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Although not a formal diet program written in a book, the tuna fish diet plan circulates on the Internet and through dieting circles because of its promised quick weight loss and relatively short duration. One proponent of the diet plan, professional bodybuilder Dave Draper, recommends following the plan for three days. Medical professionals at the Cleveland Clinic advise against following a fad diet such as the tuna fish diet 4.
Draper advocates the tuna diet plan as a way to lose weight and retain muscle tone while preparing for competitions. On the three-day tuna diet, you drink large amounts of water and eat canned tuna fish six times each day. The amount of tuna fish you should eat varies, depending on how much you weigh. Draper recommends multiplying your body weight by either 1.0 or 1.5 to determine how much protein you should have. If you weigh 150 lbs., you would need between 150 to 225 g of protein a day.
- Draper advocates the tuna diet plan as a way to lose weight and retain muscle tone while preparing for competitions.
Protein, Nutrients and Calories
3 Day Cottage Cheese Grapefruit Diet
Tuna fish is a high-protein, low-calorie food that has no carbohydrates. If you want to consume 150 g of protein in tuna, you would need to eat about 21 ounces every day for three days. If your protein requirements are 225 g a day, you would need to eat about 31 oz. a day. The 21 oz. of tuna fish contains 693 calories, and the 31 oz. contains 1,023 calories. Other nutrients in tuna fish include a trace of fat, 3 mg of calcium, 96 mg of sodium and a small amount of vitamin B-12 in each ounce. Consuming 20 oz. of tuna that is canned in water gives you over 1,900 mg of sodium for the day.
- Tuna fish is a high-protein, low-calorie food that has no carbohydrates.
- of tuna that is canned in water gives you over 1,900 mg of sodium for the day.
Following a tuna fish diet, even if just for three days, may cause you to experience fatigue or stomach upset because of the extremely low-calorie nature of the diet. If you lose weight during your tuna diet, it may be mainly water weight. When you eat a diet very low in carbohydrates, your body often goes into ketosis. This condition occurs as the ketones in your body increase. As the ketones increase, you lose water weight and also risk damaging your kidneys, if the ketosis state remains for a long time. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that women who are pregnant, or contemplating pregnancy, and young children limit their consumption of canned light tuna to 12 oz. per week because of the mercury content in tuna.
- Following a tuna fish diet, even if just for three days, may cause you to experience fatigue or stomach upset because of the extremely low-calorie nature of the diet.
- As the ketones increase, you lose water weight and also risk damaging your kidneys, if the ketosis state remains for a long time.
Protein Content of Canned Salmon
Instead of following a fad tuna diet plan for three days in the hopes of losing weight quickly, use small amounts of tuna fish each day as either a snack or as part of your lunch or dinner meals. If you want to eat more protein while losing weight, consult your doctor for safe protein levels. Healthy ways to eat tuna fish while dieting include mixing 3 oz. of tuna with 2 tbsp. of fat-free Greek yogurt for a tuna salad, grilling a 4 oz. piece of tuna steak or adding 2 oz. of canned light tuna to a pasta and vegetable salad.
- Instead of following a fad tuna diet plan for three days in the hopes of losing weight quickly, use small amounts of tuna fish each day as either a snack or as part of your lunch or dinner meals.
- Healthy ways to eat tuna fish while dieting include mixing 3 oz.
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- Dave Draper Get Lean on Ultra Low Carbs -- It's Tuna and Water Time
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Tuna
- Weight-Control Information Network: Very Low-Calorie Diets
- Cleveland Clinic: Fad Diets
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish; March 2004
- Fish, tuna, light, canned in water, without salt, drained solids. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.
- Dhurmeea Z, Pethybridge H, Appadoo C, Bodin N. Lipid and fatty acid dynamics in mature female albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) in the western Indian Ocean. PLOS ONE. 2018. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0194558
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- Simonetto M, Infante M, Sacco RL, Rundek T, Della-Morte D. A novel anti-inflammatory role of omega-3 PUFAs in prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and vascular cognitive impairment and dementia. Nutrients. 2019;11(10). doi:10.3390/nu11102279
- Damanti S, Azzolino D, Roncaglione C, Arosio B, Rossi P, Cesari M. Efficacy of nutritional interventions as stand-alone or synergistic treatments with exercise for the management of sarcopenia. Nutrients. 2019;11(9). doi:10.3390/nu11091991
- Diabetes superfoods. American Diabetes Association. Updated 2020.
- Histamine toxicity. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Updated 2020.
- ACOG practice advisory: Update on seafood consumption during pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Updated 2017.
- Canned tuna. Seafood Health Facts: Making Smart Choices Balancing the Benefits and Risks of Seafood Consumption. Updated 2020.
- Selecting and serving fresh and frozen seafood safely. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Updated 2019.
Diane Lynn began writing in 1998 as a guest columnist for the "Tallahassee Democrat." After losing 158 pounds, she wrote her own weight-loss curriculum and now teaches classes on diet and fitness. Lynn also writes for The Oz Blog and her own blog, Fit to the Finish. She has a Bachelor of Science in finance from Florida State University.