The 3-day fruit-cleanse diet offers some flexibility in the amount of food consumed, so your choices determine calorie intake. Even if you eat the largest serving, it’s still a low-calorie diet, so you should drop at least a few pounds. It’s also possible for this diet to be a very-low calorie diet, and it’s quite low in carbohydrates, which can cause health problems. For these reasons, you shouldn’t stay on it longer than three days, as its name implies. As always, consult your doctor to be sure the diet is safe for you, especially if you have any health concerns.
3-Day Fruit-Cleanse Diet Overview
The 3-day fruit-cleanse diet originated with a book written by Jay Robb, a clinical nutritionist and Certified Fitness Trainer. The book’s title is “Fruit-Flush 3-Day Detox,” but the diet is commonly known by various names, including the 3-day fruit-cleanse diet, the fruit flush diet and the 3-day fruit diet. The diet is described as a detox that can help you drop up to 9 pounds in three days. However, if you’re searching for a strict fruit detox, this may not be the best choice because the menu isn’t limited to fruit; it also includes protein drinks, vegetables and lean protein. The author recommends avoiding exercise during the 3-day detox. He also suggests eliminating all beverages except plain water.
Day 1 of the 3-Day Fruit Diet
Begin the first day by mixing 1 1/4 cups of protein powder with 32 ounces of water, which makes a pitcher full of protein drink that will take you through the day. When you buy protein powder, choose brands that do not contain carbohydrate or caloric sweeteners. The author recommends a powder made from whey or egg-white protein. Both sources provide complete protein, but whey is rated as slightly better quality because it has a higher content of essential and branched chain amino acids, reported the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2007. Be aware that whey contains a small amount of lactose.
Starting at 8:00 a.m., drink 6 ounces of protein drink every two hours, for a total of five drinks throughout the day. Two hours after the last protein drink, or 6:00 p.m. if you’re following the menu’s schedule, eat a meal consisting of a salad and 3 to 6 ounces of lean protein. Make the salad from 3 to 6 cups of any raw vegetables except starchy veggies, such as potatoes. Then top it with 1 teaspoon of olive oil or flax-seed oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. For lean protein, you can choose from egg whites, fish and lean poultry or beef. You’re also advised to drink an 8- to 12-ounce glass of water one hour after each protein drink or meal.
Days 2 and 3 of the Fruit Cleanse Diet
The second and third days are similar to the first day, but the protein drinks are replaced with fruit and dinner is a little different. Have one serving of any type of fresh fruit -- not canned or dried -- every two hours, for a total of five servings. Two hours after the last serving of fruit, consume a meal made from the same salad as day one, but replace the lean protein from eggs, poultry, fish or meat with a protein drink. Make the drink from 12 ounces of water mixed with 5 tablespoons of whey or egg-white protein powder. Don’t forget to include water between each portion of fruit and after the evening meal.
Calorie Consumption on the Fruit Cleanse
Each 6-ounce protein drink on the first day of the diet has 1 scoop of protein power. In many brands, one scoop is 110 calories, but check the label on the powder you buy because calorie content varies. You can calculate about 25 calories for a cup of raw veggies, according to the University of Arkansas exchange lists. A teaspoon of olive oil supplies 40 calories, and the juice from half of a lemon has 5 calories. The bottom line is that a 3-cup salad has about 120 calories, and the larger 6-cup salad has 195 calories.
The type and amount of protein in your meal make a difference in total calories. You’ll get 51 calories from three large egg whites, which is about 3 ounces. By comparison, a 3-ounce serving of seafood has 80 to 200 calories, while lean beef and poultry have 160 to 210 calories. By the end of day one, you’ll consume 721 calories if dinner includes 3 cups of veggies and 3 ounces of egg whites. If you choose 6 cups of veggies and 6 ounces of meat or poultry, you’ll get 1,165 calories. On the second and third days, 1 cup of fresh fruit has about 120 calories, so that's roughly the same as the protein drinks. But you may add or lose calories when you replace eggs, fish, poultry or meat with a protein drink, depending on the amount and type of protein you consumed on day one.
Low-Calorie Risks From Fruit Cleanse Diet
A diet that contains 800 daily calories or fewer is medically defined as a very low-calorie diet. This type of diet should be supervised by a healthcare professional to ensure serious nutritional imbalances don’t develop. Consuming such a small amount of calories doesn't provide enough energy to sustain daily activity. Over the long-term, a very low-calorie diet increases the risk of gallstones and may weaken the immune system or cause loss of bone density. Also, remember that if your goal is weight loss, chances are high you'll regain any weight lost during a very-low-calorie diet.
- Jay Robb: Fruit-Flush 3-Day Detox
- Every Diet: Fruit Flush
- Jay Robb: Fruit Flush Diet Q&A
- WBAL TV: Fruit Flush Diet Overview of Day 1
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and Exercise
- WBAL TV: Fruit Flush Diet Overview of Days 2 and 3
- The Vitamin Shoppe: Whey Protein -- Vanilla
- University of Arkansas: The Exchange List System for Diabetic Meal Planning
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Oil, Olive, Salad or Cooking
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Lemon Juice, Raw