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3 Day Diet Plan

3 Day Diet Plan

The 3 Day Diet Plan, also called the Military Diet, is one of the most popular short term diets on the internet. It has been around since the mid 1980, without a source or author, but it is extremely popular and people report success (up to 10 pounds weight loss) on this diet. Often, the 3 day diet plan is mistakenly referred to as the Cleveland Clinic Diet.

3 Day Diet Plan At a Glance

Site Link None
Category Super Fast Diet
Length of Diet 3 Days
Claimed Weight Loss Up to 10 Pounds in 3 days
Product Type Free Information
Price Free
Pros 1. Fast results
2. No extra supplements
Cons 1. Low calories
2. Not recommended as a long-term weight loss solution
Special Promotions None
Visit/Purchase N/A


3 Day Diet Plan Summary

The 3-day diet plan is very specific and cannot be deviated from. The foods are balanced and include proteins, fruits, vegetables, and grains. The calorie consumption is low. This particular diet should not be followed for longer than the three day period. Participants are not required to exercise.

The three day diet is a low calorie diet, and you can expect weight loss due to the sudden drop in calories. The problem is only that the calories on the 3 day diet are below 1200 calories a day, which triggers a slowdown in your body’s metabolism. Your body thinks that it hit an emergency situation, and adjusts (to ensure your survival) by reducing the amount of calories it burns. The 3 day military diet plan can be cycled as long as you incorporate an adjustment phase, which is 4-5 days of “regular” eating. In other words, you can repeat the 3 day diet plan continuously so long as you eat normally for 4 to 5 days after each 3-day cycle.

Many people are successful in losing weight on the 3 day diet plan. What is critical (if you want to keep the pounds off), is to slowly come back to normal eating after the 3 days, otherwise you will be at high risk of gaining it back quickly and then some!

Home Dieting Essentials

In a nutshell, if you want to lose up to 10 pounds for that special occasion, the 3 day diet may be for you. If you want to keep the lost weight off, you need to carefully plan the return to your normal eating pattern.

Should I Exercise on the 3-Day Diet?

With such low calorie intake (below 1200 calories a day), it is probably better not to exercise during the 3 days since you will not be feeling very energetic. However, if you have the energy, and/or want to exercise, exercise will not only help you to lose weight faster, but it may also reduce your appetite, making it easier to be on this diet.

Based on a study (links below) by Dr. Stensel of the Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, aerobic exercises (walking, running) are better at suppressing appetite than non-aerobic (muscle) exercises. You could incorporate a simple walking exercise on a daily basis. If the weather in your area permits, you can also take a nice walk every day. The exercise may reduce your appetite and make this diet easier.

Now, once you are off the 3 day diet, exercise will become critical. If after a period of significant calorie reduction, you all of a sudden eat “normal” again, and maybe even eat MORE to fulfill your cravings, you will need to increase your exercise level to ensure that you can keep all or most of the weight loss.

Exercise suppresses appetite by affecting appetite hormones, American Physiological Society, 2008
Exercise Suppresses Appetite By Affecting Appetite Hormones, Science Daily

How to Decrease Your Appetite While on the 3 Day Diet

Feeling hungry or having an appetite is not just a physical phenomenon, it is also psychological. We eat because we are stressed, bored, or because it is “time” to eat. Here are a few tips to decrease your appetite naturally. This can be especially helpful during the 3 day diet as you only eat a limited amount of food, but these are also good weight loss tips outside the 3 day diet.

1. Drink water

3 Day Diet Plan WaterHunger and thirst are not that easy to distinguish. Low level thirst often feels like hunger. Drinking enough water throughout the day and before meals helps to ensure that what you are feeling is truly hunger, so that you don’t waste calories by eating, when water would have quenched your hunger! Drinking water should help to manage your hunger feelings while on the 3 day diet.

There also has been research showing that water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories.

According to Mayo Clinic, you should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day.

On a side note, there also has been research showing that drinking lime/lemon water is particularly helpful to lose weight. So if don’t mind the taste, lemon water may be the best water to drink.

2. Get enough sleep

3 Day Diet Plan SleepIf you don’t get enough sleep, you will tend to eat more, need more food to be not hungry and have a greater appetite, because your body hormones go into a direction that encourages weight gain. This short video (1 min) explains the importance of sleep for weight loss.

But there is more to sleep, according to Psychology Today. According to Psychology Today, you burn more calories sleeping than just lying down in bed during particular phases of your sleep.

The most calorie intense part of your sleep is the REM phase when your body burns a lot of calories. Unfortunately a big part of your REM occurs between the 6th hour and 8th hour of your sleep. So, if you miss those 2 hours, you will burn a lot less calories during your sleep.

Combining the 3 day diet with sleep for at least 8 hours a day ensures that you get the most weight loss, and that during the day your hormones don’t make you hungry.

Read more about how sleep affects weight loss.

3. Add more fiber to your diet

3 day diet plan psyllium seed husksPsyllium Husk is a natural product and is an effective fiber supplement. When combined with water, it swells up to 10 to 20 times its original size, filling you up effectively and reducing your appetite.

There has been some research that if Psyllium is taken before meals (recommended is 30 minutes before having a meal) it helps with the reduction of body weight.

In addition to reducing appetite, Pysllium is also a good colon cleanser, providing detoxification and bowel regularity.

Drinking it can be a little complicated initially, and you can choke on it if not done correctly. This short video (2 min) explains how to drink it safely.


4. Eat Slowly

3 Day Diet Plan ClockMost of us have developed an unhealthy eating habit of chewing and eating minimally and fast. Take time to savor every bite, chew extensively and take breaks while eating. Drink a lot of water with your meals. The reason for eating slowly is that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that we are full.

On the 3 day diet you won’t be eating enough to be really full, but if you take your time and eat extra slow, it will reduce your feelings of hunger and increase your feelings of satiety.

3 Day Diet Menu at a Glance

Day 1 – Total 1024 Calories
• Black tea or coffee (with Sweet & Low or Equal) – 2 calories
• ½ grapefruit (or juice) – 41 calories
• Peanut butter (1 tbsp) – 94 calories
• Toast (1 piece) – 80 calories

Total Calories: 217
• Black tea or coffee (with Sweet & Low or Equal) – 2 calories
• Tuna (½ cup) – 90 calories
• Toast (1 piece) – 80 calories

Total Calories: 172
• Chicken or any lean meat (3 ounces) – 142 calories
• Carrots (1 cup) – 52 calories
• 1 apple – 120 calories
• Green beans (1 cup) – 31 calories
• Vanilla ice cream (1 cup) – 290 calories

Total Calories: 635
Day 2 – Total 1137 Calories
• Black tea or coffee (Sweet & Low or Equal) – 2 calories
• 1 egg – 80 calories
• ½ banana – 60 calories
• Toast (1 piece) – 80 calories

Total Calories: 222
• Tuna or cottage cheese (1 cup) – 203 calories
• 8 regular saltine crackers– 96 calories

Total Calories: 299
• 2 beef franks – 330 calories
• Cabbage or broccoli (1 cup) – 55 calories
• Carrots (½ cup) – 26 calories
• ½ banana – 60 calories
• Vanilla ice cream (½ cup) – 145 calories

Total Calories: 616
Day 3 – Total 924 Calories
• Black tea or coffee (with Sweet & Low or Equal) – 2 calories
• 5 regular saltine crackers – 60 calories
• Cheddar cheese (1 ounce) – 113 calories
• 1 apple – 120 calories

Total Calories: 295
• Black tea or coffee (with Sweet & Low or Equal) – 2 calories
• 1 boiled egg – 80 calories
• Toast (1 piece) – 80 calories

Total Calories: 162
• Melon (1 cup) – 61 calories
• Tuna (1 cup) – 180 calories
• Cauliflower (1 cup) – 29 calories
• Carrots (1 cup) – 52 calories
• Vanilla ice cream (1/2 cup) – 145 calories

Total Calories: 467

Pictures of the 3 Day Diet Menu

The food plan of the 3 day diet plan is pretty specific. Since the caloric intake is low for each day, even if you are not hungry, you should avoid under-eating.

Following are photos of the 3 day diet plan ingredients:

Day 1

Day 1 Breakfast: Black tea or coffee (with Sweet & Low or Equal),½ grapefruit (or juice), peanut butter (1 tbsp) with toast (1 piece).
3 Day Diet Plan Coffee Grapefruit Peanut Butter

Day 1 Lunch : Lunch: Tuna (½ cup), toast (1 piece), black tea or coffee (with Sweet & Low or Equal).
3 Day Diet Plan Toast Tuna Coffee

Day 1 Dinner: Chicken or any lean meat (3 ounces), carrots (1 cup), 1 apple, green beans (1 cup), vanilla ice cream (1 cup).
3 Day Diet Plan Chicken Carrots Green Beans 3 Day Diet Plan Vanilla Ice Cream Apple
Tip: Use Stevia powder instead of Sweet & Low or Equal, and choose whole wheat bread for the toast for more sustained energy.

Day 2

Day 2 Breakfast: Black tea or coffee (Sweet & Low or Equal), 1 egg, ½ banana, toast (1 piece).
3 Day Diet Plan Coffee Toast Banana Egg

Day 2 Lunch: Tuna or cottage cheese (1 cup), 8 regular saltine crackers. 3 Day Diet Plan Cottage Cheese Saline Crackers

Day 2 Dinner: 2 beef franks, cabbage or broccoli (1 cup), carrots (½ cup), ½ banana, vanilla ice cream (½ cup).
3 Day Diet Plan Beef Franks Cabbage Carrots 3 Day Diet Plan Bananas Ice Cream

Tip: Use Stevia instead of Sweet & Low or Equal, and choose whole wheat bread for the toast for more sustained energy.

Day 3

Day 3 Breakfast: Black tea or coffee (with Sweet & Low or Equal), 5 regular saltine crackers, cheddar cheese (1 ounce), 1 apple.
3 Day Diet Plan Coffee Saline Crackers Cheddar Cheese Apple

Day 3 Lunch: Black tea or coffee (with Sweet & Low or Equal), 1 boiled egg, toast (1 piece).
3 Day Diet Plan Coffee Egg Toast

Day 3 Dinner: Melon (1 cup), tuna (1 cup), cauliflower (1 cup), carrots (1 cup), and vanilla ice cream (1/2 cup).
3 Day Diet Plan Tuna Carrots Cauliflower 3 Day Diet Plan Vanilla Ice Cream Melon
Tip: Use Stevia instead of Sweet & Low or Equal, and choose whole wheat bread for the toast for more sustained energy.

Additionally, apart from following this strict daily diet menu, dieters must drink 4 cups of non-caloric drinks or water every day. This effectively means you can drink more black tea or coffee if you like.

3 Day Diet iPhone App

There is a 3 Day Diet App for your iPhone or iPad to make it easier for you to follow the 3 Day Diet for $2.99.
3 Day Diet App Combined
It allows you to track what you eat by day, gives you a shopping list, and tracks your weight.

If you are planning to repeat the 3-day diet from time to time, it may be a good investment.

3 Day Military Diet Substitutions

According to the diet guidelines, this diet should be followed to the last detail, however the following items can be exchanged if necessary.

3 Day Diet Food3 Day Diet Food Substitute
TunaCottage Cheese
Ice CreamYogurt
Sweet & Low or EqualStevia powder
Peanut ButterAlmond Butter

3 Day Diet FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can I lose on the 3 day diet?
People report losing up to 10 pounds.

How often can I do the 3 day diet?
You can do this diet once a week, after four days of normal eating, for as many weeks as you like. Just make sure you eat nutritious and balanced foods for the 4 days when you are not on the diet.

What about those 4 days when I am not dieting?
The biggest obstacle to maintaining the weight loss from the 3 day diet are the days following the 3 day diet. Many people over-eat on the subsequent days, and gain everything back. The trick is to eat normally on those 4 days, but in moderation.

Make sure to check how many calories you need per day to maintain your weight and stay within those calories.

How Does the 3 Day Military Diet Work?

The supposed secret behind this diet is the boosted fat burning and a unique metabolic reaction that is created by the combination of foods this plan suggests. Supposedly, this is how the 3 day diet plan food combinations help burn fat, cleanse the body, increase energy and lower cholesterol.

However, in reality, the fact that the 3 day diet plan is very low in calories is probably the main reason that weight loss is achieved.

As the name of this diet suggests, the 3 day diet plan has to be followed for 3 days, but can be resumed an indefinite number of times after taking a 4 to 5 days break of “normal eating”. The reason this diet recommends to resume the usual eating style is to prevent the metabolism from slowing down and reverting to starvation mode, which can lead to fat getting stored in the body and promoting weight gain.


This diet is really hard, since basically you will be half starving yourself for 3 days. If you feel sick or dizzy, immediately stop the diet and take in more calories (in moderation). If you succeed with the diet, there is a very high risk of rebound weight gain for most people. Physically and mentally you will probably be craving LOTS of food. Mostly likely, unhealthy food.

On the first day after you finish the diet (which is the 4th day), satisfy your craving for food by eating a good volume of vegetables and meat, with limited carbs. Do NOT go out and have a large burger with fries, etc. If you have cravings for high-volume food, choose meat and vegetables, not carbs.

When you go on such a restrictive diet, there is a risk of psychological longing for unhealthy foods. You may “dream” about all the pizzas, burgers, cakes, and cookies you will eat once the diet is over. This psychological longing often results in your consuming those fattening foods in higher volumes after the diet than before you went on the diet. So watch out! Especially after the diet, be diligent about keeping the portions of those fattening foods small. If you can’t stop eating them, eat them in small portions spread out over the week.

After The 3 Day Diet

You should have a plan in place for maintaining your weight after the 3 day diet. If you go back to your old ways, you may gain the weight back. For some people, the 3 day diet may be a “kick-start” diet after which they plan to go on a more sustainable long-term diet.

Some of the popular long-term diets are low-carb diets, the Paleo diet (a form of low-carb diet), calorie-controlled diets, and even diets using the aid of hypnosis programs.

3 Day Diet Shopping List

You can download the 3 day diet shopping list & menu by clicking the link below.

Three Day Diet Shopping List & Menu