeks.

What you eat:
A typical day might consist of half a grapefruit and black coffee for breakfast; half a grapefruit plus an egg, cucumber, a piece of dry melba toast, and plain tea or coffee for lunch; and two eggs, half a head of lettuce, a tomato, the obligatory grapefruit, and tea or coffee for dinner. Some versions allow for small amounts of meat or fish; calories add up to less than 800 per day.

Why women love it:
It's a bimbo's diet. You don't need to strain anything counting calories or making major food decisions. The monotony may even numb your appetite. And because the calorie cutback is so severe, initial weight loss can be dramatic, from 3-6lbs for a moderately overweight woman to 12lbs for an obese woman.

Pros: Grapefruit has no fat, is low in calories and sodium, and is packed with vitamin C; the pink variety contributes beta-carotene as well. And because grapefruit is high in water and fibre, it can help fill you up.

Cons: The general agreement is that any diet based on one food is much too restrictive to be healthy. You miss out on calcium, vital to bone strength; iron, which wards off anemia; folic acid, which can protect against heart disease; and most vitamins. Whether we can really say if three weeks is any too harmful at all is yet to be proven, yet still it seems that this is one fad diet which won't be revived.