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The 3 Day Diet

The Promise

These days, when even instant cereal isn’t fast enough, we want weight loss now, not later. And who could argue with dropping the weight of a large laptop in just one long weekend? The 3 Day Diet promises exactly that.

If you’ve been struggling to budge the scale and you’re tempted to try it, here are the details you need to know.

The diet, aimed at people wanting to lose a lot of weight, claims you’ll drop up to 10 pounds if you follow it for three days.

The menu consists of three breakfasts, lunches, and “dinners” -- if you consider a cup of tuna fish or two hot dogs, plus fruit and vegetable sides, dinner.

One web site that markets the diet claims it’s “chemically and enzyme balanced,” though this statement isn’t explained or supported.

One thing is clear: You won’t be eating much. On Day 1, you get just 870 calories. Days 2 and 3 aren’t much different.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't

For three days, you’ll eat extremely basic meals made with foods you may already have in your kitchen.

For example, breakfast on Day 1 is black coffee or water, half a grapefruit, and a slice of toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Lunch is half a cup of tuna, another slice of toast, and another cup of black coffee (or tea or water).

If you’re looking for variety or foodie thrills, you won’t find them here.

Lunch on Day 2, for instance, is nothing but a cup of cottage cheese and some saltine crackers. Sauces, dressings, and even spices are off the list. If you have a sweet tooth, though, you’ll be happy to find vanilla ice cream on the menu each day.

Level of Effort: Low

The biggest effort you'll make on the diet may be stopping yourself from reaching for more food.

Limitations: The menu is what it is, with no room for varied palates or eating preferences, though some web sites say you can swap tuna for cottage cheese and vice versa.

Cooking and shopping: This diet is about as low-effort as it gets, short of having meals delivered to your door. Just about the only cooking involved is steaming the vegetables, unless you choose to eat them raw (either is an option).

Packaged foods or meals? No.

In-person meetings? No.

Exercise: It's frowned on because, as one web site puts it, “you will not be feeling very energetic" while you're on this diet.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Vegetarians and vegans: This menu is not for vegetarians or vegans. It’s not low-salt, low-carb, or low-fat, either -- just low-calorie.

Gluten-free: This diet includes toast and crackers, which traditionally include gluten in the wheat. You could buy gluten-free versions if you chose to, but going gluten-free is not a feature of this diet.

WebMD Medical Reference

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