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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.

What Else You Should Know

This diet was most likely not developed by nutrition experts. One web site that offers the diet includes this warning: “Neither the staff nor management of 3 Day Diets are experienced, licensed, or knowledgeable to judge or recommend the validity or safety of this diet. We do not necessarily endorse this diet and recommend that before trying this or any other diet to consult a physician or licensed medical practitioner. Use at your own risk.”

When judging any diet, including this one, keep in mind two key pieces of advice from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: First, if a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Second, if you can’t see yourself following the diet for the rest of your life, it’s not for you.

Costs: None beyond your shopping.

Support: None. This is a diet you do on your own.

WebMD Medical Reference

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