What Is the 3-Day Diet?

A hard-boiled egg is included in the 3-day diet.
People on the 3-day diet can drink as much black coffee as they like.
Half a grapefruit is eaten on the first day of the 3-day diet.
Cheddar cheese is eaten on the third day of the 3-day diet.
Melon, like the casaba, is permitted on day three of the 3-day diet.
An apple is eaten on the first and third day of this diet.
Cauliflower is included in the 3 day diet plan.
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  • Written By: Kerrie Main
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 28 March 2014
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Many people look for the fastest and easiest methods to achieve something, and this is often true when it comes to weight loss. Dieting is a common activity in the modern world, and although the most effective long-term way to lose weight typically includes healthy food choices and increased physical activity, some people prefer quicker means. As a result, the 3-day diet was invented in the mid-1980s and still is used in the 21st century. This fad diet promises dieters up to a 10-pound (4.5-kg) weight loss when they follow a strict, regimented eating plan for three days. There are many names for this diet, including the Cleveland Diet, the ice cream diet, and the fax diet.

The main selling point of the diet is that the person doesn’t have to exercise. He or she only has to follow the strict meal plan for three days and can eat whatever is desired for the remaining four days and still can lose 10 pounds in a week. The claims behind the diet usually are that the specific food or food combination triggers a metabolic reaction that promotes fast weight loss. The meal plans must be followed exactly, which means no cheating of any kind. The dieter has to eat a specific number of times a day and in the exact portions. If any part of the meal plan is broken, the diet will not work.


The 3-day diet starts on Day One with black coffee or water, half a grapefruit and one slice of toast with peanut butter for breakfast; one piece of toast with 0.5 cup (113 grams) of plain tuna for lunch; and 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean meat, 1 cup (128 grams) of carrots, one apple, 1 cup (110 grams) of green beans and 1 cup (136 grams) of vanilla ice cream for dinner. The second day allows for one egg, one slice of toast and a banana for breakfast; 1 cup (226 grams) of cottage cheese or tuna with five saltine crackers for lunch; and two hot dogs (without the bun), one banana, 0.5 cup (64 grams) of carrots, 1 cup (71 grams) of broccoli or cabbage and 0.5 cup (68 grams) of vanilla ice cream for dinner. The third and final day calls for five saltine crackers, 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of cheddar cheese and an apple for breakfast; a hard-boiled egg and one slice of toast for lunch; and 1 cup (226 grams) of tuna, 1 cup (100 grams) of cauliflower, 1 cup (160 grams) of melon, 1 cup (128 grams) of carrots and 0.5 cup (68 grams) of vanilla ice cream for dinner. The only beverages allowed for the three days are black coffee, tea or water.

Many dietitians and other medical professionals do not recommend the 3-day diet because it might promote unhealthy eating habits and actually harm the dieter’s metabolism rate. It also is possible that the weight loss is achieved only through water weight loss, and the dieter gains it all back when he or she begins eating regularly again. Some people who choose this dieting method tend to be “yo-yo” dieters and never learn how to achieve a healthy weight loss than can be sustained over a long period of time.


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