ABC Diet: A Beginner’s Guide and Meal Plan

The ABC diet, also known as the Ana Boot Camp diet, is a diet that will allow you to lose weight through a severe calorie restriction. An ABC diet is based on pushing your body into hunger mode to lose weight quickly. 

Anyone can participate in the ABC diet. While most people don’t believe there are benefits to the diet, if you’re on a weight loss journey, there are significant benefits. The health benefits of this diet include eating healthy foods and avoiding processed foods which can boost your metabolism. 

It’s unclear when the ABC diet came about, but it has become a popular diet option for those who are interested in rapid and significant weight loss, especially in women. It is important that you consider other diets before embarking on the ABC diet, simply for your safety.

What is the ABC Diet?

The ABC diet revolves around restricting calories to only healthy and unprocessed foods. The name of the diet references anorexia, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening eating disorder, so healthcare professionals do not recommend it. 

What is ABC Diet
What is the ABC Diet?

For those who participate in the ABC diet, it’s meant to be strictly a short-term solution to weight loss. The caloric restriction is intense and not sustainable in the long term. This diet plan differs from the anorexic diet in that it’s designed to restrict calories for several days rather than for the long term. 

How Does the ABC Diet Work?

The ABC diet works by slowing down your body’s metabolism to the slowest possible state. You’ll do this by eating varying calories per day, but all in a caloric deficit that is extreme and not life-sustaining in the long term.

The ABC diet works by keeping track of your calories on a chart. You’ll only participate in the diet for eight weeks maximum. In the first week of the ABC diet, you’re only supposed to consume 500 calories in the first two days each. From there, the calorie allotment would change from 500 to 300, 400, 100, 200, and 300 on the following days.

On your second week of the ABC diet, you will consume 400 calories on the first day and 500 on the second. You’ll then fast on the third day of your second week of the diet. The fourth day has a calorie restriction of 200, and the fifth day 100. You’ll fast on the sixth day and then resume a 300-calorie allotment on the seventh day. 

How you’ll go on for the following six weeks will vary, but at the beginning of the eighth week, you should start to resume your regular diet and caloric intake. The initial reactions of partaking in the ABC diet are exhaustion, hunger, and brain fog due to far fewer calories consumed. 

What Are the Health Benefits of the ABC Diet?

The ABC diet is very restrictive, and while other restrictive diets provide health benefits, there aren’t any legitimate health benefits of the ABC diet. The only potential health benefits of the ABC diet are that you’re only consuming unprocessed foods and vegetables, but you’re not consuming enough of them.

What Are the Health Risks of the ABC Diet?

There are several health risks associated with the ABC diet. As a highly restrictive diet, the health risks are far more prominent than the minimal health benefits. 

  • Anorexia
  • Unhealthy relationships with food
  • Poor body image
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Malnutrition
  • Confusion & brain fog

With such a restrictive diet, there’s the possibility of lasting psychological effects. It can lead to anorexia and other disordered eating issues, as well as a poor body image.

Even if you don’t end up with disordered eating, there’s the possibility for vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can leave lasting effects on your body. Some people can suffer from malnutrition after being on the ABC diet for a prolonged period of time. Others might deal with confusion, brain fog, and other psychological issues. 

What Is a Sample ABC Diet Plan?

You can eat whatever you want if you’re following the calorie restrictions according to the ABC diet and keeping unprocessed foods. Even so, here’s a sample ABC diet plan that some people might follow on the ABC diet. 

  • Breakfast: For breakfast, a low-fat yogurt that’s around 79 to 80 calories. 
  • Lunch: Lunch could be something like an apple or piece of fruit and more low-fat yogurt. 
  • Dinner: Dinner could be a blended vegetable soup that’s under 200 calories. 

Vegetables and fruit are the best options if you have room for snacks. The above is just a sample diet plan. You can eat whatever fruits and vegetables you want with other unprocessed foods as long as you stick to the calories allotment for the day.

What Are the Foods That You Can Eat While on the ABC Diet?

You can eat many foods while participating in an ABC diet as long as they’re healthy and not processed. The main thing to know is how much food you can enjoy. Here are some of the best options to eat while on an ABC diet.

What are the foods that you can eat while on a ABC Diet
What Are the Foods That You Can Eat While on the ABC Diet?
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Low-fat Greek Yogurt
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Oats
  • Rice

What Are the Foods That You Should Avoid While on the ABC Diet?

The main thing to know about the ABC diet is that you cannot eat foods that are “unhealthy” or processed. So, even though that frozen meal you love is only 400 calories, you cannot eat it because it contains processed ingredients. Some of the foods you’ll need to avoid while on an ABC diet are the following;

  1. Ice cream
  2. Coffee
  3. Butter
  4. Frozen meals
  5. Candy 
  6. High-calorie meat like steak
  7. Cookies
  8. Cake
  9. Frosting 
  10. Cheese

What Are the Best Recipes for ABC Diet?

Recipes for ABC Diet are limited due to the restrictive nature of the recipe. One recipe you can enjoy while on the ABC diet is a parfait. You can use your allotted daily calories to mix low-fat yogurt with your fruit of choice. You will likely have to leave the granola off, but it’s a good option. 

Scrambled eggs are another quick and easy recipe. You will only be able to enjoy them as is without any butter or oil, but if your calorie allotment allows, you can add veggies to the eggs.

Fruit salad is another easy and delicious recipe to enjoy on an ABC diet. Depending on the number of calories you’re allowed for that day, you can combine whatever fresh fruits you want into a bowl.

While this isn’t a recipe, you can enjoy tuna on this diet. You can add zero-calorie, non-processed seasonings to make it tastier, but you cannot make tuna salad. Depending on how many calories you’re allowed to have that day, you can pair it with a vegetable of your choice.

You can make a protein of your choice and veggies as long as it’s in your calorie requirement. This could be a small piece of chicken and peppers or another non-processed vegetable of your choice. 

How To Do the ABC Diet?

Following the ABC diet is not overly complicated, the most challenging part is sticking with your allotted calorie intake per day. How many calories you consume on the ABC diet will change daily. Some days you’ll consume 500, while on others, you’ll have wholly fasted.

How to do ABC Diet
How To Do the ABC Diet?

The days you’re not fasting and the calories you’re allowed to consume will vary from 100 to 500. Since the diet is very restrictive, it’s only recommended that people do the diet for a few weeks maximum at a time. 

Some people push the diet to eight weeks, but the fewer, the better. You will still see weight loss even after a week or two, but trying it for eight weeks could put you at a higher risk of complications. 

The best practices to follow when you’re on the ABC diet are only consuming non-processed foods, eating only low-fat foods, and avoiding excessive exercise. 

Who Should Do the ABC Diet?

Health professionals will encourage you not to participate in the ABC diet, but some people feel the need or want to do it.  The people who choose to partake in the ABC diet feel the need to drop weight quickly. It could be for a special event or any other reason, but the diet can bring drastic and short-term weight loss to those who follow the diet.

No one needs to go on the ABC diet as it is incredibly restrictive and doesn’t allow for a sustainable amount of calories for someone long-term.

Bodybuilders are known for going on the ABC diet closer to their competition. This is because they need to maintain a particular physique to win, they will go on this diet to drop the necessary weight. 

Some even refer to this diet as the ABC bodybuilder diet when these athletes partake in the diet. When bodybuilders go on the ABC diet, it’s for a much shorter period than the traditional ABC diet. Most bodybuilders will go on a modified version of the diet a week or two before their competition to ensure that they’re meeting their goal weight and their physique is ideal.

What Are the Facts About the ABC Diet?

When you start the ABC Diet, you’ll notice several changes in your body during the first week. During the first week, your body is adjusting to a very limited number of calories, and you’ll likely experience fatigue, dizziness, and other symptoms of a low calories diet. You might see some weight loss early on too. 

A positive thing about the ABC diet is the cost. Since you’re restricting how much you’re eating, you won’t be spending nearly as much money on groceries per week. Even though you’re eating fresh foods, which tend to be pricier, since you’re consuming less, you can expect your grocery bill to be well under $100. Remember, pricing will vary depending on where you live and where you shop. 

The ABC diet is a diet that is naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This is the best benefit that the diet offers since the rest can be dangerous. 

It is not the best diet for weight loss. You will likely lose weight quickly with this diet, but it’s not sustainable. Once you start eating an average amount of calories again, you’ll likely regain all the weight you lost during your time on the diet. 

Is ABC Diet Considered a Healthy Diet?

No, the ABC diet is not considered a healthy diet according to healthcare professionals.. The name stems from the word Ana which references anorexia. This life-threatening eating disorder isn’t something to glamorize, and the ABC diet can almost promote anorexia and lead to further eating issues.

If you choose to do the ABC diet for fewer weeks than the eight weeks, it can be far healthier than prolonging your very restrictive caloric intake. Ignoring the potentially dangerous factors of this diet, it is very low in fat and cholesterol which can be beneficial for some individuals. 

Is ABC Diet Expensive?

No, the ABC diet isn’t an expensive diet to follow. Since you’re consuming a meager amount of calories daily for several weeks, your grocery bill will be far less and almost non-existent. 

What Are the Alternatives to the ABC Diet?

Several alternatives to the ABC diet are available and will aid in your weight loss journey. Looking into alternatives is vital if you don’t like how restrictive the ABC diet is. 

Even if you’ve tried the ABC diet and saw results but want something more sustainable, the best alternatives can be great sustainable options for you. Some alternative diets you can consider over the ABC diet are as follows:

  1. The Atkins Diet
  2. The Mediterranean Diet 

Both the Atkins and Mediterranean diet follow strict meal plans that allow for only specific types of food and calorie intake per day. 

The main difference between the Atkins and Mediterranean diet compared to the ABC diet is that while they’re restrictive, you still consume enough calories to function normally. 

These diets last for a few weeks, and the calorie intake changes on the Atkins diet, but with the Mediterranean, as long as you’re consuming the allowed food items, you have far more leniency in what you want to cook and eat. 

What Are the Similar Diets to ABC Diet?

The alternatives to the ABC diet are similar in nature, but there is one diet that is far closer in similarity, and that’s the military diet. 

The military diet is similar in the sense that it’s another short-term diet that will aid you in rapid weight loss. You’ll eat a very restrictive diet for three days a week but then resume a regular diet the four other days. 

You will consume similar foods for the three days on the military diet as you would on the ABC diet. Your caloric intake is limited to very few calories, and you can only eat half a grapefruit for breakfast, for example, which is similar to the ABC diet. 

While it’s not identical, the restrictive nature makes it one of the most similar diets to the ABC diet. 

What Does an ABC Diet PDF Involve?

An ABC diet PDF would involve a tracking sheet for you to record your calories for the day. It will also show the number of calories you’re allowed to have per day each day of the diet. 

How To Find a 3D ABC Diet Printable Plan?

You can find printable ABC diet plans by Google searching for them. Since the diet is restrictive and not recommended by many health professionals, it’s not very easy to find. 

You can find purchasable ABC diet plans on Amazon and other online stores, but you’ll have to do some digging to find a printable plan for this diet. Since many people don’t recommend the diet, it will be challenging to find a printable plan that you can use to guide you on your diet. 

What Is the Difference Between ABC Diet and Keto Diet?

The ABC diet and the Keto diet are two drastically different diets. The ABC diet is a highly restrictive diet that can be very dangerous in the long term and even in the short term. It focuses on heavily restricting calories and eating only healthy and non-processed foods. This diet is designed to slow your metabolism down as slowly as possible to promote weight loss. 

The Keto (Ketogenic) diet, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily calories restrictive. It focuses on consuming high-fat and high-protein while restricting your carbohydrate intake.

The ketogenic diet is far most sustainable compared to the ABC diet and has far fewer potentially dangerous health issues. A Keto diet won’t slow your metabolism down, but it will put your body into the metabolic state known as ketosis to promote weight loss.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.