Can You Really Lose 23 pounds in 3 weeks?
It seemed unlikely, but my friend Karen was keen to test it out. After completing the full 3 weeks, here's what she thought about the diet…
The 3 Week diet program has gained popularity in a very short space of time. The program was only developed back in 2015. It is basically a weight loss program that aims to achieve results very quickly. This diet program is designed so you lose weight fast – between 12-20 lbs in just 21 days – as long as you follow the diet to the letter.
The majority of people who start diet programs are simply unable to achieve their desired goal because they give up before they see the results they want. Diets which aim to reduce weight by two pounds a week are all very well but my motivation, like my willpower, declines pretty rapidly unless I have a compelling reason to keep going.
I’m not alone. Dieting for weeks with limited results demotivates people and they tend to give up. This was the reason that prompted Brian Flatt, nutritionist, personal trainer and the creator of the 3 Weeks Diet, to develop a system which accelerated weight loss and caused the body to burn fat rapidly.
Shedding the extra fat and then keeping up the momentum to maintain your weight can be difficult but the three week diet manual not only tells you what to do for 21 days but it also tells you what to do following the 21 days of the diet in order to maintain your new weight.
The main body of the complete 3-week diet system is the diet program which consists of 4 different phases.
Phase 1 was the hardest for me. It lasted for a week and this was the phase in which I lost the most weight. I was 9 pounds lighter by the end of the week.
Phase 2 was for just 1 day but I also lost a pound this day
Phase 3 was from day 9 till 11. This was rather unusual and I lost another 3 pounds here.
Phase 4 was for the remaining days i.e. 12 to 21. The focus of this 9 day phase was to continue losing weight while returning to a more “normal” diet. I was another 4 pounds down by the end of the phase. So not as drastic, but effective none the less.
As so many weight loss programs are, it is both a diet and exercise program. The exercise plan consists of a walk each day (not too strenuous!) and an optional workout which accelerates fat burning.
There’s no getting away from it. Phase 1 was hard. It’s a 3 meals a day version of a crash diet. It’s heavily restrictive in the types of food, and methods of cooking I was allowed to eat. Fortunately it did include unlimited amounts of some vegetables, so I was able to fill up on them in addition to the prescribed amounts of meat and fish.
I weighed myself every day and I really found it motivating to see the needle on the scales creeping down. It was a good job. I can’t deny that I was hungry and slightly cranky until I started to drink coffee again!
I also did the exercises. Again, not easy, but ticking off the days one by one, knowing that it was only for a short time made all the difference.
At the end of phase 1 I was beside myself with delight to see that I’d broken all previous records and lost 9 whole pounds. When I started phase 1 of the diet, it felt nearly impossible that I would keep going for the whole week without cheating – and OK, I did cheat little. But after getting through the first week I felt quite elated and much thinner.
If you want to read more detail about how I got on with the diet read my weight loss diary
Phase 2 is a one day fast. After the restriction of the previous week it seemed like this would be hard, but honestly, I was shocked to find that this was one of the easiest days on the whole program. I think following the previous week to the letter had set me up for success. And again I was delighted to be another pound lighter by the following morning.
I would seriously suggest that when you buy the 3 Week Diet plan book just don’t skip the fasting phase. There is a rationale for the way the diet is put together and, much to my surprise, it really does work.
This phase lasts 4 days and is without doubt the most unusual and counter-intuitive. So much so that I started to research it myself just to be sure I was doing the right thing! Fortunately I discovered that it wasn’t as wacky as I thought and there was indeed some solid science behind this phase of the plan.
I did find this phase quite challenging as it was the first where I’d had to calculate the calories I was eating. I discovered that it’s fairly easy to get calories values off the internet for just about any food you could think about and then it’s just a question of using weighing scales (more accurate than cup measures) to make sure your portion sizes are correct.
I didn’t lose quite as much weight as I expected on this phase, but I think it was because I didn’t start weighing things until the 3rd day when I noticed that my previous estimates of how much I should eat were way off base.
Still, another phase, another 1.5 pounds 🙂 And it would have been more had I planned it properly.
Phase 4 – The final countdown.
Phase 4 is the longest phase and lasts for 9 days. It involves a gradual return to a more normal healthy eating diet. How many calories you consume each day during this phase is based on your Body Mass Index or BMI. There’s a section in the manual which explains how to calculate this from your body weight and height and then how to work out what you need to eat according to the result.
I continued to weigh myself every day and the pounds did continue to drop – albeit at a slightly slower rate. I was pleased however to return to a more normally balanced diet where no food was expressly forbidden (unless I’d skipped a page in the manual 🙂
I noticed that my belly fat was gradually disappearing and I my jeans were fitting less snugly – even after they’d just been washed! My waist had shrunk by 2 inches and I was I was able to tighten my belt by 3 extra holes.
By the end of the phase, I was another 4 pounds lighter.
Absolutely. I followed the 3 Week Diet and, apart from a few cheats, I lost a total of 14.5 pounds (full before and after results here). I did all the mandatory exercise but not much of the optional workouts. I found the workouts quite difficult, but then I’m not at all fit to begin with. Despite it being hard, the amount of weight I lost in such a short period of time made it worth it. I'm sure I could have lost more if I'd planned better, exercised more and not cheated.
I had a break for a couple of weeks without gaining any of the weight back!! And then did the whole diet again. The second time around phase 1 was much easier – I think my body was used to it and I didn’t give up coffee this time. I didn’t lose quite as much weight, but I’m now 30 pounds lighter than I was 6 months ago and for the first time I can honestly say I’m happy with my appearance.
The double benefit is now I know how to maintain my weight and if I go mad on holiday and put on a few pounds, I know I can lose them again without too much effort.
There are a few areas where I haven’t followed Brian’s advice. He recommends Omega 3 supplements – these are recommended by many doctors so I took them. However he also suggests taking nicotine and nicotine gum. I’m completely against that and regardless of any extra benefit that would have given, I will not go to those lengths to lose weight.
There's always divided opinion when it comes to really fast weight loss. However, the latest medically prescribed strategy on how to reverse type 2 diabetes in the UK involves an 800 calorie a day diet for between 12 and 20 weeks. That's far more restrictive than the 3 week diet.
The Diet Manual is divided into four sections
The first book in the box sets the scene. It explains, in detail, what the diet is all about, the science and research behind the diet and metabolism. It also discusses the critical factors which you have to watch out for in order to ensure you lose the weight safely. It talks about protein and all the other nutrients which are required for good health and speedy, successful slimming. Despite the fact it sounds technical it's written in layman's terms and is very easy to read.
The manual is easy to follow, and explains in detail what foods you are allowed and how they can be cooked in each different phase of the diet. It tells you exactly how much lean protein you should be eating and when you need to eat it.
There are however, a few notable omissions in the diet plan. There's no mention of salads or any salad type vegetables. I decided anything which used more calories chewing than it gave me should be included as part of a healthy weight loss diet. A wider range of foods would offer a more nutritious diet, but then it might not give such rapid weight loss.
For phase 4 of the diet, you need to calculate your BMI and there is a a section in the manual which explains how to do this and how to use the result to work out how many calories you are allowed to eat in this phase. Fortunately, it is a simple and easy to follow calculation which I did using the calculator on my phone.
Meal plans are available as an optional extra once you've bought the 3 week diet.
Here is Brian Flatt's description of the exercise program which goes hand in hand with the diet:
The 3 Week Workout is a strategic combination of resistance training and cardio exercise that ignites your metabolism and forces your body to burn the fact that you have mobilized, while increasing the demands for even more fat mobilization. You'll not only burn calories like crazy during the workout, but these exercises will force your body to continue to burn additional calories even after your workout is over.
I was just delighted that the workout plan does not involve hours of exhausting exercise! It’s also optional so if you’re allergic to exercise then you can still lose weight, just not quite as much. It’s all about resistance training with weights. You will need a set of dumbbells and either an exercise bench or just a chair to help you get in to the correct positions to do the exercises. The workouts take around 15-20 minutes and should be performed on 3 or 4 days a week. They are designed not only to burn calories and increase fitness, but also to help you look slimmer and more toned.
I have a set of dumbbells. They were very dusty from lack of use, so I cleaned them up. I don't have a workout bench and I certainly wasn't going to buy one! So I modified the exercises to do them either lying on the bed or sitting on a kitchen chair.
The area where I think the workout manual falls down is in the description of the exercises. If you’ve done any kind of weights exercises before then you’ll have no problems, but if you’re a complete beginner then videos of the exercises, explaining how to do them properly would have been very beneficial.
In addition, there is no mention of the “easy option” for those of us who are not as fit and toned as the man who posed for the diagrams in the manual. I didn't do this exercise, I simply decided it wasn't for me.
The real benefit of resistance exercises like these is in the improvement in posture and muscle tone makes you look slimmer even without losing weight. So if you lose 10 pounds and do the exercises it’ll make you look like you lost 20!
The last part is the mindset and motivation manual. It sounds a bit dull and indeed on first reading it isn’t the most captivating read. However mindset and motivation are the glues which keep you sticking to a diet and it’s important to have strategies to turn to when the cravings strike – or when someone forces you to eat birthday cake.
For long term weight maintenance, it’s just as important to train your mind into good habits as it is to train your body to move more. This manual has a selection of different strategies which you can pick and choose the ones which will help you eat more healthily on an ongoing basis.
After I’d completed the 3 week diet twice, Brian Flatt brought out the 2 week diet. I checked it out. It’s basically the same, but with a bit missing, so in fact, even if you’re in a hurry to lose weight, you might as well buy the 3weekdiet for the complete program even if you only do the diet for 2 weeks.
- It works.
- Each individual part of the three week diet is based on scientific research.
- Hundreds of people have now tried the three week diet and started to lose weight from day 1.
- There is a 60 day money back guarantee (administered by ClickBank, so it’s rock solid), if you don’t lose weight simply email ClickBank for a refund.
- It’s extreme. There’s no getting away from the fact that this is a crash diet and therefore won’t be for everyone. However, with the money back guarantee, at least the only thing you can lose by trying it is weight.
- It would be hard on a vegetarian diet (unless you love eggs)and almost impossible if you're a vegan
- If you want to do the workouts you will need some equipment. If you already have access to dumbbells and an exercise bench that’s great. If not it might be sensible to take some advice from a gym or your local sports store.
- Brian recommends supplements which you don’t actually need in order to lose weight.
Unsurprisingly, the program is not suitable for anyone already on a medically supervised diet or if you suffer from diabetes.
It worked for me. I lost 14.5 pounds the first time and 13 pounds the second time round. So I’m now almost 30 pounds lighter than when I started. The second time was much easier and I do feel that if I needed to lose more weight it wouldn’t be that difficult to do it again.
It is not a long term diet plan – it’s far too restrictive in the things which you are allowed to eat.
However, the whole experience of following the plan, measuring the portions and being more aware of where the calories come from has made it easier for me to make healthier choices about what I eat every day.
I haven't taken up exercise in a big way – the workout didn't do it for me. But if it's not raining, I do go for a walk at lunchtime – so that's one beneficial exercise habit gained.
Now I also know how to easily lose a couple of pounds after a indulgent weekend and I’m never again going to let my weight get to the point where it’s a problem for me.
In short, I'm glad I bought it and would recommend it to my friends.
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