3-Day Tuna Diet For Weight Loss – Benefits And Precautions

Reviewed by Merlin Annie Raj, Registered Dietitian
by Priyanka Sadhukhan , Nutritionist, CDE, Reviewer & Writer

The tuna diet plan was designed by Dave Draper to help reset the body to the fat loss mode. It is a short-term weight loss plan that involves consuming tuna fish with other low-calorie foods. It can help you lose water weight, boost your metabolism, and build lean muscle mass. If you are struggling to lose weight but want to look slimmer and toned, follow this 3-day tuna diet for rapid weight loss. Make sure you check with your dietitian before starting on this quick weight loss solution.

What Is The Tuna Diet?

The tuna diet is a low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein diet that aids weight loss. In this diet, you will have to consume tuna fish two to three times a day, along with water. You can eat tuna with other protein-rich, fiber-rich, low-calorie foods to keep your taste buds alive and protect the body from a drastic change.

Is The Tuna Diet Good For Weight Loss?

The tuna diet plan is the fastest way to lose weight as your calorie intake is restricted. You only consume protein-rich (3 oz. tuna fish contains 21 g of protein) tuna fish (1). This diet plan is effective for short-term results.

Studies have found that a hypocaloric (low-calorie) diet with high protein intake (2.4 g per kg body) helps to increase lean body mass (LBM) and decrease fat mass when combined with exercise (2).

This diet plan should be followed for three days for the desired results. The 30-day tuna diet is not recommended as it hampers your metabolic system, and you might gain the weight back once you go off your diet.

Why You Should Choose The 3-Day Tuna Diet

Here’s why you should choose the tuna diet:

  • Tuna is very nutritious. It is rich in vitamins A, D, E, B6, B1, B2, niacin, and folic acid and contains minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc (1).
  • Tuna is loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids), which help reduce inflammation in the body. It is also a rich source of high-quality proteins (1). Tuna’s low-energy and high-nutritional value make it great for weight loss.
  • The tuna diet was created for bodybuilders who were a few days away from a competition. Unlike bodybuilders, you may get bored in less than two days of eating just tuna. This is where our 3-day tuna diet helps. You will eat tuna, along with other protein-rich, fiber-rich, and low-calorie foods to keep your taste buds alive.

3-Day Tuna Diet Plan

Day 1

MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:00 – 7:30 a.m)1 cup warm water with honey and lime juice
Breakfast (8:15 – 8:45 a.m)Scrambled egg whites + 1 cup soy milk + ¼ cup pomegranate
Mid-Morning (10:30 – 11:00 a.m)Green tea + 1 multigrain biscuit
Lunch (12:30 – 1:00 p.m)Tuna salad with spinach, tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper
Evening Snack (4:00 p.m)Green tea or fresh passion fruit juice
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 p.m)Tuna burrito with shredded veggies

Why This Works

  • This diet chart is low in calories and high in protein, complex carbs, and dietary fiber.
  • The morning detox water will help you flush out toxins and boost metabolism.
  • Egg whites and soy milk are excellent sources of protein (3), (4).
  • Pomegranate contains 1.45 g protein per half cup arils (87 g) and is also a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber (5).
  • Green tea and multigrain biscuit will help curb your hunger. Therefore, you will not have the urge to overeat during lunch.
  • For lunch and dinner, have a tuna salad or tuna burrito. Tuna is a great source of lean protein (1). The veggies are rich in complex carbs and fiber (6).
  • Having green tea or passion fruit for evening snacks will keep your hunger pangs at bay. Green tea is a great source of antioxidants (7).

You can substitute any of the above-mentioned foods (except tuna) with the foods mentioned below.

Substitutes

  • Honey – Fenugreek seeds
  • Lime juice – Apple cider vinegar
  • Scrambled egg whites – 1 oz canned tuna
  • Soy milk – Almond milk or low-fat milk
  • Pomegranate – Apple
  • Green tea – Oolong tea or black tea
  • Multigrain biscuit – Saltine cracker
  • Spinach – Kale
  • Tomato – Chopped zucchini
  • Olive oil – Virgin coconut oil
  • Lemon juice – Grapefruit juice
  • Black pepper – White pepper
  • Passion fruit – Orange

It is important that you exercise to expend the energy. Here is a workout plan for you.

Day 1 Workout Plan

  • Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Arm rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Wrist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Ankle rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Side lunges – 2 sets of 5 reps
  • Spot jogging – 5-10 minutes
  • Jumping jacks – 2 sets of 20 reps
  • Lunges – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Squat – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Crunches – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Side crunches – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Mountain climbers – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Push-ups – 2 sets of 5 reps
  • Stretch

How You Will Feel By The End Of Day 1

Day 1 is quite simple and easy to follow. You would be happy to complete Day 1 successfully and look forward to Day 2.

Day 2

MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:00 – 7:30 a.m)1 cup water with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Breakfast (8:15 – 8:45 a.m)1/2 cup carrot juice + spinach and egg sandwich
Mid-Morning (10:30 – 11:00 a.m)Green tea
Lunch (12:30 – 1:00 p.m)Tuna lettuce wrap + 1 cup buttermilk
Evening Snack (4:00 p.m)Green tea + ¼ cup popcorn
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 p.m)Baked tuna with veggies + 1 glass warm low-fat milk

Why This Works

  • Apple cider vinegar helps in weight loss. Studies showed that vinegar intake reduced body weight, fat, and triglyceride levels in obese people without causing adverse effects (8).
  • Eggs are rich in protein, while carrot and spinach provide the body with complex carbs and dietary fiber.
  • Green tea is loaded with natural antioxidants and increases satiety and fullness (9).
  • Having tuna lettuce wrap and buttermilk for lunch will help you stay active post-lunch.
  • One-fourth cup of popcorn will help keep your taste buds alive.
  • Having tuna and veggies for dinner will keep you satisfied and help repair and rebuild the muscle fibers.
  • Drinking a glass of warm milk will help you sleep better.

If you are allergic to any of the above-mentioned foods or a picky eater, try these substitute foods.

Substitutes

  • Apple cider vinegar – Lemon juice
  • Carrot – Beetroot
  • Spinach – Kale
  • Egg – Tofu
  • Green tea – Herbal tea
  • Lettuce – Chinese cabbage
  • Buttermilk – Coconut water
  • Popcorn – Saltine cracker
  • Low-fat milk – Soy milk

On Day 2, you need to help your body burn calories by working out. Here is a workout plan for Day 2.

Day 2 Workout Plan

  • Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Arm rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Wrist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Ankle rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Side lunges – 2 sets of 5 reps
  • High jump – 2 sets of 30 reps
  • Jumping jacks – 2 sets of 20 reps
  • Forward lunges – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Jumping lunges – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Squats – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Crunches – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Push-ups – 2 sets of 5 reps
  • Scissor kicks – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Stretch

How You Will Feel By The End Of Day 2

By the end of Day 2, you will feel lighter and more active. Since you will be eating a lot of fiber and protein, you will not feel the urge to snack on junk food. This will also boost your confidence, and you will be more interested to see what Day 3 of this diet has in store for you.

Day 3

MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:00 – 7:30 a.m)1 cup warm water with juice of 1 lime
Breakfast (8:15 – 8:45 a.m)Egg frittata + 1 cup watermelon juice + 2 almonds
Mid-Morning (10:30 – 11:00 a.m)Green tea
Lunch (12:30 – 1:00 p.m)Tuna, kale, and egg salad + coconut water
Evening Snack (4:00 p.m)Green tea + 1 multigrain biscuit
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 p.m)Grilled tuna steak + 1 cup warm low-fat milk

Why This Works

  • On this day, you will increase your citrus intake in the morning to kick-start your metabolism.
  • Egg frittata is high in protein, complex carbs, and dietary fiber.
  • Watermelon juice will keep you hydrated and make you feel full.
  • Almonds are great sources of healthy fats and help in weight loss if taken in controlled portions (10), (11).
  • Having green tea before lunch will help keep your hunger pangs at bay. Keep the lunch exciting and flavorful by adding egg and kale to your tuna salad. Make sure to avoid fatty dressing.
  • Coconut water is loaded with natural electrolytes that can keep you hydrated (12).
  • Multigrain biscuits contain a lot of fiber and help in digestion. They also prevent fat absorption.
  • Tuna steak is a great source of protein. Have a cup of milk just before bed to help you sleep better at night.

Are you allergic to any of the foods mentioned in the diet chart? Or, are you a picky eater? Whatever the reason is, here is a food substitute list for you.

Substitutes

  • Lime – Overnight soaked fenugreek seeds or ACV
  • Egg frittata – Vegetable semolina
  • Watermelon – Cucumber
  • Almonds – Walnut
  • Green tea – Oolong tea or herbal tea
  • Kale – Spinach
  • Egg – Tofu
  • Coconut water – Low-fat yogurt
  • Multigrain biscuit – Saltine cracker
  • Milk – Soy Milk

You also have to work out on the last day of the tuna diet plan. Here is a workout plan for Day 3.

Day 3 Workout Plan

  • Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Arm rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Wrist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Ankle rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Side lunges – 2 sets of 5 reps
  • Spot jogging – 5-10 minutes
  • Push-ups – 2 sets of 5 reps
  • Tricep dips – 2 sets of 5 reps
  • Side crunches – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Yoga

How You Will Feel By The End Of Day 3

As this diet plan is low in calories and carbs, you will lose a lot of water weight by the end of Day 3 and look less bloated (13). This will make you appear slimmer. Since you will be on a high-protein diet and eat healthy fats, complex carbs, and dietary fiber, you will look fresh and toned. You will definitely love the results of being on the 3-day tuna diet.

But what happens after Day 3? Do you go back to eating junk and high-sugar containing foods? No! Here’s what you should do.

What You Should Do After Day 3

Though you will lose the water weight and kick-start your metabolism and fat mobilization, you have to help your body start melting the fat by making the following changes in your lifestyle:

1. Follow A Nutritious Diet Plan

Include 3-4 servings of fruits and veggies every day. You should also consume healthy fat sources, like nuts, fish oil supplement, vitamin E supplement, avocado, and fish. Avoid snacking on junk food.

2. Shop Smart

Eating clean is not an expensive affair if you know how to shop smart. Avoid going to the junk food section of the supermarket. Check the labels to find out more about packaged foods. Avoid packaged fruit and vegetable juices. If possible, visit the local organic farmer’s market to buy fresh veggies and fruits at a much cheaper rate.

3. Learn To Say No To Unhealthy Foods

Unhealthy food is tempting, but that’s one of the main reasons for the obesity pandemic. Saying no to unhealthy foods will help you take baby steps towards building a fit and slimmer you. Make conscious efforts, and you will see the results.

4. Workout Regularly

Working out only on these three days will not help you. Make it a habit to work out at least 3 hours a week. You can play a sport, learn to dance, or hit the gym. Working out will make you fit and keep health issues at bay. Your skin will start to glow.

5. Take Out Time For Yourself

Have some “me time” every now and then. Building a healthy relationship with yourself is as important as any other relationship. Some quiet time to think about yourself will open many locked doors, and you will be able to see clearly without getting influenced by others. It will help you analyze your current unhealthy habits and decide what you should do to step on the healthy side.

6. Get Proper Sleep

Sleep deprivation can also lead to weight gain (14). Therefore, you should sleep for at least 7 hours. Sleep early and get up early so that you have time to work out and have your breakfast before you head out.

7. Meditate

Meditation is one of the best ways to train your brain to let go of stress (15). Depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction, and all the other negative energies will convert to satisfaction, happiness, and other positive emotions. You will learn to control your emotions and will feel calmer. The positive energy will help you to choose your lifestyle wisely, which will indirectly help you lose weight.

Precautions

Do not follow this diet plan for more than three days as it is a low-calorie diet plan.

Consult your doctor before starting this diet plan.

If you think this diet plan is working and want to continue, take a break of a week and then start this diet again.

Do not follow this diet if you have gout and other high uric acid-related health problems.

Since protein also gets converted to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis (synthesis of glucose from non-carb sources) in the body, you should not over-consume this nutrient. Excess protein is equal to excess glucose, and it will result in weight gain if not used up as energy.

Conclusion

This is a completely new approach to the traditional 3-day diet plan, which also includes a workout regimen and a guide on how to lose weight by changing your lifestyle. This diet plan is a short-term approach and does not offer sustainable results. For long-term, positive results, you should follow a balanced diet with lifestyle changes.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is eating only tuna healthy?

Tuna is a healthy food as it is high in protein. However, eating only tuna is nothing but a fad diet. Club tuna with a lot of vegetables and whole grains for a balanced approach.

How much can I lose in the tuna diet plan?

The tuna diet is a short-term approach for rapid weight loss. If clubbed with a proper exercise routine and lifestyle changes, you can lose up to 10 pounds. Make sure to check with your dietitian before starting off on this fad diet plan.

Is tuna fish good for diabetics?

Yes. Oily fish (like tuna) may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (16). Use fresh tuna fish for better control over glycemic response.

Is tuna with mayo good for weight loss?

Avoid mayo as much as possible if you want to lose weight. You can eat tuna with a bowl of fresh seasonal vegetables for weight loss.

16 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Priyanka Sadhukhan

Priyanka is a nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has over 8 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics with a strong research background. She is passionate about science and how it can be applied to one’s daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine, and proper nutrition is key to achieving good health. She has also written a book on PCOS and its management for doctors and patients. When she is not working, she loves spending quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and endorses healthier alternatives to junk foods to promote good health.
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