Apple diet what are the benefits Effectiveness? Risks

The apple diet, or the 3 apple diet (not to be confused with the apple mono diet) was set up by Tammi Flynn, an American nutritionist following the observation of the weight loss of one of her clients. The principle is to eat an apple before each meal and to associate it with a low-calorie diet, low-GI foods, plenty of water, and physical activity.

The principle of the apple diet

The apple diet comes from American nutritionist Tammi Flynn, who suggested to one of her clients who was no longer able to lose weight, to eat an apple before each meal. Result: she managed to lose 1kg in 1 week.

Tammy Flynn then put many of her clients on the diet, all of whom successfully lost weight as well. In 2013, she wrote a book called “The 3 Apple a Day GI Diet: The Amazing Superfood for Fast-track Weight Loss” which describes her 12-week weight loss method using 3 apples a day and a low-calorie, low-GI diet.

The principle is therefore very simple: eat an apple before each meal, or three apples per day. But it is also very important to drink water (minimum 1.5 liters per day). The apple, although rich in many vitamins and minerals, is largely composed of soluble fibers: pectin. Thus, when in contact with water, the pectin will become engorged and will form a viscous gel that will help increase the bolus of food, thus “filling the stomach” and inducing the feeling of satiety.

Apples can be eaten raw or cooked, but not in juice form (since it lacks fiber).

It is also important to monitor your diet to optimize the benefits of the apple diet. Tammi Flynn recommends adopting a low-calorie diet (she presents three formulas: 1200 kcal/day, 1500 kcal/day, or 1800 kcal/day) and favoring foods with a low Glycemic Index (since the apple already has the advantage of having a low GI). It is therefore interesting to eat a lot of vegetables, consume protein at each meal, avoid sugary or processed products, and respect the recommended daily intake.

To this, it is advisable to add regular physical activity to optimize weight loss and maintain muscle mass.

Be careful not to confuse the apple diet with the apple mono diet which consists of eating only apples for a specific period. The conditions, the goal, and the issues are not the same.

Foods to avoid or limit

Foods to avoid or limit include:

  • red meats (often fatty and slow to digest);
  • refined grains (bread, pasta, flour products, etc.);
  • sweet products or confectionery, pastries;
  • processed and industrial products;
  • pasteurized cheeses;
  • “trans” fatty acids (hydrogenated oils, etc.);
  • sugary drinks;
  • the alcohol.

Examples of low-GI foods

Low-GI foods include

  • fresh vegetables (except squash) and sprouted seeds;
  • fatty fruits (avocado, olive, etc.);
  • legumes (soy, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, etc.) and their flours;
  • meats, poultry, fish, eggs;
  • oilseeds (almonds, cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, Grenoble nuts, etc.);
  • most fruits (except ripe banana, kiwi, prunes, etc.);
  • fats (good quality oils, butter, etc.);
  • yogurt, fresh cheese;
  • dark chocolate with more than 80% cocoa.

The benefits of apples

Apples are fruits with multiple health benefits.

They are rich in vitamins (A, B, C, and E), minerals and trace elements (phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese), antioxidants (flavonoids), and fibers (pectin, protopectin, etc.).

The richness of its composition makes it a healthy food that strengthens the immune system, reduces fatigue, and helps fight free radicals.

As for these famous pectins, they are soluble plant fibers that cannot be assimilated by the body. When in contact with water, the pectin in apples absorbs it, begins to swell, and creates a viscous gel that:

  • increases the food bolus and fills the stomach (therefore increasing satiety and “appetite suppressant effect);
  • protects the digestive mucous membranes;
  • slows the absorption of glucose (by slowing gastric emptying);
  • therefore helps reduce the post-meal blood sugar spike and LDL cholesterol levels;
  • regulate intestinal transit (for both diarrhea and constipation);
  • help reduce heavy metals (by absorbing them) in the digestive system.

Please note: pectin also exists in the form of food supplements (and can increase daily fiber intake). But be careful, excess fiber can irritate the intestine.

Finally, apples are low in calories: around 50 kcal per 100g.

To sum up, it is an ideal fruit both for health and for weight loss.

The benefits of the apple diet

The apple diet remains an inexpensive method that can be followed almost all year round, due to the price of apples and their ease of acquisition in stores.

This diet remains relatively unrestrictive and the gain in satiety linked to the fibers in apples helps to avoid feeling deprived or frustrated.

Beyond the appetite suppressant and calming effect on cravings, apples have real health benefits. Consuming them regularly is only beneficial. This diet allows you to resume certain good eating habits, by increasing the proportions of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, and by drinking plenty of water.

The disadvantages of the apple diet

Three apples a day, every day, can become redundant and even tire you of the fruit in the long run.

The apple diet remains a low-calorie diet (especially the 1200 kcal per day formula) and is therefore restrictive and can cause deficiencies, it is therefore important to be followed by a doctor or a professional. A low-calorie diet can also have an impact on muscle mass and basic metabolism.

This diet presents risks of fatigue, headaches, difficulty concentrating, or intestinal disorders. An excess of apples (and therefore fiber) can be irritating to the intestinal walls.

Finally, it is normally advisable to consume fruits rather away from meals (or 30 minutes before but never as a dessert) because they are digested very quickly (about 30 minutes) and at the level of the intestine. So a fruit that stagnates in a stomach full of other slowly digested foods will cause risks of fermentation and therefore stomach aches, bloating, and gas.


It is important to be followed by a doctor or professional during an apple diet as with any other diet.

It is advisable to carry out a nutritional and blood assessment following the diet.

The apple diet is not recommended in the case of:

  • chronic pathologies;
  • triglyceride problems;
  • de diabète -hypertension ;
  • thyroid disorders;
  • irritable bowel;
  • eating disorders.


The idea of ​​incorporating apples into our eating habits is good, but we should focus on eating them away from meals to get the maximum benefit.


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