The three day and seven day diets are simply bait for people seeking a quick fix to their weight loss issues. Both diets promise very rapid weight loss, ten pounds or more in three days, for example. Both programs work by restricting the user to a very low calorie diet for a few days at a time.
Whoever is responsible for the three day diet claims that the combination of foods produces a unique metabolic reaction that boosts weight loss to an unbelievable level. Unbelievable indeed. A sample meal from the diet consists of tuna, carrots, ice cream, melon and cauliflower. There is absolutely no explanation offered for why a combination of these mundane foods would cause a magical fat burning reaction. In fact there is no explanation for any of the ideas put forward in this diet at all.
The seven day diet is slight different, but no less ridiculous. In this program, a different food group is emphasized each day.
- On day one, only fruits may be eaten.
- On day two, only vegetables are allowed.
- On day three, a combination of the two may be used.
- On day four, one must eat five bananas and drink five glasses of whole milk.
- On days five, six and seven, eat twelve ounces of meat with unlimited green vegetables.
Experts agree that despite the precise combinations of ingredients, the only weight loss advantages either diet offers are due to the extreme reduction in calories. Not only that, but the reduction is quite dangerous. Often, the dieter goes below a thousand calories a day. This number is simply not enough, and falls below the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) of any normal adult human being.
The BMR is a measure of how many calories the body requires in a day to simply do nothing. Breathing, digesting food, eliminating waste product , all of these are activities that they body must perform in order to stay alive; they all burn calories.
The BMR is, in laymans terms, the number of calories we would need to consume if we were to do nothing all day but sit around and breathe. Consuming less than this number means that metabolic processes in the body are automatically affected. The body must start to make a number of tradeoffs. Should I breathe? Should I digest this food instead? Ridiculously low calorie diets are beyond unhealthy. They are downright dangerous.
As if the calorie issue were not enough, neither diet is nutritionally balanced. Food groups are eliminated. Essential vitamins and minerals are left out. Nutritional status is ignored completely for the sake of quick weight loss. However, if the weight loss itself is examined, we realize that most of what is lost is water weight because of the dramatic reduction in calories and carbohydrates.
In other words, very little fat is actually burned. In fact, eating less than your BMR is a signal to the body that starvation is occurring. The body puts itself into a special mode where it burns as few calories as possible. Therefore these diets actually slow down, rather that rev up your metabolism. Therefore any claims of significant fat reduction are false, and people who are looking for something in exchange for nothing are best off looking elsewhere.
The final problem with diets such as the three day and seven day plans are that people who follow them to the letter are often left feeling as though they are failures, when truthfully, it is the diet that has let them down. This can discourage them in their weight loss efforts, or cause them to try even more damaging options.