3-Day Diet Plan To Help You Lose Weight Rapidly

A quick and effective diet to fit into that perfect body-con dress on a short notice

Medically reviewed by Dr. Geeta Dharmatti, RD Dr. Geeta Dharmatti Dr. Geeta DharmattiRD linkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 2.5 years

If you need to lose weight rapidly for a special occasion or want to kickstart your weight loss journey, we have got a 3-day diet plan for you. Following this very low-calorie diet for three days every two weeks is the best strategy to reduce weight. With appropriate meal planning, you don’t have to fast or starve yourself during this short-term diet. You will get to eat healthy meals while reducing the number of calories you consume. On non-diet days, you will work out to tone your body. But keep in mind that this diet plan should not be followed for longer periods to avoid health problems. This article explores what the 3-day diet plan is, how it works, foods you should consume and avoid, important food substitutes, an exercise plan for non-diet days, and more. We will also touch upon the potential side effects to be wary of. So, let us get started!

protip_icon At A Glance: 3-Day Diet Plan
  • Principle: A very-low-calorie diet that is followed for three days a week for two weeks to prevent the metabolism from plateauing and promote quick weight loss.
  • Purpose: To lose weight in three days.
  • Who It Is For: Anyone aiming for rapid weight loss on a budget.
  • Duration: Short-term
  • Who Should Avoid: People with kidney or liver disease, diabetes, or (a history of) eating disorders, pregnant and breastfeeding individuals, and children.
  • Cons: May lead to nutrient deficiencies, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.

How the 3-Day Diet Plan Works

How the 3-day diet plan works
Image: Shutterstock

The 3-day diet works by restricting the calorie consumption to less than 1200 per day for three days a week. You will go back to normal diet for the rest of the four days of the week without exceeding a limit of consuming 500 calories extra. For example, if you have 1000 calories on the diet days, you will not consume more than 1500 calories per day on non-diet days. This varied calorie intake will prevent your body’s metabolism from plateauing and help you burn the calories and lose weight quickly. Always follow the 3-day diet plan for two weeks and then take a break for one week before resuming this diet plan. Let’s find out what you should eat for three days of your very low-calorie meal plan.

The 3-Day Diet Plan

Image: Shutterstock

Day 1 ( 1200 calories)

MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:45 – 8:30 a.m)1 cup fenugreek seeds soaked water
Breakfast (9:15-9:45 a.m)Options:
  • Oatmeal (40 g oats + 150 ml low fat milk+ 15 g nuts mixture + any fruit of choice 1 serving)
  • 2 egg whites + 1 multigrain toast + 1 fresh whole fruit/ Fruit juice with pulp (No sweetener)
Lunch (12:00 – 12:30 p.m)Options:
  • Grilled fish in asparagus and tomato sauce
  • Tuna/vegetable sandwich (Use whole wheat or multigrain bread)
Evening Snack (4:00 p.m)Options:
  • Bowl of fruits
  • ½ cup baby carrots
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 p.m)Options:
  • Garlic bread (1pc) and chicken stewed in Italian herbs
  • Smoked turkey cakes and 1 pita bread with lots of sliced cucumber, tomato, and onion.
Why This Works

Fenugreek soaked water helps to boost your metabolism (1). Oats are a good source of fiber (2). This can help prevent fat absorption and mobilize fat. Eggs are an excellent source of protein , and multigrain bread is high in fiber content (3) (4). Fresh fruit juice is rich in fiber, and fruit sugar will keep your hunger pangs at bay for longer (5 ). Have a delicious, nutrient-dense light lunch rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbs. Choose grilled fish or a sandwich to satiate your taste buds. Have a substantial portion of complex carbs and fiber in the form of fruits or crunchy vegetables for a healthy evening snack. Spice up your dinner by eating a high-protein diet. You can have garlic bread (multigrain) and chicken stew, which is rich in protein and other nutrients. If you do not want to have chicken, opt for turkey, also a rich source of protein (6). Have cucumber, tomato, and onion to balance your high-protein meal with complex carbs and dietary fiber.


Fenugreek seeds – Fennel seeds
Oatmeal – Quinoa
Scrambled eggs – Boiled eggs
Multigrain bread – wheat or gluten-free bread
Fresh fruit juice – 1/2 cup fruit
Grilled fish – Baked or smoked fish
Asparagus – Spinach
Tomato – Finely diced cucumber
Tuna sandwich – Chicken sandwich
Vegetable sandwich – mushroom sandwich
Fruits – 1 cup fresh fruit juice
Baby carrots – 1 cup large cubes of cucumber
Garlic bread – Wheat flatbread
Chicken stew – Grilled chicken with glaze
Smoked turkey – Smoked salmon or crab
Pita bread – multigrain bread or flatbread
Cucumber – Carrot
Tomato – Red bell pepper
Onion – Chive

How You Will Feel By The End Of Day 1

Day 1 would be tough. You will feel hungry and crave junk food. But what you will gain by not munching on junk is greater and more important to you right now. Control your hunger pangs by drinking water or green tea.

Day 2 (1000 calories)

MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:45 – 8:30 a.m)1 glass warm water with the juice of half a lime
Breakfast (9:15-9:45 a.m)Options:

Quinoa + 1 cup green tea

Egg frittata + 1 cup green tea

Lunch (12:00 – 12:30 p.m)Options:
  • Sauteed green beans, peas, carrots, and mushroom + ½ cup fat-free yogurt
  • Grilled chicken breast (2 oz) with broccoli, spinach, and carrots + 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
Evening Snack (4:00 p.m)1 cup black coffee
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 p.m)Options:
  • Chicken/ vegetable soup + ½ cup low-fat vanilla ice cream
  • Boiled chickpeas salad + ½ cup low-fat vanilla ice cream
Why This Works

Lime juice flushes out toxins (7). Quinoa or egg frittata with a cup of green tea will help keep you full and suppress your appetite. Eat nutritious food such as a lunch that contains sauteed veggies and mushroom or grilled chicken and veggies. Yogurt will ensure better digestion, which, in turn, will lead to better metabolism (8). Anecdotal evidence suggests that coffee is a great appetite suppressant. It also improves alertness and concentration. Have a delicious dinner loaded with protein sources such as chicken or boiled chickpeas. Half a cup of vanilla ice cream will appease your taste buds.


Lime – Lemon or apple cider vinegar
Quinoa – Oats
Egg frittata – Spanish omelet or boiled eggs
Green tea – Oolong tea or black coffee
Green beans – Asparagus
Peas – Endive
Carrot – Yellow bell pepper
Mushroom – Baby corn
Fat-free yogurt – 1 cup fresh ginger, fennel seed, and lime juice
Chicken breast – Salmon / mushroom
Broccoli – Cauliflower
Spinach – Celery
Carrots – Tomato
Buttermilk – 1 cup watermelon juice
Black coffee – green tea or oolong tea
Chicken / Vegetable soup – Lentil / mushroom soup
Boiled chickpea salad – Bengal gram salad or chicken salad
Vanilla ice cream – Frozen yogurt

How You Will Feel By The End Of Day 2

By the end of day 2, you will be surprised to find out that you survived two days without munching on junk food! This will keep your spirits high, and you will be ready for day 3 more than ever.

Day 3 (800 calories)

MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:45 – 8:30 a.m)1 cup water with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Breakfast (9:15-9:45 a.m)Options:
  • 2 boiled egg whites + 1 cup musk melon and pomegranate smoothie
  • ½ cup vegetable semolina (20 g) + ½ cup fat-free milk
Lunch (12:00 – 12:30 p.m)Options:
  • Chicken salad with fat-free yogurt, olive oil, salt, and pepper dressing
  • Grilled tuna with collard greens and cherry tomatoes
Evening Snack (4:00 p.m)1 cup green tea
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 p.m)Options:
  • Oven baked chicken stuffed bell pepper
  • Chicken or mushroom soup with Asian herbs and seasoning
Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar helps in weight loss (9). Have a large protein-rich breakfast to feed your brain and muscles so that you can stay active. If you want to have salad for lunch, opt for a low-fat dressing. Grilled tuna will keep your taste buds alive and provide your body with an extra dose of protein. Green tea is best for losing weight and suppressing appetite. Make your boring dinner interesting by adding Mexican or Asian touch while keeping it nutritious and simple. This will help you stay nourished throughout the day while maintaining the calorie count.


Apple cider vinegar – Lemon juice
Boiled egg whites – Egg white omelet
Muskmelon – Watermelon
Pomegranate – Cherries
Semolina – Quinoa
Milk – Soy milk
Chicken salad – Tuna or veggie salad
Yogurt – Sour cream
Olive oil – Flax seed oil
Tuna – Basa
Collard greens – Spinach
Cherry tomato – Summer squash
Green tea – Oolong tea or black coffee
Chicken – Mushroom or chickpeas
Bell pepper – Squash
Chicken or mushroom soup – Grilled veggies or vegetable soup

How You Will Feel By The End Of Day 3

By the end of day 3, you would have lost a lot of water weight. This means you would look slimmer and feel less bloated. Your body would be ready to mobilize the fat, and that is exactly what exercising would help to achieve. So, though you have lost water weight, to actually lose fat you have to exercise on the non-diet days. Here is an exercise plan for Days 4 – 7.

Exercise Plan For Non-Diet Days (Day 4 – Day 7)

Image: Shutterstock

Warm-up (10 min)

  • Move your head side to side 10 times.
  • Move your head up and down as if you are nodding, 10 times.
  • Neck rotations (clockwise and anti-clockwise) – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Shoulder rotations (clockwise and anti-clockwise) – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Full arm rotation (clockwise and anti-clockwise) – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Wrist rotation (clockwise and anti-clockwise) – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Waist rotation (clockwise and anti-clockwise) – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Ankle rotation (clockwise and anti-clockwise) – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Standing side crunches (left and right)- 1 set of 10 reps
  • Touch toes – 1 set of 5 reps
DaysTimeWhat You Should Do
Day 415 minSpot jogging + Side lunges + Jumping jacks + Forward lunges + Scissor kicks + Push-ups + Stretch
Day 525 minBrisk walking / intermittent jogging + Forward jumping lunges + Squat + Bicep curls + Tricep dips + Forward plank + Side plank + Crunches + Meditation
Day 640 minRope jumping + Forward lunges with weight + Push-ups + Crunches + Mountain climbers + Burpees + Horizontal outward kicks + scissor kicks + Stretch
Day 750 minIntermittent walking and jogging + Surya Namaskar+ Meditation

Make sure not to workout rigorously from Day 1 – Day 3 (diet days) as you will be on a very low-calorie diet and your body may not have the required energy. However, you may do light stretching exercises on your diet days.

How You Will Feel By The End Of Day 7

You will be both surprised and thrilled with your progress. The first 3 days of the diet will help you lose water weight and the last 4 days of the week will help you mobilize the fat. This will result in quick weight loss. You will look slimmer and working out regularly will help you stay active and focused. It will also improve memory and reflex, and remove all negative thoughts from your mind.

A blogger shares his first-time experience with the 3-Day diet amidst a busy lifestyle: “Though I was not able to do the full 3-day diet, I was able to lose 1.54 lbs nonetheless (i).” He goes on to say that it was not easy. He felt deprived, fatigued, and also had trouble sleeping. However, the diet supposedly altered his taste and made the following religious fluid fasting experience tolerable.

Should You Repeat The 3-Day Diet?

Yes, you can go on the 3-day diet again in the second week. The second week may not feel challenging enough, but you should stick to the diet plan to get optimum results.

protip_icon Quick Tip

Write down your goals, checklists, and what worked for you in a journal every day so that you can see where you stand in terms of your weight loss journey.

Should You Continue The 3-Day Diet Beyond The Second Week?

Calendar and tape to keep track of the diet plan
Image: Shutterstock

No. This diet plan may work well for you, but it is advisable not to continue with this diet beyond the second week. You can be on a low-calorie diet and exercise to keep your body from gaining the weight back. You can follow the 3-day diet plan after taking a week’s break. You should also talk to your dietician or doctor before deciding to be on this diet indefinitely.

Now, it is not easy to consume less and suppress your appetite. We have some tricks on how to suppress appetite and here is what we recommend you to do when you are on the 3-day diet plan.

How Can You Reduce Your Appetite?

Image: Shutterstock

Feeling starved is a phenomenon that is a part of almost every diet due to the restrictions placed on certain foods. Thus, decreasing the appetite makes the diet relatively easier to follow. A limited portion of food is consumed during the 3-day diet, and so these tips can be followed to decrease the appetite and trigger weight loss.

  • Drinking water: Drinking water throughout the day will quench your hunger to a great extent. Besides, research has proved that water consumption before a meal accelerates the rate at which calories are burnt (10). Moreover, drinking lime/lemon water is particularly helpful in losing weight. At least 8 glasses of fluids every day are recommended for better results.
  • Getting enough sleep: Those who do not get enough sleep tend to feel more hungry and thus have a greater appetite. This is because the body hormones go in a direction that leads to weight gain. Hence, the importance of sleep cannot be undermined.
  • Drink Green Tea: Green tea helps to suppress appetite and the best time to consume it is 30 minutes before a meal. Since green tea has zero calories, you can consume it in between meals. But make sure not to drink more than 3 cups of green tea per day.
protip_icon Did You Know?

Researchers have observed that better sleep health has a positive effect on weight loss and fat loss (11).

The 3-day diet can aid in quick weight loss and detoxification. Check out the next section for some quick and delicious recipes you can try during this diet.

3-Day Diet Recipes

1. Avocado Toast

Avocado toast for 3-day diet
Image: Shutterstock
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
How To Prepare
  1. Mash the ripe avocado and season it with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Toast the bread until crispy.
  3. Spread the seasoned avocado on the toasted bread.
  4. Enjoy your avocado toast!

2. Greek Yogurt Parfait

Image: Shutterstock
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of mixed berries
  • 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of granola
How To Prepare
  1. Layer a glass with Greek yogurt.
  2. Add mixed berries and some honey or maple syrup if desired.
  3. Then, add granola for a crunch.
  4. Repeat the layers and garnish with berries.

Enjoy your Greek yogurt parfait!

The 3-day diet also has the following benefits:

3-Day Diet Benefits

  • It is effective when it comes to rapid weight loss (about 10 pounds in 3 days).
  • It is cheap as the foods like coffee, tuna, and vegetables are affordable.
  • It is simple and easy to follow as ingredients are easily available, and the meals are simple and can be quickly prepared.
  • Weight loss leads to several cardiovascular benefits such as reduced blood pressure and a decrease in bad LDL cholesterol.
  • No side effects, whatsoever, are associated with this diet. However, those who have health issues should consult their physician before following it.

So, the bottom line is the 3-day diet plan appears like an ideal way to lose weight. But it also helps to know the drawbacks before starting it.

3-Day Diet Drawbacks

  • The 3-day diet is considered a fad diet, but may act as a detoxification diet or cleanse diet. Though it is effective for weight loss, much of it is lean muscle mass or water weight is quickly regained once you start eating normally.
  • This diet can cause electrolyte imbalance which disrupts the normal heart rhythm leading to massive loss of water weight and muscle cramping. This upsets the balance of certain minerals in the body like potassium which may interfere with the function of your heart with fatal consequences.
  • Though weight loss leads to cardiovascular benefits, gaining and losing weight on a continuous basis can stress the heart.
  • Following this diet on a regular basis can cause nutrient deficiencies, long-term weight gain, a weakened immune system, and heart problems. It is low in iron and calcium. The deficiency of iron can cause anemia, and a lack of calcium can weaken the bones.
  • This diet is potentially dangerous for those with diabetes.
  • You have to compromise your taste buds as there are no exotic ingredients, frozen meals or powdered shakes. Moreover, it eliminates snacks from the menu altogether.
  • This diet is not suitable for children and teens because a growing child due to restricted calorie intake. They requires adequate calories and balanced nutrition for development and this diet is lacking in both. Moreover, it can cause potential eating disorders.

So, the 3-day diet plan is not for those looking for a long-term weight loss diet plan. But you can follow the 3-day diet plan to lose weight quickly and effectively for a special occasion. You can also eat cleansing foods to detox your body, follow the diet chart and workout plan, and you can see results in the first week. Begin today and get ready to wow everyone! Take care.

Infographic: 8 Tips To Follow On The 3-Day Diet

Take charge of your weight loss journey with the 3-day diet. Be aware to not go beyond two weeks with this diet and do a balanced transition from the diet to achieve maximum benefits. If you want to learn more about the tips for proper weight loss, check out the infographic below.

8 tips for the 3 day diet (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The 3-day diet plan is an effective way to lose water weight quickly. It involves doing certain exercises on the remaining four days of the week to burn fat. It should not be followed for more than two weeks in a row, and a gap of one week after every two weeks is recommended. Following this diet is quite easy as it comprises easy-to-find and cheap foods like green tea, fenugreek water, lime juice, and bread. But, it is considered a fad diet, and you may gain weight easily during the non-diet weeks. So, the fluctuations in weight can stress out your heart. Hence, this diet should only be followed for a short period of time. Children, teenagers, and those with diabetes must avoid it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can you lose on the 3 day diet?

When done correctly, and based on your personal BMI and level of activity, you may lose upto 10 pounds over 3 days following this crash diet.

Is the 3 day diet healthy?

The 3 day diet is okay to quickly lose some water weight for any upcoming occassion. However, it is a fad diet and not a healthy way of weight loss in the long run.

How does the 3-day diet plan affect blood sugar levels?

According to anecdotal evidence, rapid fluctuations in the diet may destabilize insulin and blood sugar levels in the body. Hence, this type of diet is not advisable for people with diabetes.

Can the 3-day diet plan be customized for individual needs and preferences?

Yes, it can be customized for individual needs and preferences. The food substitutes mentioned in the article will help customize the diet. You can add or remove foods you do not eat or are allergic to but make sure you do not cross the calorie-limit.

Key Takeaways

  • A 3-day diet plan is a very low-calorie diet with healthy meals.
  • You eat less than 1200 calories per day for three days, followed by an upper limit of 500 more calories on the other four non-diet days.
  • Change your meals every day for 3 days to eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • On the remaining four days of the week, exercise to balance out the calorie intake.
3 day diet plan

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

A well-researched and diligently carried out diet plan can help you lose weight efficiently! Watch the video below to learn how to come up with a 3-day diet plan and stay motivated to reach your weight loss goals.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Fenugreek a multipurpose crop: Potentialities and improvements
  2. Whole grain oats more than just a fiber: Role of unique phytochemicals
  3. Eggs
  4. Health Benefits of Dietary Whole Grains: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses
  5. Intake of 100% Fruit Juice Is Associated with Improved Diet Quality of Adults: NHANES 2013–2016 Analysis
  6. Vegetable Protein Sources Alternative to Soya in Growing Turkey Diets
  7. A Critical Review on Nutritional and Medicinal Importance of Lemon
  8. Potential Health Benefits of Combining Yogurt and Fruits Based on Their Probiotic and Prebiotic Properties12
  9. Beneficial effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on weight management Visceral Adiposity Index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects receiving restricted calorie diet: A randomized clinical trial
  10. Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults
  11. The association between sleep health and weight change during a 12-month behavioral weight loss intervention
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