The 3 Day Diet
The 3 Day Diet touts quick weight loss, cleansing, lower cholesterol, and more energy.
It's a strict plan that must be followed exactly for three days. If you still want to lose more weight, you're supposed to eat normally for at least four or five days before starting over.
The 3 Day Diet promises up to 10 pounds of weight loss in three days. But most of that weight is likely to be fluid, not fat, so the results aren't likely to last.
What You Can Eat
The 3 Day Diet is very specific about portion size and the foods it includes.
The combination of the suggested foods supposedly creates a unique metabolic reaction that boosts fat burning. But there is no explanation of how that happens or proof that backs up those claims.
The plan also calls for dieters to drink 4 cups of water or no-calorie drinks daily.
You're likely to lose weight on this plan, but it's not likely to last.
The calories are very low, notes Cindy Moore, former director of nutrition therapy at The Cleveland Clinic (which is not associated with the diet).
"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," Moore says.
The diet is also monotonous and doesn't help you build better eating habits for the long run. "What good is it to go back to the old habits that caused the weight gain, without resolving weight issues?" Moore says. "Hands down, the 3 Day Diet is not conducive to changing habits or encouraging a healthier lifestyle, which are fundamental to weight control."
Bottom line: Choose a well-balanced weight loss plan that controls calories every day, includes exercise, and lets you enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods. To lose weight and keep it off, it is simply not enough to eat a prescribed diet for three days without addressing eating habits that cause weight gain.
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.