Military Diet: What Is It And How It Could Benefit It You?

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

Depending on their general health and overall well-being, people follow a variety of diet regimens for weight loss.

However, it should be remembered that what may be effective for one individual may not necessarily be similarly effective for another.

Therefore, it is crucial to consult a trained nutritionist before beginning any type of diet. The Military diet, which guarantees weight loss in a span of three days, is one such widely talked-about diet plan.

The American military developed the Military Diet’s methodology as a quick fix. The Military Diet claims that dieters could lose up to ten pounds in only one week.

Since traits like effectiveness, efficiency, and discipline that people often identify with members of the military forces are also desirable for weight loss, this marketing strategy works very well.

Today, we will be looking at all about the military diet.

All About Military Diet

The three-day military diet was a trendy diet in 1985. Over time, it has, however, surprisingly endured.

 Copies of this three-day diet, which promises instant weight loss, enhanced vitality, and lowered cholesterol are floating around online even today.

However, the assertions of a unique metabolic response are not supported by any scientific evidence.

This diet’s name comes because those who follow it consume the recommended food for 3 days before taking 4 days off to eat normally.

The diet plan advocates dieters to keep to 900-1200 calories every day on the on days for the optimum outcomes, and 1400-1500 calories on their off days.

The foods on the regimen operate together and are chemically compatible with promoting rapid weight loss. You must adhere to the diet for 3 days each week while on it.

Foods like canned tuna, ice cream, and hot dogs aren’t often considered to be diet fare.

 Everyone following the diet is required to eat the same meals, which are meticulously designed to prevent deviating from the diet or overeating.

How Does The Military Diet Work?

A week is broken into two sections for the three-day Military Diet. For the first 3 days, you should create a low-calorie food plan to kick-start your weight-loss process.

You need to eat functional meals and make sure your calorie intake is limited on the remaining 4 days of the week.

You could keep up the military diet for an additional 3 days if you do not achieve your weight loss objectives.

Many times, people believe what they see. You may believe it and desire to attempt the military diet if you saw someone else lose weight while following it.

People never consider, though, that each individual has a unique metabolism and that each individual’s reasons for being overweight are also unique.

Although the idea behind the military diet is appealing, it merely relies on the fact that consuming fewer calories causes weight reduction.

You could lose weight by simply eating healthy food and leading a healthy lifestyle without depriving yourself of food. You could better control your weight by eating the right food at the right time.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of The Military Diet?

Here are some of the pros and cons of the military diet:


  • Simple meal plan
  • Maybe a super fast way to lose weight
  • Flexible (vegan and vegetarian options)


  • Lacks scientific support
  • Hard to sustain over the long run
  • High risk of nutrient deficiencies
  • The lost weight may quickly come back
  • High in junk food
  • Could leave you hungry and unsatisfied

Military Diet Meal Plan

Here is a basic military diet meal plan:

  1. 1400 calories On Day One

    • Breakfast: Have a slice of bread toast with peanut butter, one cup of tea or black coffee, and one-half grapefruit.
    • Lunch: Have a slice of bread, tea, or black coffee, and 1/2 a cup of tuna fish.
    • Dinner: Have 3 ounces of meat, a cup of green beans, 1 cup of ice cream, ½ banana, and 1 apple.
  2. 1200 calories On Day Two

    • Breakfast: Have 1 slice of bread toast, 1 egg, and ½ banana.
    • Lunch: Have 1 boiled egg, a cup containing cottage cheese, and five saltine crackers or rice cakes.
    • Dinner: Have a cup of broccoli, 2 hotdogs, 1 cup of ice cream, and half a cup of carrots.
  3. 1100 Calories On Day Three

    • Breakfast: Have five saltine crackers, a few slices of cheddar cheese, and one apple.
    • Lunch: Have a slice of bread toast and 1 egg.
    • Dinner: Have a cup of tuna, half a banana, and a cup of ice cream.

The Military Diet’s remaining four days off give a bit more latitude because people are free to eat anything they want as long as their daily calorie intake is between 1400 and 1500.

The diet plan advises dieters to eat moderate amounts of carbohydrates, veggies, and lean proteins over these four days. Additionally, it is advised to have a cup of tea or coffee with every meal.

Foods That Are Permitted On The Military Diet

The following list of items is included in the military diet:

  • Caffeinated tea and coffee
  • Fruit- only bananas and apples
  • Eggs
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Meat
  • Almond butter or peanut butter
  • Non-starchy vegetables, like carrots, broccoli, and green beans
  • Saltine crackers
  • Cottage cheese
  • Hot dogs
  • Ice cream
  • Cheddar cheese

You could substitute almonds for meat if you are a vegetarian.

Foods That Are Not Permitted In The Military Diet

The following foods are prohibited from the military diet:

  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Yogurt (except for greek yogurt)
  • Sugary foods (except for ice cream)
  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol

Is The Military Diet Safe?

Severe calorie restriction and rapid weight loss could have a detrimental influence on mindset and mood, which could eventually have an effect on overall health.

If someone follows the military diet for an extended length of time, one should be concerned about their long-term health. Risks that could arise include:

  1. Inadequate Nutrient Intake

    The military diet contains little heart-healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains during the first 3 days. Repeating this cycle again over time, you risk deficiencies in minerals and vitamins.

    All of the above-mentioned nutrients are part of a healthy eating regimen. Long-term limitations of them may cause vitamin C, B, A, E, K, and D deficiencies.

  2. Fatigue and Hunger

    Be prepared to feel weak and famished. As a result of the military diet’s extremely low-calorie intake, symptoms like headaches, lightheadedness, irritability, perspiration, and weariness may develop.

  3. Constipation

    The military diet is low in high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which are necessary to add weight to stools and maintain regularity.

    The consumption of insufficient fiber could lead to constipation.

  4. Weight Cycling

    Even while the military diet may cause you to lose weight at first, if you return to your regular eating habits, the weight could come right back on.

    Going through cycles of weight loss and gain raises the risk of future weight gain as well as heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease.

  5. Disordered Eating

    Following an extremely restrictive diet like the military diet could be harmful to people who have a history of disordered eating.

    For most people, the military diet may not be probably the best option.

Is The Military Diet Recommended By Doctors?

It is difficult to comprehend the hazards and usefulness of the military diet because there isn’t any medical evidence that focuses especially on it.

It’s probably not a long-term sustainable diet because it’s limited in terms of both the number of calories and the food categories allowed.

A balanced diet that includes healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is the main goal of many of the best diets.

If you have any concerns, discuss the best meal plan for you with a trained dietitian or your healthcare physician.


There are a number of methods you could use to reduce your weight.

However, it’s very crucial to ensure that your weight loss objectives are easily manageable and that you have a strong likelihood of being able to keep them up for a few weeks or say months.

It is never easy to lose a lot of weight rapidly as your body may cease burning calories as efficiently, leaving you with fewer calories to burn. This implies that your weight loss could halt and that you may put on weight again.

Making sure your body burns more calories than it consumes is the key to reducing weight.

Burning a tonne of calories when exercising is one of the simplest methods to achieve this because your body will continue to burn calories for up to 40 hours after a workout.