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The 3-Day Diet: Friend, Foe … or Faux?

Emma Gonzalez | October 27th, 2012

The infamous 3 day diet has been around since 1985 and still makes the same promise: lose up to 10 pounds in three days, no exercise required! Sound like a hoax? That’s because it is. The 3 day diet, which is sometimes called the Cleveland Clinic diet (despite having no relation to the actual Cleveland Clinic), makes big promises but delivers little reward. In fact, according to leading nutritionists, it can actually spark weight gain. How? Read on.

Fad diets can be unhealthy and dangerous, and dieters are advised to speak with their doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program. One of the most effective and sustainable ways to lose weight effectively is with a physician-assisted diet plan, such as those available through The Center for Medical Weight Loss. This type of diet is not based on fads but on science – and the unique lifestyle and habits of each individual.

The 3 day diet plan

The 3 day diet allots a dangerously low amount of calories – under 1,000 per day, according to the prestigious Cleveland Clinic (which, for the record, is not at all associated with this diet, despite its nickname as the Cleveland Clinic diet). According to its literature, the 3-day meal plan must be followed to the letter. Dieters are required to drink at least four cups of water or no-calorie beverages a day, in addition to:

Day 1

Breakfast
Black coffee or tea, with 1-2 packets artificial (low-cal) sweetener
1/2 grapefruit or juice
1 piece toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Lunch
1/2 cup tuna
1 piece toast
Black coffee or tea, with 1-2 packets artificial (low-cal) sweetener

Dinner
3 ounces of lean meat, including chicken
1 cup of green beans
1 cup of carrots
1 apple
1 cup regular vanilla ice cream

Day 2

Breakfast
Black coffee or tea, with 1-2 packets artificial (low-cal) sweetener
1 egg
1/2 banana
1 piece toast

Lunch
1 cup cottage cheese or tuna
8 regular saltine crackers

Dinner
2 beef hotdogs
1 cup of broccoli or cabbage
1/2 cup of carrots
1/2 banana
1/2 cup regular vanilla ice cream

Day 3

Breakfast
Black coffee or tea, with 1-2 packets artificial (low-cal) sweetener
5 regular saltine crackers
1 ounce cheddar cheese
1 apple

Lunch
Black coffee or tea, with 1-2 packets artificial (low-cal) sweetener
1 boiled egg
1 piece toast

Dinner
1 cup tuna
1 cup carrots
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup melon
1/2 cup regular vanilla ice cream

The 3 day diet can actually cause weight gain

This eating plan allows for fewer than 1,000 calories a day – an unhealthy amount for any adult. While dieters often lose weight during the prescribed 72 hours (although most of it’s water weight, by the way), they usually gain it back as soon as they begin eating normally again. Even worse, according to Cindy Moore, the Cleveland Clinic’s former director of nutrition therapy, “The plan yields about 1,000 calories a day which has the ability to lower metabolism so when you revert back to normal eating, you regain weight even quicker.”

Forget fad diets and choose healthy eating and an active lifestyle

If you’re looking for how to lose weight effectively, the answer is usually a simple, one-word answer: lifestyle. Healthy foods, like whole grains and lean proteins, combined with daily activity – you don’t have to go to the gym to exercise – are a winning equation. The physician-assisted diets from the Center for Medical Weight Loss take each individual’s lifestyle, food preferences, exercise style, and other factors into consideration to formulate a diet that is sustainable and effective over the long term.

To learn more about the Center’s weight loss programs, which have produced thousands of weight loss success stories, enter your information into the box at top right and contact the Center nearest you. Introductory offers are available for first-time clients at select locations.