Looking for a quick way to take off a few pounds? Why not check out the 3-day military diet for quick weight loss results. This food plan makes claims of losing 10 pounds in 3 days, but can it be done?
The truth is most diets are doable, but how easy are they and will you be able to keep the weight off?
Truthfully, it is easier to lose 1 – 2 pounds a month and know that you will never have to lose that weight again.
This diet is similar to other 3 day diets. It is only the name that is different. The diet has no known connection to the military, but that does not mean that you cannot lose weight with this food plan.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our policies for more details.
The military diet bears some resemblance to “The Drinking Man’s Diet” of the 60s. Diets are a lot like styles.
They come back around years later with a twist. Look at how many times Weight Watchers has reinvented itself over the years.
Enough of the trip down memory lane. Back to the military diet.
So, What is the Military Diet?
It is a low-calorie diet that is said to consist of chemically compatible foods. The first day is 1400 calories, the second day is 1200 calories and the third day is 1100 calories.
The 3 days of the diet look like this:
Breakfast: 1/2 Grapefruit, one slice of bread/toast with two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter, and one cup of coffee
Lunch: one slice of bread or toast, 1/2 can of tuna, and one cup of coffee
Dinner: 3 oz. of any meat (the size of a deck of cards), one cup of green beans, one small apple, 1/2 banana, and one cup of ice cream
Breakfast: one egg cooked (prepared to your liking), one slice of bread or toast, 1/2 banana
Lunch: one cup of cottage cheese, one hardboiled egg, five saltine crackers
Dinner: two hot dogs (no bread), one cup of broccoli, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/2 banana, one cup of ice cream
Breakfast: one slice of cheddar cheese, one small apple, five saltine crackers
Lunch: one egg (cooked to your liking), one slice of bread or toast
Dinner: one cup of tuna, 1/2 banana, one cup of ice cream
Any diet that allows ice cream is okay with me! People are saying you can lose 10 pounds in a week and as much as 30 pounds a month.
The 4 days where you are not following the above, you will follow a sensible 1500 calorie a day food plan. What you drink on the military diet is important.
Water and herbal tea are the only approved beverages on this diet. One cup of coffee with no cream and sugar is permitted to avoid caffeine withdrawal.
Stevia is the only recommended sweetener on the military diet.
Military Diet Substitutes
No matter who you are there are going to be foods on a diet that may not be to your taste and the military diet is no different.
You can make the following substitutions on the military diet to help you power through the low-calorie days.
A sugar-free cup of hot chocolate (made with water) can be substituted for coffee or tea.
Almond butter, pumpkin, sunflower, or soy butter are great substitutes for peanut butter.
If you don’t like tuna, your alternatives are chicken or lean meat. Just make sure to stick to a 200-calorie serving. As for vegetarians, cottage cheese, almonds, peanuts, and tofu are nice options. Meats can also be substituted with lentils, beans, or tofu.
Eggs can be replaced with 2 bacon slices, 1 chicken wing, a cup of milk, or a ¼ cup of nuts or seeds.
Need a substitute for bread? Try whole-grain cereals, protein bar, or even ¼ cup of yogurt. Tortilla wraps are also allowed.
A banana does not sound good? Try the following: 2 apricots, 2 kiwis, 1 cup of papaya, or any fruit (e.g., plums, apples, and grapes), provided they have the same amount of calories.
Celery, squash, beets, carrots and bell peppers are interchangeable.
Green beans, leafy green vegetables, spinach and tomatoes can be swapped.
Cauliflower and asparagus can be substituted for broccoli.
Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, eggs and ham can be substituted.
Don’t want crackers? Eat rice cakes with the same amount of calories.
A cup of fruit yogurt or apple juice is the best alternative for ice cream (but why would you pass on ice cream).
Grapefruit can be a problem for some people. You can drink a glass of water with a half teaspoon of baking powder in it. Oranges should not be substituted due to high sugar content.
Does the Military Diet Work?
You can lose weight on the military diet because it is very low calorie. And due to the diet being structured, it is easy to follow. You know exactly what you are supposed to eat at every meal.
There is also a downside to this food plan. It is not balanced with all the necessary nutrients required for healthy eating. It is designed for quick weight loss and many times quick weight loss can be temporary.
If you look at the menu for the military diet it consists of foods that don’t have much nutritional value, such as; hot dogs, ice cream and crackers.
Eating these foods in the small amounts that are recommended is not necessarily harmful, but they do not offer much benefit either.
Can You Lose Weight on the Military Diet?
Weight loss is not a sprint. It is more like a marathon. The idea of being 10 pounds lighter a week from now can be very appealing but is it sustainable?
If you have 100 pounds to lose, 10 pounds in a week can be sustainable. If you only have 20 pounds to lose, it will most likely take more than a week to lose 10 pounds.
The weight loss world is filled with fad diets that promise fast weight loss. There are also many diets that have odd combination of foods, such as; the cabbage diet and the grapefruit diet.
Eating 1500 calories a day will be a challenge. Eating as few as 1100 calories can be downright difficult. There are a lot of weight loss plans to choose from so why would you choose the military diet?
There is a chance you will lose weight due to reduced calorie intake, but you most likely will also feel like crap for the same reason.
Eating too little can make it hard to exercise or even feel normal throughout the day. If you have more than a few pounds to lose a sensible diet is your best bet.
A registered dietitian can help you structure a weight loss plan that will work for you. The people that lose weight and keep it off make lifestyle changes. They make small changes over time that help them live healthier and take off the extra pounds.
People have thousands of choices when it comes to losing weight. Personally, the military diet would be one weight loss plan I would pass on. I hate very low-calorie diets.
This type of diet turns me into a real grouch and by the end of the day I feel like climbing into the refrigerator. There are so many food plans that are flexible and allow you to be indulgent occasionally.
This beats starving yourself hoping to lose 10 pounds in a week. So what if it takes 2 weeks or even 4 weeks.
If you are slow and steady your chances are better that you are only going to have to lose the weight once. Find a diet that fits you with a food plan that you can commit to for the long term.
Walk away from crash dieting options. Even if you lose weight, there is a good chance you will regain most of it.