In general, this blog focuses on how to lose weight safely, naturally and by making gradual long-term changes. But sometimes, we have a big event or party coming up and it is crucial to lose weight FAST (even though it can be difficult, challenging and the results may not last). That is where the military diet comes in. It’s a 3 day diet designed to do no more than once a month for weight loss results that claim to help you lose “up to 10 pounds” in just under 3 days.
Now, that is quite an outrageous claim to make but after doing the diet myself on a number of ‘urgent’ occasions, before a wedding, beach outing or Christmas party, I can say that while it does work for short-term results, the weight comes back as you return to your normal eating habits. In any case, let’s get you started on all about the three day diet plan with my review.
What is the Military Diet?
Well, this diet is designed for quick weight loss in a short period of time. It helps you lose weight by seriously reducing carbohydrates and calories over the three day period allowing you to lose anywhere from 2-10 pounds. Granted, a lot of this is “water weight” and will come back on gradually if you return to your old eating habits. However, it can be a great kick start for weight loss providing you slowly introduce normal foods into your diet on day four on wards and don’t go crazy.
Personally, I do not recommend this diet if you aren’t in an absolute rush to lose weight. I think it only works as a kick start if you need to fit into a party dress or look good in a swimsuit in a few days’ time and need to do something extreme. Because that is what this diet is – extreme. I mean, why else would they call it the military diet?! If you aren’t in a rush, I recommend you take it slowly and start eating healthily and eliminating things like processed foods and sugar because it will be less painful and the results will be more permanent.
That said, let’s delve into what the diet consists of and what items you need to add to your shopping list to start this 2 day diet plan! The good thing is that most items you’ll have on hand or are readily available at the supermarket nearest to your home.
The 3 Day Military Diet Daily Menu:
- 1 cup of caffeinated black coffee or tea
- (Don’t add sugar, cream or milk as they contain extra calories. If you want to use a form of whitener or creamer, I highly recommend using Walden Farms’ coffee creamer which is completely calorie, carbs and sugar-free
- 1/2 of a grapefruit
- slice of whole wheat toast
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- If you want to eat more peanut butter for the same amount of calories, PB2 is an awesome option, you can have 4 times as much peanut butter for the same number of calories!
- One can of tuna (or half a cup)
- Note: the tuna should be water-packed and NOT oil-packed
- To make the tuna more flavorful, feel free to add sugar-free yellow or Dijon mustard or sugar-free/homemade salsa as both are very low in calories and will help make the tuna/toast combination more enjoyable
- 1 slice of toasted whole wheat bread
- 1 cup of tea or black coffee (caffeinated)
- 3 ounces (size of palm) of cooked meat (chicken, turkey, lean beef, pork chop, fish or meat substitute like tofu)
- One cup of steamed green beans (feel free to salt them)
- a small apple
- half of a medium/large sized banana
- 1 cup of plain vanilla ice cream (don’t go for any other flavor!)
- 1 whole egg (scrambled, hard-boiled, fried, etc)
- 1 slice of toasted whole wheat bread
- half a banana
- 1 cup of 1 or 2% cottage cheese
- 1 egg (hard-boiled or prepared as you prefer)
- 5 soda crackers (saltine, plain white or whole wheat)
- 2 hot dog wieners
- 1/2 cup of raw or steamed carrots
- 1 cup of steamed broccoli (I personally hate broccoli with a passion and often will substitute with another dark leafy green like spinach or kale)
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup of plain vanilla ice cream
- 5 saltine/soda crackers (white or whole wheat)
- one small apple
- a slice of cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg prepared as you prefer
- a slice of toast
- If you want to add a sliced tomato to this meal, go ahead. A small tomato contains very minimal calories and may help fill you until dinner
- 1 cup of tuna (around 2 small cans)
- half a banana
- 1 cup of plain vanilla ice cream
What about snacks? Can’t I have any snacks during the 3 day diet?
Well, sadly, snacks aren’t really a part of this diet but there are some exceptions you can make. If you get hungry, you can help yourself to celery, green bell peppers or cucumber slices. These vegetables are so low in calories and often it requires more calories to digest them so they can be negative calories. There is absolutely no harm in nibbling on those vegetables throughout the day but avoid other veggies like carrots or sweet corn as they are high in sugar and much higher in calories than the above options.
What can I drink while on the diet plan?
Each day you can help yourself to as many cups of black coffee or tea which contain less than 5 calories per cup. Just make sure not to add cream, milk or sugar unless you opt for a calorie-free cream and a sweetener such as Stevia.
Also make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water during the day. You should avoid drinking diet sodas and drinks with artificial sweeteners as they will stimulate your appetite and make you hungrier throughout the day. Feel free to add a squeeze of lemon to your water for flavor.
How do I maintain my weight loss/continue to lose weight AFTER the Military diet?
We do not recommend doing this diet more than once a month. It isn’t safe to do a diet like this long term because you are consuming less than 1000 calories a day following this and that will put your body into starvation mode over time. When your body is in starvation mode, it will cling onto the fat as your body enters crisis mode and weight loss is nearly impossible to achieve afterwards. You need to be fueling your body with healthy, clean, natural and non-processed foods that are low in sugar, high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. One of the best diets we recommend to get you started is the three week diet which is tailored according to your body type, current weight and height and your weight loss goals. If weight loss is imperative within under 5 days, the military diet is a great solution but it isn’t healthy for long term goals.