How to Lose up to 40 Pounds in 30 Days: Tips and Precautions

Updated on June 14, 2017

Can I Lose Ten Pounds in Just Three Days?

The hard truth is that the safest way to lose weight this quickly is to undergo surgery. Eating less than 1,200 calories a day to lose weight rapidly is simply not healthy. If you want to lose a lot of weight, keep it off, and stay healthy through the whole process, this is not the diet for you.

However, if you have a reunion coming up or some other event that makes you determined to drop some weight fast, give this diet a try. It works. Read the comments below for success stories.

Note to All Dieters

• As with any diet plan, talk to your doctor before beginning.

• See sustainable, healthy eating tips lower in article.

The Grapefruit Diet

This diet works on the premise that grapefruit contains a fat-burning enzyme which, when combined with a low-carb/high-fat diet, lowers overall calorie intake. There is some evidence that simply eating half a grapefruit before meals accelerates weight-loss, but this diet works faster.

Research has shown a connection between consuming grapefruit and reducing weight and improving insulin resistance in obese people.

  • Note to those on cholesterol or high blood pressure medication: You can substitute the grapefruit for 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water can be substituted for grapefruit. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking. Eat another piece of fruit in place of the grapefruit with your meal.

No other substitutions are allowed. This diet works by combining certain foods to trigger a chemical breakdown. For best results, it’s important to strictly follow these guidelines.

Warning for Those on Medication

If you take the high blood pressure medication felodipine (Plendil) or the cholesterol medication atorvastatin (Lipitor), avoid this diet until consulting with your physician. Grapefruit juice interferes with the effectiveness of these medications.

Allowed Additions

You Can Have:
• Salt and Pepper (no other seasoning).
• Protein or diet shake between meals as a light snack (15-20 fl oz).
• Diet soda or tea sweetened with an artificial sweetener.
• Lemon as a flavoring for water, vegetables, or meat.

Don't Eat These on the Grapefruit Diet

• Oil and butter.
• Buns with the hot dogs.
• Sugar.

Day One Grapefruit Diet: Breakfast

• Half a Grapefruit.
• One Slice Toast.
• Two Tablespoons Peanut Butter.

Day One: Lunch

• Half a Cup of Tunafish
• One Slice Toast
• Coffee or Tea

Day One: Dinner

• Three Ounces Chicken, Beef, or Pork.
• One Cup Green Beans.
• One Cup Beets.
• One Cup Vanilla Ice Cream

Yes, You Get Dessert!

Tip to Make Dinner Delicious

• Grill your meat to stay away from oil and add a nice flavor to your food.

Day Two Grapefruit Diet: Breakfast

• One Egg.
• One Half Banana.
• One Slice Toast.

Day Two: Lunch

• One Cup Cottage Cheese
• Five Saltine Crackers

Day Two: Dinner

• Two Hot Dogs.
• One Cup Broccoli.
• One-Half Cup Carrots.
• One-Half Banana.
• One-Half Cup Vanilla Ice Cream.

Tip to Make Dinner Delicious

• Steam your vegetables and use salt and pepper to season.

Day Three Grapefruit Diet: Breakfast

• One Hard-Boiled Egg.
• One Slice Toast.

Day Three: Lunch

• One Ounce Cheddar Cheese.
• Five Saltine Crackers.
• One Small Apple.

Day Three: Dinner

• One Cup Tunafish
• One Cup Beets.
• One Cup Cauliflower.
• One-Half Cup Vanilla Ice Cream.

Exercise and the Three-Day Diet

When on this diet you are not taking in your usual amount of calories. It's still fine to exercise, in fact it will help you burn even more calories than you consume, but watch out for:

  • Light-headedness.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Dehydration.

About 30 minutes a day of exercise is recommended, but do not exceed that amount.

After the Three-Day Diet

After three days, take a break and eat a normal, healthy diet for at least four days in a row. This is very important. Give your body a rest and then, if you want, do the three-day diet again.

Tips for Healthy Eating to Manage Weight

Studies show that for most people, a diet that is rich in plants (vegetables, whole grains, and fruits) limited red meat, fish, poultry, olive oil, and even a little red wine helps maintain a healthy weight while also preventing heart disease. Often called the Mediterranean diet, this plan is among the easiest to sustain over time and includes a recommendation for routine physical exercise.

  • Primarily plant-based, this eating plan encourages fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
  • Limits red meat to a couple times a month, but allows fish and poultry at least twice a week.
  • Eggs, yogurt, and other dairy allowed in moderation.
  • Replaces butter with olive oil and canola oil.
  • Uses herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of salt.
  • No sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meats, refined grains, refined oils or other highly processed foods.

Combined with eight glasses of water and exercise, this daily routine is considered one of the best food plans for maintaining a healthy weight. For best success with this and any diet:

  • Consult your doctor.
  • Keep a food journal to help build good eating habits.
  • Find others who want to eat and live the way you do. Support is key!
  • Drink plenty of water.


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    • profile image

      GirlSixx 10 days ago

      Thank you for sharing!! I used this in college when I gained my "freshman 20" lbs. My aunt shared this very diet with me over 20 years ago. By the time Sophomore year started, I lost all 20lbs plus 3 extra over my summer break and kept it off throughout my full college years and grad school. Now in my 40's, I wanted to try this diet again and have been for the last two weeks. I lost 8 lbs. However, for the life of me, I couldn't remember where green beans, cantaloupe and beets were used, but I remembered eating them with the diet, but all other 3day diets online excluded them and it was driving me crazy. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, I FINALLY have the ORIGINAL and COMPLETE diet from the summer 1994, which was THEN called the Mayo Clinic DIET.

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      Amanda 7 weeks ago

      this has always been called “The Mayo Diet” long before it was the Military Diet. My grandmother still calls it the “Three Day Diet”!

      Who works!

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      CLG 8 weeks ago

      Who cares what you call it and/or where you think it originated. I have never heard of it and appreciate you sharing. thank you

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      Nisha A 7 months ago

      Oh wow so you just STOLE the military diet and posted it here in a fahsionable way!? NOT COOL

      oh and by the way this is NOT a grapefruit diet!!!

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      Splash1 8 months ago

      What do you do on this diet instead of the vegetables? Can they be left out?

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      Ava 9 months ago

      This is the military diet, you stole their diet plan and claimed it as yours.

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      Bonnie B. 9 months ago

      Only one question that you have already answered. I get the chemical breakdown thing - but . . . I'd rather not eat 2 hotdogs. Can I not eat chicken instead? That would be the only sub I'd want.

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      Jailyn Harris 11 months ago

      Also for measurements that state "one-half" is this to mean 1 1/2? Or 1/2? I ask because there's a difference between wording on the first day and the last two days and I'm sure it makes a HUGE difference

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      Collcoll 11 months ago

      Hi I have the same question as a few others but has not been answered? On day three it states ice cream but shows pic of cantaloupe ? Which one do u eat?

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      alinaberry 11 months ago

      so,is t possible to lose like 50 lbs. in a month. I want to -and this seems like the most effective diet. I only have a month to do it because I start school and it will be harder b/c I can't prep and exercise. but if I exercise a lot with this diet will I get better results and possibly lose 50lbs ? -alinaberry

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      Hayley 12 months ago

      How can I lose 60 pounds in 1 month

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      Vanessa 14 months ago

      Isn't this the notorious military diet?

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      OYC 14 months ago

      Do I have to eat half a grapefruit before every meal ? Or only for breakfast? Also what do you guys recommend for the other 4 days ? HELP!

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      Florencia 14 months ago

      hi! There's no cottage cheese in argentina, can I substitute it with ricotta or sour cream? Sorry it's the only idea that comes up

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      Danial 14 months ago

      I am on my second day of the three day diet. This morning when ai weighed my self ai had only lost a half a pound. Can someone explain, will I see better results after day two?

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      Missy Krissy 15 months ago

      I want to start this diet tomorrow, but I just started taking Lipozene. Can I use the diet supplement and do this diet at the same time?

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      Mar 15 months ago

      Did this for a year and a half and lost 160 pounds. Fyi

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      Tuz Goe 15 months ago

      Is black coffee allowed, throughout the day, on this diet? No sugar or creamer / milk added to the coffee, just plain, black coffee.

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      Clare 16 months ago

      Hi is it ice cream or the melon shown in the photo for day 3 please?

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      Alex 16 months ago

      Hi, I was wondering as I am about to begin this diet, what the suggested time frames are for each meal? I have a backwards sleep/work schedule and was curious if the 3 meals are spread out over a 12 hr period (eg 8am-8pm) or an "every three hour" situation. Is there a time I should NOT eat after? Please advise asap as I begin in less than 48 hours. Thank you so much. Happy Holidays!

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      Kisha 16 months ago

      What can you substitute for beets if you have allergies and also hot dogs. i would think you would want to avoid processed meats

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      17 months ago

      I do teatox, is it okay to have a cup of tea in the morning and then one at bed time as well?

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      TCOOLT 18 months ago

      I can understand the frustration expressed by Lilac; however, you need to understand that not all diet will work for you. You just have to keep on looking for the one that works for you. I was on this diet for about a year and lost 35 lbs. The first few days were tough and I felt like giving up. Let me assure you that this diet works. You may not get immediate response from the website but when they respond, their responses have always been helpful. Even though I have gained back everything that I lost, I have started back on my daily 3-mile walk and psyching myself up to get back on the diet. I wish you all the best.

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      Lilac 21 months ago

      I tried this and barely shed a pound. It's honestly not worth it at all. Half the food is rank and you'll be miserable, especially with the results.

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      Christina sh 21 months ago

      I am definitely gonna try that

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      TanyaV 21 months ago

      Done with day 1...

      So is this the same as the Military Diet? The menu is so similar but the military diet excludes beets and uses bananas instead.. And a few other small changes.. Which diet is better??? Or are they comparable?

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      Mya 21 months ago

      I really hope this works for me

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      Tanyav 21 months ago

      What is the menu for Dinner Day 3?? People are talking about the cantaloupe but the menu sais Icecream with the picture of cantaloupe :/

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      Linda 21 months ago

      I am going to try this, I'm so motivated now.

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      Jackie 21 months ago

      Look up the military diet for substitutions. It gets rid of soda and sweeteners but gives you alternatives if you have diet or medical restrictions.

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      T.O girl 21 months ago

      Will the diet work, if you mess up a bit with measurements?I didnt read the measurements properly for ice cream serving so instead of 1/2, I had a full cup.

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      Marta 22 months ago

      Tanyav, its hard to get a response here but I'll tell you from experience that I have been following this diet as is (grapefruit just once at the beginning) and I'm on my 2nd day of week 6. I have lost 37lbs so far and I feel AMAZING! I don't add the soda or shake as a snack just stick to the 3 day menu. I'm full!!! And the best part is- the 4 days of regular eating are even easier- I have absolutely NO appetite and eat just to sustain my body. Since I have started this diet I proclaimed myself the biggest advocate of it. If you haven't started and happen to read my reply- TRY IT!

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      Tanyav 22 months ago

      This is called "the grapefruit diet" but you only eat the grapefruit once in the beggining?? Not before each meal right?

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      Marta 23 months ago

      I'm on day 2 and after first day I lost around 4lbs. I like diets such as this one because it's stirct and I know I have to follow it to the t (whereas cutting down the plate size on your own is not that simple).

      My only question is-can I chew gun during this diet? I know since it's a chemical breakdown diet this may change the effects. Please let me know.

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      beto 2 years ago

      can i do the three day diet for a month straight and workout everyday twice a day?

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      Ali R 2 years ago

      I have been doing this diet for the past year and have lost 75 pounds. I enjoy the routine and find it easy especially since I figure I can do anything for 3 days! I have lost that much with minimal exercise and now am starting to lose less each week so I am beginning to incorporate exercise to keep it up!

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      trish 2 years ago

      For dinner on day 3 it states 1/2 cup of vanilla ice-cream but every one else is saying its half a cantaloupe. The picture also shows cantaloupe so is it cantaloupe or icr cream?

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      Chosen Dansu 2 years ago

      I will start when I go shopping for these items.

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      808 Brada 2 years ago

      why is there so much questions, just try out what he suggested to you folks and see if it works or not. Much Mahalos from another brada in the 808.

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      TCOOLT 2 years ago

      This program works and I am here to testify. I started on the program after googling how to lose 40 pounds in three months. I started during the first week of August and to date I have lost 22 lbs. from 242 lbs to 220 lbs. I followed the program faithfully and gained encouragement by seeing the results of my efforts. I walk three miles in the morning and three miles in the evening and have shared the program with some people who walk the same track with me. My doctor told me that about time I lost weight since she had been advising me to do so for a long time. She eventually asked me to send her the diet and wanted to try it herself. I want to thank you for the diet and may God continue to bless you.

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      daisydawn 2 years ago

      will the protien bars make you gain wait.or get really muscley

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      InsaneSquirrel 2 years ago

      Can i put lemon juice from fresh lemons the water for flavor?

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      Imma Handfull 2 years ago

      I got this diet years ago from the hospital. .. the first time i did it i left off the ice cream thinking I would lose more i ended up losing 8lbs i recently found this diet and realized I already had it (with some variations) so me and a co-worker tried it she lost 13lbs and i lost 12 the 2nd week i was down 21lbs but somehow i gained 10 so i said the other 10 was lost water weight so I'm on my 3rd week 1st day i have not weighed myself as of yet but i said i will keep going until im down 40lbs I'll keep u guys posted

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      Lisa davis 2 years ago

      What should I eat on the four days that I am off. Can you give me a guide I can follow. I don't want to gain the weight back.

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      jetski 2 years ago

      By the way...if you go to you can learn about substitutions.

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      jetski 2 years ago

      After five weeks sticking to this diet (exactly) 3 days per week and eating carefully the other 4, and exercising every other day for 40 minutes I have lost a total of 10 lbs. Why is this taking me so long? This week I'm only drinking a protein shake 1/2 hour before I exercise. I wonder if I'm better off just sticking to any combination of any foods with caloric total under 1200 c per day 7 days a week. At any rate, I have lost 10 lbs, so if I'm patient I can lose the 40 lbs in a total of 4 months. I won't give up yet.

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      zulem 2 years ago

      I did this diet and lost about 9 lbs in the three days. So yes it works. I'm starting again tomorrow. went from 225 to 217.

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      Caycee 2 years ago

      On day two, how is the egg supposed to be cooked? It wasn't specified, so does it not matter? Or is the egg raw?

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      Savannah C. 2 years ago

      Did you guys see the difference? Or did you just see a difference in the scale? And can I do the diet 3 days apart instead of 4?

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      Pretty cool 2 years ago

      Is it okay if we just not eat one thing in each meal

      or do we have to eat it I mean it doesn't really matter does it? It just means less food right?

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      Brandon 2 years ago

      Well, I failed this diet... I was doing well until day 2 when I decided to regurgitate the cottage cheese...

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      jetski 2 years ago

      Just finishing week 3. Still on the diet (strictly and exactly) for 3 days and exercising every other day doing cardio and weights. I cut down on the protein bars and shakes. I didn't do great at only 12000 cal on the other 4 days, but was careful what I ate. I finally have lost a total of 6 lbs. I have such a slow metabolism, so if you're like me, stick with it. It's just gonna take us much longer than all the lucky people who can actually lose 40 lbs in a month!

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      jetski 2 years ago

      Okay. Just finishing week 2. Exercising 4 days and dieting 3. I'm now back down the 2.5 lbs to my original weight. I think I have to cut the protein bars and go to 1200 cal on the remaining 4 days. This combination of foods leaves me feeling like I've had more than enough to eat, but not the most pleasant tasting meals! I'm jealous of the people who are actually having success. But I'll keep plugging away.

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      Chey Anne 2 years ago

      I am going to try this, but the only concern I have it if we can mix the tuna with mayonnaise or anything or if we have to eat it raw.

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      Jake 2 years ago

      What type of protein shake? And what can I put in the tea? Starting the diet on Monday

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      Tanya 2 years ago

      Hilo are you here?

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      Tracy 2 years ago

      I lost 7 lbs in 3 days!!!

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      Ivy 2 years ago

      Can u replace the broccoli with something else and can you replace the cottage cheese with something else?

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      jetski 2 years ago

      After completing the first three days of the exact menu and 30 min of intense cardio exercises plus 15 minutes of stretching I have gained 2.5 lbs!

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      Mya 2 years ago

      Does this really work

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      Tyler 2 years ago

      Will you lose any muscle or no

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      Dana 2 years ago

      Can I put sugar in the coffee or no

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      Clarice 2 years ago

      Im on the beginning of day 2 I was 254.4 now I am 252.2.

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      eva maine 2 years ago

      I'm on the beginning of day 2 and I was 179 now I'm 174

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      Clarice 2 years ago

      Can I drink tea all the time? Or just a certain amount? Do the hot dogs need to be turkey, beef or pork? Or does it matter? And it says 1/2 cantaloupe does it

      mean half the whole cantaloupe or half a cup?

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      Gee09 2 years ago

      Has anyone seen results I started on Friday and I weighed 179 now it's Sunday night and I weigh 177 don't think this really works or maybe I'm doing something wrong let me know

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      ash 2 years ago

      Is there any way I don't eat the ice cream

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      Gee09 2 years ago

      Do u have eat all three meal or can u eat breakfast and diner since u are drinking water throughout the day

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      Kyra 2 years ago

      Do u really mean 1/2 cantaloupe on day 3?

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      Gee09 2 years ago

      .planning to start tomorrow would like to know if I can put Mayo

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      Raven 2 years ago

      Beets, cottage cheese, GRAPEFRUIT= EWWW! I'm just gonna shove it down my mouth.

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      Gee09 2 years ago

      Can I use the canned tuna and what would I put on it

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      May 2 years ago

      I want to do this diet but i have a problem because of my medicine i can't eat grapefruit because it will lower the medicine levels is there anything i can substitute it or just not have it at all?

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      lintbox 2 years ago

      Hi, starting the diet tomorrow so I'm getting my grocery list together. What brand do you recommend for the protein shake? I know you said to use water not milk but I've never purchased any type of protein powder or shake so I need a little help on that. Also, from the posts, here is my grocery list. Not sure about purchasing canned beets and green beans or fresh.



      Small apples



      green beans

      peanut butter

      cottage cheese

      tuna (in water)

      vanilla ice cream (all natural)

      Protein bars (no chocolate chips)

      Bread (white or wheat)

      saltine crackers


      hot dogs

      Protein shakes


      cheddar cheese (4oz servings)



      Chicken (3oz servings)

    • KyO8884 profile image

      KyO8884 2 years ago

      Can i put butter in the veggies?

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      Michelle 2 years ago

      4 lbs. 1st day. Can't believe it. Can I switch the lunch and dinner menus around? I would prefer to eat a bigger lunch and a lighter dinner.

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      Alexa 2 years ago

      I am going to start this regime this morning and see how it works for me! Also adding exercise :) I'll let you know how it goes

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      Gumby708 2 years ago

      First day and not bad. Can't wait for the results. Thank you

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      KyO 2 years ago

      Hi, i just started the diet today, so far so good. I love everything on it.

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      samie 2 years ago

      what is this diet called?

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      JC 2 years ago

      Do the hot dogs need to be pork or can they be beef hot dogs?

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      Jackie 2 years ago

      Can you leave things out since you can substitute?

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      Jo jo 3 years ago

      Lost 17 pounds in 2 weeks. The first week I lost 10.5 alone. Weighed myself EVERY morning. I stuck to the diet to the tee, with the exception of the egg. Sorry but the yokes do me in. I had 3 egg whites instead of 1 whole egg. Drank 8-10 full glasses (10oz each) of water and did NOT eat protein bars or drink shakes between meals. If I was hungry, I drank h2O. No diet pop. I also drink tea and black coffee with no seeetner. I had to choke down the tuna - patoowee! Bumblebee albacore is the best. Used only Aunt Millie's wheat bread. All natural vanilla ice cream. Didn't cheat at all. A friend of mine went on it with me, she has the same amount overall as me to lose but only lost 8#. The only thing she did differently was she drank diet sodas, not enough water, and ate Kraft slices instead of the real cheddar cheese. The Kraft sandwich slices (individually wrapped) are NOT all natural cheese-preservatives and processed JUNK! I would strongly suggest having your deli cut you 3 oz slices of cheddar as the diet states 'cheddar'. I will continue with this diet until I lose a total of 40lbs. Started walking 1/2 mile at first and now up to 3 miles a day. Will most likely start alternating jog-walk this next week.

      Good luck everyone. I was a skeptic. But I'm here to tell you, it does work!!

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      Ki 3 years ago

      How do you prepare these foods?

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      babyboy 3 years ago

      I've lost 38 pounds so far I am glad I went to your website and started using your 3 day system its working great so thank you.

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      Chels 3 years ago

      Can u take out any foods?

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      Melissa 3 years ago

      On day three for dinner you said half a cantaloupe, that seems like a lot to me! Did you mean 1/2 cup?

      Is there any specific protein bar and toast to use?

      Thanks in advanced :)

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      Tina 3 years ago

      I can not eat cottage cheese any suggestions on what to do?

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      Franny Baby 3 years ago

      Is it okay to drink diet green tea on the diet?

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      Lisa 3 years ago

      I don't eat hotdogs so what should I replace it with

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      Fran 3 years ago

      If I cannot stomach tuna is there ANY way around it or just suck it up??

    • Hiloboy profile image

      Hiloboy 3 years ago from Hilo, Hawaii

      Jenjensss, questions are GREAT. You just want something that will work, so it is very understandable. To answer your questions..

      1) The reason why it is suggested to boil the egg is because boiling of the egg does not require any cooking spray or any additional chemicals that can defeat the food chemical process. All you need is water to boil the egg. If you cook the egg in a pan, you are more likely to add butter or other ingredients.

      2) The toast should be made with either white or wheat. You do not want to by the premade toasts because more preservatives are added to the bread to keep it crisp.

      3) I have no recommendations for a brand in particular. I do recommend to get one that is not filled with chocolate chips or any other candy like bars. Try and keep it as simple as possible. It should be taken to curb your hunger. Adding candy or chocolate to the protein bar, because of the high sugar, may make you feel like you're still hungry.

      4) The sliced Kraft cheese works great.

      GOOD LUCK! Don't forget to post your results. THANK YOU!

      Charmy and Tor,

      1) It is okay to drink Diet soda. However; I would use it as a reward or incentive. Drink one for dinner to give you that extra push of motivation. DO NOT drink a six pack though. LOL!

      2) 30 minutes of exercise will help with burning fat, but remember this diet works on a food chemical breakdown. Go EASY! Because of the chemical breakdown, it is continuing to burn the fat chemically. So your body may not be able to handle high impact exercises. The minute you feel dizzy, take that break. It is also recommended to check with your physician before starting any diet or exercise program.

      Hi, the reason for going only 3 days of the diet, is because of the chemical breakdown. You don't want your body to think that this is a new way of eating and you'll see your body adapt to the new food intake instead of burning the fat.


      Good luck! Please do not forget to share your results. Today is day 3.. How many pounds have you lost?

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      hi 3 years ago

      is there a reason why we can't do the diet for longer than 3 days without a break?

    • profile image

      lisa 3 years ago

      I'm currently on day 1.. I'm so excited!!!!

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      tor 3 years ago

      how effective will this be along with 30 minutes of exercise daily?

    • profile image

      Charmy sangsland 3 years ago

      Is it ok to drink diet soda

    • profile image

      JenJensss 3 years ago

      Hey this diet sounds great! I have been dieting but want a new diet. I'm definitely going to try this one starting tomorrow! And I will post my results I just have a couple questions..on Day 2 does it matter if we boil the egg? And by toast can we just just any type of bread and then toast it or do we buy toast made already? For protein shake or bar do you recommend a certain brand? Also for the cheddar cheese can we just use the slice one from Kraft for sandwiches? Sorry for all the questions just really determined to do this lol

    • Hiloboy profile image

      Hiloboy 3 years ago from Hilo, Hawaii

      Mizzshai, the ice cream does not have to be low fat; however it does need to be plain vanilla.

      Naima, Thank you so much for sharing. Your experience with your weight loss in common and as you can see, it is very important to follow the diet, because of the particular chemical breakdown. You did not eat the ice cream the first time, therefore did not see the results. Then you did include in your diet the ice cream and loss more weight. EXCELLENT JOB! Another thing you might want to take into consideration is to weigh yourself in the morning or as soon as you get up. Because during your resting period, you will also be burning fat.

      Babyboy and Candice, GOOD LUCK! Please share you results..

      THANK YOU EVERYONE!! Keep going! You can do it!!!

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      Candice Lytle 3 years ago

      I started this diet today and I'll keep you guys posted.