3 Day Military Diet Menu: Complete Beginner’s Guide & Meal Plan

The 3 Day Military Diet is one of the most popular & quick weight loss diet plans, which claims to help you lose weight quickly i.e, 10 pounds or 4 Kgs in 7 days (1 week) without exercise.

The military diet is free 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 3 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 a Military Diet?

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.

It is just a low calorie weight loss diet that helps you lose a significant amount of weight in a span of 1 week.

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 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.

3 Day Military Diet Menu with Meal Plan (Phase I)

Below is the exact 3 day food meal plan you should follow during the first phase of the army diet.

Day 1 Military Diet Foods List

Military Diet Day 1 Meal PlanThis is the day 1 military diet meal plan. It contains around 1,300 calories.


  • 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.

Day 2 Military Diet Foods List

Military Diet Day 2 Meal PlanHere is what you should be eating on the three day military diet day 2 menu. It contains around 1,100 calories.


  • 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.

Day 3 Military Diet Foods List

Military Diet Day 3 Meal PlanHere is the breakdown of day 3 menu. It contains around 1,000 calories.


  • 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 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.

Military Diet Four Day 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.

You can use the MyFitnessPal app to count the calories from the foods you consume.

The only rule of thumb is to avoid any fast foods and include only healthy foods like vegetables, fruits and protein.

Military Diet Food Substitutes

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.

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 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 three 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 3 Day Military Diet Work for Long?

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 (or any diet program for that matter). 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.

military diet plan infographic