There are a lot of three day diets out there, and it’s no surprise why they’re so popular. The diets differ in what you get to eat and how you use them, but they all make the same promise: rapid weight loss. Very rapid weight loss.
The general promise is six pounds over the course of the diet. Since most people struggle to lose a pound a week, the promises of the three day diets are very appealing. But these diets do raise two big questions; do they work and are they safe?
Do they work? Yes and no. If you need to drop some pounds quickly to look your best for an event, then these three day diets can be extremely effective, because if followed as instructed, they will help you drop pounds and inches.
The problem is that they aren’t really designed for long term weight loss, which is why they are three day diets and not thirty year diets. They work mostly by causing a very rapid loss due to low carbohydrates and low salt content. Which is fine, because if you’re using them as a quick fix, that’s exactly what you want them to do.
But the weight will come back almost immediately when you resume normal eating habits, which is true of pretty much every diet. The three day diets are also, by their nature, very low in bulk, which means that your midsection will slim out quickly because there’s not much in your intestines.
The three day diets do lead to actual fat loss as well, since by their nature they are low in calories and they are short enough that there is no metabolic slowdown as you would get if you stayed on the program longer. Depending on your size and activity level, it’s unreasonable to expect to see from one to three pounds of actual fat loss.
Are they safe? Yes, usually. Frankly, a lot of people worry about the safety of diets a lot more than they really should. The human body is an immensely adaptable machine, and you can eat pretty much anything foodwise for short periods with no ill effects, or nothing at all.
Certainly, most of the three days diets are perfectly safe for a normal person who doesn’t have a preexisting illness. You can’t develop nutritional deficiencies over the course of three days. In addition, most of the three day diets actually have you eating healthier than the average person does normally.
Typically, the diets have you eating mostly meat, vegetables and fruit over the course of the three days, and elimination starches and sugar. This is actually a big improvement over the way the normal person eats, and the chance of you becoming deficient in vitamins or nutrients, even over the long term, is virtually non existent.
The problem with three day diets is that they are also extremely low in calories, typically below 1000 calories, and often much below. This is simply not enough calories even if you are trying to lose weight, and so you can’t say that the three day diets are safe for extended use.
What you can do is do a three on, four off version of the diet. In the three day period, do the diets exactly as planned, but for the next four days, eat the same foods without limiting portions. This will prevent metabolic slowdown and help make the three day diets work for you.