This rather interesting approach to dieting came into being when Tammi Flynn, the nutrition director at a local gym in Wenatchee, Washington suggested one of her clients try eating an apple before every meal as a way to break through a stall in weight loss the client was experiencing. Within a week, the client began losing weight again, despite the increased calorie intake.
The 3-Apple-a-Day diet consists of eating an apple before every meal; with the meal itself consisting of carbohydrates, lean proteins, fruit, vegetables, and small amounts of essential fats. Dieters are recommended to have four or five small meals each day – with each meal or snack including a source of lean protein to help reduce appetite. The food plan is quite similar to the South Beach Diet, with an emphasis on eating low glycemic index carbohydrates, reducing saturated fats, and completely eliminating refined sugars.
There are several reasons given for why eating an apple before every meal works as a weight loss plan:
- The apples act as a fat-loss accelerator.
- The apples are high in fiber and therefore very filling.
- The natural sugar in apples reduces cravings.
However, while there is some science to support the theory and it is always a good thing to tell people to add nutritionally dense foods while cutting out high-calorie unhealthy snacks, there is no real evidence that the apple itself is anything special.
- Eating an apple at the beginning of every meal will make you feel full and reduce over-eating.
- Apples contain soluble fiber which can help reduce cholesterol levels and flavonoids that can be beneficial in preventing heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.
- Apples are part of your five-a-day.
- The diet plan encourages exercise and provides balanced meal plans which don’t require measuring or counting.
- It’s easy to tire of eating an apple before every meal.
- The meals themselves are not very exciting.
- There are no cheats – many foods are completely eliminated and there are no allowances for occasional indulgences.
- May not be suitable for vegetarians.
While eating an apple before every meal does have weight loss benefits, the 3-Apple-a-Day diet is highly restricting; which can quickly lead to dietary boredom.