3-Hour Diet….myth or magic?

Introduction

I have tried a few diets in my day. I am always interested in how they work, how the body responds to them, and how novel the idea of them is. Meaning can I stick with it for any length of time or will it be a one hit wonder type diet? I think prior to the 3-Hour Diet the biggest and longest success I had with diets was Atkins.



I enjoy cheese, meat, and things of a high protein nature so it worked well for me. However, it did not last very long as I got tired of eating meat, and the weight regain was not super fast but moderately quick.

When I first heard about the 3-Hour Diet, and the idea that I could eat so often, I did NOT believe a word of it. However, upon reading Jorge Cruise’s book The 3-Hour Diet.

I decided well this cannot be all bad and so I gave it a 7-week trial.

The premise


The idea behind this diet is that eating every three hours keeps your body from thinking it is starving and thus going into starvation mode. When you body goes into that mode it wants to hoard all the fat and calories and store it…evidently store it mainly in the most UNPLEASANT areas: butt, stomach, thighs. Apparently, the body rarely wants to store fat in your breasts or any other areas one might want a boost.

As well as eating everything 3 hours you are also going to want to make sure you are eating things in ratios. Now before you get riled just know it is easy to do, this diet does not really make things hard. The basic outline is:

Meal: 400 calories

Snack: 100 calories

Meal: 400 calories

Snack: 100 calories

Meal: 400 calories

Treat: 50 calories

Now it gives decreases or increases in calories per meal and snack if you are lighter or heavier than what this is for, so it is relative to weight, which is nice. This keeps it also very simple for eating prepackages or ready prepared fast foods, which, YES, you can eat on this diet.

Lastly, when you eat try have a mix of protein, carbs, and fruit/veggies with fruit/veggies being 50% of the meal. Jorge uses the 3-Hour plate as a visual in order for you to get the idea of what your plate should look like.


3-Hour Plate

The Proof


Now I started this diet while I was working full time and that made things easier for me time wise. I also stayed on this for 7 weeks until I was rudely laid off, lol. So the first week was interesting. You do not really realize how hard it is to remember to eat. I was coming from a place where I never ate breakfast, and sometimes it would be 2pm before I actually went to lunch, where I would eat things that were easy to prepare or fast food. Then dinner would be probably my biggest meal.

When I started this diet, it was easier for me to do fast food for breakfast because I was always crunched for time at home. I also will be honest I did not follow this diet strictly. What I did do was follow the timeline and tried to stay in the calorie range when I was eating fast food or prepared food. When I had home cooked food I tried to follow the plate look because I wasn’t about to take the time to bother calculating calories, so I just made sure I had a lot of veggies or fruit on my plate.

After starting this diet, I usually had breakfast as the biggest meal of my day. I will be honest a lot of the time it was a bacon egg and cheese bagel or bacon egg and cheese biscuit or egg mcmuffin. http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/full_menu/breakfast.html

I tried to NOT get a hash brown and get a fruit and yogurt parfait or a fruit and walnut snack sized salad http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/full_menu/salads/snack_size_fruitwalnutsalad.html

Sometimes I had apple slices or yogurt in the fridge at work. Nevertheless, occasionally, I had that hash brown too. As I said, I tried to follow as much as possible, but since breakfast was the biggest meal, I did not fret about it too much because I had all day long to burn it off.

For lunch I would usually have prepackaged items, lean cuisines frozen meals (sesame chicken is my favorite) http://www.leancuisine.com/Products/Details.aspx?ProductID=10134

In addition, I would always try to have a side salad or side of vegetables with it as well as a cheese stick for extra protein.

For snacks, I was a devout cheese stick, almonds and apple slices kind of gal. I tried to keep the theme of the 3-Hour plate for my snacks…carbs, protein, veggies/fruit. Yogurt, cheese sticks, almost, wheat thins, jif to go, pretzel rods… these were my snacks of choice and could also double as breakfast/lunch/dinner fillers. In keeping this true to life and completely honest I was known to have a cupcake for my snack at times, or something completely NOT good for me, cake, cookies, piece of pie. Just kept it to one serving for snack.

Dinner was almost always home cooked and again I just tried to follow the 3 hour plate idea with that, also adding a salad regardless of whatever else I ate.

On the weekends I basically ate whatever I wanted just tried to make sure that I ate every 3 hours.

In the 7 weeks, I was on this diet I, lost 28 pounds. It was a consistent 3-5 pounds per week. That is faster than the recommended 2 pounds per week but not outrageous. Once I was laid off, I found it hard to keep up with because of my lack of diligence in scheduling. However, noting that it took almost 2 years to gain that weight back. So, it seemed like the weight was NOT just water weight that I lost.

As far as exercise goes, I did not exercise on this diet period, at all.


The pros and cons

Pros:

· Simple to follow once you understand the concept

· Jorge Cruise keeps it real with his diet including fast food options and there are plenty of them

· You get to eat a lot and often so I never felt deprived, I cannot say that with any other diet I have tried

· The weight came off in all the spots I had hoped: stomach, butt, thighs, arms, face.

· This diet is a self-contained program, meaning I lost weight without exercising.

· I lost weight even without following this diet crazy strict.

· You get fuller faster. There were times I was eating a tiny chef boy r dee lunch bucket and a small fruit cup for lunch and being fully satisfied and full for lunch.

Cons:

· Timing…I found it very difficult to remember to eat, I had to set up actual reminders

· I also found it hard to remember to eat enough, this is important!

Tips


Almonds and applesauce cups…I took them everywhere and they hold up without refrigeration so you can have a snack on the go anytime.

Fiber…making choices like wheat bread over white bread helps you stay fuller longer. Fiber and protein are your feel full longer friends.


Conclusion


This diet was super effective for me and it seems to make sense the way it works with your body so I would think it could be a universal diet, meaning it would be good for anyone. This diet helped me become more aware of my body and helped me really understand when I was truly hungry not just thirsty or bored. The 3-Hour Diet helped me also learn to make better food choices in the end because better choices meant more food to eat lol. If you think about it young kids eat little bits all throughout the day and you don’t often see a 2 or 3 year old with a weight problem or diabetes, so to me this way of eating smaller meals frequently seems very natural. I would recommend trying this diet out to anyone looking to lose weight or eat healthier.

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