What is the military diet?
There are many versions of 3-day crash diets for losing weights such as some versions of keto diets, egg diets, intermittent fasting and so on. The military diet is one of these versions. The military diet is usually a 7-day regimen. You have to restrict your calories drastically for the first three days (you take somewhere around 600 to 1200 calories) and then you can go ahead and eat the minimum requirement of calories (somewhere around 1200 to 1500 calories) for the next four days. People widely claim that this diet is used by the military to get new recruits who have passed the maximum weight requirements in shape within a short period of time.
A sample plan of the military diet would look something like 5 saltine crackers, half an ounce of cheese, a small apple and some tea for breakfast; a sliced of toast, one egg and a cup of tea for lunch and half a cup of tuna, half banana and a cup of vanilla ice cream at night. For people who are vegetarians, almonds can be substituted for tuna. While the reduced number of calories makes some conventional sense if you are working towards weight loss, taking a look at some of the food items endorsed here like salt crackers and ice cream may be a little problematic. It doesn’t seem to make sense including unhealthy foods even though the number of calories is still low. Besides, if someone has an unhealthy urge for ice cream, it may not be so easy to eat only a small amount of ice cream. More so, there has been a lot of bad talk about the military diet. Taking a look at the CNN website we see that it was not invented by the military, does not have any affiliation with the military as the proponents of the military diet claim. Yes, the military does have a diet, but the true military diet targets optimum nutrition and performance boost not weight loss – you get about 4000 to 6000 calories from the true military diet and there are a lot of carbs in those calories. You do not want this large number of calories and carbs if you want to lose weight. With the military diet, you can lose weight as claimed, however, it is likely that you won’t be able to sustain the weight loss as you would lose mostly water. You also risk not having optimum nutrients except you take lots of vegetables on your four days off. So, should you try the military diet? For, the short term – maybe. For the long term, we do not recommend it. However, we can show you a healthier version of the military diet. We will give you what we call the 3-day substitution list.
The 3-day substitution list
It is still a form of the military diet as the philosophy of drastically reducing calories for the first 3 days with a minimal calorie requirement intake for the next 4 days apply here. However, in this dieting plan, only healthy foods and more veggies are allowed. Here is how we are going to do it. We would substitute the junk foods we normally take for healthier foods which are more satiating and have a lower number of calories. Let’s look at some military diet combinations and swap them with healthier, lower calorie and more nutritious versions. For example, instead of a slice of toast with some peanut butter, why not try quinoa bread or sourdough bread with some peanut butter or almond butter for those allergic to peanut butter. Instead of cheddar cheese, feta cheese can be used instead. So, a sample of our version of the military diet will look something like this:
- Quinoa or sourdough bread with peanut or almond butter
- Half grapefruit
- A cup of tea or coffee
- Half breast of chicken or fish
- Vegetable salad with one mashed avocado
- An optional cup of tea
- A cup of tuna or salmon steak
- Half a cup of carrots and half a cup of Broccoli
- A cup of blended banana with pure cocoa powder/ 4 strawberries dipped in chocolate
You should see that it is still the military diet as the foods have been rationed. However, we have substituted some of the potentially unhealthy diets like white bread and vanilla ice cream with healthier alternatives in our 3-day substitution list. You are also advised to have a good amount of veggies in the four days you would stay off the military diet and also remember to keep your diet to 1500 calories or less on the days you are off your diet for the 3-day military diet to be effective.