American Heart Association 3 Day Diet


American Heart Association Three Day Diet

About the American Heart Association 3 Day Diet

The American Heart Association 3 day diet is based on a low calorie diet, the average meal plan for this 3 day diet is 600-800 calories depending on which version you choose and what substitutions you make. This type of short term meal plan is often referred to as the “heart diet”, the “cardiac diet” the “pre-op diet” or the “chemical breakdown diet”.  It consists of 3 small meals per day, on a 3 day menu.

Origin of the American Heart Association 3 Day Diet

The origin of the 3 Day American Heart Association Diet is unknown. What is known, is that the AHA is not the inventor of this diet, nor do they claim that it is healthy for you. In fact, the AHA strongly recommends that dieters do not follow this plan.

There is no known author of this diet, nor is there a traditionally published book on the subject, though as it exists, it must have come from somewhere. Similar diets are also known by the British Heart Foundation 3 Day Diet, the Greenlane Diet, the Spokane Heart Diet, the Cleveland Clinic Diet, and the Miami Heart Institute diet, among others.

The American Heart Association 3 Day Diet Menu

Day 1: Breakfast- ½ grapefruit or juice, 1 slice toast, 1 tbsp peanut butter, black coffee or tea. Lunch- ½ cup tuna, 1 slice toast, black coffee or tea. Dinner- 2 slices (3 oz- about half the size of a deck of cards) of any meat, 1 cup string beans (green beans), 1 cup carrots or beets, 1 small apple, 1 cup vanilla ice cream.

Day 2: Breakfast- 1hard-boiled egg, 1 slice of toast, ½ banana, black coffee or tea. Lunch- 1 cup cottage cheese OR  ½ cup tuna, 5 saltine crackers. Dinner- 2 hot dogs (frankenfurters/weiners), 1 cup cabbage or broccoli, ½ cup carrots or turnip greens, ½ banana, 1 cup vanilla ice cream.

Day 3: Breakfast- 1 hard boiled egg, 1 slice of toast, black coffee or tea. Lunch- 1 slice cheddar cheese, 5 saltine crackers, 1 small apple, black coffee or tea. Dinner- 1 cup tuna, 1 cup carrots or beets, 1 cup green beans or cauliflower, 1 cup canteloupe or 1 small apple, 1 cup vanilla ice cream.

Most versions of this diet recommend only 5  8oz glasses of water, and some versions only specify that the drinks must be 0 calories.

The American Heart Association 3 Day Diet Protocol

Depending on your source for the meal plan for this diet, you may be told to follow the meal plan strictly, or you may be told that you can substitute some items for others or even certain days or meals for other days or meals.

In either case, this 3 day diet is intended to be followed for 3 days in a row. If you need to lose more weight than you have in those 3 days, you’re told to eat “normally” for 4 days following the 3 day meal plan, and then to follow the 3 day meal plan strictly again, and so on until you’ve lost the weight that you wanted to lose. Many suggest continually following this pattern as a lifestyle to maintain the weight lost. The fact that many if not most of those who try the 3 day diets end up regaining all their lost weight and then some tends to push dieters towards this on again, off again lifestyle

Those who practice this diet as a lifestyle will often find themselves planning their 4 days off around the weekend so as to give them room to splurge when out with friends. This is common, but not recommended, as the four days are intended to be normal meals, and not splurge meals.

American Heart Association 3 Day Diet Reviews

The American Heart Association 3 day diet is considered to be an unsafe, unhealthy diet. The low calorie count will many times put your body into starvation mode, which lowers your metabolism and may actually cause you to gain weight, despite the low food intake. In addition, the American Heart Association considers hot dogs, cheddar cheese, and ice cream to be unhealthy. The weight that is lost is mainly water due to dehydration, which can cause many other health problems.

There are a few benefits however- if you’re unaccustomed to eating vegetables, this diet does include some required vegetables for your meals. After 3 days of eating these, you may decide to begin including more veggies in your diet than you have previously. It also will encourage you to structure your meals, and it requires you to plan ahead- no running out of time and getting take out. Even though most of the pounds lost on this diet will be water weight, it may be enough to incentivize you to maintain your new weight.  And while eating ice cream and hot dogs is certainly not going to detox your body, the weight loss may leave you feeling fitter and more able to keep up with daily exercise.

Please join us in our forums if you have any questions or if you’ve tried the American Heart Association 3 day diet.

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