HomeDietsThe 3 Day Diet for Weight Loss

The 3 Day Diet for Weight Loss

3 day diet planThe 3 Day Diet is an incredibly popular diet that dates back to 1985. It is essentially a crash diet and used for short-term weight loss. The 3 Day Diet promises super fast weight losscleansing and lower cholesterol and increased energy levels.

What’s the 3 Day Diet Theory?

Essentially the 3 Day Diet is a very low calorie diet. Although the 3 Day Diet claims weight loss is due to a unique metabolic reaction that occurs on the diet plan, the diet involves extreme dietary restriction. You are allowed to eat around 1000 calories per day. The plan is adhered to for 3 days at a time and is followed by “normal” eating for 4 to 5 days. Then you may repeat the cycle. The 3 Day Diet promises 10lbs of weight loss in 3 days.

How does the 3 Day Diet work?

The 3 Day Diet has to be followed accurately. You must eat your food portions as stated in the guidelines. If you overeat, the 3 Day Diet warns that you may not lose the full 10lbs promised. There is no exercise plan.


Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Black coffee or tea (with 1-2 packs of Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
1/2 grapefruit or juice
1 piece of toast with 1 tbsp. of peanut Butter
1/2 cup of Tuna
1 piece of toast
Black coffee or tea (with 1-2 packs of Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
3 oz. any lean meat or chicken
1 cup green beans
1 cup carrots
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 apple
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water



Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
1 egg
1 piece of toast
1/2 banana
1 cup cottage cheese or tuna
8 saltine crackers
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
2 beef franks or hot dogs
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 banana
1 cup broccoli or cabbage
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water



Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
5 regular saltine crackers
1 oz. cheddar cheese
1 apple
1 boiled egg
1 piece of toast
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
1 cup tuna
1 cup carrots
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup melon
1/2 cup regular vanilla ice cream
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or wate

Disadvantages of the 3 Day Diet

The 3 Day Diet is incredibly low in carbohydrates, which means that the 10lbs weight loss in 3 days is likely to be mostly water weight. Carbohydrate promotes water retention in the body. Therefore, once you resume normal eating, you will regain the water weight.

  1. The weight loss is not likely to be due to any food combinations or metabolic reactions, as suggested by the 3 Day Diet, but due to calorie restriction.
  2. Essentially you are eating approximately 1,000 calories per day. Drop below 1,200 calories and your body goes into survival mode. Due to the extreme drop in calories, your body believes that this short food supply signals impending starvation. Hence your body switches gears into “starvation mode” and slows down to preserve energy. The problem here is not so much the 3 days of dieting, but the post-diet period. Your body’s metabolism would have slowed, such that you require fewer calories to maintain your weight. Since you do not require as much food after the 3 Day Diet as you needed before it, resumption of normal eating patterns means you gain weight. In other words, you gain weight by eating the same amount of food that normally would simply maintain your weight. In most people this starts a vicious cycle of weight loss and weight regain, i.e. yo-yo dieting. There is a reason why so may people fail with extreme diets and this is it.
  3. A significant drop in calories such as this, coupled with a monotonous food menu and the guideline to resume normal eating patterns, means that most people will be famished and overeat in the 4-5 days after the 3 Day Diet. In effect, you’re setting up a another vicious cycle of severe hunger due to extreme calorie restriction followed by overeating on your off days. This makes weight gain even faster.

3 Day Diet Verdict

The 3 Day Diet does not address or resolve old eating patterns, does not teach a healthy lifestyle and does not incorporate exercise into its weight loss plan. Furthermore, the most likely outcome of this diet is that you will regain the weight and then some. There is nothing wrong with following a very low calorie diet such as a juice fast. However, proper guidelines would stipulate that you change your eating patterns, incorporate gentle exercise and re-introduce food gradually. The 3 Day Diet is not conducive to decreasing your body fat percentage, getting lean and toned or maintaining the weight you have lost.

Take away message: look elsewhere for a well-balanced weight loss plan that features a wide variety of healthy foods and includes exercise.


  1. I’ve been on this diet and love it. I’ve lost 11 lbs in two weeks. I’ve been using the Three Day Military Diet app which has a nice weight tracker. It keeps me motivated to see that graph line dropping. The list of substitutes in the app are great too.

  2. Interested in doing the 3 day diet – i am 56 years old i weigh 126 lbs and i am 5’2″- i really want to get back down to 110 lbs like i was a year ago- will this diet work for me or is it only for really overweight people

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