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The Cleveland Clinic Diet

This version of the so-called Cleveland Clinic Diet has been circulating for years. Is it right for you? Here I break down the diet so you can decide.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  In need of losing some weight, I resorted to an old copy of the Cleveland Clinic Diet.  Now it is not really a diet from the Cleveland Clinic.  It is one of those things that got circulated from person-to-person years ago and I still had a copy.

Day one foods for Cleveland Clinic Diet - beets, green beans, apple, ice cream, and meat

Day One Dinner

I decided to look it up on the internet and, naturally, there is some criticism.  Aren’t most diets scrutinized?  Some say it is bad because of the calorie restrictions.  (Isn’t carrying around excess weight bad, too?)

Since dieting is easier with a buddy, I recruited my (adult) daughter to do it with me.  I guestimate that it cost around $55 for two people for three days.  The plan is as follows:

Day One
Breakfast:  1/2 grapefruit, 1 slice dry toast, and 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
Lunch:  1/2 cup dry tuna, 1 slice dry toast, coffee or tea
Dinner:  2 slices any type of meat (3 oz.), 1 cup green beans, 1 cup red beets, 1 small apple, 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

bowl of grapefruit

Day Two
Breakfast:  1 egg, 1 slice dry toast, 1/2 banana
Lunch:  1 cup cottage cheese, 5 saltine crackers
Dinner:  2 hot dogs (meat only), 1 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream, 1 banana

bowl of cottage cheese

Day Three
Breakfast:  5 saltine crackers, 1 slice cheddar cheese, 1 small apple
Lunch:  1 boiled egg, 1 slice dry toast
Dinner:  1 cup dry tuna, 1 cup red beets, 1 cup cauliflower, 1 cup cantaloupe, 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

bowl of tuna fish

My copy goes on to say:

Diet works on chemical breakdown and is proven.  Do not vary or substitute any of the above foods; salt and pepper may be used but no other seasonings.  This diet is to be used 3 days at a time.

In three days you will lose 10 lbs.  After 3 days of dieting, you can eat your normal foods, do not overdo it.  After your 4 days of normal eating, start back on your 3-day diet.  You can lose up to 40 lbs. in a month if you stick to this diet.  It is a safe diet.


On day one I was H.U.N.G.R.Y!   I lost between 1-2 pounds.
I admit that I did not quite stick to it on day two.  I ate my banana and ice cream early.  I was H.U.N.G.R.Y!
Day three: I think I made it through breakfast, but that was it.

The So-Called Cleveland Clinic Analyzed

I thought I would do a little analysis using to see how this diet really measured up – or down.  Here is how the different day’s meal plan breaks down:

My Fitness Pal analysis of Day One of Cleveland Clinic Diet
So for day one, the calorie count is low.  Most diets recommend a minimum of 1200 calories/day.  The sodium content is too high.

Day Two analysis of The Cleveland Clinic Diet
Day two is still too low on the calorie count.

Day Three analysis of The Cleveland Clinic Diet
Once again, not enough calories

Overall I lost about 3.5 pounds following this version of the Cleveland Clinic Diet.  Not too bad for starving for 2 days.  Would I do it again?  I think I would do one day just to mess with my metabolism.  

My daughter was not a fan of the diet.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this to anyone.   I think that perhaps one of the best diets that one can do is the No S Diet.  Basically, it is no sweets, no snacks, and no seconds except on days that start with “S” or special occasions.  How easy does that sound?

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