Greenlane Diet

The Greenlane Diet is a poor fad diet that has been circulating for many years.

Please note no medical association or hospital (Greenlane Hospital in Auckland) 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 it’s exact origins are unknown.

Interestingly, the diet bears a striking resemblance to the Scarsdale diet – also written in the 1970s.

Greenlane Diet Plan

The Greenlane diet is a very low calorie diet – a typical day’s eating culminates in only 700 calories. This is a crash diet – a sudden and severe reduction in calories that results in primarily fluid loss.

The diet should never be undertaken for more than 3 days, any longer and your body will immediately slow down metabolism and place you on target for yo-yo dieting (and subsequent weight gain).

The Greenlane Hospital diet contains a small selection of foods; Dry toast, fruit, tuna, ‘snax’ biscuits. Snax biscuits are a cracker made by the food brand Griffins in New Zealand indicating that this diet may have originated from this part of the world (which does have a Greenlane hospital in Auckland). However this cannot be verified.

Sample Meal Plan

This diet is not recommended


5 ‘snax’ biscuits (dry crackers)
1 slice of cheddar cheese
1 small apple


1 boiled egg
1 slice of dry toast


1 cup of tuna
1 cup of beetroot
1 cup of cauliflower
1/2 melon
1/2 cup of diet vanilla ice-cream


Black coffee/tea/water

Look here for other low calorie meal ideas.

Fad Diets Never Work Long-term

VLCD diets like the Greenlane Diet never produce long-term results unless people begin a calorie reduced, long-term eating plan after the 3 day diet has finished.

Also these diet tend to promote unhealthy eating patterns and can result in eating disorders. We advise dieters to find plans that are sensible, healthy, and nutritionally adequate with slow and steady weight loss as a goal.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • KATZ, D. L. (2003). Pandemic obesity and the contagion of nutritional nonsense. Public health reviews, 31(1), 33-44. link
  • Hanning, R. M., & Zlotkin, S. H. (1985). Unconventional eating practices and their health implications. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 32(2), 429-445. link
  • Piran, N. (1999). Eating disorders: A trial of prevention in a high risk school setting. Journal of Primary Prevention, 20(1), 75-90. link

123 Comments or Reviews

Comments now closed
  1. tartansam

    Hy folks, how we al doing? So pleased I found this page, lots of postive comments on it, shell-belle oh my god, how well have you done?? Well i am a 35 yr old guy and was horrified to find i am 13stones 2 lbs-I want to get to 10 and a half stones ideally, starting the diet today, going to do it monday till wednesday and then watch what I am doing rest of the week-prob stick to “scottish slimmers” plan thurs-sunday which I lost a lot of weight on before, seems like a very easy to follow plan and VERY effective with fast results :-)got all my food for the diest in today. Shelle-belles list of what she eats on the diet is very clear-was not sure what “cups” were and you have specified weights which is much clearer, good luck to all and I shall keep you posted on my weekly Monday weigh in!

  2. lolly

    does anyone find their energy levels are extremely low while on this diet?

  3. lolly

    i tried this diet with my mum and sister we only lasted two days
    🙁 but i lost 2kg and have kept it off for over a month now plan to start it again tomorrow. does anyone find their energy levels are extremely low while on this diet?

  4. Minny

    just started on this diet this morning!

    i realize that i get hungry more compared to when i fasted on just water for 3 days.
    let’s hope this diet really works like how it did for some of you here!

  5. toxicangel

    hey guys .. all ur posts on dis page have been reely helpful and exceptionally motivating !!!
    any ways
    i’ve jus started the greenlane diet wid a frn today ..
    umm im a smoker .. is dat gonna affect my success ..????

  6. maorigurl

    Wow shell-belle
    Your weightloss is inspiring, Ive been trying to lose weight all my life to the point that nothing and i mean nothing seems to work for me any more and the sheer disappiontment of it all has made me binge eat even more. this has inspirated me to give dieting yet another go and I pray that this works as good for me as it has for you. I’m going to start tomorrow and will keep you posted on the results. I too was woundering if you can have trim milk in the coffee .

  7. Pen

    Hi to all I am going to start this diet tommorrow and love my morning coffee can I cut a little somewhere so I can have milk in my coffee… Thanks

  8. Zoe

    Hi just started the diet today – Is black coffee/tea restricted to meal times only i;e 4 cups? Thanks

  9. Extra Baby Weight

    Can you do this diet breastfeeding?? I know I should exercise and eat healthy but it just doesn’t work. I want to know if the chemical break down will follow into my milk and make my beautiful chubby little girl lose weight as well????? I’m starting to get really down thinking about my weight and have down this diet before so I know it works. Some one please answer my Q.


  10. miss

    Im starting this diet tommorrow i cant wait i have never felt more determined my goal is 37kilos i cant wait to fit into my old clothes

  11. soontobeslim

    WOW i have been following this diet and im on my second round and im not sure how much ive lost but i know i have as i can now easily fit into clothes that were a bit of struggle to get into before so im gonna solider on and stick it out coz i know it works….and finding this site helps more just to read about others and how effective this diet has been for them just motivates me more….so wen i feel the need to eat more i just hop online and read all your stories!!! KEEP IT UP!!!!!!

  12. Anonymous

    wat do u eat if u dnt like tuna

  13. lalie _ south africa

    this is so great… i read about this one day and thank God for Google, cause i found this diet online. I never had a weitht problem, but when i went to college, my compass turned… I am going on this diet tomorrow first thing…

    Thank you guys!!!

  14. Shell-Belle

    Personally, I drink diet soda’s if I have to go out in the week (but do have alcohol at the weekends!).
    As for the substitute for tuna, I guess there is always chicken or turkey, or if you are a veggie, you could have Quorn I guess?
    Although I am no longer, I was a veggie for 12 years and quorn soaked in some sage for a few hours and then roasted in a little oil with a sprinkling of ground black pepper, and a little Paprika or Chilli is delish!
    Each to their own. To be honest, I would have thought that if you need to substitute something because of an allergy, or you simply dislike something, as long as you are sensible and subsitute something of a similar calorific value, you can’t really go far wrong….. like pear for apple, melon for banana, chicken for tuna etc…
    Good luck everyone. 🙂

  15. pinkcandy

    im so angry this did not work for me, im 26 and 12st trying to join army and was told to loose 10lb went on this stuck to it like glue even tho i hate tuna and peanut butter makes me gag!!! but i stuck it out and trained all week really hard in gym an all i lost was 2lb am so down, am i doing somthing wrong?

  16. Anonymous

    What do you eat if you dont like Tuna?

  17. Anonymous

    this does work i done this diet last year i cheated a little bit hence had a packet twiglets and had a pear instead of an apple cos they make me ill, and i lost 7lb by the 3rd day, it def works but only a short term fix.

  18. kiwi girl

    have been told this diet makes you lose 4.5kgs in a week or the 3days could someone please confirm that this is true and if so how regular do you have to exercise? the fat has to go somewhere right!!!!

  19. kiwi girl

    me and my partner have just started this diet today thank you shelle-belle for the subtitut food as i am not very keen on the grapefriut but love oranges i have been told this diet works so i’m hoping for the best well done to all that have lost more than 4.5kgs in 3 days hope i’m one of them aswell.

  20. Shell-Belle

    emz – thanks 🙂 4 stone is not insignificant! Well done to you too! Let us know how you get on…….

  21. emz

    Shell-Belle your story is amazing. Ive been on rosemary connerly for 11 months and nearly lost 4 stone, I need to lose 5lb by next week to get there. Im going to give this a go for 3 days and then back on rosemary – will see what happens.

  22. Diet Pepsi addict

    Can you drink diet soda on this diet? Some versions say yes..

  23. Shelle-Belle

    Crash Dieter – I steam my veggies too. I occasionally use a few dried herbs (and occasionally I even have a spoonful of mayo!), but most of the time I just have as is. I guess it is down to the individual tastes. I am not that keen on raw veg, so I always steam it.
    Col – I usually buy Princes tin of 8 hot dog…… to be honest, it is only because they are generally on offer in Tesco or Asda or the Co-Op and so I get them, but again, I guess it would be individual taste. I have also substituted the hot dog for normall sausages if I have fancied them instead. Oh, and have a lovely holiday 🙂
    Another 3lb this week – gotta keep going tho…. :/

  24. danz

    i think this diet is amazin, it really doz work i lost 2 stone in 3 weeks and that was doin the diet for 3 day the takin a break for 4, on breaks i was eatin wot i liked and still able to lose the weight.

  25. col

    thanks shell-belle for your plan. I am about to give this a go as have a trip to oz in a few weeks. Can you tell me what you mean by hot dogs (in a can) and can I replace this with anything? Thanks

  26. Vic

    OK so finished the three days last night and overall lost 6lbs! Was quite amazed by the whole diet to be fair. Never felt hungry at all and I actually quite liked every meal that I ate. Before I never used to eat breakfast so I think this diet has kicked me up the bum to start doing that now as it really does set you up for the day. I’ve tried the Atkins, Weight Watchers etc etc….but to no avail…Atkins actually made me ill! but I think I have actually found something that you can realistically stick to without thinking about missing naughty food 24/7 :o)

  27. Crash Dieter

    Hi Everyone!
    I’m on my last day and looking very very forward to dinner!! I’ve seen so many different versions of the diet I don’t know if I’m on the right one..but I’m doing the same one as Shell-Belle so hopefully I’ll get the same results! I can’t wait until tomorrow morning when I weigh myself!!
    SHELL-BELLE: is there any particular way you’re supposed to prepare/cook the veggies and meat? My version allows herbs so I’ve been adding some to my tuna…I’ve also been steaming my veggies, but are they supposed to be eaten raw?
    Thanks in advance!

  28. Shell-Belle

    NZ girl….. does the hospital have any other 3day’ers that you can post up??

  29. Shell-Belle

    For Sue and Mel: To answer your questions what do I eat in hte other four days………I just eat planty of fruit, veg, chicken, pork, fish etc. I have a family, so they need to have a balanced meal everyday (thank God my kids haven’t got my fat gene! They take after my husbands athletic build!)

    Ok, so a typical week:
    Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the three day plan (remember to take a multi vitamin too – just to give make sure you get what you need).
    Thursday & Friday – Brekky is normally Grapefruit. Sometines I will have a slice of toast and jam/marmite etc. It just depends on how hungry I am feeling to be honest!
    Lunch is normally a fruit salad sometimes with a small pot of Petite Filou or Munch Bunch fromage frais. I snack on fruit all day! Dinner on those days is just a standard meal…. chicken, beef, spag bol, lasagne, vegetables – ya know, just a balanced meal.
    Saturday and Sunday I watch what I eat, but certainly dont go without!! I will have a take-away and have a few glasses of wine or lager over the weekend. I have got the hang of eating when I am hungry now, so it is easy. It has taken me years to get the hang of it mind you.
    I will admit, I limit my bread intake. It killed me at first, but now, I am happy with 6-8 slices a week. I have my 5 a day. Usually 3 fruits and 2 veg.
    I was a big big chocoholic – I now eat pineapple, grapes, strawbs, blueberrys, plums, grapefruit, melon in it’s place. I crave pineapple sometimes and just have to have it….. I go thru a pineapple every couple of days. I kinda figure it aint gonna do me much harm and to be honest. Craving fruit – how mad is that!!! Never in a million years did I ever think that I would crave FRUIT!!

    Ohhh – also, seeing as I am sharing…….. I have gone from a size 34 bottom and 32 top to a size 22 bottom and a size 20 top (UK sizes). I just went out ast weekend and bought loads of clothes in a sale!!! I still got about 4 stone to go (56lbs) and to be honest I feel amazing!

    My target is to have another couple of stone by christmas (typing this in mid august)and I think it is very do’able even tho I am loosing a little less a week than 6 months ago – but that was always going to happen!

    It is a new me! My husband loves it! I Love it! and the kids love it! I have enough energy for all 4 of us 🙂
    Good luck with it. 🙂 Shell-Belle

  30. yolanda nz

    ive done this diet b4 and it worked but it was really easy to put back on i did put it back on but i do work at a resturant lol my m8 tht gave me this diet lost weight to but she found tht the more often she done it the less weight she lost i think because her body was gettn ammune to it good luck …

  31. Vic

    My friend started this diet tues (12/08/08) and lost 7 and a half lbs in the three days! Starting mine next Tues will let you know how I get on :o)

  32. claire

    So its day 2, quarter to 3 I really wanna munch sumn js cz I wanna not coz I’m hungry! I’ll js hold off until dinner time! 🙂 I’m really annoyed…I though I had put weight ON this morning…but I went back to weigh myself again and I realise now that they weren’t centred they were set at like half a stone to start of with!!! So I’m not sure wot my starting weight was now but I think so far iv lost roughly 2lbs 🙂 so I’ll keep it up. My holiday is exactly two weeks today so I’m really determind!

  33. claire

    Iv done this diet before I lost about 6lbs which I thought was gonna I go on holiday is 3 weeks so I’m doin it again went shoPping last night for everythin I need so hopefully itl go well 🙂 beach body time! Woo 🙂

  34. cara

    hi can you tell me how much weight you should approx loose for three days. Is this meant to be a one off diet or should you do this each week for it to work.

  35. Kate

    Hi, I have been ill for 5 weeks and in that time i have gained about 4lbs. I have a christening to go to on sunday and I would really like to lose those few pounds and maybe a few more by sunday. Is this diet ok to do twice in one week? I practice yoga so I will be doing this alongside. Am I safe to try this in time for sunday?

  36. kiwi girls

    hi i am currently doing this diet with a friend to keep me on track thanks shelle-belle for putting the menu plan up. I lost 6.5 pounds in first week and i ate normal for the other four days but dropped my portion size at dinner an have put on 2.5 pounds in those days. Not upset as still lost 4 pound for the week. Will keep you posted.

  37. Phil

    How have some of you eaten on the other 4 days of the week? I know it should be small portions, but when I did this 3 day diet once or twice, I easily gained back everything I lost and then some.

  38. sue

    thanks shelle it was good of you to take the time out to write all of your eating plan out i am going to try myself but am not sure on what to eat for the next 4 days that follow.

  39. Mel

    Thanks shelle-Belle!! I am gonna give it a go now I have the full plan. 🙂

  40. nz girl

    i actually work in greenlane hospital, and our patients use this diet to loose 4.5kgs before they go into extensive surgery. I tried this just last week and ended up loosing 6kgs. Its a life saver. Awesome, but be careful its not to be used all the time, and make sure to take your vitamins and minerals.

  41. Shell-Belle

    It’s fab!! I would seriously reccomend this to anyone who has a lot of weight to use.

    I have done this several times now, I started 6 months ago and have lost 73lbs so far. And WOW – – – I feel absolutely fan-bloody-tastic!!!!

    I have the energy I had when I was in my 20’s and I feel so motivated because there has not been a week where I have not lost something!

    I do 3 days a week, I still have a chinese, Indian or Pizza on a Friday night and drink wine or beer at the weekends. Dont get me wrong….. I watch what I eat, but certainly dont go without!!

    I went on holiday for 2 weeks and didn’t do the plan at all – just kept an eye on what I was eating…. I still lost 2 lb that week and I wasnt trying – I was just motivated to keep a check on myself!

    I excercise moderately I guess….. 10 mins walking or cycling a day and I swim for 40 mins twice a week. I eat lots of fruit during the working day – mainly pineapple at the moment because I have a sweet tooth and it satisfies that wonderfully, but if I want to have some chocolate or a biscuit – I have it… just not on the 3 day plan!

    If you knew me you would see what I mean. I have been fat since being about 7 yrs old! (I am 37 now). I have always put on weight really easily. I have binged and hidden food from my husband and family for years! I have starved myself to loose weight and done pretty much every diet on the planet!

    This does work! I call it my new eating habit rather than a diet – it is so easy to do and I never miss out.

    I always tell my friends that on this plan I can have my cake and eat it (corny I know – but it is how I feel!), but I’ll tell you this….. I dont want to eat the cake, cuz I have seen the results for myself and have gone down 6 dress sizes!

    Here is what I eat for 3 days a week.
    DAY 1 – Breakfast
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    Half a Grapefruit
    Slice of Toast
    1 tbsp. Peanut Butter
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    Half a Tin of Tuna
    1 Slice of Toast
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    1 Chicken breast
    4oz Green Beans
    4oz Carrots
    4oz Vanilla ice cream
    1 medium Apple
    DAY 2 – Breakfast
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    1 Egg (scrambled or omelette)
    Half a Banana (or a very small one!)
    1 Slice of Toast
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    4oz of Cottage Cheese
    5 Tuc or Ritz biscuits
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    2 Hot Dogs (tinned is fine)
    4oz Broccoli
    4oz Carrots
    Half a Banana (or a very small one!)
    4oz Vanilla ice cream
    DAY 3 – Breakfast
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    5 Tuc or Ritz biscuits
    1oz Cheddar Cheese
    1 apple
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    1 boiled Egg
    1 slice of Toast
    Glass of Water
    A Black Coffee or Tea
    Half a Tin of Tuna
    4oz Carrots
    4oz Cauliflower
    4oz Melon
    4oz Vanilla ice cream

    Toast is to be dry – no butter or margarine.
    You need to drink 4 glasses of water each day. That is in addition to the black coffee/tea/water that you have with each meal.

    The vanilla ice cream may be either low-fat or regular. Obviously, low-fat is recommended, but regular is also acceptable.

    As with all BHF plans – strictly no alcohol!

    Condiments allowed:
    Freely use:
    Fresh Lemon
    Ground Pepper
    Sweetener (if required in the black tea or coffee)
    Use very sparingly:
    Spray oil

    You may use the following substitutions:
    •Orange instead of Grapefruit
    •Tuna instead of Cottage cheese (and vice versa)
    •Frozen yogurt instead of Ice Cream
    •Cauliflower instead of Broccoli (and vice versa)
    •Green beans instead of Broccoli or Cauliflower
    •Beetroot instead of Carrots
    •Toast instead of crackers (vice versa)

    Seriously – give it a try and if you dont loose weight I will be amazed! This is no BS! Just a fat person trying to let others know that something does work…… (well not so fat any more actually!)

  42. amy

    This diet is based on a chemical breakdown method, and is used for heart patients that are overweight to loose a great amount fast for surgery

  43. Kim

    My Mum followed this diet for all of 2007. She was undergoing surgery early 2008 and had to lose weight before the operation.It has certainly worked for her and she has lost 50kgs and kept it off. Not bad for a 71 yr old who could only walk with a walking stick!!

  44. Mazza

    I done this diet 5yrs ago with among alot of my friends but they pulled out & I continued on….which I lost 15kgs…but then fell pregnant & the hard dieting went into toilets & lost the menu…since then I’ve been looking for this diet but couldn’t find it resulting to using Ferguson diet so forth which never worked…now I’m in Australia & found this FANTASTIC DIET again I am so happy that I’m going back on it again with my husband. For those who are questioning, this is a chemical breakdown & it actually shrinks your need to know when to stop by..weighing yourself all the time & stick to it & do it for 3 days only not more. You must be carefull have a friend or family keep you in track.

  45. Anon

    Yes, it does work. This diet has been around for years. I first tried it in the late 70’s/early 80’s and it has worked every time. I’ve reached a plateau…been here for a few months, so today I pulled out what I call my ‘plateau booster’. After 3 days it’s back to my current eating plan. Not good for athletes though.

  46. Gerry Tweedie

    I started this diet 6 weeks ago and have lost 1 st 13 lbs.Explain that.I stick rigidly to the diet 3 days a week,and the rest I just take some care.It does work.

  47. jade

    I dont like tuna is there anything i can eat instead?

  48. Nic

    This diet was developed for cardiac patients by the Greenlane Hospital in Auckland, who have a specialist heart & lung department. It is ONLY recommended to patients who need to lose weight before surgery. It is only recommended for very short amounts of time, for rapid weight loss, under doctors direction.

  49. Anon

    I’m currently on this diet. The plan suggested here is wrong…

    Black Coffee/Tea for each morning only, with one extra serving at Day 1 Lunchtime.

    It is most likely working due to it being a chemical breakdown.

  50. Victoria

    Worked for me!

Last Reviewed: February 28, 2019