Rarely can a diet that lasts as short as a few weeks deliver on it’s promises. In the case of the 3 week diet, the claim is pretty huge:
15-20 pounds in 21 days. Is it really the case? Let’s find out:
There are many different versions of the 3 week diet, but the specific one here was designed by Brian Flatt who created his own version of it he promises people can lose up that much weight.
And there’s more claims and interesting things I found:
The 5 big claims. True or false?
The actual weight loss promise: 15-20 pounds in 21 days. Is it true? It depends on the person and how well they follow the plan, but everyone who does can lose A LOT of weight, period.
Very little exercise is needed. This is somewhat true. 20-30 minutes about 3 times a week or everyday if you can do it.
You can lose in 3 weeks what people lose in 3-4 months. True. A majority of the diet focuses on releasing and getting rid of fat storage in the body which will contribute to most of the weight loss results.
You can eat anything you want, anytime you want. After the diet is done, yes, but as long as you follow a specific rule regarding BMR which will be explained.
You’ll actually eat fat to lose weight. This is also true.
Some of the claims are quite out there, I’ll admit, but I just finished reading the entire booklet on this diet plan and there are solid theories and proof to back up the approach Brian takes with this diet.
How the 3 week diet works:
There are 4 phases to this plan, all of which span for a total of 21 days. The way this diet works is that it combines a number of dieting methods into one powerful plan. The truth is that it’s optional to go for all 4 phases, but for the best results, it is recommended to follow all 4 in the order it’s shown.
The main idea behind this diet isn’t so much weight loss, it’s fat loss where the bulk of weight issues (and health issues) come from. This diet aims to get rid of that through each phase as well as an exercise plan.
Brian makes a few things very clear early on:
First, if you eat less calories than your BMR (your required daily calorie intake), you will lose weight consistently, regardless if you follow the diet or not. So even if you stumble somewhere, stick to eating less per day than your BMR and you’ll lose weight gradually as it will help fat get rid of fat storage’s in your body. BMR calculators can be found online (they’re free).
The only problem with following this is that results will be pretty slow, but steady. Brian cites that we need to burn more than 3,000 calories to get rid of a pound of fat so even if we eat under our BMR but even a few 100 calories, it’s still going to take weeks-months to burn off substantial weight and if you’re 10, 20 or more pounds overweight, it will be even longer than that.
This is why cutting calories, while legit, is also a very prolonged way to lose weight.
Enter the 3 week diet, a shortcut to dropping the pounds way faster:
If you want much faster results however, this is where the 3 week diet will come into play. It aims to get rid of any and all fat deposits in your body through it’s 4 phase approach.
This diet is meant for very fast results. In addition to eating less than your BMR, the other phases aim to put the weight loss results into overdrive. Brian understands people want results so he’s taken the best of several diets proven to work, put them together for a much more powerful effect.
If there were a few diet styles I could explain that make up the 3 week diet, it would be:
- Low carb diet/high protein.
- Intermittent fasting.
- High fat/low carb diet.
- Interval training (exercise).
Let me explain each phase of this plan:
Phase 1: Lasts for 7 days.
This part of the plan is meant to detoxify the body and help you lose weight like it’s needed “yesterday” as Brian says. 5-10 pounds is what the expectation is here.
The first day you’ll be eating 4 meals, 3-4 hours apart and they are only going to be vegetables. It’s tough, but it’s only going to be for one day.
The next 3 days you’ll add protein foods into the diet and alternate them, eating 2 meals out of the 4 with protein and the other 2 will be just vegetable.
The last 3 days of the diet will involve adding proteins to all 4 meals which means no more alternating. Every meal you eat will be mixed.
Vegetables: Beets, carrots, broccoli, tomato, spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, kale, cabbage, aritchoke and more.
These vegetables can be steamed, broiled or microwaved.
Proteins: Chicken, beef, eggs, fish and other related foods which have protein (list is provided inside diet plan)
You can ONLY drink water during these 7 days.
Phase 2: Lasts only 1 day
You’re going to be fasting on day 8. To make this easier to deal with, Brian recommends having your last meal at night, so you can sleep through a large portion of the fast and eat the next night.
Phase 3: Lasts 3 days
This phase is the one which interested me most. You’re going to be eating a high fat/low calorie/low carb diet and ironically with what Brian explains and the studies he cites, you are actually going to lose a lot of weight.
You are told to eat anywhere from 1,200 calories (women) and 1,500 (men) a day in which 80% of it consists of fat. You are allowed to add anything to your food that adds fat. Mayonnaise, avacado, bacon, eggs. This is all allowed.
Will this make you fat? Not even close. In fact, you will lose a lot of it. Brian makes it clear the only fat you should fear is trans fat and this is what you have to stay away from.
One study explained in this section talks about 4 groups of people who were on a 1,000 calorie diet. One group only ate proteins, one only ate fats, one only carbs and the last one was a regular diet.
The irony is that the group which was on the high fat diet lost the most weight. And remember, we’re talking 1,000 calories each.
The key is to keep carbs to a minimal. You are allowed up to 30 grams of carbs per day if you can’t hold on. There are also health benefits of a high fat diet.
Phase 4: Lasts until day 21 (9 days)
This is the easiest part of the diet. All it really focuses on is just eating under your BMR on a daily basis. There are different “aggression levels” during this phase with aggression being how much weight you want to lose.
Depending on how much weight you want to keep losing, you’ll eat under your BMR anywhere from 15%-30% meaning if your BMR was 2,000 calories a day, 15% would mean you could eat only 1,700/day.
Finishing the diet and eating anything you want:
Once you complete phase 4, you really can do what you like as long as you maintain the BMR rule. You can eat pizzas, burgers and anything you want. This can continue for as long as you want.
One thing that is mentioned is the “3 pound rule” which says if you gain 3 pounds back or more after the diet, go back and do one of the phases to get back on track.
Other things about the diet:
The book itself is 96 pages long. The first 44 pages are Brian explaining many of the theories behind the plan. By page 45, you’ll actually get into the diet.
There is an optional step to the entire diet and that is intermittent fasting. For 24 hours every week, if you can avoid eating for just 1 day, you’ll speed things along. Brian says he does it 2 times a week.
For people who are really new to this and have never tried it, 18 hour fasts are also recommend and again if you start the fast after your last meal at night, it will be easier.
There are also 3 additional offers after you purchase the diet book itself, one is a recipe book, another is a support connection and the other is known as the “Final Chapter” which is supposed to help you plan long term after your diet is done.
These things are optional and I personally didn’t try them. I feel that the book is more than enough. Get your hands on the book right here.
The workout plan:
There’s a lot of chapters within this section, but some of the points mentioned is that you’ll be doing interval training workouts and a lot of the focus on the workouts is several things:
1. You will be exercising for about 20-30 minutes while you’re on the diet.
2. The focus of the workous is to keep burning off fat even while you’re dieting. Fat reduction is key.
3. You should aim to walk every single day.
4. The workouts don’t just burn fat, but are also aimed to sculpt the body and give you 6 pack abs.
- Very fast weight loss results. Up to 20 pounds are possible.
- Targets fat storage areas in the body.
- You can eat anything you like after the diet is done (so long as you keep to the rule).
- Not much exercise required.
- The phases give you the best results, but you can stick to one of them if you like so there’s flexibility.
- Only 21 days long. Official site.
- Intermittent fasting can be tough for some people.
- Working out, though short can also be tougher due to low carb eating/fasting.
3 Week Diet Score:
4 out of 5 stars. Excellent diet for fast results. There can be difficulties along the way, but it will get easier as you progress through each phase. Very powerful diet. Check it out!
Conclusions on the 3 week diet:
Overall, this diet is very powerful, no question about it. But is it for everyone?
Well if you’re looking for fast results and you have no problems with fasting just once (at least) or once a week (at most), then you should be fine with this. If you are, you can skip the fasting part and focus on the other areas of the diet.
Remember, it gets easier. Brian has really cut it down into sections so the most difficult parts are handled quickly. This is what I really liked plus with the intermittent eating (which is technically optional), about half of you will sleep off making the process easier. Intermittent eating and fasting by the way isn’t all that difficult and it gets much easier the more often you do it. It will speed things up.
I say do this diet if you’re OK with intermittent fasting and really need fast weight loss results. Normally diets which aim to get fast results also have a high chance of the yo-yo effect happening. With this diet, that’s taken into consideration. The yo-yo effect will not happen if you follow this diet’s rules. Get started here.
This means you can and will lose weight very fast and make sure it stays off. That’s a good diet.