Do you need to lose weight rapidly yet you want to do it safely? Learn the best 3 Day Diet option to drop pounds, detox, and remove bloat just a few days. This information covers 3-day diets, meal plans and free recipes.
- Why 3 Day Diet and Detox?
- Top 7 Three-Day Diet Programs
- 1. The Holy Mess 3 Day Diet
- 2. 3 Day Military Diet Plan
- 3. 3 Day Juice Cleanse
- 4. 3 Day Potato Diet
- 5. 3 Day Banana Diet
- 6. 3 Day Cabbage Soup Diet
- 7. 3 Day Water Fast
- 3-Day Diet Recipes
- 3 Day Diet Meal Plan for Beginners – A Step by Step Guide
- 3 Day Diet Results – Before and After
- 3 Day Diet Tips – 7 Helpful Strategies for Quick Weight Loss Success
- More 3 Day Diet Choices
- What are the Benefits of a 3 Day Diet?
- FAQ about 3 Day Diets
- Free Printable 3 Day Diet Meal Plan and Grocery List
Why 3 Day Diet and Detox?
Weight loss takes effort and dedication, but you are busy with a demanding job, family, and social life. It’s tough to find any time or energy for eating right or exercising. Plus no one wants deprivation or to be hungry all the time.
Three day diets provide a weight loss solution that has proven to be effective without having to starve yourself. Enjoy the benefits of a healthier, slimmer you in just a couple days.
Top 7 Three-Day Diet Programs
1. The Holy Mess 3 Day Diet
The Holy Mess 3 Day Diet is a complete meal plan with breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks each day. All the foods are whole, real foods with nothing packaged or processed.
Testing showed that the people lost 2-10 pounds while following the diet, and many women who used the diet were in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. Most people report rarely if ever being hungry.
Don’t like one of the foods? No problem. There is a list of 200 possible substituions.
The diet is easy to follow and has enjoyable foods such as turkey chili, omelets, and a banana soufflé for dessert. What’s helpful is that the plan has no added sugars so you’ll experience a natural sugar detox, but with the addition of fruit you’ll do it naturally without feeling deprived.
The plan is also high in protein to boost metabolism, burn fat, and prevent loss of muscle mass.
Because the diet is high in protein and lower in carbohydrate, without processed foods with excess sodium, most people reduce bloating and get a flatter stomach when using the diet plan. This is also an excellent kick-start or diet to break a weight loss plateau.
The Holy Mess 3 Day Diet Meal Plan
Here’s a sample day’s menu on THM 3 Day Diet:
- Breakfast– 3 eggs, scrambled and served with 2 T salsa
- Lunch – The Holy Mess Turkey Chili, 2 cups, 1 large apple
- Dinner – 6 ounces Tilapia, Salmon, or Shrimp, 2 cups roasted Brussels sprouts or asparagus
- Snack 1– 2 cups watermelon, cantaloupe, or melon of choice
- Snack 2 – 2 cups The Holy Mess Vegetable Soup
A disadvantage is that the diet requires preparing and cooking food at home for the 3 days. A meal-prep checklist is available to prepare the foods in advance before starting the diet.
Click here to get your free copy of the 3 day diet and meal plan now.
2. 3 Day Military Diet Plan
One of the most popular 3 day diets is the military diet. The army diet requires people to follow a low-calorie diet for 3 days and then return to regular eating for 4 days. Across the first 3 days, the diet restricts daily calorie intake to 1,400, 1,200, and 1,100 calories.
The military diet is low in carbohydrates, fat, and calories. The diet claims that you will lose up to 10 pounds after following it for one week. Food portions are small, so many people have trouble following it or end up overeating when the diet is finished.
While the diet is easy to prepare (the food is palatable and available anywhere) processed items like hot dogs, saltine crackers, a cup of cottage cheese, slice of cheddar cheese, and ice cream make it not especially healthy. Studies have shown some benefit to alternate days of calorie restriction paired with higher calorie days.
Is the military diet safe? Check with your doctor, but it’s short-term use makes this food plan safe for most people.
Military Diet Day 1 Menu
Here is a sample day on the navy diet menu:
- half a grapefruit
- one slice of toast
- 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of peanut butter, ideally a salt-free and sugar-free brand
- 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea
- half a cup of tuna
- one slice of toast
- 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea
- 3 ounces of any meat
- 1 cup of green beans
- half a banana
- one small apple
- 1 cup of vanilla ice cream
3. 3 Day Juice Cleanse
According to VeryWellFit,
A juice cleanse, also known as a juice fast, is a detox diet that involves consuming vegetable and fruit juice (and often nothing else) for a short period of time, usually one to three days. Advocates believe that drinking juice floods the body with healing nourishment while also flushing toxins and waste.Verywellfit.com
Most doctors and experts do not recommend juice cleanses because weight is quickly regained when the diet ends and the person resumes eating regular food. Consider adding smoothies and some healthy whole foods to increase calorie intake.
Juice Cleanse 3 Day Menu
Here’s a sample menu for a 3 day juice diet.
- When you wake up: Lukewarm water with a splash of fresh lemon juice
- 8 to 9 a.m.: Juice, such as a green vegetable juice
- 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Juice (or smoothie/cleanse food)
- 1 to 2 p.m.: Juice (or smoothie/cleanse food)
- 3 to 4 p.m.: Juice, such as beet, carrot, and apple juice
- 5 to 6 p.m.: Juice (or smoothie/cleanse food)
- 6 to 8 p.m.: Smoothie or almond or cashew nut “milk”
While a juice cleanse could lead to temporary weight loss, most experts recommend instead eating whole fruits which include fiber. Click here for ways to add more fruit to your diet as you lose weight.
4. 3 Day Potato Diet
Many of us have been taught that potatoes are not good for weight loss because of the high carbohydrate content. The truth is that potatoes are a great weight loss food.
What about eating only potatoes as a short-term weight loss strategy?
The 3 day potato diet involves eating only potatoes for 3 to 5 days. The potato diet uses 9–15 medium-sized potatoes per day. These may be boiled, steamed, baked or eaten raw and provide 780–1,300 calories daily.
While the diet does lead to weight loss because of calorie restriction, most doctors recommend avoiding this plan due to the lack of other nutrients.
Potato Diet Meal Plan
Here’s a sample day’s menu on the potato diet.
- Breakfast: 2 boiled potatoes with a cup of black coffee
- Snack: 1 boiled potato, served cold
- Lunch: 2 boiled potatoes, served mashed
- Snack: 1 raw potato, sliced and grilled or baked
- Dinner: Oven-baked, oil-free French fries with a dash of salt, cooked in the oven or air fryer
While eating only potatoes is not a balanced strategy, Dr. John McDougall suggests of diet of only potatoes and vegetables for 10 days as a way to reset. Call the Mary’s Mini, this diet does provided the needed nutrients and protein for health.
When I switched to a whole food, plant based diet, I started eating potatoes regularly and found that it helped me lose weight, but eating only potatoes is not necessary.
Try eating more plant-based by joining the free Plant-Based for a Day Challenge here.
5. 3 Day Banana Diet
Thankfully the banana diet does not restrict you to eating only bananas.
On this plan, the founders recommend you eat between one to four raw bananas for breakfast, along with room-temperature or lukewarm water, and nothing else.
For the most part, you can eat whatever you’d like for lunch and dinner, except for dairy products, alcohol and desserts. You also need to eat dinner before 8 p.m, and the only drink you’re allowed with meals is room-temperature water. Eat only until you’re 80 percent full.
Choose fresh, whole bananas that are ripe. Do not eat dried bananas for this plan. Snacks are not recommended.
3 Day Banana Diet Meal Plan
Here’s a sample day on the banana diet.
- Breakfast – 3 bananas, 2 cups water
- Lunch – Salad with grilled chicken and olive oil dressing
- Dinner – chicken breast, quinoa, broccoli
This plan may lead to weight loss if stay within a lower calorie intake, but there’s nothing especially beneficial to your body when you eat only bananas for breakfast.
6. 3 Day Cabbage Soup Diet
The Cabbage Soup Diet has been popular for years because following it can lead to losing up to 10 pounds in a week. The concept is that for 2-3 meals per day you eat an unlimited amount of cabbage vegetable soup.
Cabbage Soup Diet Menu
Rather than a specific daily menu, each day of the diet allows participants to add back an additional food:
- Day 1: Fruit, except bananas
- Day 2: Vegetables like leafy greens (not starchy), but no fruit, such as a cup broccoli or cup of carrots
- Day 3: Fruits and vegetables
- Day 4: Bananas and skim milk
- Day 5: Beef (or baked chicken without the skin or other lean meat) and tomatoes (Vegans and vegetarians may substitute with tofu.)
- Day 6: Beef and vegetables
- Day 7: Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices, and vegetables
Is the Cabbage soup diet healthy? While vegetable soup is a great weight loss food, it is not necessary to eat it for every meal in order to lose weight. Some people experience bloating and gas due to the large amount of cabbage and vegetables with this diet.
7. 3 Day Water Fast
In addition to weight loss, water fasting is sometimes recommended as a way to detox because it leads to autophagy, which is the body’s cell repair process. It is said to prevent or even heal diseases, as well as a option to help with cancer treatment or chronic conditions.
Always check with your doctor before starting any type of prolonged fast, including a 3 day water fast. Those with diabetes or a history of eating disorders should not attempt this type of fast. Women who are pregnant and anyone who is underweight also should not fast.
3 Day Water Fast Menu
Night before – eat a light meal and do not overindulge
- Day 1 – Drink only water. Add a pinch of salt to 1-2 glasses of water to keep electrolytes in balance.
- Day 2 – Drink only water. A squirt of lemon may be added 1-2 times per day. Add a pinch of salt to 1-2 glasses of water to keep electrolytes in balance.
- Day 3 – Drink only water. Add cucumber slices if desired. Add a pinch of salt to 1-2 glasses of water to keep electrolytes in balance.
- Day 4 – Break the fast by starting with a meal of clear broth. For the second meal, try something light like a piece of fruit and cup of broth. Eat a regular dinner with balanced small servings of lean protein, vegetables, and a small serving of whole grains or potatoes.
- Day 5 – Resume your normal eating pattern.
Does a water fast work for weight loss? While you may see weight loss from water fasting, the weight will quickly return when you begin eating regular food again. Fasting is recommended for other health reasons beyond dieting.
3-Day Diet Recipes
Here are popular recipes from a 3 day diet.
- The Holy Mess Turkey Vegetable Chili – This delicious chili is a reader favorite. Using lean ground turkey breast and beans, the flavor is wonderful and the soup is filling and hearty. Many people say their family members love this chili and would never know it’s a diet food.
- The Holy Mess Veggie Soup – A dieter’s classic recipe, eat as much of this delicious soup as you’d like to keep hunger away. It’s so low in calories, you can’t go wrong, plus gives you essential vitamins and minerals you need to keep your energy up.
- The Holy Mess Tuna Salad – Enjoy this high-protein, low fat tuna salad with celery and carrots.
- The Holy Mess Salsa Chicken – Use this for burrito bowls for an easy weight loss dinner recipe that can be made in the Instant Pot or oven. We include crock pot instructions, too.
- The Holy Mess Banana Souffle – This meal plan even includes dessert! This recipe takes just 2 ingredients and is made with all real, whole foods.
3 Day Diet Meal Plan for Beginners – A Step by Step Guide
Are you just getting started with 3 day diets and aren’t sure where to begin? Here’s exactly how to get started.
- Choose the diet plan that’s right for you. Read through the possible options for 3 day diets and choose the plan that fits best with your busy life and will help you shed weight most easily. Pick a plan that has foods you enjoy.
- Mark your calendar. Choose your dates for when you will follow the plan. Make sure you have time to prepare the food. If the plan is very low calorie, work in time for gentle walks but not heavy exercise.
- Create a grocery list. Write or print a grocery list for exactly what you’ll need.
- Grocery shop. Shop at the store or order groceries for pick up or delivery. You’ll have the most success following your plan if you have everything you need right at your fingertips.
- Meal prep. If your plan requires cooking any recipes, I recommend doing it in advance so the food is ready to go. Wash and chop all fruits and vegetables so you are prepared.
- Take a starting weight. The morning you begin, don’t forget to take a starting weight.
- Begin your 3 day diet! Now it’s time to use the diet of your choice.
- Take a final weight and analyze your results. When your diet is over, take a final weight. How did you do? Consider if this diet worked well for you and if you’ll want to use it again or adapt it.
3 Day Diet Results – Before and After
How much weight can you expect to lose on a 3 day diet?
Using The Holy mess 3 day diet, you can expect to lose between 2-10 pounds while following the meal plan.
Other three day diets say that you can expect to lose between 3-10 pounds if you continue to eat a reduced calorie diet for a week, such as the military diet.
The Holy Mess diet is a good way for me to reintroduce healthy eating into my lifestyle. The ease of the plan, quantity of food, and satisfaction from weight loss all make this plan viable.
-Jan S., 53 years old, lost 2 pounds
The plan was easy to follow, the food was good, and I got the results I was hoping for in getting me beyond a month-long weight loss plateau that I couldn’t seem to budge. My husband ate the same meals, enjoyed them, and lost weight as well.
-Kathy O., 66 years old, lost 2 pounds
Absolutely, I would recommend this plan to anyone trying to jump start weight loss or get back ‘on track’ with better eating!
-Mariann M., 56 years old, lost 4 pounds
3 Day Diet Tips – 7 Helpful Strategies for Quick Weight Loss Success
Completing a 3 day diet may be quick and bring results, but it does take some planning and effort. Here are some helpful tips to have the most success.
- Choose days that work for you. We recommend that people start their 3 day diet on a Monday when will power is fresh. This also gives you the weekend to grocery shop and plan.
- Consider your activity level. Your calories will be lower than is probably normal for you, so go easy on workouts. Plan to do some gentle walking or go easy at the gym.
- Pick the right plan. Choose a diet meal plan that fits into your food preferences and likes. Make sure the items in the plan are groceries you’ll be able to find at your local store.
- Grocery shop ahead of time. You’ll be much more successful if you have all the food you need ready to go in advance.
- Drink extra water. Your body may be flushing out water to clear away bloat, so be sure to stay hydrated.
- Meal prep any recipes you’ll need, such as cabbage detox soup or vegetable chili.
- Ask family and friends for support. While a 3 day diet can bring great results, it’s not easy, especially when you see people around you munching on chips, cookies, and ice cream. Tell loved ones that you need their help during this week so you can follow your plan.
More 3 Day Diet Choices
There are other 3 day diets besides the ones we listed here. Consider:
- 3 day heart diet. Also known as the 3 day cardiac diet, it’s quite restrictive and not recommended for cardiac patience due to safety concerns. (Also called the Cleveland Clinic Three-day diet, the Birmingham Hospital Cardiac Unit diet, the Mayo clinic diet, the AHA diet purports to have been developed by the American Heart Association but the AHA does not recommend it.)
- 3 day egg diet. Also called an egg fast, this diet recommends eating mainly eggs, butter, and cheese for several days. This is a low carb, high-protein, high-fat diet that leads to ketosis.
- 3 day fruit and vegetable cleanse. People using this method eat only fruit and vegetables for three days. While it can lead to weight loss, it’s lacking in protein.
- 3 day protein shake diet. This liquid diet focuses on protein shakes for all or most meals of the day.
- 3 day apple diet. While apples are a healthy and filling food, they cannot be your main source of nutrition.
- 3 day yogurt diet. While high in protein, the yogurt diet lacks other essential nutrients and may be high in sugar depending on the type of yogurt chosen.
- 3 day carrot diet. Eat mainly carrots for 3 days.
- 3 day keto fast. Eat only low-carb, high-fat foods for 3 days to kick start ketosis.
- 3 day grapefruit diet. Eat grapefruit with every meal.
- Dr. Perricone 3 day diet. This anti-inflammatory plan includes eating salmon, oatmeal, and berries.
- Herbalife and Optifast 3 day cleanse. Commercial programs that offer a three day diet with their purchased products.
- Dr Oz 3 day cleanse. Popular TV personality Dr. Oz offers a three day cleanse.
- 3 day Master Cleanse. Drink a mixture of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup on the liquid diet. Also called the lemonade diet.
What are the Benefits of a 3 Day Diet?
The greatest benefit to a 3 day diet is rapid weight loss. While the weight loss is quick, it can be lasting if you choose a realistic plan and stick to healthy eating when the plan is over.
Three day diets are a great way to go because they have been tried and tested. They are also helpful when you need a kick-start, a refresh, to get back on the wagon or to break a plateau.
Many 3 day diets include real, whole foods and are low in sodium and sugar. You might even find a new meal or recipe you enjoy and can add to your regular rotation of meal options.
Sometimes we all just need the mental boost of seeing rapid results and a 3 day diet delivers.
FAQ about 3 Day Diets
Here are answers to commonly asked questions about three day diets and meal plans.
We recommend The Holy Mess 3 Day Diet which includes lean proteins and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. People typically lose 3-10 pounds without going hungry.
Yes! Many people lose 3-10 pounds during a three day diet.
To lose weight in three days, eliminate excess sodium from processed foods and focus on eating lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Yes, you are allowed to drink diet soda, coffee, and other beverages without calories.
Most people lose 3-10 points during a three day diet.
Fasting is beneficial for health reasons since it can lead to cell repair and digestive rest. Check with your doctor first and be sure to drink plenty of water. Do not fast if you are pregnant, nursing, have serious health issues or have a history of an eating disorder.
The 3 day military diet can lead to weight loss. However, most people gain it back quickly. Much of the food on the 3 day military diet menu is unhealthy. Instead, we recommend The Holy Mess 3 day diet which leads to weight loss focusing on lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. The plan includes generous portions so you won’t be hungry.
Free Printable 3 Day Diet Meal Plan and Grocery List
Maintaining your weight is one of the main challenges in everyone’s life. The global obesity rate has reached alarming levels and is projected to rise in the near future. The best weight loss program will not only offer fast weight loss but also ensure that there are minimal side-effect on your body.
Have you tried a 3 day diet? Share about it in the comments below.