Three-day diets are rapid weight-loss fad diets that often promise you to lose 10 pounds in just 72 hours. Known by many names, including the Cleveland Clinic Diet, the American Heart Association Diet or the Kaiser Diet, the specific meal plan can also be referred to when naming the diet. Sometimes it's the Three Day Beet Diet or the Three Day Hot Dog and Ice Cream Diet. By any name, it's an unhealthy eating plan that makes weight-loss promises it can't keep.
The Three Day Beets Diet does include other foods besides beets, but it does not include a variety of healthy foods, nor does it provide adequate calories or nutrients. It's a very low-calorie diet -- average intake is only about 700 calories each day. The diet itself is rigid, three small meals a day with no snacking between meals permitted. Some versions of the diet suggest you repeat the program every week until you reach your weight loss goals.
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The meal plan is simple, and no substitutions are allowed. You may drink only noncaloric beverages such as black coffee, plain tea and water. Breakfast is one serving of fruit, one serving of a complex carbohydrate and one serving of animal protein. Lunch is simply one serving of protein and one complex carbohydrate. Dinner is the largest meal of the day and includes two servings of protein, one fruit, one serving of a green vegetable and 1 cup of beets, followed by a small serving of vanilla ice cream.
Beets have no magic fat-burning power, nor do they aid in weight loss. Beets are a starchy root vegetable, high in fiber and an excellent source of vitamin C and folate. Both the greens and the root can be eaten, although the three-day diet calls for the roots. Beets are low in calories; 1 cup contains fewer than 60 calories but provides 10 percent of your RDA for fiber. Beets are high in manganese, iron and copper and contain 10 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement.
You may lose weight on the Three Day Beets Diet, but only because it's a drastic reduction in calories for most people. Much of the weight you lose will be water weight and quickly regained when your three-day diet is over. There are side effects associated with very low-calorie diets, which include an electrolyte imbalance and hypoglycemia. Signs of low blood sugar are headache, hunger, fatigue, shakiness and mood swings. Always talk to your doctor before beginning a VLCD. The Three Day Beets diet is not appropriate for adolescents or older adults and can worsen pre-existing medical conditions.