The story behind the ABC Diet

ABC Diet, the diet name seems to be weird but in fact, it isn’t.

It is a way of losing fat from your body without reaching starvation.

ABC diet is an abbreviation of Ana Boot Camp diet, it was a fad response induced by Robert S Wider. It includes food that starts with A, B, and C letters. In the “A” category, there is asparagus and apple abalone. In ” B” category, there are bean curd, beluga caviar and bouillon. In category “C”, there are celery, chard, carrots, and more. It was just a satire but people tended to use it as a diet for weight loss.

abc diet weight loss average

This is a restrictive diet meal plan for calories to be shortened over time, the plan is to lower your intake day to day within limits ( no more than 800 calories per day).

It is named “Ana Boot Camp ” and refers to loss of weight which is associated with Anorexia (Ana) that is why doctors criticize such diets, hence it is not suitable for anyone. However, there are people who are thankful for the ABC diet plan and claim that it has great results.

Anyone, before using it, you have to consult your doctor to tell you if it suits you or not.

How does the ABC Diet work?

By lowering the amount of calorie intake daily, your body metabolism will increase thus reducing weight. Avoiding starvation will decrease your body metabolism and this is undesirable for weight loss.

You need your body metabolism to remain fast, active, and efficient to get the desired results of body weight loss.

While your body requirements are 1000 calories at least per day, the ABC diet plan allows only from 0 to 800 calories per day ( there are about 6 days of 0 calories and only one day for 800 calories available)

When you reach a very low level of calories required for the body, your body eats your fat cells then muscles.

5 phases of ABC diet plan

The ABC diet meal plan

Phase 1:

It is 10 days course, it is as follows:

DayWhat to do?
First 2 daysyou should consume up to 500 calories.
3rd dayreducing calorie consumption to 300 calories. (No more).
4th dayyou will increase your consumption back up to 400 calories.
5th dayreducing your consumption by up to 100 calories.
For the next four daysyou will increase your intake by 100 calories each day.
By the ninth dayyou will reach 500 calories.
On the tenth dayonly fasting; means just water with zero calories.

Phase 2:

It is 10 days course, it is as follows:

DayWhat to do?
On the 11th dayyou are permitted to consume only 150 calories.
On the 12th dayonly 200 calories are allowed to be consumed.
On the 13th dayyou are allowed to increase it to 400 calories.
On the 14th day350 calories only are allowed.
On the 15th day250 Calories only are allowed.
On the 16th dayyou are allowed to consume only 200 calories.
On the 17th dayfasting
On the 18th dayyou can consume up to 200 calories.
On the 19th day100 calories only are available for consumption.
On the 20th dayphase 2 is ended by fasting on the 20th day.

Phase 3:

It is a 12 days course, the most intense phase which needs step by step calorie reduction then a gradual increase in calories consumed.

DayWhat to do?
On the 21st dayit is allowed up to 300 calories intake then calorie consumption will be decreased by 50 calories each day until the 26th day.
On the 27th day100 calories only are allowed
On the 28th and 29th day200 calories are allowed
On the 30th dayyou can enjoy 300 calories
On the 31st dayup to 800 calories are allowed
On the 32nd dayThe end of this phase, fasting is only available on this day.

Phase 4:

It is the shortest phase, it takes four days only.

DayWhat to do?
On the 33rd dayyou are allowed to consume up to 250 calories.
On the 34th day350 calories are allowed
On the 35th450 calories are available to be consumed
On the 36thFasting

Phase 5:

It is the final phase and it is the longest phase, it takes the remaining days ( two weeks).

DayWhat to do?
37th dayup to 500 calories are allowed to be consumed.
From 38th to 42ndyou will decrease your intake by 50 calories each day
43rd day you consume up to 200 calories.
45th dayyou increase it up to 250 calories
the 46th day reduce it back to 200 calories
47th dayyou increase it up to 300 calories
48th dayonly 250 calories are allowed
49th dayfurther reduction to be only 150 calories allowed to be consumed.
CongratulationsFinally, you finish your diet by fasting on the 50th day.

Risks of the ABC Diet plan

Any low-calorie diet will be risky, as, in fact, you don’t lose your body fat only, but also water and nutrients.

In the period of ABC diet, your body will use to store energy due to low-calorie intake and it will continue to do it even if diet stoppage happened, your body will stay saving energy so you will gain weight on ABC diet stoppage more that the kilograms that you lost.

ABC diet may lead to dizziness, malnutrition, Paranoia, fatigue, depression, low blood sugar, losing muscle mass, and osteoporosis due to low vitamins intake which is necessary for the body.

The ABC diet cons and risks

Some of the common side effects of ABC Diet

  • Fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, and sleep apnea. 
  • abdominal pain.
  • Lowered immunity thus multiple infections especially gastrointestinal tract infections due to altered function of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Brittle hair and dry skin can lead to hair loss.
  • Hypoglycemia which is a dangerous side effect.
  • Hand and feet numbness.
  • Hypothyroidism due to low hormone levels.
  • Hypothermia.
  • dehydration which may affect both kidneys.
  • Increase in insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes.
  • hypotension.
  • Increase the risk of heart failure.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Increase the risk of suicide attempts.

What are the benefits of the ABC Diet plan?

Obesity is dangerous and its prevalence is increasing worldwide, it affects females by being a risk factor to cause polycystic ovary and diabetes, thromboembolism in both males and females.

the ABC diet benefits

So doctor-end experts recommend weight loss.

A fad diet is unhealthy and useless as it is a temporary loss of weight, when you stop the fad diet you gain weight again.

Thus if you intend to lose weight for a period of time, for the sake of stroke or diabetes prevention, and know that you will gain weight again, a fad diet will be ok.

The physiology is that when you eat much amount of food, your body metabolism decreases and the calories accumulate in the form of fat storage (fat cells of the body), the main diet aim is to minimize this accumulation thus loss of body fat, thus loss of weight 

When we eat full, heavy meals with high calories, it slows down our metabolism, which is the ability to process the calories and so accumulates in the form of fat deposits in our body.

ABC diet gives significant results which can be easily noticed within less than two months. You feel this loss gradually from the first 10 days.

Is the ABC diet safe?

No, it’s not safe, it is a plan placed on the idea of starvation for weight loss.

Moreover, it isn’t a permanent result of weight loss.

In fact, the blogs of the plan are horrible, it seems that it aims to make people reach the skinny level to get pretty to satisfy their bodies even if it is harmful to their health.

How much weight can you lose on the ABC diet?

Definitely, ABC diet results of weight loss varies, most of this plan users are underweight, this level of weight can reach from 10 to 20 pounds loss of weight on doing with ABC diet plan.

While for overweight people, it reaches about 20 to 25 pounds loss.

Healthy alternative diets

- Mediterranean diet:

It is a very traditional diet of taking large amounts of vegetables, fruits, fish, olive oil, and nuts with physical exercise at the same time.

It protects against heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, it reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

- The Cambridge diet:

It’s a diet plan of replacement of food by certain products.

Doctors and experts recommend it.

The dieter gets the full important nutrients of minerals and vitamins.

Scientific studies claimed that the Cambridge diet plan is safe for weight loss.

weight loss calculator

It is a good maintenance calculator by entering your age, your height, current weight and how many calories that you intend to eat per day (whatever), and your activity level.

That will make you get a chart that will make you be aware of the particular weight that you should get on a certain date.



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For quick answers, see our FAQs

- What is the ABC diet?

It is a diet plan in which you have to restrict your calories intake for the sake of weight loss.

- How much weight loss ABC diet?

For underweight people, from 10 to 20 pounds loss of weight. 

For overweight people, it reaches about 20 to 25 pounds loss.

- Is the ABC diet safe? Is it helpful?

No, it isn’t safe. But, It can help in reducing weight.

- What positive and negative impacts does the ABC diet have on the body?

Positive impacts are that the ABC diet gives significant results which can be easily noticed, it doesn’t need surgical interference.

Negative impacts are that it is unsafe, leads to dizziness, malnutrition, Paranoia, fatigue, depression, low blood sugar, losing muscle mass. 

- How long does the ABC diet take to work?

You feel the weight loss gradually from the first 10 days, It takes less than two months to be well noticed.

- What are more tips for the ABC diet?

You can use this diet with caution not to reach the starvation level or find another diet plan.

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.


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