What is the Military Diet

What the Military Diet is
The military diet is a three-day diet plan that has the potential to result in up to 10 pounds of weight loss for the 3 days diet. The diet plan consists of a strict menu that is engineered to keep calorie and carbohydrate intakes low. While the menu is relatively strict, it consists of popular foods such as hot dogs, peanut butter, and ice cream. The military diet has been proven to work; however, the diet has also faced its fair share of criticism.

Is the Military Diet Dangerous?

The military diet has been called a dangerous crash diet by critics. Since the diet requires a daily calorie intake under 1,500, critics believe the diet is an ineffective method of long term weight loss.

Instead, they believe the diet will cause rapid, but temporary weight loss. Additionally, they believe that the diet leaves users tired and irritable, making daily tasks and exercise difficult to accomplish.

As with all dietary decisions, users should consult with doctors before adopting the military diet. Users considering the military diet should also be familiar with what the diet consists of, its purpose, benefits, and the cause of the diet’s popularity before starting.

What the Military Diet Consists of

The military diet is structured with a three-day on, four-day off cycle. During the 4-day off cycle, users are encouraged to maintain a diet around 1,500 daily calories. However, during the 3-day portion of the diet, users are kept on a strict meal plan. On day one, the total caloric intake is around 1,400 calories. Day two’s caloric intake adds up to around 1,200 calories, and day 3 adds up to around 1,100 calories. Each day consists of three meals.

 Day one of the Military Diet starts with a light breakfast

The meal plan calls for half a grapefruit, one slice of toast, and two tablespoons of peanut butter. Breakfast is accompanied with one cup of tea or black coffee. For lunch, users will have one slice of toast, a half cup of tuna, and a cup of black coffee or tea. Day one dinner consists of three ounces of meat (user’s choice), one cup of green beans, one apple, half a banana, and a cup of vanilla ice cream.

Day two breakfast consists of one slice of toast, one egg prepared to preference, and half a banana.

Users will then have a lunch consisting of one cup of cottage cheese, one hard-boiled egg, and five saltine crackers.

For dinner, users eat two bunless hot dogs, one cup of broccoli, half a cup of carrots, half a banana, and a half cup of vanilla ice cream.

Day 3 of the three-day cycle begins with a breakfast consisting of one slice of cheddar cheese, one apple, and five saltine crackers.

Lunch on day three is especially light, consisting of only one slice of bread and one hard boiled egg.

For dinner, users are allowed one cup of tuna, half a banana, and one cup of vanilla ice cream.

What is the Origin of the Military Diet?

While the military diet is a widely-used and popular diet, the origin and creators of the diet are largely unknown. The name seems to imply an association with the United States military; however, there is no documented evidence that the diet has any connections to the military.

There are also several other names circulating the internet for the military diet. Other names include the Cleveland Clinic Diet, the Navy Diet, the Army Diet, and the AHA Diet.

While the diet has been associated with health clinics, neither the American Heart Association or the Cleveland Clinic have any association with the diet’s origins.

The only documented origin of the military diet is the website themilitarydiet.com. The website contains all the information necessary to begin the diet. However, there is no section on the site that comments on the creator or origin of the diet.

For some critics, the mystery surrounding the origin of the military diet is a discouraging sign, as they believe any reputable dietician or health expert would be more than willing to take credit for an effective, maintainable diet.

What is the Military Diet’s Purpose?

The purpose of the military diet is to provide users with a fast-acting solution to weight loss. With claims of being able to provide weight loss results of almost ten pounds a week, the diet is not intended to be a long-term weight-loss solution, meaning it’s not meant to be adopted as a lifestyle change.

Instead, the military diet is meant to be followed until users reach their desired weight.

At most, the diet is meant to be used for a month’s time. The purpose of the diet is to lose large amounts of weight through intermittent fasting, so a long-term adoption of the diet would eventually stop yielding desired results.

The diet is built using easily attainable and familiar foods for American users.

The purpose of its familiar menu is to make the diet as simple to follow as possible. The diet is not meant to be challenging in terms of types of food, rather amounts, so the familiar menu is an attempt to achieve that goal.

What are the Benefits of the Military Diet?

Benefits of the military diet include its simplicity, effectiveness, and duration. The easy to follow menu and clear portion sizes make it one of the simplest diets to follow. Its low-calorie count makes it an inarguably effective weight loss method, and its short duration is of large appeal to many users.

The military diet’s simplistic benefits stem from the structure of the menu. Often, diets call for a complete change in the types of foods users eat. These foods can be hard to obtain and prepare, which can discourage users.

With common foods such as tuna, hot dogs, apples, and ice cream making up much of the menu, users will have no trouble in acquiring and preparing their meals. This simplicity is seen as a major benefit by most users.

Aside from its simplicity, the effectiveness and duration are believed to be major benefits of the military diet. With daily calorie counts ranging from 1,100 to 1,400 calories, the diet will create a calorie deficit for almost all potential users, making it effective for a variety of different body types.

And, with duration times ranging between a week and a month, the diet does not require a huge time commitment, which is often a factor in other diets not working for users.

How Does the Military Diet Work?

How the Military Diet Works
The military diet’s effectiveness relies on theories of intermittent fasting, using a three-day on four day-off method. During the three-days on, the diet creates a large calorie deficit. Unlike other fasting diets, the military diet still provides carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins to allows your body to function at a high level.

The military diet is structured to provide your body with no more than 1,400 calories during the fasting period. With such a low-calorie count, an energy deficiency is guaranteed to occur in the body.

This deficiency causes your body to burn stored fat as a means of energy. When the storage fat burns, your body weight begins to drop at a rapid pace.

Although many other diets are built upon creating energy deficiency’s, the military diet differs in the types of foods it uses. With foods like bread, hot dogs, peanut butter, and tuna, your body is provided with a good mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

This allows you to maintain energy during the three-day on period.

How to Start the Military Diet

Though the military diet requires little prep-time, there are still a few things you should do before starting the diet. Since the three-days on periods are likely to dramatically decrease your calorie intake, you should make sure you are well hydrated before you begin the process.

Also, because of the diet’s strict dietary requirements, you should make sure you have all the ingredients before starting the diet.

To ensure you are properly hydrated before beginning the military diet, you should take at least three days to get into the habit of drinking water.

Each day, you should attempt to drink at least eight glasses of water. Doing so will dramatically decrease the hunger you are sure to feel while completing the three-day fast.

Aside from getting hydrated, ensuring that you have all the ingredients necessary will increase your chances of successfully completing the diet.

Most ingredients are common household items: hot dogs, bread, apples, tuna. However, the diet relies on grapefruits and cheddar cheese at different times of the three-day fast.

Having the complete supply of foods will give you confidence and peace-of-mind as you begin the challenging three-day fast.

How Effective is the Military Diet?

The effectiveness depends almost entirely on the user. The military diet requires users to follow a strict regimen. If users follow the diet exactly, it is a guarantee to cause weight loss. Also, the user must not ignore the four-day off periods requirements, as doing so will decrease the effectiveness of the diet.

One of the military diet’s greatest appeals is its fast-acting results. With a total cycle lasting only seven days, users can expect to see their desired results quickly.

The energy deficiency the diet creates through its strict regimen is sure to be effective. However, this deficiency can only be achieved by following the diet exactly. If users decide to break from the diet even once, results will not be as effective.

The four-day off period is an aspect of the diet that is often overlooked. But, this period of the diet is also responsible for its effectiveness. While the four-day off period does not require users to follow a strict regimen, it does require users to keep their calorie intake around 1,500 calories.

Veering too much from this calorie count will decrease the effectiveness of the diet. If users can stick to the three-day on period and the four-day off period, they will undoubtedly experience effective results.

How Safe is the Military Diet?

Unlike some fasting diets, the military diet is relatively safe. This is due to its specifically engineered meal plan, which provides the body with the essential nutrients it needs to function.

However, as with all diets, users with pre-existing conditions should consult with their doctors before beginning.

Users should also consider their personal food allergies before beginning the diet.

The meal plan of the military diet was structured to prevent nutrient levels from dropping to dangerously low amounts. Most crash diets try to achieve results by eliminating carbohydrates and meat-based proteins from the diet. While this will cause weight-loss, it can put your body at risk.

With foods like bread and meats being staples of the military diet, users will not experience dangerous drops in their daily nutrient intakes.

Food allergies are another potential safety risk of the diet. Luckily, this diet offers alternatives for some of its menu items. With peanuts being a somewhat common food allergies, the diet offers substitutions in the form of almond butter.

The diet also takes vegetarians into account, as it allows meats to be replaced with almonds. While this may make the diet harder to follow, it still supplies the body with safe levels of required nutrients.

How can the Military Diet be Ineffective?

As with all diets, there are things that can render the military diet ineffective. The main factor that would make the diet ineffective is not sticking the calorie requirements. Another less obvious factor is the use of zero calories, artificially sweetened beverages.

Some users may attempt to reduce the challenges of following the military diet by slightly increase the amount of food allowed. For example, they may eat two hard-boiled eggs when the diet calls for one, or eat eight saltine crackers instead of five.

While these slight changes to the diet may seem inconsequential, they can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the diet.

The use of zero calories, artificially sweetened beverages have the potential to derail the military diet. While users may view the drinks as safe to use, because of their lack of calories, this is not the case.

Artificially sweetened beverages contain chemicals that will limit your body’s ability to burn fat, even though they contain zero calories.

With fat-burning being the main thing that makes the diet effective, using artificially sweetened beverages can make the military diet ineffective.

Who Should Use the Military Diet

Who the Military Diet Benefits
With its low-calorie count, this diet can be beneficial for all users. However, the diet’s time requirements and simplicity make it especially appealing to certain users. With a seven-day commitment, it is especially beneficial for those who are looking to lose weight for a specific event.

The diet is also beneficial for those who live under strict schedule. The diet can also be beneficial for those who have trouble with portion control.

With its fast-acting results, this diet is ideal for those who want to shape up for a specific event. For example, if you want to be in your best shape for a friend’s wedding, you can use this diet to shed up to ten-pounds in a short time. Using this diet can allow users to look their best for an event without a month-long dedication to weight loss.

User’s with a strict work schedule can also benefit from the diet. Certain diets take a lot of time and commitment to adhere to due to their long prep times. Since all the foods on the military diet are common and easy to prepare, it does not increase the time it takes to prepare and consume each meal. In fact, this diet can decrease time commitments required to prepare and eat each meal.

A lot of people who desire weight-loss struggle with portion control. The military diet is ideal for said users, as it has strict portion requirements.

Each meal is planned with clear, easy-to-follow portions. It does not require users to make meticulous measurements to achieve recommended portions. The military diets strict, yet easy to follow portion requirements, makes it especially beneficial for users who struggle with portion control.

Who Should Avoid Using the Military Diet

While the military diet can be effective for everyone, there are some users who should avoid it. Due to its strict requirements, extreme effectiveness, and rapid results, this diet is not intended to be a permanent dietary change.

Users who desire to make long-term diet changes may want to consider other diets.

The reason the military diet is so effective is its strict requirements. The diet only allows small portion sizes and even smaller calorie intakes. While this makes it extremely effective, it prevents the diet from being sustainable for months on end.

If users desire to lose weight in a quick manner, this diet is great. However, if users main goal is to make long-term dietary changes, they should avoid using the diet.

Another element of this diet that makes it less than ideal for users desiring a permanent diet change is its rapid results.

Users can expect to lose around ten-pounds per week when using the diet.

Losing so much weight over such a short amount of time is not sustainable long-term, and could bring users to dangerously low weights over time.

Military Diet and Men

Since the military diet utilizes such a low-calorie intake, some critics believe it is not a viable option for men. This is due to men burning more daily calories than women. However, with adjustments to exercise and supplement use, the military diet can be just as effective for men as it is for women.

One of the biggest factors that may make the military diet less effective for men as it is for women is exercise. On average, men partake in higher amounts of strength training than women.

With this diet, men may not have enough calorie intakes to continue strength training at vigorous levels. If male users wish to benefit the most from the diet, they should consider decreasing strength training while on the diet.

Another potential factor that could decrease the effectiveness of the military diet for men is the use of supplements. Many supplements used for strength training contribute to calorie intakes.

This would negatively affect the military diets strict calorie intake, making it less effective. However, if men decrease strength training and supplement intake, it can be just as effective as it is for women.

Military Diet and Women

The military diet can be especially effective for women. On average, women burn fewer calories on a day-to-day basis than men. With its extremely low-calorie count, the military diet can be the ideal answer to a female user’s struggle with calorie intake.

Additionally, the military diet produces fast acting results, making it especially appealing to women, who traditionally lose weight at a slower rate than men.

The military’s diet low-calorie count can be especially effective for women. The average, sedentary woman burns around 1,800 calories a day.

Such a low amount of calorie burning can make women who eat relatively healthy still fail to lose weight. However, the 1,400 and under calorie count of the military diet ensures that even the most sedentary of women will still lose weight.

The military diet allows women of all shapes and sizes to lose weight in an effective manner.

Celebrities Who Used the Military Diet

Celebrities are usually responsible for popularizing diets. There have been many female celebrities who have admitted to using the military diet. However, perhaps more impressively, the military diet has received endorsements from nutritionist and health expert, Dan Parker.

Parker’s endorsement of the military diet is due to its intermittent fasting structure. Parker believes that the military diet is so effective because it increases the sensitivity of your body’s insulin. This causes nutrients that enter your body to be absorbed not by fat cells, but liver cells. This promotes fat burning in the body.

Of the celebrities who’ve used the military diet, Khloe Kardashian has given it the most public endorsement. She has been famously applauded for her weight loss efforts and has claimed that the military diet allowed her to lose 12-pounds in one week. The military diet’s effectiveness has been touted by both celebrities and weight loss professionals.

Military Diet Versus Other Diets

Military Diet Vs. Paleo
Many people try a variety of different diets before they find the one that suits them. Many like to compare diets, to see which one is most effective. In recent years, the Paleo diet has risen to popularity. The diet plan cuts out dairy, refined sugar, and grains in an attempt to make you lose weight over time. This differs from the military diet, as it is slower acting and cuts out essential nutrients groups from diets.

The diet plan cuts out dairy, refined sugar, and grains in an attempt to make you lose weight over time. This differs from the military diet, as it is slower acting and cuts out essential nutrients groups from diets.

The Paleo diet is not intended to be a fast-acting fix to weight-loss like the military diet. Users of the Paleo diet must be willing to make a permanent diet change, which may hinder its effectiveness. However, the Paleo diet allows for more daily calories than the military diet, which may make it preferable for some users.

However, the Paleo diet allows for more daily calories than the military diet, which may make it preferable for some users.

One of the biggest disadvantages of the Paleo diet is its health risks. Because of its high protein intake, the Paleo diet can increase the chances of kidney disease. The military is a more balanced option as far as nutrients are concerned and do not increase user’s chances of suffering from specific diseases.

The military and paleo diets offer differences weight-loss solutions and requirements, making the choice depend on what the user desires. However, if users want to lose weight fast, they should choose the military diet.

Military Diet Vs. Baby Food Diet

The baby food diet was popularized by Reese Witherspoon. Like the military diet, the Baby Food Diet is based on low-calorie intake. However, unlike the military diet, the Baby Food Diet does not provide users with three meals a day.

Instead, users eat 14 jars of baby food a day. Paired with a meal of around 400 calories, users consume around 1,400 calories per day, which is like the military diet.

Users should be wary of using the Baby Food Diet. The diet may be effective, but it does not provide users with a balanced intake of nutrients.

Also, such a drastic change in food familiarity does not yield a high success rate. The military diet consists of a similar calorie intake while allowing users to eat three meals and giving a more balanced intake of nutrients.

Military Diet Vs. M Diet

The M diet is another diet popularized by a celebrity. Kate Perry uses the diet and claims that it allows her to target specific areas of her body. The M diet, or the mushroom diet, consists of replacing one meal a day with raw mushrooms over a 14-day period. While the M diet can be effective, it is less balanced and requires a larger time commitment than the military diet.

Additionally, claims that the M diet targets specific areas of the body make it problematic. There has been little research that suggests that specific-areas of the body can be targeted through dietary changes.

The M diet also lacks the consistency and simplicity of the military diet. Raw mushrooms can be an expensive food option, especially 14-days’ worth.

The diet also strays from the traditional three meal structure. The military diet offers a shorter time commitment while maintaining the consistency of three daily meals, making it a better option for most users.

Military Diet Vs. Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet is another famous solution for weight-loss. The Atkins diet limits the amount of carbohydrates the body consumes. This differs from the military diet, as it limits the balance of nutrients the body receives. The Atkins diet offers users with more food options than the military diet but takes a larger time commitment.

Unlike the military diet, which is structured around fast-acting weight loss, the Atkins diet is structured around the amount of weight users desire to lose. Its two main forms are the Atkins 20 and Atkins 40, with the Atkins diet targeting users who wish to lose more than 40 pounds and the 40 for the user who desires to lose less.

While the Atkins diet allows for a more varied diet, it is more complicated to follow than the military diet. Users must plan their own diet and track their weight loss using apps and tools. If users want a simple, fast-acting solution to weight loss, they should use the military diet instead.

Military Diet Vs. Juice Cleanse

Juice cleanses have rose in popularity over the last decade. Juice cleanses are like the military diet in time requirements, as they traditionally last 3-4 days. Also, Juice cleanses are built around intermittent fasting. However, juice cleanses do require a more drastic shift in eating habits and ingredients than the military diet.

Juice cleanses involved 3-4 days of only consuming vegetable and fruit juices. They require a large variety of produce, including less than common items like kale, ginger, and seeds. They also require investing in a juicer, which can be quite expensive. Due to the cost requirements and lack of actual food intake, juice cleanses appeal to a far smaller audience than the military diet.


The military diet is a challenging, but effective method to weight loss. It is based on intermittent fasting periods that allow the body to burn fat at a fast weight. With results being achievable in a week’s time, the military diet is also a time-efficient method to weight loss.

While it is undeniably effective, the military diet should not be adopted on a long-term basis. It works best for those under strict time schedules and for those who desire to lose weight for specific events.

While the diet is relatively safe, those with pre-existing health ailments should consult doctors before using the military diet. If done properly, the military diet is a viable option for short-term weight loss.


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