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3 Day Diet: Get Your Groove Back Fast

Dieting concept
Angie Moore
Written by Angie Moore

If you’re on the market for a fast solution to your weight problems, give the 3 day diet a chance. It has certainly stirred up the atmosphere on social media, and many people have tried it only to see miraculous results after.

You may want to get the motivation you need by losing some weight fast, and then continuing your path to weight-loss. On the other hand, you might just want to lose a dress-size quickly, to fit in your prettiest summer outfit. Either way, give this diet a chance, and you can see dazzling results. But first, here’s what you should know:

Who you are?

You’re definitely someone who wants to lose weight fast. But ask yourself if you can actually do it at this pace. It means you will cut your daily calories by almost half, and you won’t be able to snack, unless you keep one of your food items for later. This diet also entails that you are supposed to eat the exact foods recommended, in the exact amount, so there’s not any cheat-meal.

You’ll probably have to face a lot of difficulties from the people around you – coworkers, friends, family – who aren’t dieting and who’ll probably keep eating the same tasty foods around you.

Goal oriented woman

So you are:

  • Determined. You’ll have to stick to the routine no matter what it takes.
  • Goal-oriented. Do what you need to slim down and more. Exercise daily, if that fits in your schedule.
  • Calculated. You are able to draft plans and stick to them. You will maybe have to lay out all your activities for the whole three days, in order to not cheat.
  • Strong-minded. Your physical struggles will also take charge of your thinking. You’ll want to cheat, stop, sleep and yell at everyone. Then you’ll get used to it, but it will seem like an eternity.

What the diet’s proponents tell you?

The three day diet creators specifically state that you’ll get to lose up to ten pounds in one week if you follow their standard menu, which is:

DAY 1

  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, 1 slice of toast, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 cup coffee or tea (with caffeine)
  • Lunch: 1/2 cup of tuna, 1 slice of toast, 1 cup coffee or tea (with caffeine)
  • Dinner: 3 ounces of any type of meat, 1 cup of green beans, 1/2 banana, 1 small apple, 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

DAY 2

  • Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 slice of toast, 1/2 banana
  • Lunch: 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 hard boiled egg, 5 saltine crackers
  • Dinner: 2 hot dogs (without bun), 1 cup of broccoli, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

DAY 3

  • Breakfast: 5 saltine crackers, 1 slice of cheddar cheese, 1 small apple
  • Lunch: 1 hard boiled egg (or cooked however you like), 1 slice of toast
  • Dinner: 1 cup of tuna, 1/2 banana, 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Military diet plan

You will also have to:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol or sugary drinks.
  • Stay away from sugar; you can only use Stevia as a sweetener if it’s a must.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Exercise if you can – 30 minutes of moderate cardio per day is fine.
  • Follow these three days with another four days of moderate caloric intake (1500kcals per day).

You can use substitutes for the foods you don’t want to eat during this three day diet, as long as you’re careful about the caloric intake and choose items from the same food groups.

As such:

  • Grapefruit can only be substituted by half a spoon of baking soda in a glass of water.
  • Tuna can be replaced with other fish.
  • You can choose other vegetables instead of the ones you don’t like. Same goes for the fruit.
  • Eggs can be scrambled or baked, not necessarily boiled.
  • If you don’t like one type of meat, choose another.
  • If you’re a vegetarian, replace animal proteins with soy, nuts, lentils or tofu.

How their claims are proven?

This diet manages to employ various scientific principles, stating that its success lies at the confluence of various food types and food groups, which chemically react as to determine an accelerated metabolism and a rapid fat-burning. While these principles are largely recognized by the scientific community, it’s only their intertwining which offers the best results.

Intermittent fasting

This means you will have to restrict your calories for the first three days of the week, and then eat a bit more during the other four days. As such, intermittent fasting is a pattern you follow for your eating habits. This form of fasting accelerates the metabolism, and gives you a much-needed energy boost.

It works like this: your body will burn from your body’s fat deposits when you’re fasting. If you are dieting in an old-fashion way, the body doesn’t need to do that, since it’s easier to burn from other energy sources.

Low-carb foods

These foods have many advantages. Firstly, they make your body produce less glucose, which won’t be used as energy anymore. Therefore, your body will have to burn fat. Secondly, low-carb foods make you feel fuller, since they are harder to digest. After reading the menu for the 3-day diet, you can see there is no bread, pasta, white rice, candy, sugar and such.

These foods have simple carbohydrates, which are the first macronutrient used by the body to produce energy. What it doesn’t absorb, it keeps for later as fat deposits. That’s why eating a low-carb diet will help you burn fat.

Low-energy-dense foods

If you are reducing hunger, then you are eating less. You’ll also be less frustrated with this (or any) diet, and continue to eat according to plan. You’ll, therefore, have more success when it comes to managing your weight loss, and this is exactly what low-energy dense foods accomplish.

Still life with assortment cabbages on wooden background

They have fewer calories per volume, so you’ll be able to eat more and gain less. This diet provides you with carrots, broccoli, apples – all delicious fruits and veggies which have fewer calories per 100 grams than other types of food.

High-fiber foods

The fruits and vegetables we mentioned above have more health benefits. They can also become the trick up your sleeve in losing weight, since studies show that people who eat more fiber tend to have fewer problems controlling their weight. We have already talked about bad carbs and why this diet is a low-carb one, but in point of fact there are some good carbohydrates, especially those found in greenies.

High-fiber foods

These fibers can’t be broken down by your body and burnt as a source of energy, which means they will pass right through your intestinal tract after their nutrients are absorbed. This not only allows your body to burn fat, but also lets you feel fuller for longer. The reason is that, since fibers can’t be readily burnt for energy, your body will take longer to digesting them.

High-protein foods

These types of foods are a miracle ingredient for this particular diet. They make you feel more energized – proteins are a main constituent of your muscles. Besides, if you don’t lose valuable muscle mass, that will help you burn more calories.

As a plus, proteins will also keep your stomach full for more, as digesting them takes a lot of time, which means you’ll feel less hungry. Since they are harder to digest, it means that your body will burn more energy, which will aid your weight-loss.

High-fat foods

Firstly, high-fat foods are better than low-fat foods, because the last ones contain a lot of sugar, which hinders the burning of other macronutrients, while also triggering addiction to it. As such, high-fat foods don’t make you feel the constant need of eating more, provide you with a full-stomach feeling, while at the same time allowing you to burn from your fat deposits. Healthy fats work better in combination with proteins, both accelerating the metabolism.

High-fat foods

High-calcium foods

The three day diet puts on its menu a number of high-calcium foods found in both dairy and fruit. These are particularly important in aiding weight-loss, seeing as calcium has an important role in lipolysis, which is the process through which fats are disintegrated.

If you have more calcium in your diet, more fat will be burnt. It’s important to note that calcium from dairy has a more significant impact on lipolysis and thermogenesis (accelerating the body’s heat production) than calcium found in supplements. That’s another reason why this particular diet encourages the consumption of high-fat dairy products.

Portion control

You can’t lose weight unless you’re eating less than you’re supposed to, according to your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). You may think you’re doing that already, but the truth is people tend to under-estimate the calories they eat, meanwhile over-estimating calories they burn through exercise.

The process of counting calories for every meal can be quite tedious, which is why the 3 day diet tells you exactly what to eat everyday. Nevertheless, if you want to do some changes to the menu, you will have to count your calories very precisely and never trust your eyes to tell you what the correct portion size is.

What they don’t tell you?

You may have lost water weight

If you limit yourself to dieting for only three days, without sticking to the meal plan for the other 4 days, your initial success could be related to water-weight loss, not fat-weight loss. Here’s how it works: carbs are the easiest energy source to be transformed into glycogen. If you follow a low-carb diet like the 3 day diet, then your body will seek other sources to burn, in order to produce glycogen.

The process is called gluconeogenesis, and it entails the production of glycogen from the additional sources it was deposited in. Nevertheless, 4 grams of water accompany every gram of glycogen that comes from the body’s deposits. If, after three days, you decide to eat the normal amount of carbs again, you’ll get some of the water-weight back. That’s why it’s important to stick to the plan for the subsequent days of the week, and even repeat the cycle. It doesn’t mean that you’ve lost ONLY water-weight. Typically, these low-calorie diets also help burn fat.

You’re bound to be cranky and nervous

The process of gluconeogenesis puts a strain on your body, since it’s gotten used to extracting glycogen from the easiest sources at hand: carbs. You’ll probably also feel nauseated and tired at first, but remember that it’s normal. You can try moving around a bit more, exercise helps overcome these feelings. Besides, you’ll get more help from the three day diet itself in the form of hot-dogs and ice-cream for dinner on day 2.

Cranky and nervous

You might not lose 10 pounds

The way in which you lose weight is very much influenced by your body’s composition. If you have more fat, then you’ll lose more weight, even up to 12 pounds, and much of that will be fat-weight. If you are slim already, and don’t exercise during this diet, you may lose a lot less weight, let’s say 3-4 pounds, including muscle mass.

If you are a taller person, or a man, this diet will also help you lose more. The reason is that tall people burn more calories per day than shorter people, and men need more calories to sustain themselves than women do. However, if you eat according to the menu everyday, and also do some light cardio – 30 minutes per day is perfect – you’ll see even faster results.

Eating half of a grapefruit will do nothing for you

You’re supposed to eat half of it at breakfast on day one, which is supposed to create an alkaline environment for your body to burn fat faster. Which is true, but eating just half of it, only once, doesn’t have many benefits. It could be true if you ate one grapefruit per day, every single day for one month. Then yes, you might reduce your body’s PH levels and create certain conditions for it to burn more fat. Otherwise, it’s a healthy food item, but don’t glorify it.

What others tell you?

Aurora is experiencing all the effects of a sugar crash. She’s planning to binge after the 3 day diet is over, which is not exactly the best choice. Seeing as how her body went into ketosis after finding new glycogen sources, it’s understandable that she even craves for chocolate and bigger meals. Her willpower is really challenged, with all the food in her house and her serious lack of calories, which makes her seem really anxious for it all to be over.

The truth is that it’s not a pretty, easy-breezy diet: be prepared to face the same feelings, and figure out how to overcome them. It worked for Aurora: even though at 133 pounds she was rather slim to begin with, she managed to lose 5 pounds in just three days. That made her plenty excited, she ate only healthy foods, and, in her own words, didn’t even cheat so much.

Bree is a self-proclaimed gym-rat, which helped her lose 6 pounds during these dieting days. She’s also keen of starting it again right away, feeling confident that her self-discipline and goal-oriented mind-set will lead her on the path to success, towards reaching her desired weight.

Starting over again so soon could not be such a good idea, since it defeats the metabolism-accelerating purpose of intermittent fasting, and turns it almost into a common crash-diet. But, at the end of the day, Bree is doing what she thinks is best for her.

A 16 year-old make-up artist has started the diet with a big smile on her face, and with a lot of support from her mother. Unfortunately, she began feeling torturous hunger pangs even before lunch on day one, especially since she had to see all her classmates eating a normal lunch at school.

The second day found her less happy, and you can see how she became more aggressive towards the end of this day, really irritated by the possibility of insignificant weight-loss.

She was really looking forward to the end of this three day diet, which made her feel that time passed really slowly. In fact, after only two days, she said she’s been through “a long journey”, which is quite humorous for the uninvolved viewer. Apparently, everyone experiences the hard blows of ketosis in mostly the same ways, but they all start to get used to low amounts of carbs in their diet after a few days.

Another thing you can notice from this vlog is the day 3 substitution at dinnertime: one can of tuna for a slice of baked cod. Replacements are acceptable if you choose the same food group and are careful regarding the amounts of calories. This girl – quite thin and really young – managed to lose 2.5 pounds and couldn’t wait to grab herself a bagel! However, she encouraged all her fans to try this diet, confident that it does work.

Jewell started at 193 pounds, but managed to lose a staggering 13 pounds by using this diet. She lost only 6 pounds during the first three days, but followed the recommended menu for the next four days of the week, which lead to another 7 pounds lost.

Jewell thinks that her exercise routine also helped her do this, because she takes her kids each morning for a 5k walk, while also weight training and doing abs exercises during the day in the comfort of her own living-room. This fine lady has also had a carb-full cheat meal on day 8: cheeseburgers, fries and some dessert, but she didn’t gain a pound afterwards.

During round two of this diet, Jewell managed to lose another 5 pounds up until day 10, and she sees it as a lifestyle change. As such, she attributes her success to not giving up and limiting herself to dieting for only three days. The conclusion: it can really happen!

Other people are surprised with the results they get. YouTube user TheSparrowNest admits from the actual start that she enjoyed this diet, but didn’t think she could do it, especially without cheating. That made her worry, since she’s a binge eater, but felt pleasantly surprised about not feeling hungry. It’s probably because she’s a plus size, and her body has consistent energy deposits to burn. That entails good news if you have a similar body type: you too could lose more weight and feel less hungry!

The 5 pounds change during these three days translates in 1-3 inches lost from each body part: waist, arms, legs, hips and neck! TheSparrowNest says she even has an increased energy level, and will definitely continue her weight-loss journey.

What you should do?

First of all, you should think long and hard about your own experience with other diets. What works for you? What doesn’t? What are the reasons you put on weight? Try giving yourself an honest answer before deciding if this 3 day diet is suitable for you.

Military diet food infogrpahic

Also, you should accept that you’ll feel hungry and you’ll want to give up. Are you a single-minded determined go-getter type of person? Is losing weight fast really important for you? If yes, then you’re on the right track.

Finally, you should make peace with the fact that you may not see the desired results in three days. Are you committed to making a lifestyle change? Do you want to be healthy forever, or do you just want to brag with a smaller dress size for an evening?

Are you looking for a confidence boost with this diet, or is it just something you want to do and get it done? This diet can accommodate each perspective, but it will definitely work for those who are willing to give more in order to get more. Are you inspired yet? Look at Jewell again and you’ll feel it!

About the author
Angie Moore
Angie Moore

Angie brings a mix of knowledge and experience in diet creation and fitness best practices. With Kansas State University‘s bachelor’s degree in dietetics and over 7 years of experience working with thousands of clients to better their life, Angie is passionate about your health and well-being. She is also a well-known foodie, having published a few books about diets that work. For most of the time, you can find her in the gym working out with friends and clients, pushing them for top results and fulfilled life.

  • Nona Jerry

    Very well written! I’m 5’4″ 21years old female, initially 66kg now 60kg. I’ve already lost 6kg in 20 days with off and on fasting, like I would fast for 2 days and then binge on food on the third day. I had plenty of water and 3-days a week exercise. Now that I want to lose another 2kg will this diet help?

    • Oh, definitely Nona. Your body has already started the process of losing weight. This diet will fit right with your lifestyle. It’s good to know that you’re also familiar with intermittent fasting. You seem very determined and disciplined, too – and this is what the diet really requires.

  • Mary Ong

    I love the fact that this 3-day military diet program does not only help people lose weight, but as you see in the video, this program made them completely attractive. When you lose unnecessary fats, your body becomes healthy which makes your outer skin glow and healthy too. They also seemed to build more confidence!

    • That’s right Mary. As you lose weight, you feel lighter. You’re clothes also fit better, right? Those before and after pictures really help dieters keep track. When they see how far they’ve achieved in terms of weight loss, the more confident they become.

  • Chynna Lambert

    That’s right! Your initial loss on the third day was most likely water weight. If you want to burn fat, continue the diet for the rest of the week. You also need to eat at a caloric deficit.

    • This 3 day military diet is a great help in losing weight. Portion control is important, although it may be difficult to keep track of what you’re eating. So this diet has made it simpler: it tells you what to eat and the amount you have to take. There’s no second guessing.

  • Jenna White

    I honestly find this military diet as something achievable. It isn’t hard as opposed to what others are saying. Drop the bad carbs, up the protein and fiber intake, lose weight, and have energy.

    • The military diet is very doable and easy to follow. Most people who have gone through the diet were pleased that a set meal plan is in place for the next 3 days. The combination of food has considered calories and portion control so you don’t have to mix or match anything. Indeed, the military diet is low carb and the right amount of fresh veggies, fruits and lean meat are included so you lose weight faster.

  • Josi Lopez

    It takes a lot of discipline and determination to succeed in this kind of a diet. Adjustments are needed to be done, especially with regards our attitude to food. Remember that a little bit of junk makes you want to eat a ton of junk. So, might as well practice self-control.

    • I love your mindset Josi and thanks for that! Attitude and goals are everything, especially when you want to lose weight. Maintaining a positive demeanor and choosing healthy options are needed if you want to shed the excess weight. Having goals make you more disciplined and determined to push towards the prize of a trim body. What could be more noble than that? Thanks for dropping by!

  • Savannah Harris

    I also have a friend who started on a diet. After a while, I already noticed some changes in her mood. She became more anxious about her surroundings and gets easily irritated. After hearing similar stories, I began to understand that it’s a normal thing for someone who’s on a diet. As her friend, I just need to become more patient with her. 🙂

  • Justin Perez

    There is no substitute for a good plan. If you’re a first timer of this diet, it will help to do some research first and ask for advices from successful people who’ve done this. You have to make the choices that will offer the most lasting benefit.

  • Aaron Hall

    I agree with Mary Ong. Nothing beats the self-confidence that a diet could give. We can see ourselves getting better as we pressed on and never give up.

  • Carson King

    Water-weight loss is actually a warning. Everybody is different, so there is no clear cut way to figure out how much is water weight vs. fat weight. One thing that happens to people is that, they go on a diet and lost something like 6 pounds for example, and they were very excited with that. Then the following week, their weight loss decreases to a “healthy” 1 or 2 pounds a week and they got disappointed.

  • You’re such an understanding friend Savannah, but yes, there are people who have experienced a bit of irritability especially on low carb diets. Sometimes, the body has to adapt to this different diet since it’s new. There’s a transition period that a body undergoes especially if it is used to getting most of its energy requirement from carbohydrates. When the body is on low carb diet, the body has to rely more on fat, both from your diet and body fat stores, and ketones, which are produced by fat burning, as its main fuel.

  • You’re absolutely correct, nothing is more important than a good diet plan that has a healthy combination of food to make weight loss easier. There are a lot of happy “losers” who have finished the military diet and are sharing their success stories. You can even find some of their testimonies in this site.

  • Dieting to lose the excess weight is no walk in the park. It takes 100% commitment on our part to make it through the fitness journey. Yet, once we’ve achieved the impossible and start losing weight, it starts building our confidence up. When you don’t give up that easily, it builds character and makes you achieve even greater things.
    As I often say, “no pain, no gain.” :o)

  • According to the Mayo Clinic, a rapid drop in pounds is normal in the first days and weeks of dieting. A reduction in calorie intake will make our body get the needed energy by using its glycogen supply. This is a type of carbohydrates that can be found in the liver and muscles. An interesting thing about glycogen is that it holds on to water, so when it is used up, it also releases the water it holds onto – about 4 grams per gram of glycogen. So this is the “water weight” that often accompanies early weight loss form calorie restriction and dieting.
    The military diet is for short term use and any weight loss that you have is most welcome. But it also espouses healthy eating after the 3rd day – you can even cycle the diet, letting 4 days pass until you repeat the diet again. This ensures continuous weight loss that is more than “water weight loss”.

  • Alison Lee

    You might also find calorie tracking on a spreadsheet helpful. This way, you will become more meticulous about weighing, tracking, and being honest with yourself about what you are really eating even with those snacks.

    • Thanks for the tip Alison! You can also keep a handy journal where you can jot down all the food you have eaten for a day. It’s a great way to keep track since if you have food cravings, you can also write down all the emotions you are feeling at the moment. I’ve found out that most of the time when I’m craving for unhealthy food, I’m either bored, sad or just lonely. When these emotions bug me down, I usually call a fitness buddy to join me for some leisurely walks or talks. Anything to just keep moving!

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