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What is the Danish Diet?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The Danish Diet is a fad diet that concentrates on a drastic reduction in calorie intake. A person who attempts this diet is supposed to stick with it for a little over two weeks. After 13 days have passed, the dieter is supposed to return to a normal diet, consuming healthy foods without overeating. This diet is supposed to facilitate the loss of 26 pounds (11.79 kilograms) in 13 days. There is no reliable proof, however, of whether or not the Danish Diet actually produces this level of weight loss.

A person on this diet is basically supposed to skip one meal per day. While the dieter is supposed to have coffee at breakfast time, that is all he is supposed to consume. Even his coffee represents a bare minimum of calories—the dieter is supposed to have only a single cube of sugar in it.

Lunch for a person on this fiet does offer a bit more nourishment, but it is still very low in calories and nutrients. At lunch, a person on this diet is supposed to eat several ounces of a low-calorie protein source as well as two vegetables. For example, on day one, a person on this diet is supposed to eat two boiled eggs, a tomato, and spinach. On day two, he is supposed to eat several ounces of ham and yogurt at lunchtime. On some days, the Danish Diet lunch consists of several ounces of fish, with a little butter and lemon, and nothing else.

Dinner meals also contain protein, and many of the meals include beef. Others may include similarly protein-rich foods, such as chicken or lamb. They do include vegetables, but usually in very scant amounts. For example, on day one of the Danish Diet, a person may eat several ounces of beef along with a salad that is drizzled with oil and lemon juice. On day seven, a dieter may eat several ounces of lamb and follow it up with an apple; day eleven’s dinner includes only several ounces of beef and a piece of celery.

Some people considering the diet may feel comfortable with skipping breakfast, as lunch and dinner at least contain a source of protein and some calories. There are some days, however, on which a person following this diet doesn’t eat protein with dinner. For example, on day 10, dinner only consists of celery, tomato, and fresh fruit.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By anon334698 — On May 14, 2013

It's called the Danish diet because I believe it was used at the Royal Danish hospital as a meal plan for patients in need of quick weight loss. That's just what I've heard about it, but unfortunately I can't provide you with any credible sources.

By anon301630 — On Nov 05, 2012

I finish the danish diet tomorrow and i feel good. To answer post no. 7's question, you are not allowed more then the one cup of coffee you drink for breakfast. I think I got used to eating less definitely before the first seven days, but I have lost about 12 pounds so far.

By anon238212 — On Jan 02, 2012

I've tried the danish diet several times, and every time, I lose between 4 and 6 pounds, but the problem is that I can't go farther that the first week. Something else: does anyone know if we are allowed to drink more than a cup of coffee a day?

By anon215482 — On Sep 18, 2011

I have been on this diet few times in my life. It works for me. I'm within the "right" weight range for up to a couple of years after it.

It is quick (hence the sacrifice period is short)and it works. Most of the weight loss is in the first week. The second week seems to be there mostly there to maintain what you lost the first week.

I feel really good after it.

By anon154034 — On Feb 19, 2011

I've done the Danish diet for a week so far, and lost 3.6 Kgs. I never felt weak or tired at all. I am a bookkeeper and sit for most of the day, resulting in water retention in my legs. Being on the diet, my legs have not retained any water. I couldn't believe the difference.

I am a sensible eater, but due to menopause, i gained weight and despite going to gym regularly, i couldn't shed even a few kilos. i feel great just being able to shed the few extra kilos and hopefully, after completing the second week, I will manage to maintain my loss.

By anon150286 — On Feb 07, 2011

My husband and i have been on the diet for one week now. i myself have lost eight pounds. I've not struggled with misery or starvation but I've welcomed the change in how my body feels -- not bloated or tight. Our plan after the 13 days is to continue on a meat and vegetable regime for some months.

I can only say that this diet is drastic if you are accustomed to large heavy meals three times a day.

By TunaLine — On Nov 22, 2010

Guys, diet meal plans that focus on drastic calorie reduction are just not smart. Just read all the Danish diet reviews -- although people are really happy with the little bit of weight they lose, a lot of them also comment on how miserable they are during the diet, and how hard it is to do.

You have to understand, cutting out that many calories is not only hard on your body, it really does a number on your emotions as well. So I guess you have to decide if its worth it to feel hungry, cranky, and miserable for two weeks to lose a few pounds (and then gain them back), or if you really want to change your life and eat more healthily for long lasting results.

Easy choice for me -- what about you?

By naturesgurl3 — On Nov 22, 2010

To me this sounds more like a "Dangerous" diet plan than a Danish diet plan.

Although I'm sure that many people feel great after ending this diet (being able to eat again has got to make you feel good), I doubt that it really works long-term.

I'm really leery of any fast weight loss diet, but I'm especially leery of one that involves a drastic caloric intake reduction. That's simply not biologically smart; when you cut your calories too much, your body thinks its starving, and tries to hold onto as much food and fat as it can.

I don't know about you, but that's not what I normally go for in a diet. I would be really interested to hear from anybody who's tried the Danish diet, though -- I hate to comment on something without having any first hand knowledge of it myself, so if you've ever tried the Danish diet, I'd love to hear from you.

Shoot me a Danish diet menu too, while you're at it, so I can learn more about it.


By CopperPipe — On Nov 22, 2010

Silly question -- how is this Danish? This Danish diet plan doesn't fit at all with what my Danish friends eat on a regular basis, so why is it called Danish? Is that just to make it sound healthier or something?

I guess it's better than calling it the "American" diet plan, what with the current rates of obesity in America (and elsewhere, I'm not picking on America in particular), but still, Danish?

What's the rationale behind that?

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison


Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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