Ease of Following
The 3 Day Diet Promise
Shed weight super quick! Lose up to 10 pounds in just one week with the 3 Day Diet.
About the 3 Day Diet
What if we just said to you- “You can eat ice cream and hot dogs and still lose 10 pounds in a week!” Your look of disbelief at this fact would probably be only be rivaled by your look of disbelief if we told you that Bran is the Night King. Or that Joffrey was a nice guy. Or that Monica and Chandler got divorced because Chandler turned out gay. You get the point. So, really, how can there be a diet that lets you eat what you want and still lose weight? Doesn’t that just go against the fundamental rule of all diets? “Thou shalt lose weight but only because we are going to put you through personal hell by not letting thou eat what thy heart desires”? Well, do we have some news for you that’s going to make you as happy as Jaime killing Cersei. Currently being touted as one of the “world’s most popular diets”, the “3-Day Diet”, also called the “Military Diet”, the “Army Diet”, the “Navy Diet” and the “Ice cream Diet”, claims that you can lose weight very rapidly, up to 10 pounds in a single week!
The origins of the 3-Day Diet can be traced back to 1985 and is basically a crash diet which is used for superfast, short-term weight loss. Apart from quick weight loss, the 3 Day Diet promises increased energy levels, cleansing of the body and lower cholesterol levels.
Basically, the 3 Day Diet is a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) and though you won’t be force-feeding yourself “healthy” food in the name of losing pounds, it still involves excessive diet restrictions leading to weight loss. The catch is that the diet plan allows you to eat 1,000 calories daily. The diet follows a 3-day specified meal plan followed by 4 days off where you eat normally and this cycle is repeated until you reach your target weight.
How Does the 3 Day Diet Work?
We all wish there were no catches in life, but the sad truth is that nothing ever comes without the dotted line below the “terms and conditions” section. The 3-Day Diet may let you eat ice-cream, but it is a restrictive and regimented very low-calorie diet and has been designed in a way to help people kick-start the weight loss process. The key to quick weight loss on the 3-Day Diet is that the diet plan should be followed precisely and you must eat only as per the recommended diet guidelines.
The 3-Day Diet claims to be an enzymatically as well as a chemically balanced diet. The premise of the diet is that it works at weight loss by using a unique food combination that works together and triggers a weight loss reaction.
Like we said, it’s exceedingly important, while on the 3-Day Diet, to exactly follow the low-calorie meal plan that the diet recommends and include all the foods in the exact proportions as per the guidelines. This means you must not eat any snacks between the recommended 3 daily meals. And once you’re done with the first 3 days, it doesn’t mean you should celebrate your achievements with a drink and fried food! It is equally important that for the rest of the 4 days, you should follow a healthy diet, eat healthy foods and keep your calorie consumption as low as possible (to around 1,400 calories daily). If the guidelines are not accurately followed, then you may not lose the entire 10 pounds as promised, and really, you have no one to blame but yourself! Also, the diet plan does not include any exercise routine, but any diet works best when paired with a workout, so exercise lightly to boost the effects of the diet.
In short, on the 3-Day Diet, the point we’re trying to drive home is that calorie restriction is paramount! You follow a strict meal plan for 3 days; go on 4 days of maintenance where you can eat normally and watch the pounds melting away by the end of the week. It’s as simple as that!
3 Day Diet and Exercise
Like we’ve already mentioned, exercise is not included as part of the 3 Day Diet and is not an essential component. However, if you follow a light to a moderate workout routine, your fat loss will be enhanced1. Exercise will burn calories and since your calorie consumption is very low, the calories will be supplied by the fat stores in your body. This will result in faster fat loss2.
If exercise is something that makes an appearance in your life like candy does on Jennifer Aniston’s diet (which means almost never), a good way to start is by walking for 20-30 minutes per day. If you already have a regular exercise routine going, then you can continue with it when on the 3 Day Diet. However, you may feel weak or tired during the workout as your calorie consumption has been reduced. So, when following the 3 Day Diet, it is recommended that you cut back a little on the workout duration and intensity of the workout to avoid fatigue and exhaustion. Because, really, the point isn’t to end up losing weight by ending up on IV!
What’s on the Menu?
- Tuna (fresh or canned in water)
- Whole-wheat bread
- Vegetables: Carrots, broccoli and green beans
- Fruits: Banana, apple, and grapefruit
- Beverages: Tea, caffeinated coffee, water, hot chocolate (sugar-free made with water, not milk)
- Meat (3 ounces): Seafood, beef, pork, poultry
- Other Foods: Hot dogs (beef or turkey), peanut butter (smooth or crunchy), and saltine or plain soda crackers
- Dairy: Cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and hard boiled eggs
- Dessert: Vanilla ice cream
What’s off the Menu?
- Honestly, anything that is not in the “on the menu list”
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sugary beverages
- Diet soda
Advantages of the 3 Day Diet
- Short and Easy: The 3-Day Diet is short and easy to follow. Unlike diets that involve buying exotic food, this diet is built around foods that you already have at home or can easily be bought. The meals are very quick and easy to prepare, and yes, this means that there really is no excuse to slack off! Also, since you need to follow a restricted diet for only 3 days of the week, you will not get tired of having to watch your calorie intake for a long period of time.
- Quick Weight Loss: The greatest advantage of the 3-Day Diet is that it is fantastic for quick weight loss in just a week. If you are looking to shed weight in a hurry to fit into that dress for that upcoming wedding or to flaunt your “beach-bod” on a day at the beach, then the 3-Day Diet may be the right one for you. The 3-Day Diet plan boosts your metabolism within the first few days and you can lose up to 10 pounds in one week, and that too without starving yourself!
- No Extended Commitment: We know how diets can be. A new diet requires plenty of willpower and motivation, which is honestly why most diet plans don’t make it beyond the paper on which you’ve written your New Year’s resolutions. And if you are restricted from eating your favorite foods for an extended period of time, then honestly, you’re superhuman if you manage to stick to the diet. The big plus of the 3-Day Diet is that you don’t have to face any of this, as the diet plan needs to be followed for just 3 days and before you realize it, you will be back to eating your favorite foods (hopefully in moderation, for best effects!).
- Not Expensive: The best part of this diet is that it can be as good friends with your pocket as Spongebob can be with Patrick! The foods recommended by the 3-Day Diet are affordable to buy and quite easily available, and even better, are general favorites, so you can always get someone else at home to eat your diet food if you get tired of it mid-way. (Not that we recommend you give up! After all, it’s only a matter of 3 days.) The diet does not recommend any expensive ingredients or specialty foods.
- No Major Food Decisions to Take: Many diet plans offer the dieters multiple choices for each meal and this can become quite overwhelming. The 3-Day Diet does not require that you choose from several different food categories or many recipes for each meal. All the meals are planned for all 3 days and all you have to do is follow it! The same menu is repeated every time if you choose to repeat the diet plan more than once.
- Backed by Science: The 3-Day Diet has been around for a long time and is backed by science. For example, the basic idea behind the diet is that if you eat lesser calories than what you burn, you will lose weight3. Apart from restricting the calorie intake, the 3-Day Diet creates food combinations that help to boost your body’s ability to burn fat in the short run4.
Disadvantages of the 3 Day Diet
- Not Sustainable: The 3 Day Diet plan is difficult to follow because it can be too restricting. Just 1,000 calories a day is no joke, and if you put too fine a point on it, can be considered as not healthy eating. This means it cannot and should not be sustained for a long period of time. The on and off dieting recommended by the diet plan may lead to unhealthy eating habits and a “yo-yo effect”.
- Weight Gain: The 3-Day Diet advocates rapid weight loss in the short term, but that may lead to weight gain in the long run as the weight loss effects of “crash diets” do not last long5. Also, the 3-Day Diet is very low in carbs, which means most of the weight lost during the 3 days may be more of water weight6 and once you begin eating normally, you will regain the water weight.
- No Exercise: The 3-Day Diet does not really inculcate healthy eating habits in the long term. Furthermore, the diet plan does not include an exercise regimen which may lead to more muscle loss than fat loss7.
- Nutritional Content of the Diet: The 3-Day Diet recommends hot dogs, ice cream and crackers as some main components of the meal plan, which, let’s face it, are not exactly the epitome of healthy or nutritious. Hot dog sausages are highly processed non-nutrient rich meat. Though ice cream contains calcium, protein and some other nutrients, it is also loaded with sugar8 and saturated fats 9that are not very healthy. Saltine crackers also recommended by the diet plan may be low calories, but they are also low in nutrition and high in trans fats and salt10.
- No Substitutions: People suffering from food allergies or food sensitivities can face a problem as they may be allergic to some of the foods recommended by the 3-Day Diet. You may substitute the foods that cause allergies with foods that are similar in calories but this means you have to compromise on the specific food combinations causing fat-burning that the diet originally recommended.
- No Artificial Sweeteners Allowed: The 3-Day Diet bans the consumption of artificial sweeteners on both diet as well as maintenance days, as they could cause a sugar level imbalance and also inhibit weight loss11. This may be a problem for dieters who have a sweet tooth and include artificial sweeteners in their diet.
- Yo-Yo Effect: On the 3-Day Diet, you are essentially consuming around 1,000 calories daily. With any drop in calories below 1,200 calories, your body goes into “survival mode” as it believes that it is not going to get any food and is going to starve. The body autopilots itself into starvation mode, and to preserve energy, the body’s metabolism slows down12. When you begin eating normally, the body begins to store fat thinking it will go into starvation mode again, leading to weight gain. This begins a vicious cycle of weight loss and weight gain that leads to the “yo-yo effect”, which, as we’ve sure you’ve guessed already, is not very healthy for the body. VLCDs such as the 3-Day Diet could also lead to binge eating at the end of the diet.
- The 3 Day Diet is a VLCD and restricts the calorie consumption to around 1,000 calories per day and this can cause cardiovascular problems13 and gallstones14.
- Repeated cycles of the 3-Day Diet can lead to the risk of mineral and vitamin deficiency. The body requires food and the nutrients from each of the food groups for good health. In order to reduce the risk of any deficiency, you could take appropriate dietary supplements or multivitamins. However, a word of caution; dietary supplements and multivitamins have their own risks and cannot really substitute a well-balanced, healthy and nutritious diet15.
Phases of the 3 Day Diet
The 3 Day Diet has 2 phases that are spread over a period of 7 days.
This phase lasts for 3 days and forms the main crux of the diet. It’s crucial that you follow the low-calorie diet plan that is set for all the 3 meals i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tempting as it may be, you must not eat any snacks between meals.
The total calorie intake during Phase 1 is around 1,100 to 1,400 calories daily.
After the 3 days of following the diet plan, Phase 2 of the diet begins where you must eat healthy foods and keep your calorie intake as low as possible. There is no restriction on the foods that you can consume during Phase 2 of the 3-Day Diet, but you may have to soldier through some calorie-counting.
Who Is It For?
- If you have a special occasion coming and you want to lose weight quickly and you have plenty of willpower to sustain the regimented 3-Day Diet, then this diet is for you.
- If you do not have too much of time or have the disposition to spend plenty of time shopping and preparing food, then the 3-Day Diet is for you as it is easy to implement and follow.
Who Is It Not For?
- The 3 Day Diet is a VLCD; however, it is not low cholesterol, low salt or a low-fat diet. Hence, it is not a healthy and suitable option for people suffering from ailments such as heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension.
- The 3 Day Diet is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
- The 3 Day Diet is also not suitable for growing children, teens, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The 3-Day Diet or the Military Diet is a “no fuss”, straightforward way to very quick weight loss. The diet specifies the foods that you must eat for 3 days in a week followed by 4 days of normal eating. It is a VLCD that recommends simple foods that are easy to prepare and the diet is quite easy to follow; like we said, there really is no excuse for not following this diet. So if you have that “little black dress” you want to get into very quickly or have a special event coming up and need to shed some of that unwanted weight “super-quick”, then the 3-Day Diet is for you!
However, the diet lacks balanced nutrition as some of the foods recommended are high in fat and salt and cannot really be considered as being healthy. Also, the diet may not provide variety in foods such as whole grains, fruits and veggies, proteins, “good” fats and hence fiber, vitamins and minerals. Another important aspect is that the 3-Day Diet does not include exercise as part of the plan. Also, the restrictive diet for 3 days may result in you binge eating on the balance 4 days of the week.
While you may experience quick weight loss by following this diet, it really isn’t that helpful in losing body fat, becoming lean or maintaining the weight loss in the long run.
Always keep in mind, “super-quick” weight loss does not mean “weight loss forever”. Slow and steady weight loss is always healthy and the best. Getting and staying fit always requires effort and shortcuts shouldn’t be sought out of laziness and impatience. After all, it took Dany 7 seasons to finally get to Westeros, didn’t it? Eating healthy foods and changing your eating patterns, adding exercise to your diet plan and then re-introducing foods gradually into your diet is definitely the best way to achieve sustained and long-term weight loss.