What is the British Heart Foundation Diet?

Vanilla ice cream being scooped up

I read online about the British Heart Foundation Diet. Can you tell me what this is?

BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:

Despite what you might read on the internet, the ‘British Heart Foundation Diet’ or ‘Heart Foundation Three Day Diet’ has nothing to do with the BHF, nor does it reflect our advice on weight loss.

It’s a strict diet, also called the ‘Greenlane’ or ‘Sacred Heart’ diet, that claims to help people lose up to 4.5kg (10lb) over three days. It requires followers to eat specific combinations of foods across the three days, many of which aren’t particularly healthy, including hot dogs, salty crackers and ice cream.

It takes no account of the amount of weight to be lost, your energy requirements, activity levels or, most importantly, what happens when the three days are up and this ‘diet’ is finished.

If you follow the diet to the letter, you probably will lose some weight. However, that’s not because of the combination of foods the diet includes – it’s just low in calories. Return to your normal diet and the weight will come back on.

Weight loss ultimately boils down to calories you take in compared with the amount you use up. Quick-fix low-calorie diets don’t tend to work long term. Taking a bit longer to lose the weight but with an eating pattern you can stick to offers a greater chance of success, and makes it more likely you will meet your nutritional needs.

With any plan, make sure you are getting your 5-a-day, pay attention to how much salt and sugar you are consuming and include some healthy fats such as oily fish, nuts and vegetable oils.

  • Read more advice on healthy weight loss.
  • Find out your BMI using our BMI calculator.
  • Victoria Taylor Meet the expert

    Victoria Taylor is a registered dietitian with more than 20 years’ experience. Her work for the NHS focused on weight management and community programmes for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. At the BHF, as a Senior Dietitian, she advises on diet and nutrition.

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