What is a 3-Day Military Diet?

The military diet is a 3 day-calorie restrictive diet to lose weight fast. The popular diet is also called the army diet, the navy diet, and the ice cream diet.

Its proponents claim that the diet can help lose 10 pounds or 4.5 kg in a week.

A 2014 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the efficacy of a low-calorie diet (LCD) and a very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) for substantial short-term weight loss. The nutritionists define a very-low-calorie diet to be less than 800 kilocalories per day and a low-calorie diet to be less than 1200 kilocalorie a day.

In a military diet, you intake low calories for 3 days (respectively 1,400, 1,200, and 1,100 calories) and then return to normal eating in the rest of the 4 days of the week. The weekly cycle then may begin again until you reach your weight loss goal.

The military diet is cheaper compared to other contemporary diet plans. It doesn’t require expensive foods, supplements, guidebooks, etc.

According to dieticians, the low calorie and low-carbohydrate type military diet affects the glycogen store of the body and drops the water content. So you lose water weight and some muscles that help you shed some weight temporarily. Once you start eating normally again you’ll regain the weight.

Read on to learn the 3-day military diet plan, its advantages and disadvantages below.

Basic 3 Day Meal Plan for The Military Diet

Day 1 = 1,066 calories.

Breakfast: 308 calories.

  • 1 slice of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • ½ of a grapefruit
  • A cup of tea or coffee

Lunch: 139 calories.

  • A cup of coffee or tea
  • A slice of whole-wheat toast
  • A half-cup of tuna

Dinner: 619 calories.

  • 3 ounces or 85 grams of meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • ½ of a banana
  • A small apple
  • A cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2 = 1,193 calories.

Breakfast: 223 calories.

  • A piece of toast,
  • one egg cooked (hard boiled or omelette)
  • 1/2 of a banana.

Lunch: 340 calories.

Dinner: 630 calories.

  • ½ of a banana
  • ½ cup of carrots
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 2 hot dogs (pork or beef)
  • ½ cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3 = 762 calories.

Breakfast: 232 calories.

  • A slice of cheddar cheese
  • 5 saltines
  • A small apple

Lunch: 170 calories.

  • A dry slice of toast
  • a fried egg

Dinner: 460 calories.

  • ½ of a banana
  • A cup of tuna
  • A cup of ice cream

Rest of the 4 Days ( total calorie 1,500 per day.)

The remaining 4 days of the week involves dieting as well. The dieticians recommend following a low-calorie diet keeping the portions small. You may have snacks in these days and foods from other groups too. However, make sure the calorie intake doesn’t exceed 1500 a day.

Military Diet

Advantages of the Military Diet

There are limited research on positive effects of a military diet for health.

However, it is evident that such a calorie-restricted diet is one of the fastest ways of losing weight.

The proponents claim that the combination of foods in the military diet, especially green tea and coffee may help boost metabolism and burning of the body fat. However, we don’t have any medical evidence to support the claim.

The military diet is an inexpensive and easy option for people desiring to lose weight fast.

The diet plan doesn’t have any complex cooking methods or measurements. The remaining 4 days of the military diet allow the dieters to enjoy various meals — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, tubers, legumes, etc.

The military diet is considerate to the people who have an intolerance to certain foods. They may consume a substitute food while not missing the calorie target.

The military diet contains a lot of protein content. It can give you a feeling of fullness, improve muscle mass, and necessary energy.

A 2018 research in the BMC Public Health journal, investigated the effects of alternate day calorie restricted diets on overweight people.

The researchers found out that a low calorie diet combined with light exercise could significantly reduce waist circumference, weight, and total body fat percentage.

Disadvantages of the Military Diet

There are potential negative effects of a 3- day military diet.

The 3-day meal plan doesn’t include a variety of vitamins and mineral foods.  

If you continue this calorie strict diet for a long time there’s possibility of nutrient deficiencies in the body.

A military diet includes salted crackers, hot dogs, and artificially sweetened ice cream. The sodium and saturated fat contents in these foods may have adverse effects in the body.

The low-calorie military diet may make it difficult for you to do intensive physical exercise and work.

A 3 day- military diet can cause only a short term weight loss. It is not a sustainable way of losing extra body weight. The duration of the diet plan (3 days) doesn’t cause any habit change in you. According to research discontinuing a low-calorie diet may result in regaining more weight unless there’s planned maintenance and changes of habit.

Bottom Line

The 3-day military diet is one of the fastest and easiest ways of losing some extra pounds. Its proponents boast of losing 10 pounds in a week by practicing military diet. A military diet is cheap, simple, and all you need is just some will power.

Though this short-term weight loss method may not be your best choice. It is recommended that you consult a dietician or doctor before you start off with a military diet.  

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