British Heart Foundation Diet

The British Heart Foundation Dietis a poor fad diet that has been circulating for many years. Please note that the British Heart Foundation has nothing to do with this diet whatsoever.

The diet has circulated in the form of a one page sheet that claims you can lose 10 pounds in 3 days. The diet has been popular in the UK – but its exact origins are unknown.

British Heart Foundation Diet Plan

This diet is very low in calories and not recommended


5 ‘snax’ biscuits (dry crackers)
1 slice of cheddar cheese
1 small apple
1 cup black tea/coffee/water


1 boiled egg
1 slice of dry toast
1 cup black tea/coffee/water


1 cup of tuna
1 cup of beetroot
1 cup of cauliflower
1/2 melon
1/2 cup of diet vanilla ice-cream
1 cup black tea/coffee/water

The British Heart Foundation diet is a very low calorie diet (approx. 700 calories per day), and is often only used for a few days. It is unsustainable. The meal plan should not be undertaken for any length of time without medical supervision.

Very low calorie diets like The British Heart Foundation Diet do not lead to lasting weight loss and can be dangerous due to the low calories recommended. Any weight loss will likely rebound when normal eating is resumed.

Instead we recommend that dieters look for weight loss plans that encourage slow and steady weight loss, while emphasizing nutritious foods that fuel the body with the nutrients in needs and that promote overall good health.

The British Heart Foundation diet does not meet these guidelines.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Wadden, T. A., STUNKARD, A. J., & BROWNELL, K. D. (1983). Very low calorie diets: their efficacy, safety, and future. Annals of internal medicine, 99(5), 675-684. link
  • Saris, W. H. (2001). Very‐Low‐Calorie Diets and Sustained Weight Loss. Obesity Research, 9(S11), 295S-301S. link
  • Roberts, D. C. (2001). Quick weight loss: sorting fad from fact. Medical journal of Australia, 175(11/12), 637-640. link

203 Comments or Reviews

Comments now closed
  1. Geetha

    I have done this diet twice first when I did it I lost approx 2 kilos and again did it last week and didn’t lose any weight not even a kilo.. I have followed all the instructions..

  2. Ruth

    I have just done the BHF diet and pleased l lost 6lbs, l am on medication and was told by freinds l should ask the Doctor if l were to continue, is this true as l really enjoyed the diet.

  3. val

    i did this diet for 3 days a week for a month and lost 14lbs

  4. julie-ann

    hi all im starting the 3 day diet tomorrow looking forward to it see how i get on!
    Elsa you do the diet every week they say its best to do it on a mon a tues and wed
    Angela they say tuc crackers or ritz

  5. Stephanie

    The first time I lost 4lb in three days. One week later I tried it again and lost 3lb. Think it would work better the heavier you are. Breakfasts and lunches ok but dinner is hard because of mix of ingredients.

  6. chelsea

    how long would anybody who has already used this diet recommend you stay on it for? im hoping to lose a stone as quickly as possible 🙂

  7. Becky

    Does anyone know a substitute for tuna in this diet? I’m a vegetarian but I really want to do this.

  8. karin

    Hi there, would like to know if someone has a diet that works? Ive been on low gi now for a week or so and you can c the difference but i would like to know if there is someone out there who can help

  9. Liz

    I have done this diet and lost 8lbs in 3 days.
    You must drink at least 5 x 8oz glasses of water throughout the day, every day of the diet, and if not drinking the black tea or coffee replace with water.
    Day 1
    1/2 of Grapefruit
    1 slice of toast with 2tsp of peanut butter spread
    Cup of black tea or coffee

    Slice of dry toast
    4 oz Tuna
    Cup of black tea or coffee

    (dont forget to drink glasses of water)

    2 slices of cold meat
    Cup of grean beans
    4oz beetroot
    glass of water

    small apple
    4 oz vanilla ice cream

    DAY 2
    1 egg poached or boiled
    Slice of dry toast
    1/2 a banana
    cup of black tea or coffee

    4 oz cottage cheese
    5 Ritz (Saltine) or Tuc Crackers
    cup of black tea etc.

    2 Hot dog sausages
    4 oz brocilli
    2 oz carrots
    glass of water
    1/2 banana
    4 oz ice cream

    DAY 3
    5 Tuc crackers
    slice of cheese
    black tea or coffee

    Slice of dry toast
    boiled egg
    Glass of water 8oz
    small apple

    4 oz Tuna
    4 oz Cauliflower
    4 oz Beetroot
    8oz water to drink
    1/2 melon
    4 oz ice cream
    DONT FORGET TO DRINK YOUR 5 x 8 oz glass of water per day.

  10. Joan Williamson

    I have done this diet a few times and have lost between 7 and 10lbs each time. Do it for 3 days and have 2 days off – it’s a great way to lose those few lbs before your hols.

  11. Leann

    The crackers they mean are tuc or ritz

  12. Lerato

    How much fluids( water, coffe and tea) ca I take while on this diet.

  13. Kim, Bath

    I am now approaching dinner on the second day – and I don’t seem to have lost anything so far, so hope that by persevering with Day 3 tomorrow that results will show! If not, will still carry on doing it until I have some weight loss. I am at the moment 11st. 3lbs and am 5ft.6 and walk 2 miles most days, but do not use a gym. Will see how things look on Saturday morning! Good luck to everyone!

  14. Colette

    Does anyone know if you can substitute the cottage cheese & tuna for another egg or salmon maybe?

  15. lisa

    I’m on my 2nd day….. not so hungry today but dreading lunch as I hate both cottage cheese and tuna….
    fingers crossed for at least 6lbs off….. can I do this 3 days every week or every other week? any suggestions?

    • Lisa

      I’m on my 3rd day not hungry at all I have to say … feeling really good and positive what about chicken x

  16. Sarah

    Day 1

    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water
    1/2 Grapefruit or juice
    1 slice toast with 1 tbsp peanut butter

    1/2 cup tuna
    1 slice toast
    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water

    3oz. any lean meat
    1 cup green beans
    1 cup carrots
    1 cup vanilla icecream
    1 medium apple
    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water

    Day 2
    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water
    1 egg (any style)
    1 slice toast
    1 banana

    1 cup cottage cheese or tuna
    5 saltine crakers
    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water

    2 beef franks or hot dogs
    1/2 cup carrots
    1 banana
    1 cup broccoli or cabbage
    1/2 cup vanilla icecream
    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water

    Day 3
    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water
    5 regular saltine crackers
    1oz. (slice) chedder cheese
    1 apple

    1 hard boiled egg
    1 slice toast
    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water

    1 cup tuna
    1 cup carrots
    1 cup cauliflower
    1 cup melon
    1/2 cup regular vanila icecream
    Black coffee or tea (sweet & Low or equal) or water

    Condiments Allowed
    a dash of salt and/or pepper
    cooking spray

    Orange instead of Grapefruit
    Tuna instead of cottage cheese
    Frozen yoghurt instead of icecream
    Cauliflower instead of brocoli
    Toast instead of 5 crackers

  17. Nicole
    Here is the 3 day diet, its on the same site.
    I have done this diet many times in the past 15 years or so when i just need to lose a few pounds. Yes it works, I would suggest doing it 3 days a week until you have lost the weight you need, make sure you drink water and also exercise to maximise the weight lose. Good luck.

  18. Petra

    Help pls – does anybody have the full 3 day diet? I only seem to find 1 days worth.

    Did this diet 12 years ago and managed to shack off 2 stone. Also managed to keep it off for 2 years then went back to crazy eating habits. It is hard but worth it.

    Petra UK

  19. Sophie

    the diet that someone was given called by this name had three different days worth not just the one the one provided is the last days diet.

  20. Angela

    Does anyone know if you can substitute the vegetables specified for salad instead? Also, when it says crackers -what type of crackers?

  21. elsa

    i am starting this diet on monday.i need to lose at least 2 stone.can you do this diet every week.

  22. alice

    hi! its my 3day now.. the first day was hard coz im starving to death. and my 2nd day was not bad.. i am 77kg and tomorrow i will check my weight.. i let u know.. but i feel good i think i lose a little weight..

  23. Barry

    Me again. Forgot to say if you live in the U.K. substitute a cup portion with 4oz(110grams). There is no limit on the amount of water you can drink. Please believe it will work, if you stick to the rules.

  24. Barry

    I have tried this diet and it works. BUT you must stick to it, only three days at a time. Wait until day four before you weigh yourself, depending on your start weight, you should shed 4 to 10 lbs. The secret of keeping your weight down is not to go back to eating junk and fatty foods. Best of luck.

  25. meee

    i started this diet yesterday. day ONE i was totally starving by the end of the day. ive just finished day 2’s lunch and im still starving arrgghhhh to reach dinnertime.. haha..i hope i get something out of this.. im reading more neg than positive comments in here about this diet. I think it comes down to body type as nice to see these older posts come back in and tell us what happened with them…

  26. Dan

    Sorry, but could someone please explain to me how ‘1 cup’ works as a measurement? Would I be expected to put as much cauliflower in a cup as I could until it was full? I don’t get it. I’ve seen ‘cups’ used as a measurement in American recipes before, but I’m confused as to how this works as a measurement and how much it is in grams?

    • ted

      Hey Dan, I cup is referring to the American measurement and it’s approximately 250 grams.

  27. Petra

    I would like to swap beans for something else but don’t know what I should swap it for. Can you advise please?
    Also my friend absolutely hates beetroot, what can she eat instead of that?
    I don’t care what diet this is but it helped me a little bit to go from a nearly size 16 down to size 12. Also the exercise.

    • ted

      @Petra you could use quinoa or lentils instead of beans as for beetroot just substitute another vegetable such as broccoli.

  28. lorraine

    i am started my diet tomorrow i am 15 stone and need to lose 5 stone i have done so many diets after having 3 kids so i am looking forward to starting and seeing some big diffents

  29. jackie

    Hi i am starting this diet on tuesday and planning to do it weekly while healthy eating the other four days. I accept that i may put some back on but want to know if any one has managed to keep half or more of the weight lost off or has it all gone back on.

  30. Khai

    For clearing clogged artery and veins, recovery from stroke try thi.
    one cup ginger juice, one cup lime juice,
    one cup finely mashed garlic, two cups of apple cider vinegar totaling five cups. put all five in a Pyrex pot boil on low fire until four bowls. Then let cool and add four cups of natural honey and stir. take one tablespoon every morning before breakfast.

  31. Monika McArthur

    I am a vegeterian. If I substitute Cold Meat with Tuna
    will the diet still work?

    • ted

      That sounds logical Monika as it’s about protein amounts and calories more so than exact type of meat.

  32. Julie

    You can swap eggs for cottage cheese. Fruit can be an apple, half grapefruit, orange, half melon, or banana. Veg can be broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans or beetroot. The tuna can be swapped for 2 tinned hotdogs. You can drink as much water as you want and if you dont like plain water or blk tea add a slice of lemon. Hope this helps…

  33. debbie

    would love to try the diet but don’t think I could stomach a boiled egg and suggestions??

  34. sneeze

    what can i have instead of peanut butter hate peanut butter

  35. LIz

    can you swap the cauliflower for carrots?

  36. louise

    this diet is good for a quick fix but in the long run its a BAD IDEA!! as soon as u start eatin rite again the weight just piles bk on. everyone try the body trim diet ita amazin n it actually works! i eat more now than i ever have n the weight is just droppin off its mint…plz try it its so much better 4 u better 4 u in the long run

  37. Naomi

    first 3 weeks I lost a stone and felt great xx

  38. hayley

    can u drink as much water as u want? or only 3 glasses throughout the whole day??

  39. Louisa

    Starting this diet today, had a 45 min run before breakfast this morning, here’s hoping i get the results i’ve been hearing 🙂 good luck to all those trying the same.. ill report with my verdict in 3 days time

  40. kez

    can you still drink you 2 litres of water on this diet and can it be sparkling water?

  41. Dee

    Last year I lost over 4 stone by good old hard work and healthy eating.. then christmas came along and I’ve put almost a stone of that back on. I can’t seem to get back onto my healthy eating plan so, (having never done a ‘fad’ diet before) I decided something short yet extreme was the best way to kick my backside before getting back onto my plan.
    I’m at the start of day 2 and have already lost 4lbs. I substituted the grapefruit for orange, I’m having green beans and carrots as my veg every day and cottage cheese instead of the tuna. Yesterday was fine, was a little bit hungry between dinner and tea but I was so full after tea I struggled to get the ice-cream down!
    However, I feel dreadfull today. I’m very, very hungry and have a terrible headache, which is no doubt from the total cut off of caffeine and sugar.. I will see the 3 days through though and report back. It’s only 3 days, right?
    Good luck everyone x

  42. Angharad

    I’m 22 and 13.3stone. I have always battled my weight and this is the only diet that i can say really works for short term success. I have done this diet for a period of 3 weeks before now, and have lost a stone and a half.

    this diet is fantastic to kick start a serious healthy lifestyle reigime. It gives you a head start and makes you feel like you’re really doing a good job. you can see a difference and that pays off – there’s nothing worse than dieting for weeks only to have dropped a pound or two.

    highly recommended for a short term solution only. carry on after 3 days eating well, but healthily, and you’ll notice a drastic difference.

  43. sue

    iv got all my ingredaints and started this diet today!

    im anxius to see if i will actually lose some weight! evn tho its onli for three days!

    @Lara myt be lil late to tell u, but NO, alcohol shudnt b allowed in the diet, u cud find all this info from google jus type in ‘ 3 DAY DIET PLAN ‘ and TA-DA! 😉

    BY THE WAY. this artical or woteva it is, is OK but i think so much detail has been left out.

  44. mike h

    can anyone help me, am 55 (male) after two stents in 2001 and 2004, plus both my parents passing away through heart failure.
    I now fined myself at 5.10ft looking at a weight of 96kg

  45. Peter

    Clearing veins and arteries, that really works.

    First use fresh water to wash the lemons and garlic.
    Take 6 lemons cut up including peel (Make sure the lemons are the thin-skinned types). If you can only get the thick-skinned ones simply peel the thin outer yellow peel. Place this in a heap ready to go into the mixture. Then peel off the thick white stuff and throw away. No need on the thin-skinned lemons, just chop them up. The garlic (30 cloves) you usually get about ten cloves per bulb of garlic. Just separate the cloves and chop up (no need to worry about a bit of peel or shell), as the whole lot will be strained when finished.

    Place 3 lemons and 15 cloves of garlic in food processor or vitamiser. Top it up with water (If you want you can add a little sugar for taste) and then vitamise.
    pour into a metal pot. Then repeat the process with the other 3 lemons and 15 cloves of garlic. Finally was the vitamiser out with another litre of water and pour this also into the pot.

    Bring the pot to boil, and then simmer for five minutes. Pour through a strainer, and let liquid drain into another pot. Finally when all the liquid has drained into the pot, leave it for some time to cool.

    When it has cooled use a strainer and funnel to pour into bottles.
    Note: give the mixture time to drain through the strainer. And do not keep the slurry from the strainer. Simply throw it away.

    You should finish up with (About 3 to 4 Litre Bottles Quantity). Store in fridge. NOTE: DO NOT USE PLASTIC BOTTLES (Plastic bottles with filled warm or hot liquid can cause serious health problems), as plastic particles will leach into liquid in bottle. Use only GLASS Bottles to keep the mixture in.

    First Dosage: Drink 1 standard glass each day for three weeks.

    Then stop for one week

    Second Dosage: Drink 1 standard glass each day for the final three weeks.

    Repeat above every six months, or whenever you feel like it as long as you allow some time between treatments.

    You can also warm the liquid if preferred, or even dilute it with water and ice for a refreshing summer drink. The lemons kill the smell of garlic on your breath. The secret of the mixture is it’s easy to prepare, and inexpensive to make up.

  46. Peter

    In my family there has never been any recorded case of cancer. However many heart problems. Twenty years ago I had plaque around the heart. Was told I would need heart surgery in about 15 or 20 years. One day a man who had been facing heart surgery for blocked arteries told me of a mixture that he had taken over 7 weeks that had completely cleared his blocked arteries. He was told he did not need bi-pass surgery.
    I wrote the mixture down for future reference. I gave someone a lift to move some heavy machinery around. Started to get chest pains. After a few days

  47. Peter

    Heres one you can try. Cut out tea and coffee and all the added sugar. eat only one meal at midday. Make it a good one (eat what you want) Meat, Vedgetables and a desert with one glass of red wine. Drink plenty of water 7 glasses a day.

    To substitute your breakfast and evening meal simply take a spoonful 5 ml of olive leaf extract oil. This has 40 times the antioxidants of olives (Must be liquid not tablets).

    Within two weeks you will have lost weight and feel like a million dollars.

    When you have lost the weight. You can start having three small meals a day. Monitor your weight weekly and if you find it has risen by half a stone go back on the diet for a week or two.

    Olive leaf extract oil is also great for arthritic joints; it will ease the condition noticeably. Note it is known as “Black gold for arthritics”.

    Oh a word of warning…I once described its benefits once to an 80 year old lady, who asked me are there any bad side effects from taking olive leaf extract oil. I told her that it would probably increase her sex drive by ten. Whereupon she said great I will buy a bucketful



  48. Lara

    I started today, and at the end of day one and im absolutely starving but i figure it will be worth it in the end! i had no carrots today so ate brocolli instead…do u think that will be ok? also im goin out tomoro nite and was wondering does anyone know if alcohol will affect the diet?

Last Reviewed: March 21, 2018