3 Day Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The-3-day-dietThe 3 Day Diet is one of the most popular short-term fad diets around today.

Many people adopt the diet to try and achieve short-term weight loss. However, unfortunately most people simply gain the weight back again once they resume normal eating patterns.

The 3 Day Diet is simply a low calorie diet consisting of not so healthy foods(as can be seen by the meal plan).

There is nothing magical – no mystical chemical reaction happens. Weight loss is due to a sudden drop in calories – some of this may be fat – but most will be from water loss. The new 8 Hour Diet probably is a better option.

3 Day Diet Meal Plan

Note: Calorie amounts are approximate and will vary depending on exact brand of product chosen.


Total Calories: 870

  • Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water (0 cal)
  • 1/2 Grapefruit or Juice (41 cal)
  • 1 slice toast with 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter (178 cal.)


  • 1/2 Cup of Tuna (100 cal)
  • 1 slice toast (83 cal)
  • Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water (0 cal)


  • 3 oz. any lean meat
    (94 cal)
  • 1 cup green beans (34 cal)
  • 1 cup carrots (52 cal)
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream (288 cal)
  • 1 medium apple
    Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water (0 cal)


Total Calories: 219Total Calories: 183Total Calories: 468


Total Calories: 1149

  • Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
    (0 cal)
  • 1 egg (any style) (78 cal)
  • 1 slice toast (83 cal)
  • 1 banana (105 cal)


  • 1 cup 2% cottage cheese
    (203 cal)
  • 5 saltine crackers (70 cal)
  • Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water (0 cal)


  • 2 beef franks or hot dogs (300 cal)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (26 cal)
  • 1 banana (105 cal)
  • 1 cup broccoli or cabbage (35 cal)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream (144 cal)
  • Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water (0 cal)


Total Calories: 266Total Calories: 273Total Calories: 610


Total Calories: 859

  • Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water
    (0 cal)
  • 5 regular saltine crackers (70 cal)
  • 1 oz.(slice) cheddar cheese (100 cal)
  • 1 small apple (52 cal)


  • 1 hard boiled egg
    (78 cal)
  • 1 slice toast (83 cal)
  • Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water (0 cal)


  • 1 cup tuna
    (200 cal)
  • 1 cup carrots (52 cal)
  • 1 cup cauliflower (23 cal)
  • 1 cup melon (57 cal)
  • 1/2 cup regular vanilla ice cream (144 cal)
  • Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water (0 cal)


Total Calories: 222Total Calories: 161Total Calories: 476

Three Day Diet Additions Allowed

  • Lemon (and lots of it, if you like)
  • A dash of salt and/or pepper
  • Mustard
  • Cooking spray
  • Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • Splenda
  • Gum/mints (sugar-free)

Food Substitutions

Some people use the following food substitutions for the 3 day diet:

Instead of Grapefruit?
Any other piece of fruit in its place. i.e. orange or apple and Drink 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in water a half an hour before you eat.
Instead of Banana?
Two appricots, two kiwifruit, or a cup of papaya
Instead of Toast?
5 crackers, 1/8 cup of sunflower seeds (shelled), 1/2 a protein bar, 1/2 cup of whole grain cereal, or 1/2 cup protein shake.
Instead of Hotdogs?
1/2 cup lentils/beans = 1 hotdog. Bratwurst and veggie dogs are fine also.
Instead of Tuna?
The same amount of tofu, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, 2 ounces cooked chicken, or 30 whole almonds or peanuts.
Instead of Peanut Butter?
Any nut or seed butter is fine except for Nutella
Instead of Ice cream?
The same amount of flavored milk, frozen yogurt, or fruity yogurt.
Instead of Egg?
2 slices of bacon, 1 chicken wing, a cup of milk, or 1/4 cup of nuts
Instead of Broccoli?
The same amount of cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, or beet root.
Instead of Green Beans?
The same amount of lettuce, spinach, or tomatoes
Instead of Carrots?
A small salad or the same amount of beet root, bell pepper, or spinach
Instead of Apple?
A pear, plum, grapes, peach, or nectarine.
Instead of Cheddar or Cottage Cheese?
These both can be used interchangeably or 2 ounces of ham coldcuts or 2 eggs.
Instead of Tea or Coffee?
Green tea, kumbacha tea, yerba mate, or sugar-free hot chocolate made with water

Exercise Recommendations

Due the low number of Calories in the 3 day diet, exercise should be kept to a minimum.

Common Questions

Please read before asking a question in the comments.

Can I do the 3 Day Diet for more than 3 days?
Any diet that recommends dieters eating less than 1200 calories a day is considered unsafe unless supervised by medical staff. Also, this diet is deficient in the nutrients required for good  health. Therefore, it is not recommended at all, but definitely not for more than 3 days.
How much weight will I lose?
This is highly subjective and almost impossible to answer. It depends on factors like metabolism, activity level, and so forth. All dieters following the plan to the T, should lose at least a few pounds of water weight and from having less digesting food material in their systems.
Can I substitute one food for another?
There is nothing “magical” about the foods in the 3 day diet meal plan. It’s about the calories. If you substitute the same calorie amount of a similar food you like for one you don’t, it won’t change the outcome. Just substitute a protein for a protein and a vegetable for a vegetable etc. For more clarification see the list directly above.
Can I drink as much water as I want?
It’s recommended that we consume around 2-3 liters of water a day through food and drink sources. While water doesn’t have calories, those only drinking when the diet tells them to will most likely experience more weight loss because they will have lost more water weight due to slight dehydration.
Is the 3 Day Diet safe for diabetics?
Diabetics should always consult their doctors before starting any new diet. Because of the very low calorie amounts, this diet could be dangerous for diabetics.
Is this diet safe for children and teens?
No, for many reasons. First, a growing child needs adequate calories and nutrition for development. This diet lacks both of those elements. Secondly, the 3 day diet teaches children to “fad” or “crash” diet instead of to eat healthy and exercise in order lose weight. Also, highly restrictive diets can set children up for potential eating disorders.

Smartphone Apps

3 Day Diet is available as an iPhone app.

It includes a meal and weight tracker, and food substitutions.



  • Rapid weight loss is possible
  • Simple and easy to follow
  • Meals easy to prepare
  • The 3 Day Diet has been around for many years


  • Low calorie diets can be dangerous for some
  • Results are usually short term
  • Very low calorie diets can slow metabolism
  • Includes fatty or sugary foods like hotdogs and ice cream
  • Not suitable for those sensitive to caffeine
  • Can lead to yo-yo dieting

Calorie Restriction is the Key

This diet is not sustainable and should never be used for more than 3 days. Eating and dieting in this manner will lead to a yo-yo effect – a constant regain of weight.

The 3 Day Diet has been popular for many years as a way to lose weight quickly by drastically reducing caloric intake.

However, this plan is not sustainable or healthy for the long term, nor does the 3 Day Diet teach dieters how to eat healthy and how to choose smaller portions as a part of a lifestyle.

Research shows that slow, gradual weight loss is healthier than short term, rapid weight loss such as advocated by this diet.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Chris

    Will exercise help with the weight loss too?

  • Vanessa

    Day two: I weight 158.6 wow three pounds off. I hope I can lose at least two pounds by tomorrow.

  • Pingback: 3 Day Diet Substitutions For Beets | Home

  • Vanessa

    Today is day 1 for me I weight161.6. I’m depressed because this is the fattest Ive been. They say you are what you eat and I feel absolutely disgustin I know I can change this by setting my mind to it this diet really works if you follow it correctly.. you just have to do this diet once in a long time or else it won’t work. After the three days just change your eating habits and exercise everyday for an hour and in three months you will see a huge difference.I will keep you guys updated each day to share my results..

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  • arlene

    I loose up to 8 pounds with this diet after my 3 days!!! It works if u do it right

    • yara

      is this the right way to do it if you fallow step by step?

  • arlene

    I do this diet all the time when I want to loose weight really fast it always works for me!!!! I love it

  • Zizo Dube

    Thanks to this diet i lost a dress size, i have even decided to go to the gym. it has motivated me to watch what i eat and the portion size.

    • Delightfuld

      congrats! I lost 20 pounds and the hardest part is maintaining the goal is following a 1500 calories on your off day to keep the weight off.

  • vivienne

    Are ritz original crackers ok to use?

    • Delightfuld

      I eat what ever crackers I have available. Just eat 5-6 crackers which should equal 60-70 calories

  • Kaye Inns

    Should the vegs be cooked or can you eat them raw

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      It doesn’t matter, whichever way you prefer.

  • Suri

    Can we drink tea or coffee through out the day because it has 0 cal?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Yes, this is fine.

  • Tammy Wood

    I did the diet a couple of years ago and I lost 7 lbs because I put coffee whitener in my coffee and I think I may have added sugar too. I also put butter on some of my vegies. I do not believe this is only water weight , this is not an unhealthy diet as it was first compiled by Drs for those in serious obese conditions in the Hospital. Years and years ago I first heard about it from my sister in law who had done it on the advice of her Dr. Very over weight both her and her husband.
    You must adhere to the list of foods and do the subs if you need to but any addition or subtractions will show up on the scale. Also you ARE recommended to workout as the “diet” is suggested if we are sluggish working out and drinking lemon water will help to revive you. Working out may FEEL like its taking away energy at first and even through out most of the duration of exercise but in the finish or completion of heart moving pulse pounding exercise YOU WILL be revived . Scientifically proven as all people know this anyway. Some just want to be lazy,,, oops me too. Anywho,, I am doing this “diet” again because I have little self control and have been eating junk food like a freak. See you in three days. I will bookmark this so I can remember to come back.

  • Kiki

    Does it lose body fat?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      As the nutritionist stated above, there is debate whether the weight loss is mainly water weight loss or fat loss.

  • Lux

    No one else is really coming back much to update. After the 3 day diet, I lost 3lbs. I went to 1200 calories (the minimum) the rest of the week then weighed myself again, 2 lbs came back so i think it was just water weight. This diet didn’t really work for me, I followed it perfectly.

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      You’ve solved the riddle as to why people don’t come back.. It doesn’t work long-term. Be patient and you’ll have better results with the 1200 calorie diet.

  • Lux

    Also, everywhere else that lists this diet on the web says under no circumstances should you substitute the foods. Some of the portions are also wrong here according to everywhere else. Has anyone still had weight loss even with substitutions? I hate cottage cheese…

    • Daizie Draper

      Do you like cheese soup? I melt mine in the microwave and crush the crackers into it.

      • Lux

        That isn’t as important as all the other things I mentioned. Has anyone else had luck with substituting? I didn’t know if I should try it so I decided not to, and I didn’t lose hardly anything….

  • Lux

    I don’t understand. Practically every single person here says they lost weight on the first day. I woke up this morning after sticking to the diet perfectly yesterday. I didn’t lose a single lb! I even measured out everything in measuring cups to make sure my portions were right. I’m pretty big, 195 at 5’8″ so I figured I’d lose at least 1 lb. I will keep doing it to see if it works…

    • Lux

      Weighed myself after three days. Only lost 1 lb.

      • anonymous

        This is bullshit try the 7 day diet.
        Lose 10-17 pounds in one week.
        Hell yeah!

  • Denny Rayman

    i just failed the diet.

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Don’t feel bad, the 3 day diet sets people up for failure. Find a healthy sustainable plan that promotes slow and steady weight loss.

  • Denny Rayman

    hello everyone, its monday 15th and Im starting this diet! . however I will do it for 7 days, not 3. im currently 6ft2 and 12 stone 5 lbs. hoping to get to 11 stone 5 lbs. please reply back if you want to know how much it works.

    • anonymous

      Did it work?
      Bet it didnt.
      Try the 7 day diet.
      Lose 10-17 pound in one week.

    • Diana Alfaro

      Did it work?? Please let us know. :)

  • Renee

    Does it matter if the veggies are cooked or raw?

    • Jasie Perez Medina

      I like to get creative and sautee them in cooking spray with salt and pepper or boiled yummy

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Nope, there is nothing magical about the food, it’s all about the calorie amounts.

  • melody

    Hi everyone I lost five pounds. I’m on the second week. I will update after Friday.

  • Melissa Parson Davis

    I think I will start this diet on Monday since it’s easier to watch what I eat when my husband is working, but I am worried about gaining my weight back and more on my days off. What kind of diet plans do ya’ll follow on your days off?

    • melody

      I’m on the Woman’s World mag April issue diet plan for my days off. 1800 calorie diet that allows you to eat cookies. Go for it!

  • melody

    Hi everyone my name is Melody, I just started the diet will post on Friday. starting weight 175.

    • Melissa Parson Davis

      Any luck?

      • melody

        I’m now on my third week my weight is 168 from 175. I should have lost more but I had family in town and didn’t stay with it. I’m on the fourth week and I’m starting today. I will post again after Friday. Good luck!

  • Bobby v

    What can I sub for melon?

  • Mo

    I did this diet 3x in the past, the first time lost 10lbs, the second time I lost 8lbs and the third I lost 5lbs. I started this diet again today, its been a year or so since I did the diet , we will see how it goes, I will post update, start weight 198

    • Melissa Parson Davis

      any luck?

  • Tiger

    Im female, 50, was very active until about 1.5 yrs ago.Do all my yardwork etc,, Im so tired and have gained about 40 lbs. Was just told I have celiac, my tummy is inflamed.Would anyone know if this diet will work in my case. Thanks,,

  • Minnie

    Hi, I have a question.
    Can I substitute turkey ham for cottage cheese? It says I can substitute cottage cheese with ham cold cuts or eggs, but I don’t have ham right now and don’t like eggs.

  • Elene

    I was just searching the web for the most effective diets and I see that many people are so happy with this one. I’m so glad that this is actually going to work. I’m planning on starting this diet tomorrow morning. I’ll also run/jog everyday for about 30-40 minutes. But before I start I have a few questions :
    1.) So lets say I do this and loose about 5 pounds, will i be able to maintain the weight if I go back to my regular diet ?
    2.)Can I do this every week?
    3.)Can I change the foods if they have the same amount of calories?

    Thanks so much !! I’m so exited to start tomorrow morning, can’t wait to see results.

  • Joe Joe

    I’m on my 5th wk, 2nd day current weigh in 255lbs. Started this diet at 272. I started the year at 290lbs. When I started I wanted to be at 245, just 10 more pounds. I found the best way to stay on take is to set short term ideal goals, log what I eat, and record my weight daily. it’s a great sense of accomplishment every time you hit a goal.

    • Mo

      Wow thats great! Congrats kp up the good work and definitely post updates to motivate the rest of us !

    • Joe Joe

      Stay on track not stay on take, anyway good luck I’ll continue to post my progress.

  • dyani

    I am starting the diet plan today, hopefully I am as successful as you all. Wish me luck !

  • Patti

    Second Wk on diet Day 4….Weigh in : loss 3 more lbs!!! i know that isn’t as impressive as some on here, But, I’m very happy with it! 14 more pounds to loose!!!

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