The Military Diet, Safety, Effectiveness, and Meal Plan

– Military Diet –

Crash diets have long been associated with severe self-discipline. To achieve the advertised benefits, these extremely restrictive weight-loss strategies typically demand you to cut calories and adhere to a tight diet.

Military Diet

And one popular crash diet in recent months, the so-called military diet, promises 10 pounds of weight loss in a week to those who follow the drill sergeant’s daily intake.

What is a Military Diet?

The military diet urges participants to eat a low-calorie diet for three days before returning to normal eating for four days.

Also, The diet restricts daily calorie consumption to 1,400, 1,200, and 1,100 calories for the first three days.

Moreso, Protein is abundant, whereas fat, carbohydrate, and calories are in short supply. It also contains precise dietary combinations in an attempt to increase metabolism and fat burning.

Despite its name, this diet has nothing to do with how military personnel eats.

However, According to speculations on the website about the military diet, people can lose up to 10 pounds (lb) in one week and up to 30 pounds in one month if they stick to it.

Let’s see whether this diet works, its potential drawbacks and benefits, and what to consume to stick to the plan.

How Does the Military Diet Work?

There are two phases to the military diet. Adherents follow a rigorous daily eating plan of around 1,000 calories for the first three days.

You might find some of the needed food combinations strange, such as ribeye steak with raw banana and hot dogs with vanilla ice cream.

However, the combinations represent foods that are “chemically compatible,” meaning they include nutrients and/or chemicals that improve metabolism and blood sugar levels when consumed together.

The problem is evidence did not support that “chemical compatibility”. They employed the phrase to make this technique sound unique, but it has little scientific validity.

Explains Amy Gannon, licensed dietitian and chief coach of E-Coaching at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

The military diet’s second phase, which lasts four days, removes the set meal plan and allows you to eat whatever you want as long as you keep under a daily calorie limit of 1,500 calories.

Also, The military diet includes limitless amounts of water and herbal tea, as well as two caffeinated beverages per day (without sweets or cream).

Moreso, the diet lasts seven days, however many dieters continue to do so hoping to lose more weight.

Effectiveness of Military Diet?

military diet

People on the military diet lose weight quickly thanks to the combination of a low-calorie diet, intermittent fasting, and fat-burning foods.

However, as previously said, much of this is likely water weight, which followers would struggle to maintain once they resume normal eating habits.

However, Aneequa Godart also warns against employing rigid intermittent fasting practices for a lengthy period.

This type of restrictive diet can lead to disordered eating practices, causing the individual to binge-eat on their days off, resulting in excessive weight gain, she explained.

Also, Meal skippers may experience headaches and nausea. I always advise my clients to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet to ensure they get all of their nutrients.

And maintain a healthy relationship with food, and employ intermittent fasting as a short-term, occasional fast if desired.

However, while the military diet can help you lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in a week, although, it is not for everyone.

Plus, most of this would be water weight rather than fat, which you’ll return once you resume your normal eating habits.

Is Military Diet Safe?

Strict calorie restriction and quick weight loss can have a negative impact on mood and mindset, as well as overall wellbeing.

However, People who follow the military diet for an extended period, according to Gannon, should be concerned about their long-term health. The following are some of the potential hazards:

1. Constipation

The military diet is deficient in high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which are necessary for adding bulk to stool and maintaining regularity.

Constipation can be caused by a lack of fiber, according to Jamieson-Petonic.

2. Inadequate Nutrient Intake

The military diet’s first three days are devoid of entire grains, fruits, vegetables, and heart-healthy fats.

Also, If you do this for several cycles, you may find yourself deficient in important nutrients. “All of those things are part of a healthy eating pattern,” Jamieson-Petonic explains.

Long-term limitations may result in vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K deficiency, which isn’t ideal for your health.

3. Disordered Eating

Attempting an ultra-restrictive eating plan like the military diet may hurt people with a history of disordered eating, according to Gannon.

And, to be honest, In this aspect, the military diet is probably not ideal for most people. “I’d be concerned about the impact of such a diet on a person’s connection with food,” Gannon adds.

4. Major Hunger and Fatigue

“Be prepared to feel starving and weak,” Dr. Kitchin warns dieters who decide to try this plan:

The military diet is very low in calories, which can leave the body low on fuel and cause problems like weariness, sweating, irritability, lightheadedness, and headaches.

5. Weight Cycling

While the military diet may cause you to lose weight at first after you resume your regular eating habits.

You’re likely to gain it back. According to many studies, alternating between periods of weight loss and gain raises the risk of future weight gain.

Also, and may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.

 Substitutes for Military Diet

Lactose-intolerant people, as well as those who have a vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free diet, may find alternative foods on the plan’s website.

Vegans, for example, are frequently recommended to replace tuna and meat with a couple of tablespoons of hummus and half an avocado.

In theory, substitutes should have roughly the same number of calories as the food that was removed.

But Gannon points out that guidelines don’t always match up. (A half-avocado has three times the calories of a cup of canned tuna.)

However, even if you ignore the perplexing substitutions for unique nutritional requirements, the military diet is tight and restrictive, making it difficult to stick to, according to Gannon.

Pros and Cons of Military Diet

Pros of Military Diet

  1. The military diet may be useful for weight loss in the short term. It’s straightforward to follow because it just uses a few things and uses simple measurements and cooking techniques.
  2. The suggested food plan for the four days off includes a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, as well as whole grains, legumes, and a diversity of meal options.
  3. For persons with food intolerances or other dietary concerns, the plan includes calorie targets for each food and suggests substitutes.
  4. We emphasized protein in the diet because it enhances fullness, preserves muscular mass, and provides energy for daily tasks. Also, Muscle tissue is significant since it contributes directly to a person’s metabolism.

Cons of Military Diet

Following a 3-day military diet plan can lead to a slew of issues. Some concerns listed below are specific to the meal plans that have been suggested.

  1. The calorie is insufficient for a workout.
  2. Because the meal plan is so exact and tight, the follower cannot learn internal hunger cues or meal plans after you have met the goals. This will almost certainly lead to weight gain.
  3.  Inadequate nutrition intake
  4. This isn’t a long-term fix, Proponents of the 3-Day Military Diet believe it can help you lose weight quickly. Even if you drop a few pounds, it’s more than likely water weight. The diet is restricted and unrealistic in terms of long-term eating.
  5. Fosters harmful eating habits, The Military Diet encourages poor eating habits, which may drive some people to prefer unprocessed meals over natural, whole foods or to develop eating disorders.
  6. The Military Diet promotes harmful eating patterns, which may drive some people to prefer raw meals over natural, whole foods or to disordered eating.
  7. Added salt, sugar, and saturated fat are all high in this dish.

The Military Diet Meal Plan

military diet

Day 1

BREAKFAST

  1. ½ grapefruit
  2. 1 slice toast
  3. 2 Tbsp peanut butter

LUNCH

  1. ½ cup canned tuna,
  2. 1 slice toast

DINNER

  1. 1 cup of green beans
  2. ½ medium banana
  3. 3 ounces grilled ribeye steak
  4. 1 small apple
  5. 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Day 2

BREAKFAST

  1. 1 egg
  2. 2 slice toast
  3. ½ medium banana

LUNCH

  1. 1 cup cottage cheese
  2. 1 hard-boiled egg
  3. 5 saltine crackers

DINNER

  1. 1 cup broccoli
  2. ½ cup of carrots
  3. 2 hot dogs (no bun)
  4. ½ medium banana
  5. ½ cup vanilla ice cream

Day 3

BREAKFAST

  1. 1-ounce cheddar cheese
  2. 5 saltine crackers
  3. 1 small apple

LUNCH

  1. 1 fried egg
  2. 1 slice toast

DINNER

  1. 1 cup canned tuna,
  2. half medium banana
  3. 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Vegetarian Military Diet Meal Plan

There’s also a vegetarian and vegan food plan:

Day 1

BREAKFAST

  1. half a grapefruit
  2. one slice of toast
  3. 2 tbsp peanut butter
  4. 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea

LUNCH

  1. half an avocado
  2. 2 tbsp hummus
  3. one slice of whole-wheat toast
  4. 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea

DINNER

  1. tofu (up to 300 calories)
  2. 1 cup of green beans
  3. half a banana
  4. one small apple
  5. 1 cup of vanilla ice cream (vegans can use dairy-free ice cream)

Day 2

BREAKFAST

  1. half a cup of baked beans
  2. one slice of whole-wheat toast
  3. half a banana

LUNCH

  1. 1 cup of unsweetened soy, hemp, or almond milk
  2. half an avocado
  3. 2 tbsp hummus
  4. five saltine crackers

DINNER

  1. two veggie hot dogs without the buns
  2. 1 cup of broccoli
  3. half a cup of carrots
  4. half a banana
  5. half a cup of vanilla ice cream (can be dairy free)

Day 3

BREAKFAST

  1. one slice of cheddar cheese (for vegans, about 15–20 almonds)
  2. five saltine crackers or half a cup of couscous or quinoa
  3. one small apple

LUNCH

  1. half an avocado
  2. 1 tbsp hummus
  3. one slice of whole-wheat bread

DINNER

  1. half a cup of canned chickpeas
  2. half a banana
  3. 1 cup of vanilla ice cream (or dairy-free ice cream)

Military Diet Meal Plan Shopping List

The following is a list of the foods that those on the military diet will need to buy for the first three days of the week:

  1. whole-wheat bread
  2. peanut butter
  3. eggs
  4. three cans of tuna
  5. hot dogs
  6. a small piece of meat
  7. caffeinated coffee or tea
  8. one grapefruit
  9. two bananas
  10. two apples
  11. green beans (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  12. carrots
  13. saltine crackers
  14. cottage cheese
  15. a small amount of cheddar cheese
  16. vanilla ice cream
  17. small head of broccoli

The Rest of the 4 Days

military diet

Apart from keeping a healthy eating pattern, there are no rules for the next four days of the diet in principle.

For individuals who want to lose even more weight quickly, a 1,500-calorie menu is available.

Snacks, for example, are allowed on certain days, but portion sizes should be kept to a minimum.

Also, remember that 1,500 calories per day are still calorie restrictions that may not meet everyone’s energy requirements.

This is especially true if you live an active lifestyle, as increased energy expenditure equates to higher calorie requirements.

Can I Really Lose 10 Pounds in a Week?

Proponents of the military diet claim it can help you lose 10 pounds in only one week. However, because everyone is different, the diet will have a distinct effect on each person.

Most of the weight loss you experience will be related to water loss. This is because severe calorie restriction causes the body’s glycogen stores your body’s energy reserve to deplete.

However, because your body store 3 grams of water for every gram of glycogen stored, fluid accumulates quickly when you eat enough calories.

As a result, when your glycogen stores become depleted, you lose the stored water as well.

Also, because of this change in water balance, weight loss occurs. You could quickly recover any weight you’ve lost once you get back into your regular eating routine and your glycogen levels fill up.

However, if you want to lose weight, keep in mind that there are two stages to weight loss: achieving and sustaining weight loss

To ensure fat loss rather than fluid or muscle loss, best practices recommend aiming for a maximum weight reduction rate of 1–2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) weekly.

Moreso, According to research, an appropriate diet is one that is safe, nutritious, nutritionally adequate, and long-term maintainable.

Reduce your intake of added sugars and highly processed foods while increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products to achieve this goal.

Is the Military Diet Based on Scientific Evidence?

There are no studies on the military diet. However, in order to lose weight, you must have a calorie deficit.

Other factors that may affect weight reduction, including therapy for concomitant health issues and whether you take certain medications, can make weight loss more difficult for certain people.

However, these aspects of this diet are considered. However, While some study emphasizes the necessity of a calorie deficit over diet quality and vice versa, research suggests that weight loss success requires a combination of the two.

As a result, it’s best to stick to a balanced diet that promotes gradual weight loss without imposing extreme limits. The military diet and many other fad diets advocate the exact opposite.

More Details on Military and Scientific Evidence

We usually achieve weight loss that lasts by progressively reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity while maintaining optimal nutritional intake.

In reality, studies suggest that moderate and continuous calorie restriction is just as efficient for weight loss. As intermittent extreme energy limitations like 3 days on, 4 days off, implying that you don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight.

In addition, no single eating plan is superior to others or suitable for everyone. In fact, we should tailor effective weight loss solutions to each individual’s requirements.

However, the military diet falls short of this by attempting to provide a one-size-fits-all eating plan.

Furthermore, proponents of the military diet claim that the meal plan’s unique food combinations boost your metabolism and help you burn fat, but these claims are false.

The advised caffeine intake from coffee and tea, which has been shown to enhance body weight and fat loss, is one aspect of this diet that may assist boost your metabolism.

Frequently Asked Questions on Military Diet

military diet

1. What is the 3-Day Military Diet Meal Plan?

The Military diet, also known as the Navy diet or the Army diet, is a three-day diet that helps you to lose a significant amount of weight in a week! Isn’t it too good to be true?

This has nothing to do with the military. The most likely reason for its moniker is the strictness with which this diet’s requirements are enforced.

Make sure it’s safe for your body before you begin. If you want to learn everything there is to know about this diet, I recommend reading this guide.

Also, It goes through everything you need to know about the military diet, including when you should do it, how to do it, and what items and substitutes to use.

2. Is the Military Diet Actually Effective?

It will surely help you lose weight, but you can’t stay on a military diet indefinitely. You will begin to gain weight the day you stop eating the military diet and begin eating regularly.

This is a highly unhealthy method of weight loss. Another possibility is that you lose weight but still appear bulky. Because of the body fat proportion, this is the case.

3. Is Military Diet for Everyone and Is It Helpful?

Most weight reduction diets are lengthy and complicated, requiring you to not only weigh and measure all of your food.

But also to purchase a long list of ingredients that take a long time to prepare. Many diets also incorporate supplements, which are frequently more costly than real food!

Needless to say, this is not a good strategy to get people to stick to their diets. The three-day military diet is simple and quick to follow. Not to mention, it’s a great way to lose weight quickly.

Those sophisticated diets discussed before encourage slow and steady weight loss, which is wonderful if you have the time to remove those extra pounds.

However, if you’re trying to get in shape for a social event or vacation, that’s coming up soon, the slow pace can be frustrating.

Slow and steady diets demand a lot of willpower because you have to stick to them for weeks or even months at a time; the three-day Military Diet does not require this.

Unlike most weight-loss plans, the Military Diet is straightforward, easy to follow, and based on items that can be purchased in one trip to the supermarket.

Each dish is simple and quick to prepare, making it perfect for non-chefs. Best of all, it promises to get you slim in just a few days with fantastic results.

4. Does the 3-Day Military Diet Work for Teen Girls?

If you’re referring to a weight-loss program, a teenager should only do so under the guidance of a doctor.

Also, If you’re looking for a general eating plan, consume a variety of foods, especially vegetables, and don’t eat too much or too little.

Moreso, as a teenager, considers food to be the fuel that your body requires getting you through the day.

It is not your adversary. When you’re hungry, eat, and when you’re full, stop. 

But don’t get too caught up in the figures. (This means you should use your best judgment.) Don’t get your phone out and start logging in everything you eat.

However, as a young woman, your body is about to undergo some significant changes in the next years.

As you enter high school, your life will become more challenging, and your body and mind will require the proper types and amounts of fuel to stay alive.

5. Does the Military Have to Comply with Dietary Restrictions?

The military’s ability to adhere to dietary restrictions is contingent on several things.

Military duty is generally not for you if you require a particular diet for medical reasons that cannot be accommodated in a field environment and could result in malnutrition as a result.

Also, if a particular diet is given to address illnesses that would be medically disqualifying under AR 40–501 Standards of Medical Fitness.

A potential recruit could be rejected or medically boarded out later in their service if their condition renders them medically unretainable.

If they imposed your dietary limitations for religious reasons, you’re very much on your own to try to avoid whatever it is you’re supposed to avoid.

In most circumstances, pork and gelatin of unknown origin may be avoided, but finding kosher or halal meals in a dining facility is unlikely.

6. What Is the Healthiest Diet for the Military?

They were provided rations of grain, meats, and, if available, fish, as well as legumes, which they were supposed to prepare themselves. They may also be given rye as a punishment or to supplement their grain supply.

However, they could consume the grain as a porridge (puls) or grind it into brown flour and bake it into bread.

The more the grain was processed, the whiter the flour became, and only the officers could eat white refined bread.

They may get these provisions in a variety of methods, the most prevalent being supply trains from adjacent outposts.

However, the Romans possessed a well-developed logistics system that could be relied upon to deliver most of the time, albeit a few days later.

Foraging is another means of obtaining supplies. They would dispatch a contingent of troops to gather food (hunt, pick fruit), firewood, and water.

A third option is to buy food from nearby neutral/friendly towns and cities or pillage enemy towns.

Also, If they were in a hurry, they would order the village to provide them food for almost nothing, or they might pay a round market value, depending on the amount of food left in the army, the commander, and other factors.

Sutlers, or traveling merchants, followed armies and sold more opulent condiments such as wine, olive oil, honey, and so on.

Posca, a popular drink among soldiers, was produced by mixing sour wine with water and was highly sought after.

More Details on What Is the Healthiest Diet for the Military?

Olive oil was used to flavor practically everything, and they utilized honey to sweeten their food and drinks, such as sweetened wine because they didn’t have sugar.

They ate breakfast (cena) and dinner twice a day (prandium). Breakfast was usually a hurried affair consisting of cheese, cold meats, and maybe milk. With hot dishes, dinner would be more filling.

Making sophisticated cuisine that required a lot of time and materials was frowned upon and discouraged, as it was considered time-consuming and unsoldierly.

It was up to the commander to determine when they ate; he may do it as a reward for working hard, in between shifts, or even before combat to boost morale.

The longer a legion stayed in one place, the more their food got centralized. They may receive daily rations prepared by cooks and chefs, or they may pay them to prepare their meals.

Moreso, if the troops needed to travel a lot of areas rapidly, the commander might instruct them to bake their bread into hardtack the night before.

It was accomplished by twice baking the bread. The legion’s mobility was increased by eating this food while on the march (s).

We hope this article (military diet) has been educating, also we advise you to consult professional advice before embarking on a military diet or any sort of dieting.

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