Does the military diet really work?
If you’ve been looking for a quick weight loss solution. Then you’ve probably come across the military diet. This weight loss diet can help you lose weight in as fast as one week.
It is designed to achieve quick weight loss by restricting calories. The military diet outlines how many calories you should eat on all the days of the diet.
This calorie restriction is what helps you lose weight fast.
In addition, the military diet also provides a basic guideline for all the meals you should eat. The weight loss foods used on the military diet are high in protein and low in carbs.
These foods are said to boost your metabolism and increase fat burning.
In this post, we go through all the details of the military diet. The pros and cons of the diet plus weight loss tips to use on the diet.
- 1 How does the military diet work?
- 1.1 Day 1: (1400 Calories )
- 1.2 Day 2: (1200 Calories )
- 1.3 Day 3: (1100 Calories )
- 1.4 Remaining 4-days
- 1.5 What foods should you avoid on the military diet?
- 2 Why the military diet works for quick weight loss
- 2.1 Advantages of the military diet
- 2.2 Disadvantages of this lose weight quick diet
- 2.3 Tips to use on the military diet
- 2.4 Similiar lose weight quick diets
- 2.5 Best alternate diet for weight loss
- 3 Conclusion
How does the military diet work?
The military diet is actually split into 2-phases. You start with the first phase which lasts for 3-days then proceed to the last phase for 4-days.
In the first phase, you are required to eat between 1100- 1400 calories only.
In the second phase, no meal plan is provided but you should keep your calories below 1500. Here is a sample of the military diet meal plan for the fast 3 days.
Day 1: (1400 Calories )
- Black tea or coffee
- One slice of bread or toast and 2 tbsps of peanut butter.
- 1/2 a sliced grapefruit
- 1/2 cup of tuna
- One slice of toast
- An optional cup of black coffee/ tea (optional )
- A 3-ounce serving of any meat
- 1-cup green beans
- 1/2 a banana
- 1 small apple
- 1-cup ice cream (only vanilla )
Day 2: (1200 Calories )
- 1-cup black coffee/tea
- 1 slice of bread/ toast
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- Half a banana
- 5 saltine crackers
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 2 hot dogs but no buns
- 1/2 cup broccoli with 1/2 cup carrots
- Half a banana
- 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
Day 3: (1100 Calories )
- 1-cup black coffee/tea (optional )
- 1-oz cheddar cheese
- 5 saltine crackers
- 1 small apple
- 1 slice bread/ toast
- One egg (cook it how you like )
- 1-cup tuna
- 1/2 a banana
- one cup of vanilla ice cream
During the remaining 4 days, the goal is to keep all meals under 1500 calories per day. These 4-days are often referred to as off days but don’t let that mislead you.
The military diet advises that you focus on eating only healthy foods.
You are free to choose your own meals and cook as you like but you’re still dieting. You are allowed to eat healthy snacks as long as they’re under your 1500 calorie count.
Food substitutions are allowed on the military diet especially for those with food allergies. However, calorie restriction still remains the same.
If you do need to make a substitution make sure to check that they fit in your daily recommended calories.
You can repeat this cycle as many times as you would like.
What foods should you avoid on the military diet?
Even though the military diet doesn’t say what weight loss foods you should eat on your days off. It is safe to say that some foods will boost your weight loss while others will most likely derail your weight loss plans.
Here’s a list of all the foods you definitely shouldn’t eat while on the diet;
1. Potato chips
Hats off to you if you’ve ever eaten a handful of potato chips and stopped. Seriously, potato chips are addictive yet they add no nutritional value at all. You will feel just as hungry a few hours or minutes later.
On a weight loss diet such as a military diet where you are watching your calories like a hawk, just avoid temptation altogether.
2. Sugary drinks
Yes, you can’t drink soda or even sweetened fruit juices. These liquid calories are even worse than potato chips as they’re just empty calories. Worse still, your brain doesn’t register liquid calories as it does food.
This is why you will feel hungry after drinking a whole can of soda.
3. White bread.
There is something about eating white bread that makes it almost indulgent. It feels good and you will be very tempted to reach out for a second slice, a third and maybe fourth.
If you’re on the military diet, you can only enjoy one slice for breakfast. To make it work for you, choose whole wheat bread or better yet bread such as Ezekiel bread.
Yes, you cant eat candy even as a snack on the military diet. These small bars pack a whopping 200-300 calories. You won’t feel any fuller after you eat them.
On the military diet, you’re working with very limited calories, don’t waste it on candy, if you need something sweet, opt for a fruit instead.
5. Cookies cakes and pastries
It goes without saying but your favorite baked goods are a big no on the military diet. A chocolate chip cookie might satisfy your craving but it will throw you off your weight loss diet.
Not only are baked goods high in calories and trans fat, but they also provide empty calories.
It goes without saying but if you’re trying to lose weight, alcohol shouldn’t be on your list of weight loss drinks. Alcohol can be very high in added sugar not to forget the calories.
On the military diet, these are foods you want to forgo as one is never enough. They will add unwanted calories yet will not make you full.
You will mostly feel like squeezing in a guilt-free slice of pizza on your off days. However, the calories alone should help keep you off.
Just like other foods you shouldn’t eat on the military diet, pizza is full of calories and low in nutrition.
Why the military diet works for quick weight loss
As you can see from the military diet meal plan and outline, it can be used to achieve quick weight loss.
Any average person can easily lose weight on the diet due to the calorie restrictions.
Calorie restrictions work for weight loss because you are eating less than your body requires. So, your body will need to burn more stored fat just to sustain you and hence leading to quick weight loss.
Another reason why you are likely to lose weight on the military diet is that you will also lose water weight. When you restrict carbohydrates your body starts losing water.
Your body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen as a source of energy.
And since glycogen needs lots of water, as much as three times its weight in order to be stored, as your use up more of stored glycogen you start losing water as well.
On the military diet, you will lose weight but that will most likely be water weight with a little bit of fat.
Advantages of the military diet
1. It works for quick weight loss
If your goal is to lose weight in as fast as one week then you should consider the military diet. As long as you stick by the calorie restrictions and only eat the weight loss foods allowed on the diet.
2. It’s very cost-effective
Unlike other weight-loss diets that would require you to buy books, supplements, and oils, the military diet is very simple. The foods on the diet are quite cheap and anyone can easily attempt the diet without any added costs.
3. It’s short term
If you have trouble sticking to any particular diet plan, then try the military diet. Since it only lasts for seven days, most people can easily stick to it.
Unlike other weight-loss diets that require 3-months or weeks of commitment for results
Disadvantages of this lose weight quick diet
1. Will not provide you with enough nutrients
If you look at the recommended foods on the military diet you are missing out on important vitamins and minerals that your body requires.
2. Cannot be used for long-term weight loss
The military diet is designed to be a short term diet and hence cannot be used for long-term weight loss. This means anyone looking to lose more than 10-pounds cannot really use the diet.
Also, as it only works for 7 days, long-term weight loss will require more than a week.
3. Includes processed foods
Processed foods are always frowned upon as they do more harm than good to our bodies. It’s often very difficult to sustain your body on any type of processed foods such as hot dogs that the military diet includes.
Not to forget processed foods tend to be very high in added salt that can be harmful to those with salt-sensitive diseases such as high blood pressure.
4. You are most likely going to gain all the weight back
Yes, the military diet will help you lose weight fast but you will likely gain it all back after you stop the diet.
For you to lose weight and keep it off, you need to make necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle. You cannot live off the calorie restriction that the military diet advocates without putting your health at risk.
5. You will need to count your calories
Even though the military diet doesn’t advise itself as a calorie-counting diet, it is one. Your first 3-days all calories are counted for you and all you have to do is follow the guidelines.
However on the remaining days, for you to stick to the recommended 1500 calories, you will need to count calories, There is no escaping this fast.
If you are someone who struggles with counting calories you might find it difficult to stick to the military diet.
Tips to use on the military diet
If you do decide to proceed and use the military diet to achieve quick weight loss. There are several things you need to keep in mind. Use these weight loss tips to get the most out of the diet and lose weight faster.
1. Follow the diet as it was created
The military diet works for quick weight loss only if you follow it as it is. Be careful that your food substitutions do not mess with your daily calories.
Ensure you are counting your calories right especially on the off days.
Use food tracking apps such as myfitnesspal that make it easier for you. You will need to plan your meals in advance for the remaining 4 days for success.
2. Stay hydrated
Eating only 1500 calories won’t give you that normal feeling of fullness. However to trick your mind from constantly thinking about food, drink lots of weight loss drinks such as water.
Not only will it keep you hydrated but it will give you the much-needed feeling of being full.
3. Don’t go crazy on the remaining 4-days
Coming off the 3-day meal plan will be a relief at best. You might be tempted to eat all your favorite foods. But remember you are still dieting, you still need to maintain 1500 calories even on your off days.
Aim to eat high-protein foods mixed with vegetables and some little carbs. Go easy on the carbs as they can increase your calorie count drastically.
4. Do weight or measure yourself before and after
The whole goal of attempting a military diet is to lose weight quickly. Measure yourself at the beginning of the diet and the end to see how much you weigh.
Don’t just use the number on the scale, you can also use a measuring tape.
5. Don’t eat snacks if you’ve not added them to your calorie count.
Healthy snacks such as nuts can be very tempting especially on diets such as a military diet. However, as the diet is very calorie-restrictive anything you eat will add to your total.
If you do have to snack, choose healthy snacks that can fit in your calories no matter how healthy they seem.
Similiar lose weight quick diets
1. Cabbage soup diet
Diets such as the cabbage soup diet work very similarly to the military diet. As the name suggests the cabbage soup diet is based on the idea of cutting calories by eating only large batches of soup throughout the day.
Just like the military diet, the cabbage soup diet also lasts for one week and is intended to be used as a short-term weight loss strategy. However, on the cabbage soup diet, you are allowed to eat as much cabbage soup.
In addition, the cabbage soup diet provides you with a meal plan for all the seven days on the diet.
Best alternate diet for weight loss
Even though the military diet is a good way to lose weight fast. You’re mostly going to gain back all the weight after you stop the diet. if you’re looking for a long term weight loss strategy, consider these popular diets.
These are the best diets for weight loss and have been shown to be more effective than the military diet.
1. Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is not like normal weight-loss diets as it focuses more on when you eat rather than what you eat. With intermittent fasting, your day is divided into hours where you’re not allowed to eat and hours where you can eat.
With 16:8 fasting you fast for 16-hours and then only eat within an 8-hour period.
You are basically choosing between missing breakfast or dinner. Many people use intermittent fasting as a way to eat less and improve their health.
2. Plant-based diet
Did you know you can actually lose weight on plant-based diets such as vegetarian or vegan diets?
Well, plant-based diet works very well for weight loss as they’re very high in fiber, protein and low in calories, A winning combination for anyone looking to lose weight.
Eating on a plant-based diet will make you feel full faster and for longer which in turn helps you reduce your daily calories.
3. Low-carb diets
These diets focus on eating high-protein foods, healthy fats and limiting carbs.
This combination helps you reduce appetite and boost metabolism helping you lose weight fast.
4. Paleo diet
The Paleo diet emphasizes eating just like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did way back. The advocates of this diet claim that the human body has not fully adjusted to eating foods that were introduced during the farming error.
Unlike other weight-loss diets such as the military diet, the paleo diet doesn’t restrict how much you should eat.
5. The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is regarded as the most heart-healthy diets available in the world. The diet doesn’t ban any food groups but gives guidelines that you can use in regards to how often you should eat these foods.
It advocates for a daily serving of fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber legumes while it guides that you should limit red meats as much as possible.
A daily serving of healthy fats is also recommended on the diet.
The Mediterranean diet would be a great alternative to use after getting off the military diet as it doesn’t forbid any foods.
The military diet can be used to kick-start weight loss. The diet focuses on restricting calories allowing you to lose weight in one week as you’re eating less than 1500 calories daily.
The military diet is divided into 2-phases.
The first phase lasts for only 3 days and you have a meal plan to follow. For the remaining 4-days, you don’t have to follow a meal plan but you should stick to eating 1500 calories.
Even though the military diet doesn’t give you a guide on the weight loss foods to eat. You want to avoid foods such as potato chips, fried foods, pizza, and sugary drinks among other high-calorie foods on your days off.
The military diet will help you lose weight fast and is relatively easy to get started. However, you are most likely going to gain all the weight back and the diet lacks in many nutrients that your body needs.
Tips such as drinking enough water, sticking to a diet, and planning your meals will help you lose weight on the military diet.
However, for sustainable weight loss, you want to consider a diet that will help you lose weight without affecting your health long-term.
These are the best diets you should use to achieve weight loss and keep it off