The Military Diet is one of the most popular & quick weight loss diet plans, which claims to help you lose 10 pounds in 3 days without exercise, while eating ice cream, hot dogs, eggs, cheese, meat etc…
The 3 day military diet plan is budget friendly and you don’t have to subscribe to any expensive programs or purchase expensive food or dietary supplements. All the foods mentioned in the three day military diet are commonly found in every household.
But does the three day diet actually work or it is just some fad diet? Read this article to know everything about the program – Detailed Military Diet Review.
What is the 3 Day Military Diet Plan?
Before going into the details of the 3 day diet, the first thing I would like you to know is that the military diet, as claimed by many, is not designed by the nutritionists in the US military for the soldiers. If anyone says so, don’t believe in them.
A CNN reporter interviewed a few US Military officials, including a nutrition specialist and asked them about their opinions on the 3 day military diet.
According to the report, the officials said they did not even heard of any such diet and maintained that the diet plan was not developed by them.
It is just a low calorie weight loss diet that helps you lose a significant amount of weight in a span of 1 week or 7 days.
During the first 3 days of the military diet, you’ll be eating only the suggested foods, which help you lose weight and on the remaining 4 days off, you’ll be eating either the 1200 calorie meal plan (for women) or the 1500 calorie meal plan (for men) in order to maintain your lost weight.
Bottom Line: The Military Diet aka Army Diet aka Ice Cream Diet is a 3 day weight loss diet followed by a 4 day maintenance diet. Due to the lower calorie consumption, you’ll lose weight for sure. But, how much weight you’ll lose will depend on your age, health, current weight etc…
How Does the Military Diet Plan Work?
As said above, the 3 day military diet menu is split into two phases, which lasts for 1 week or 7 days.
During the first three days of the diet, you’re allowed to eat low calorie meals 3 times a day with no snacks. On an average, you’ll be getting roughly 1000 to 1300 calories/day on the military diet.
On the other 4 days off menu, you’re free to have a healthy meal plan comprising of no more than 1500 calories per day.
You can repeat the diet (3+4 days) several times until you reach your weight loss goal.
Bottom Line: There is a calorie restriction on the first 3 days of the diet plan to help you lose weight. The remaining 4 days off meal plan will help in maintaining the lost weight.
How Many Times Can You Follow the Military Diet?
If you’ve too much weight to lose, you can follow the diet multiple times with atleast 1 week gap.
Say for example, you followed the diet this week and lose some weight, you just have to eat normally for the next week and can again follow the diet in the 3rd week and so on… until you reach your target weight.
Military Diet Menu with 3 Days Meal Plan (Phase I)
Below is the exact 3 day food meal plan you should follow during the first phase of the army diet.
Military Diet Day 1 Foods List
- 1 slice of Wholegrain toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
- 1/2 Grapefruit.
- 1 cup of coffee or tea.
- A slice of whole grain toast.
- 1/2 cup of Tuna.
- 1 cup of coffee or tea.
- 3-Oz (85 grams) serving of any meat
- 1 cup of green beans.
- 1 small apple.
- 1/2 banana.
- 1 cup Vanilla ice cream.
Military Diet Day 2 Foods List
- 1 slice of toast (whole grain).
- 1 hard-boiled egg.
- 1/2 banana.
- 1 hard-boiled egg.
- A cup of cottage cheese.
- 5 saltine crackers.
- 2 hot dogs without bun.
- 1/2 cup of carrots and 1/2 cup of broccoli.
- ½ banana.
- 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream.
Military Diet Day 3 Foods List
- 1 slice of cheddar cheese.
- 5 saltine crackers.
- A small apple.
- 1 slice of toast.
- One egg (hard boiled or cooked according to your likes)
- A cup of tuna.
- 1/2 banana.
- 1 cup of vanilla ice cream.
In addition to the three day military diet plan menu, it is advised to drink as much water as you can (at least 3 to 4 liters per day). If you’re a coffee addict, you can have it as long as you don’t add any sugar, milk or cream, which spikes up your calorie intake and thus spoils your diet.
The Military Diet Four Days Off Menu (Phase II)
As mentioned earlier, this is the phase 2 of the Ice cream diet, where you’ll be eating healthy, but limiting your calorie intake to just 1500 calories per day. Women can go down up to 1200 calories per day.
The only rule of thumb is to avoid any fast foods and include only healthy foods like vegetables, fruits and protein.
Foods Allowed During the First 3 Days of Military Diet
Here is a list of foods that are allowed as part of the the military diet plan:
- Whole Wheat Toast
- Cottage/Cheddar Cheese
- Grapefruit, Apples and Bananas
- Eggs, Tuna Fish, Meat of any kind
- Green Beans, Broccoli, Carrots
- Peanut butter
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Black Coffee (without sugar or cream); Stevia is allowed
- Saltine Crackers
Foods to Avoid While on The Military Diet Program
Even several healthy foods have to be avoided on the 3 day diet as they increase the overall calorie intake and may cause weight gain. The list includes:
- Whole grains, legumes or beans
- Fruits or vegetables other than those allowed on the plan
- Added fats, such as Butter, Ghee or Oil
- All sweeteners that contain calories
- All condiments or beverages that contain calories
3 Day Military Diet Food Substitutions
Not everyone could eat all the foods and hence you’re allowed to replace any food in the 3 day diet military menu with foods that contain the same number of calories and nutrients.
For example, you can swap 1 cup of Tuna for a handful of almonds. This is good for vegetarians too. Also find the Vegetarian Military Diet Plan.
Not a fan of grapefruit? Don’t worry! Just add ½ tsp of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it. It has the same fat-burning benefits as the grapefruit.
Here is the complete list of Military Diet Substitutions allowed on the 3 day diet.
Pros and Cons of the Military Diet
Like every diet plan, this 3 days diet also have both pros and cons. Let us look at them in detail.
1.Gives Quick Weight Loss Results
To maintain their weight, Adult men need around 2000 to 2500 calories per day, while the women need around 1500 to 2000 calories per day. And, you get roughly 900 to 1100 calories on the military 3 day diet. So, the deficit calories will be taken from your body fat, thus resulting in quick weight loss.
2.High Protein Foods Helps Control Appetite
No matter what you weight goal is, it is highly advised to include protein in your menu as it helps in building muscle and at the same time losing weight by controlling your appetite. Since the military diet foods are high in protein content, it helps you stay fuller for longer periods.
3.Includes Veggies and Fruits
The diet plan includes vegetables like carrots, green beans and broccoli, which contain good fiber along with fruits like Banana, Grapefruit and Apple. You don’t have to worry about sweet tooth. Just munch on these fruits.
De-merits or Side Effects
4.Too Low in Calories May Cause Starvation Mode
If you consume low amount of calories for a longer period of time, then it will trigger a ‘starvation mode’ response. It is a state where your metabolic rate starts to slow down and hence your body burns less calories.
So, trying the military diet continuously for several weeks might do some great damage to your metabolism and is also not advisable.
It is recommended to do once or twice a month with a gap of at least 1 week in between two sessions.
5.Weight Loss is Temporary
As we said earlier, it is just a low calorie diet plan to lose weight quickly. You’ll regain some or all of the lost weight once you start eating normally.
So, after completion of the diet, it depends on your lifestyle whether you could maintain the results or not. Eat healthy, be active and stay healthy.
Is the Military Diet Safe? Are the Weight Results Sustainable?
Since the actual diet lasts for just 3 days, it is safe for an average person.
But, if you start following it vigorously for a continued period of time (for months at a time), then you may be in trouble due to lack of nutrients from such low calorie diet plans. So, don’t put yourself at risk by doing so.
My personal advice: You can do it for a week, leave a gap of 3 to 4 days and then start it again. Don’t skip the four day off meal plan (Phase II), which is very crucial in helping you stay healthy.
And coming to the sustainability, you can’t keep the weight off for long as this short-term diet isn’t helping you to change your eating habits. So, the weight loss results won’t last much longer if you go back to your regular eating habits.
Bottom Line: The three day Military diet is safe, but not meant to be followed for months at a time. Maintenance is the key to any long term weight loss results. Stick to a healthy eating lifestyle and you’ll definitely be able to maintain your weight.
Can You Really Lose 10 pounds in a week?
Yes, you can lose 10 pounds or 4.5 kg in a week, but it varies from one individual to another depending on several factors like age, health conditions, metabolism, excess weight etc…
And as I said earlier, losing weight is easy, but maintaining is the toughest part.
Military Diet Tips to Get the Best Weight Loss Results
Here are a few do’s and don’ts to get much better results.
- Start your day by drinking at least ½ to 1 liter of water. This will deal with cravings and thus help you avoid any unnecessary snacks.
- Pack your refrigerator with our grocery list before starting the diet so that you don’t have to get stressed out what foods to eat. This makes the dieting easier.
- You can practice the Intermittent Fasting lifestyle while following the 3 day military diet plan. This helps in improving your weight loss results further.
- Exercising will help you lose more weight compared to just diet alone. But, it is only advised to start heavy workouts during the phase II, as you’ll be having less strength on the first 3 days due to low calorie consumption. However, you can do regular jogging, walking or running along with some yoga and meditation during the phase I.
- Get a diet buddy and it will help you get motivation to continue (or stick to) the diet without failure. It is much better if the buddy is your family member.
- Don’t drink any alcoholic or sweet drinks as they contain nothing but empty calories. Instead, drink a glass of warm water with ½ slice of lemon (juice) whenever you feel of wanting a drink.
Final Verdict: Does the Military Diet Give Long Term Results?
If you’re looking to lose some pounds quickly for an upcoming occasion or a wedding event, then the 3 day military diet menu is the best weight loss plan out there.
But, if you’re looking for long term results, then you should not follow the three day military diet (we recommend the Ketogenic diet plan for such needs). The best way to lose weight and maintain it is by changing your lifestyle (healthy eating habits). It is the only recommended way to stay fit for a longer period of time.