What is the Military Diet? The Military Diet plan, otherwise known as the 3 day military diet, is a short term weight loss plan that is free of charge. It does not require that you purchase any supplements, specialty foods, or booklets to follow. The diet claims you can lose up to 10 pounds in just three days time if you follow it the correct way. Ironically, the Military Diet has no affiliation with the military whatsoever. It doesn’t even require that you workout during the three days. This diet is not actually three days in total, rather seven with four “off days”. During these off days you will be eating no more than 1,500 calories. The founder of the Military Diet program is unknown. There is no contact number provided to reach out to with questions either. It seems to me like a marketing professional created this simple diet as a means to create traffic to the website.
Examples Of The Military Diet
Military Diet Day One (1400 calories)
- “Breakfast: one slice of toast with two tablespoons of peanut butter, half grapefruit, black coffee or tea.
- Lunch: one slice of bread or toast, one half cup tuna, black coffee or tea.
- Dinner: three ounces of meat, one cup of green beans, half banana, one small apple, one cup vanilla ice cream.
Military Diet Day Two (1200 calories)
- Breakfast: one slice of toast, half banana, one cooked egg.
- Lunch: one cup cottage cheese, one hard boiled egg, five saltine crackers.
- Dinner: two (bun-less) hot dogs, one cup broccoli, half banana, one cup vanilla ice cream.
Military Diet Day Three (1100 calories)
- Breakfast: one slice of cheddar, one small apple, five saltine crackers.
- Lunch: one slice of bread or toast, one cooked egg.
- Dinner: one cup of tuna, half banana, one cup vanilla ice cream.”
The Military Diet Claims
“The Military Diet is a rapid weight loss plan, enabling you to lose up to 10 pounds in one week, without strenuous exercise or prescriptions. And best of all, the Military Diet is free! The diet is split into two parts over a week. You follow the Military Diet for 3 days and then take 4 days off. But if you want to lose more weight over the long term, follow the Military Diet for a month and you can lose up to 30 pounds.”
They also claim,
“The food combinations on the 3 day Military Diet are designed to burn fat, kick start your metabolism and lose weight fast. The Military Diet is one of the best diets out there for fast weight loss without supplements or pills. The diet is a combination of low calorie, chemically compatible foods designed to work together and jump start your weight loss. And because the diet is 3 days on and 4 days off, the Military Diet doesn’t slow down your metabolism like other diets.”
Overall, the claims are basic and simple with no background as to why or who came up with the program in the first place. It is meant for quick weight loss, yet it won’t slow down your metabolism according to the main website. Those facts seemed too good to be true so I took a deeper look into the program as a whole.
Does The Military Diet Work?
This is a calorie restrictive diet, therefore you may see weight loss initially. The weight loss in the beginning is not teaching you how to form good habits overall. Many people see this particular diet as a crash diet, which does not leave you with long term results. The moment you go back to your regular way of eating after the 7 days is over you will simply gain back the weight as fast as you lost it. You can, however, repeat the 7 days as many times as you would like weekly until you hit your goal weight. The number of losing 10 pounds in just one week’s time might be doable for someone who is severely overweight. Such results may not be attained for someone who only has 10 pounds to lose in general. As most of you know, the last ten to fifteen pounds are always the slowest to burn off. Therefore, this diet might not live up to the expectations they have set.
When asking the military if they use this diet, they responded,
“We did not develop this. We do not use it. It has absolutely no resemblance to the real military diet. Even our rations are healthier and more nutritionally sound,” Deuster said. “It looks like they just took the name ‘military’ and added it to the diet and capitalized on it.”
Where Did The Military Diet Come From?
No one knows exactly where the Military Diet came from, and there is no founder tied to the program at all. This is a red flag right away because there is no premises or credibility behind the founder and the idea of this program. Many people want shortcuts and do not want to participate in a disciplined program when looking to lose weight. This is a large reason why this diet plan has caught the eye of so many people, due to its lenient rules of 4 days eating whatever foods you choose.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind The Military Diet
There is some truth to caloric restriction and weight loss, but it does not always fall into the category of being healthy while losing pounds. When looking into the different studies done on weight loss and reduction of calories, this method has been proven to help. The diet also touts the ability to speed up the metabolism, but I have heard conflicting theories that starving the body will slow it down.
So what gives?
In a study done by Science Driven Nutrition, it took an inside look into seven different obese women over the course of a 10 week study. They reduced their caloric total to 300 calories for the day, with 45 of the calories coming from protein.
The average weight loss was around 62 pounds, and the resting metabolic rate (RMR) was reduced by 22%. Eight weeks after the diet was completed, the resting metabolic rate for these people was still depressed and had not recovered, thus proving low calories diets do slow down your metabolism.
After reading more studies in a similar realm, they claimed,
“What can we conclude from these studies? Well it looks like your “metabolism” does indeed slow down quite substantially during periods of caloric restriction/starvation and that much of that adaptation is due to changes in lean mass and possible some minor changes in hormones. This indicates that lean mass is really the primary dictator in changes in energy expenditure during periods of starvation and re-feeding. Pragmatically, this means lean mass should be prioritized in a substantial amount of people.”
Obviously, the main Military Diet site does not provide any studies as to why their diet is effective. This is important when in reality for the long term it can be somewhat dangerous to your metabolism. You hear people say all of the time,
“I messed my metabolism up because I went on too many yoyo diets.”
This is considered one of those diets, so be aware up front that it is not just a quick fix diet that will leave your body the same as when you started.
Have you ever wondered how exactly your metabolism operates?
Your metabolism creates energy from the calories you consume, through a process of breaking down organic matter. Many different factors can affect your metabolism, like exercise, sleep, and diet. When you put the body into a state of starvation, your body thinks it needs to slow down your metabolism to offset the actual act of starving. If you stay in the starvation mode for long enough, your metabolism might just stay slowed. Thus weight might pile back on once you go off of the diet you are on, because your slowed metabolism cannot keep up with the amount of food it has to now process.
Word On The Street About The Military Diet
I was in search of Military Diet before and after photos, or just any Military Diet reviews in general because there is little to no information about the diet details past what is on the surface. Each food chosen for the diet is low in calories. The goal here is to never eat more calories than you are burning each day to allow weight loss to occur. Water consumption is recommended to naturally flush toxins from the body, allowing healthy pounds to fall away.
So what did the people who actually went on this program have to say?
Jess Domowski said,
“This would have been really difficult to do on my own, without a support system. Every time we caught each other saying, “This is ridiculous. This can’t be healthy,” we would reassure each other that we had already made it halfway through.” She and her boyfriend did the diet together and she lost a total of 4 pounds and he lost 7. Her boyfriend will not be restarting the diet, but Jess might later on down the road.
The Bottom Line: Is The Military Diet Worth A Try?
Risky. The Military Diet program gives you different examples of meals that look enticing (hot dogs and ice cream), but we all know this is not a good long term solution for weight loss. With no founder and a misleading name, this program seems just plain risky to try for the sake of your metabolism. When looking into how they came up with the name, there is nothing. It might just be a ploy to get someone to click on the page, when in reality no one from the military is on this diet. It is cheap, sure, but are you looking to get healthier overall or just participate in another fad diet that could ultimately slow down your metabolism?