The 3 Week Diet Plan is a diet and exercise regimen created by fitness trainer Brian Flatt. The program promises tremendous weight loss (23lbs) in a very short time. You do this through a combination of exercise and intermittent fasting. It is an online-online program. And the three-week diet is supported by instantly downloadable PDFs, workbooks, and the like.
Today, we’re making a thorough exploration of the plan to help you decide if it’s right for you.
What’s Included In the 3 Week Diet Plan?
Flatt’s program promises more than just weight loss. The 3 Week Diet website also assures the following:
- 2-4 inches from your waistline
- Removal of especially stubborn and hard-to-banish fat stores
- Increased muscle tone
- Decreased cellulite
- Increased energy
- Lowered cholesterol
- And a whole bunch more!
The program comes with extensive reading and documentation. This is to help you understand the science and theories Flatt has built his program on. There are detailed explanations of the foods you can eat during your 21-day diet. There are also menu plans and training on the power of positive thinking to help you reach your goals. There is also a detailed workout manual designed to target fat and help you develop an ab 6-pack.
What Do Other People Think?
3 Week Diet reviews vary wildly. The website is filled with recommendations from very pleased individuals. They tout huge losses in weight (one reviewer is even concerned that he is losing weight too fast!) and the removal of fat they’ve tried to get rid of for years. People share their before and afters. And one 3 Week Diet review even claims the system seems to work “like magic.”
On the other hand, some reviews are quite poor. One nutrition expert gives a very frank (and not so glowing) review. He highlighted Flatt’s lack of nutritional knowledge. Something else to point out: Flatt utilizes an affiliate program. This means many of the reviews you might find on blogs and fitness websites get paid for recommending this diet. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the reviews are dishonest. But it should factor into your decision.
Now that you have a better understanding of the 3 Week Diet plan, let’s break it all down and see if the science adds up.
One of the key elements of Flatt’s program is a reduced carb diet. He explains that healthy fats don’t make you fat. You can find this explanation also in the Shepherd’s Diet PDF, also available through Click Bank. And it emphasizes getting your calories from sources other than carbs. Generally speaking, this is a good thing. Some carbohydrates are good for us. However, many that are widely available today (such as most bread, pasta, and white rice) have very little nutritional value. That means that they turn into sugar very quickly.
Low-carb diets are known to help you lose weight. But they can also help to prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cardiovascular disease. You might even find improved blood cholesterol as a result of such an eating plan.
One of our concerns about this diet (or any diet) is that dramatically limiting the number of foods you consume (even if they’re not carb-laden foods) can lead quickly to nutritional deficiencies. It’s important to make sure the foods you use to replace carbs in your diet are high in vitamins and minerals.
One of our biggest questions about the 3 Week Diet Plan is its emphasis on calorie reductions. Any calorie-reducing diet will cause you to lose weight. But as we all know, it can be a very difficult weight loss to sustain. It can also lead to discomforts, such as brain fogginess, fatigue and exhaustion, and headaches. If used consistently, as Flatt recommends, to keep weight down, it can lead to malnutrition.
In fact, you can find some tragic examples of calorie-restricted malnutrition by looking at before and after images from individuals who have embraced anorexia as a lifestyle.
Further, we have reason to believe now that changing our diets and lifestyles is far more effective than simply reducing calories. Thus, it makes this diet plan feel rather old-fashioned and not up to date on the latest science.
Is Intermittent Fasting Effective for Weight Loss?
The other “big gun” in Flatt’s arsenal is intermittent weight loss. It is different than absolute fasting, which is effective quickly but results in “water weight loss” rather than lasting loss. However, intermittent fasting can potentially help to open up metabolic passages for faster weight loss. It can also help the body rid itself of toxins.
Intermittent fasting involves one of two options: eating just 500 calories on “fast” days and whatever you want on “feast” days or fasting for 14-16 every day. Scientists have found this kind of on and off fasting helps you lose more fat in target areas (like the hips, for example). It even keeps your brain in peak performance.
The toxin benefit, itself, is riddled with debate. Some doctors believe the body can detox itself without any additional so-called help. But some doctors point out that’s just not the case. Americans, whose diet consists of large amounts of processed foods, cannot adequately handle the buildup of waste products in their cells. This is because of the lack of phytochemicals and antioxidants in their foods.
These buildups cause all sorts of problems, not limited to aging, diabetes, and nerve damage. So, some doctors do actually recommend fasting as a way to help your body flush out those buildups of toxins.
You should also note that fasting can be dangerous if you’re not eating a healthy diet. It can also be problematic if you are on medication of any kind, or if you have any kind of liver or kidney problems.
Rather than asking you to work out for long periods of time or daily, Flatt asks you to workout in intense bursts 3-4 times a week. It is similar to high-intensity interval training (known as HIIT). The 3 Week Diet exercise regimen combines brief, high-intensity bursts of cardio followed by periods of rest.
Data on HIIT is extremely favorable. The data shows results that are very similar to long-term aerobic exercise (and in some cases, better). This is great news for people who are busy and don’t have time to get to the gym. And it is a real pro to this program in our opinion. In fact, one of Flatt’s biggest critics even takes the time to compliment the creator on his exercise regimen. He points out that he is clearly good at what he does.
Supplements That Make Sense?
One of the things that the 3 Week Diet Plan pushes is supplements. They include caffeine and nicotine pills and whey protein. There is a proliferation of dietary supplements on the market today. But studies have shown there’s not a long-term, sustainable benefit to taking weight loss pills. When paired with dietary changes, as done here, they might show some benefit. But they are certainly not magic pills and can, in fact, cause harm.
Caffeine is what’s known as a systemic vasoconstrictor. This means that if you don’t normally consume caffeine or if you have high blood pressure, you should take this supplement with caution. Further, it can impact the quality of your sleep. It can either keep you from being able to fall asleep or reduce the quality of the sleep you do get.
Nicotine gum can do even more damage. Companies first developed it to help ease people off smoking. It does this by making available smaller amounts of nicotine without all the harmful chemicals from the cigarettes. However, they only designed it for use for a short period. Many have discovered the nicotine also helps them to lose weight (just like smoking does). But using nicotine long term can damage your health. Again, this supplement is at best a short-term fix, which is what we’re starting to think the 3 Week Diet Plan is.
Is This the Diet for You?
The 3 Week Diet Plan utilizes some top-notch science. But at its best, it’s just a quick weight-loss scheme that most people won’t be able to sustain. Not eating and significantly reducing calories will cause almost anyone to lose weight. However, it’s simply not healthy. This is true especially when frequently used to yo-yo weight back down after every three-pound gain, as Flatt recommends.
A low-carb diet, intermittent fasting, and regular intensive exercise are great components to anyone’s healthy lifestyle. But we suggest you stick to these and skip the calorie-reducing and supplement-taking parts of Flatt’s plan.