The 3 Day Cardiac Diet was supposedly developed by the Birmingham Hospital in Alabama, though the hospital does not admit its role in the origin of the plan. The 3 day cardiac diet has also been attributed to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
The story is that the 3 Day Cardiac Diet was designed for patients who needed to lose up to 10 lbs weight quickly so they could have surgery.
The 3 Day Cardiac Diet has set menu plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days. Each day is limited to about 800 calories. While some claim that there is a special “chemical reaction,” much of the weight loss benefit is likely obtained by the restricted calorie intake. Also, there are very few carbs on the diet which leads to water loss.
You should drink six to eight cups of water a day on the program to speed digestion.
Tuna is the featured protein on the 3 day Cardiac diet. 1/2 cup of tuna is prescribed on the first two days, and on the final day, you will increase that to 1 cup. Variety and nutrition is provided with small to medium sized portions of cheese, eggs, crackers, vegetables, grapefruit, banana, and toast. Coffee, tea, or diet soda can accompany meals but water should be the beverage of choice outside of mealtime.
Some nutritionists express concerns about the restricted levels of calories and lack of a full range of nutritional options. However, considering that the diet lasts only 3 days, these are not dispositive.
People following the 3 day cardiac diet will likely feel hunger pangs and have lower energy levels. This is especially true by the third day. But, keep in mind that the diet is of limited duration and you should be fine unless you have endurance based physical feats to perform.
Your body may start to recognize that only a limited food supply is available when you eat only 3 small meals a day. It may begin to compensate by reducing metabolism and energy levels to conserve fat reserves. This can actually make it harder to lose weight and place the body under additional stress.
The 3 Day Cardiac diet is not suitable for long term dieting. After 3 days you should start on a diet that offers more variety and more calories.
The 3 Day Cardiac Diet provides restricted calories and nutrients for its intended duration. Your body can handle a fast for 3 days, so it certainly can handle a restricted calorie diet. However, the diet is not a long term solution to your weight management concerns.
If you need to lose a few pounds in a short period of time, the 3 day cardiac diet can help to get you there. If you are trying to lose those “last 5 pounds” and nothing else seems to be working, try the 3 day cardiac diet. But follow it up with a sensible eating plan.