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The Military Diet: A Detailed Review and Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide

The Military Diet: A Detailed Review and Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide

Does the Military Diet really work? Learn the facts about the 3-Day diet plan.

The Military Diet

The military diet or the 3-day military diet is a weight loss diet plan.

Fad diets are swooshing in left and right in the digital age of health and fitness. One diet that you may have stumbled upon on your quest through the internet is the military diet.

The military diet acclaims to make its participants lose a whopping 10 pounds[1] in a week. As the adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Nevertheless, let’s delve deeper into this diet and see if it’s worth trying out. Who knows, maybe it’s your new weapon to weight loss.

Origin of the Military Diet

Hearing the term “military diet” probably makes you think this diet arose from the military. Advocates of the diet claim it was designed by a nutritionist in the military to help soldiers shed weight. However, that’s not the case. No one knows where the diet came from. It has no real link to the army.

Patricia Deuster, certified nutritionist and author of the first US Navy SEAL Nutrition guide, explained on CNN[2], “In my 30 years working with the military, I’ve never heard of it.”

With that being said, celebrity Khloe Kardashian has used the diet before. (If that counts for anything.)

How Does Military Diet Work?

The military diet is a short term calorie restriction diet, and it’s pretty extreme. The gist of the diet is you restrict yourself to between 1100-1400 calories for 3 days, and then you take 4 days off and return to regular eating habits.

The diet is a low carbohydrate, low fat, low-calorie diet. It aims for higher protein intake.

For the first 3 days, you have a set meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner staying between 1,100-1,400 calories. The next 4 days are slightly more flexible. These 4 days you don’t have a meal plan (you can eat whatever you want), but proponents of the diet recommend that you stay under 1,500 calories.

Considering the average female should consume 2,000 calories and the average male should consume 2,500 calories per day to maintain their weight[3], this puts you at a huge caloric deficit. (At least it lets you eat hot dogs and eat ice cream. Yum!)

Military Diet – The Meal Plan

Day 1

Breakfast

  • half a grapefruit
  • one slice of toast
  • 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of peanut butter, ideally a salt-free and sugar-free brand
  • 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea

Lunch

  • half a cup of tuna
  • one slice of toast
  • 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea

Dinner

  • 3 ounces of any meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • half a banana
  • one small apple
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2

Breakfast

  • one egg
  • one slice of toast
  • half a banana

Lunch

  • one hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • five saltine crackers

Dinner

  • two hot dogs without the buns
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • half a cup of carrots
  • half a banana
  • half a cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3

Breakfast

  • five saltine crackers
  • one slice of cheddar cheese
  • one small apple

Lunch

  • one hard-boiled egg
  • one slice of toast

Dinner

  • 1 cup of tuna
  • half a banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Is the Military Diet Effective?

‘Yes’ and ‘No’. The military diet requires you to eat low-calorie which therefore puts you into a caloric deficit. Being in a caloric deficit will cause you to lose weight because in order to lose weight you just need to consume less than you burn.

Unless you are as thin as a stick and as sedentary as a rock than the military diet will most likely put you in a caloric deficit causing you to lose weight.

If you can stick with this diet long-term, then this may be a good dieting routine to opt-in on.

However, if this diet isn’t sustainable long-term for you than you are better off skipping this trendy fad…unless you are planning for a special event.

The Military Diet for Short-Term Weight Loss

Although the military diet may not be a reliable protocol for long-term weight loss, it’s a viable option for short-term weight loss.

So if you need to shed weight quickly for a special event – a wedding, a wrestling match, or summer vacation – this diet may be for you.

Follow the military diet, let the weight drop, kill the event you prepped for and then wean back to your regular ways of eating.

Just know you will likely gain back the weight you have lost when you return to your normal way of eating.

Military Diet Drawbacks

If you were to follow this diet for a short period, it’s relatively safe. But if you were to follow it long-term, it has its drawbacks.

Since you are eating such a low amount of calories, you likely aren’t getting the nutrients your body needs to function optimally.

On top of that, your body will be low on fuel. This will affect your everyday performance. Your body needs the energy it gets from calories to feel it’s best and perform adequately.

Recommendations

I recommend that you only utilize the military diet only if you can stick it out long-term. If not, just use it as a short-term methodology you use when you need to prep for a special event.

Other than that, I would find a diet that is more sustainable and that you can stick with long-term.

You May Also LikeThe Keto Diet

Conclusion

The military diet is a trendy diet that has caught headlines before by making people lose a drastic amount of weight in a short amount of time.

It’s a low-calorie diet that is followed for 3 days and then allows regular eating habits for the next 4 days.

For short-term weight loss, it’s great. But for long-term weight loss, there are better options.

Happy dieting!

Feedback:

Bibliography

[1] The Military Diet: Lose 10 Pounds in Just 1 Week? - Healthline https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/the-military-diet-101
[2] Military diet: 3-day diet or dud? By Sandee LaMotte, CNN https://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/30/health/3-day-military-diet-revealed/index.html
[3] Calories. Eva V. Osilla; Sandeep Sharma. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499909/
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