British Heart Foundation Diet: Pros and Cons

The current three-day diet commonly known as the British Heart Foundation Diet is a controversial diet that has circulated the Internet for some years as a quick way to lose ten pounds. In this diet, the dieter must strictly conform to the diet’s menu. However, the menu seems to vary a little depending upon the region from which the diet is currently circulating.

The basic diet instructs the dieter to eat particular foods in specified amounts. The dieter will have to have a food scale to do this, according to the diet’s guidelines. The meal plan for the diet is mandatory and mainly consists of tea or coffee (in some versions water may be substituted), toast, small portions of meat or other high protein foods like dairy, and measured amounts of fruits and vegetables (with some hotdogs and ice cream thrown in). The dieter will consume 9 meals in the span of 3 days.

Pros

The diet’s promoters claim that a 10 pound weight loss is possible in 3 days. This diet may serve as a kick-start to lowering overall caloric intake, as the transition to a lower-calorie diet is beginning.

The diet requires the dieter to eat lean meats (with the one hotdog exception) and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Cons

The key to this diet’s success seems to be the low caloric count. The diet’s requirements leave the dieter with 800 calories per day (or less), which is far below the 2000 daily average calorie intake that’s recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. When weight loss is achieved through the diet, it’s a result of the low caloric intake in combination with potential dehydration. Dehydration is possible since tea or coffee is required in the majority of meal plans, and both have diuretic affects upon the body.

The British Heart Foundation neither recognizes the diet, nor does it find the diet an acceptable form of dieting based upon the organization’s health standards. In fact, they publish a brief tutorial on “crash-diets”, in which the British Heart Foundation Diet is listed as an inappropriate way to diet due to the low-calorie count and the rapid weight loss.

Take Caution

As with any dietary modifications, talk to your doctor or nutritionist before beginning this diet, as it may adversely affect your health. In general, it is advised that any diet that allows us to lose weight rapidly, instead of moderately, will only allow short-term weight. These fad diets generally do not contribute to overall sustained weight reduction.

Remember, changing your diet slowly by reducing heavily processed or ‘junk’ foods, will help you sustain these healthy eating choices and help you turn them into healthy eating habits. Replacing less healthy sweets or high fat food choices with fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries is another healthy way to  keep you feeling satisfied.

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