The “3 Day Diet:” Detox Dangers

The 3 day diet detox is one fad diet that has survived the test of time. Originated in 1985, this supposed 3-day cleanse, also known as the Cleveland Clinic Diet, is still widely circulated and utilized. But, are there any dangers associated with pursuing this program? Below we’ll look at how the diet is set up and what you should consider before taking it up.

The 3 Days

As the name suggests, this diet is a regimented 3-day program, with what you’ll eat over that time already set up. The diet is extremely specific with regard to what you can eat and when, even to the point of choosing your ice cream flavor! It also claims that this combination of foods (a robust list with everything from broccoli and carrots to tuna fish and hot dogs) will have some kind of quickening effect on your metabolism, allowing you to burn fat at a higher rate.

However, this is completely unsubstantiated. Doctors warn that this combination of foods will have no effect on your body’s ability to burn fat. The diet can also be repeated indefinitely as long as the dieter mixes in 4-5 days of normal eating, though “normal eating” is never specifically defined.

Parsing Fact from Fiction

Diets such as the 3 day diet detox work by limiting calorie consumption. This will provide initial weightloss, but mostly due to loss of fluids. Since the diet focuses on limiting carbohydrate consumption, the body will naturally shed water because carbs encourage the body to retain water.  So, once you start eating normally again, what you lost will come right back on again in the form of water-weight. Since the diet focuses on limiting carbohydrate consumption, the body will naturally shed water because carbs encourage the body to retain water.

Though the diet claims that it’s combination of foods will allow the body to naturally burn fat at an elevated rate, this is merely a myth. Your body will burn fat, but only because it is not getting enough calories. This, in turn, will prompt your body to go into a mode of starvation, which will lower your overall metabolism causing you to put weight back on at a higher clip once the three days are complete.

Further Dangers

Since the diet is structured so as to limit your consumption of foods over the first 3 days, it is more likely that you’ll overeat during the ensuing 4-5 days because of the monotony of the highly regimented nature of those first 3 days. Those “forbidden” foods you love so much will taste that much better once you’re allowed to start eating them again, which could, in turn, lead to overeating as a result. Furthermore, since weightloss resulting from fad diets such as this one are always, in the end, extremely fleeting, frustrated dieters are more prone to give up altogether on trying to control their weight.

You’ll be much better off coming to terms with the fact that weightloss and healthy eating are best approached through an overall change in lifestyle and a dedication to healthy eating and daily exercise. Fad diets will never be the longterm answer and will only leave you more frustrated than you were to begin with. Such scars caused by persistent failure can sometimes run very deep.


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