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


  1. brian

    been on it once and lost six pounds plus .it does work well but you must have plenty of water.doing it again a week later knowing it works and the hunger pains are worth putting up with.going on holiday next week feeling much happier about myself.

  2. Alex

    Hi! Everytime I have done this it has worked really well. The initial couple of times I had lost 10 pounds exactly. If you do it very often the amount you lose may be slightly lower but still significant. It is also very important to drink plenty of water (10 glasses per day). This of course adds to the diets success, flushes out the toxins produced and makes sure you do not dehydrate. Also in order for this diet to work you have to follow it exaclty which means no food substitution. I have actually spoke personally to a member of staff belonging to the British Heart Foundation in regards to this diet and without going into alot of longwinded detail, the way in which the diet works, is that it causes a chemical breakdown of fat in the body. The combination of the specific foods in the diet causes this to happen that’s why it is so important to stick to it perfectly.
    It is not the easiest of diets but it is safe as long as it is not done continously and the results are good.

  3. Suzy

    I’m wondering about fluid intake for these days, surley you’re allowed to drink water throughout the day?!

  4. Lucy

    I can lose or put on 1lbs or 2lbs in the sapce of a day! Ive been on this diet and have lost a couple but i wanted to see the 10lb fall off like it claims!

  5. lindy

    I did this last week and lost 5 lbs and didn’t feel hungry at all. am on it again this week but cutting out the ice cream because I have a cholestrol condition so we will see. This is much better than the previous diets which were all protein and no fruit or veg. Try it for 3 days you will be suprised.

  6. Edward

    From the review: the diet provides 700 calories. Let’s say you would normally burn 2000 calories per day. 2000 – 700 = 1300 over 3 days = 3900.

    There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat. So total fat loss over the 3 days will be around a pound.

    Weight loss greater than this is likely to be your body losing a combination of water and glycogen.

    The heavier you are, the more water and glycogen your body will contain and therefore, the greater the initial weight loss at the beginning of *any* diet. When you begin eating normally, your body will replensih these and therefore that weight will go back onto your body.

    It’s not about weight loss, it’s about *fat* loss. It’s important to know the difference.

  7. maggie

    day 1 of the diet and i am starving but exactly how much coffee can you drink ? I feel its the only way to curb my hunger. And where can saltine crackers be baught… what are they ?

  8. Shelle-Belle

    This plan goes by another name too…… Greenlane Diet


  9. amy

    im ten stone and ive been on this diet 1 day,
    i cannot see how eating ice cream is good on a diet
    but im giving a try, ill post in 2 days my end results x

  10. Anonymous

    Ok they say dont substitute any of the meals but what about us vegetarians out there?????????

    Please tell me what can I have instead of the tuna and meat

  11. Bex

    Does this diet work if you are not overweight???

  12. nicci

    anyone know if you can drink water throughout the day or only the 3 cups(1 at each meal time) that it states?

  13. Caz

    I tried this yrs ago and i was cheating whilst on it, i was only 18yrs old and tryin to help my mum get thru it and i lost 5lb in 3days, my mum lost 7lb in 3 days. Im now 22 & ive had a baby 2 yrs ago & i weigh what i originally did but im not happy how i look so il give this a go again.

  14. demy

    i have been on a diet since march and managed to lose 1 stone 5lb,my dad was given this diet by a friend at work,and he told me about it so today i am on day 1,lets hope it works for me!.

  15. kery

    if i did this for six days would i lose double?

  16. Anonymous

    Hi hadnt even heard of this diet until last week.anyway i gave it at try .after weiging myself this morning was very pleased to find i had lost 5 pounds.will definitely be carrying on with it.

  17. Lee

    The diet I have is a 3 day diet and there are strict instructions not to substitute any of the foods in it.

    Although its a low cal diet – i think it works on the basis of the foods containing a lot of water…so substituting chicken for tuna, or some other fruit for melon will not work.

    If you are going to substitute…then reduce the quantity. 4oz chicken is not equal to 4oz of tuna.

  18. Anonymous

    why only 3 days

  19. Emma

    I have done this diet twice im about to do it again this week and the week after, just in time for my hols…first time i done it i lost 8 pound in 3 days ! the second time only about 6 but if your looking for a quick fix i would definitely recommend this diet.

  20. jess

    i have tried the diet but all i kept thinking about was food and more food so i decided to give in..but know i have read the comments and will try this diet again…wish me luck lol x

  21. chris

    I didnt lose anything and did it to the letter’ i cant understand why 4oz of ice-cream each night can I leave this out and lose more’

  22. nicki

    ive done this diet a couple of time and always works, first time i went from 10 stone to 9.6 second time similar results! well work if for a quick fix as soon goes back on!!

  23. Andrew

    We have just weighed ourselves, on this morning after three full days strictly following the diet. Results: My wife lost a total of 2½lbs. From 11.10½ down to 11:8lbs. (Strangely she did not lose any weight for her efforst on day 3, but her personal trainer said it is quite likely she will see further weight loss tomorrow) She is, nevertheless, very pleased with even this weight loss. I have come down from 17:3lbs to 16:10¾lbs. This represents a total loss of weight for the three days of 6¼lbs. Not bad. Not as great as the advertised 10lbs, but a lot more than any other diet ever achieved in such a short time. Lastly, we lost weight without any discomfort whatsoever – quite enjoyable really. So, reader, my recommendation is – go for it!

  24. Leah

    I Dont like Melon And I Dnt Really Like Ice-cream! I Could Eat the Ice-cream If I Really Have To. But Is there Any Other Fruit I Could Eat Apart From Melon?? If Any1 Knows Could They Get Back To My Please =]

  25. Andrew

    After Day 2. Somewhat disappointing results today, I’m afraid. Wife lost only ½lb and I lost 1¾lbs. I am much fatter than she is so presumably my rate of loss is correspondingly higher. Anyway, O reader, do not lose interest yet. Day two was a Sunday and the only exercise I had was getting on and off the scales. Besides Day two, I would like to believe, is where the body is looking for hidden reserves. I am feeling very light and I am sure tomorrow will produce wonderful results. Having already lost 4½lbs in just two days I am still most content. Most importantly, neither wifey nor I are suffering any pangs of hunger (so long as we do not dwell on the ffod ads which pop up on TV). Final report tomorrow, Day 3. Bye for now.

  26. Andrew

    After Day 1, my wife an I weighed ourselves. She has lost 2lbs and I have lost 3lbs. So far it is working and no real pangs of hunger yet. And no exercise!! This could be the one! Further update tomorrow.

  27. Andrew

    This morning my wife and I began this diet. I shall be incredibly strict over these three days so that i can report accurately my progress on this site day by day. I celebrated my decision to embark on this diet yesterday by eating too much so my weight loss today will probably be reduced by yesterday’s excess. My wife was more sensible so it will be an interesting comparison. This morning I weighed a disgraceful 17 stones 3lbs. I’ll be in touch tomorrow. Bye for now.

  28. Jade

    Im wondering the same about the tuna i cant eat it, should i just leave it out or replace it with chicken?

  29. Sally

    I am on this diet at the moment as i want to lose a bit before my holiday- if you skip the tuna does it matter? as i really hate tuna. is there anything i could eat in its place?

  30. Phil

    I tried the diet last year for 8 weeks of 3 days at a time and lost weight noticable. I continued to lose weight after stopping. I am now starting to gain weight and will be going back on the diet again. I recommend it. By the way I enjoyed the food and after the second 3 day diet I did not feel hunger pains.

  31. caitriona

    this is caitriona and ellen. were off to aldi now for our shopping. well check in with you all in 3 days and let you know if we lost a stone!!! bye bye

  32. suzanne

    i have done this diet 3 times, and lost 5 pound the first time, 3 the next two times, i have left it for a week this time, so hoping to lose the 5 again, wanting to lose some weight, so i can put it back on, on holiday lol

  33. john r

    I have been on this diet a few times and lost weight every time not the full ten pounds average 5-6 pound but keep cheating on the last day ,back on it again now before my check up

  34. Tanya

    Just looking for a head start in losing weight just after having a baby 10 weeks ago, need to get back into my own clothes

  35. siobhan

    i am on day 3 of this diet and i am bloody starving! i have only lost 2 and a half pounds! will it all drop off tonight?????

  36. Abi

    Im already around my optimum weight and consequently find it very hard to lose weight – train 14 hours of hockey a week eating about 1000calories a day…will this still work for me, if my normal routine doesn’t?

  37. Josie

    I am currently doing this diet and 4 oz of tuna is alot of tuna! But hopefully it will work and get me out of my poor dining ways! Keep you posted. Jx


    i hate meat and on day one you are meant to eat two slices of cold meat….anyone know if there is any substitute??

  39. Hog

    I did a similar diet, high in protein for about two months and suffered heart palpitations for a year afterwards. This outcome may or may not be linked to the diet, but I would advise caution to everybody.

  40. Serena

    I’ve tried loads of low calorie diets before- lower than this- and now i have gone back to healthy eating and I’m a healthy weight, not overweight. So does anyone know if this diet will actually result in me losing any weight? As my body is already used to low calorie diets!

  41. Lorraine

    I’ve done the diet before, and managed to lose 7 lbs in 3 days. Myself and my daughter are trying it again and although I’ve been much stricter this time, i seem to have only lost a couple of pounds in two days, whereas my daughter has managed to lose 5, and she has not been so rigorous with the diet. Its a good way to kick start your healthy eating program. What have you got to lose?

  42. Katie

    i have done this diet twice and neither time have i lost any weight.

  43. Kat

    I have done this diet quite a few times and find it works well. Obviously if you are not very overweight you will not lose loads of weight but I usually manage about 4 lbs in the 3 days. Gonna do it again next week as wanting to lose some more before my holiday! Only trouble is I dread the last meal every time. The version I have is different meals each day not the same as above???

  44. gina

    do i have to eat beetroot, cauliflower and melon?

  45. anita

    ive tried this diet, the reason, wanting to fit into a new pair of jeans and was so suprised when 3 days later could easily slip into them.i would reccomend this diet for anyone wanting to kick start their weight loss.

  46. Samar

    How long do you need to exercise?

  47. elizabeth

    This diet works for me too – every time. It is only three days and if you eat sensibly the rest of the week it does no harm. As a one off three day plan it is an excellent way to kick start or reinvigorate a long term (and therefore much slower weight loss) healthy eating plan.

  48. nicola

    this diet works my dad lost 12lb in 3 days. my mum did it to but she never suck to it so didnt loose much. my dad stuck to and never picked in between.

  49. sai

    I have done this diet loads of times, usually if I’m going on holiday or just feel I need to drop few pounds, it works everytime !! I am glad it is only for three days week though it is hard but worth it !

  50. Arianne Johnson

    I know that this diet works i have been on it and also my mum has too.

Last Reviewed: March 26, 2017