Jorge Cruise, a man who claims to have been 40
pounds overweight, developed a diet plan designed to eliminate “belly
fat.” According to the National
Institutes of Health, fat in the abdominal area can increase your risk of
heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For many people, the belly is a problem
area, and this diet plan specifically targets it.
The 3-Hour Diet is a
trademarked food plan that involves eating small portions of food every three
hours throughout the day. This is a highly controlled plan with a regimented
eating schedule. By eating at specific times throughout the day, Cruise says
dieters keep their metabolism running on high, reducing body fat.
How it works
According to EveryDiet.org, the promise of the 3-Hour Diet
is that by eating every three hours, dieters can lose belly fat and maintain a healthier
weight. Dieters are told to:
- eat breakfast at 7 a.m.
- have a 100-calorie snack at 10
- eat lunch at 1 p.m.
- have a second 100-calorie snack at
- eat dinner at 7 p.m.
- soon after dinner, enjoy a 50-calorie
To follow the diet
correctly, dieters must make sure they stop eating at least three hours before
going to sleep.
Cruise developed this
diet based on the belief that if you go for more than three hours without
putting food in your body, it goes into “starvation mode.” In other words, your
body stores fat and burns muscle, slowing down your metabolism as if preparing
for a period of hunger. Eating consistently will, according to Cruise, keep
your metabolism moving quickly, helping you burn fat all day.
The 3-Hour Diet promises
that you’ll get rid of stubborn belly fat without giving up your favorite foods
or having to commit to a full-fledged exercise program. In fact, exercise is
optional with this program. The 3-Hour Diet promises that within two weeks of
joining the program, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which Cruise
believes causes belly fat) will be reduced, and so will your waistline.
According to the program’s
website, you can drop 10 pounds during the first two weeks and then lose
additional weight every week after that. The diet is advertised as
one that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of weight loss.
It also claims to be easy enough to follow that you will be able to stick with it
until you reach your goals.
The 3-Hour Diet is
all-inclusive. There are no prohibited types of food. In fact, some of the most
maligned foods are allowed in small portions. Dieters can eat
occasional fast food chicken, chocolate candy bars, bacon, and red meat. This
is alluring for those who aren’t ready to give up their favorite foods.
Cruise believes that
there are no bad foods, just bad portions. Following this methodology, the
3-Hour Diet is fairly sensible. It takes into account the undeniable fact that
calories are what determine weight gain, and sets strict calorie limits for
each meal and snack. The 3-Hour Diet’s meal plan also encourages eating a
balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fruits, and vegetables.
Many experts don’t agree
that regular, small portions necessarily translate into weight loss.
One danger is that the
frequent eating involved in the 3-Hour Diet can offer an opportunity for abuse,
especially if you have problems overeating to begin with. If portion sizes
aren’t controlled, frequent eating can actually cause you to gain weight. Similarly, if you struggle
with addiction to certain foods, such as sugar, this diet is not designed to
help you overcome that addiction.
Cruise also includes highly
processed foods in his meal plans, such as McDonald’s Egg McMuffins and Oreos. While
he believes that there are no bad foods, research
suggests that highly processed foods can lead to long-term weight gain.
Another issue is that the
3-Hour Diet doesn’t address the necessity of exercise. Exercise is essential to
overall health, as well as healthy weight loss.
Cruise’s focus on
controlling the psychological aspects of weight gain and weight loss is insightful.
Stress eating can lead to increased abdominal fat. Healthy stress management is
crucial for successful weight loss. The 3-Hour Diet does a good job tackling
some of the eating habits that lead to excess body fat.
However, every weight loss
program should include some type of physical activity. People become overweight
when they eat more calories than they use, and one of the causes of the obesity
epidemic in the United States is an inactive lifestyle. Dieters who combine the
3-Hour Diet with a healthy exercise program may very well see positive,