The 3 day Military Diet Plan: The Only Complete Guide

Losing weight quickly is something that everybody aspires toward. I want to lose weight fast, painlessly, and without starving myself, what can I do?

Diets like the apple cider vinegar diet, cookie diet, acid reflux diet, Atkins diet, and so many more have swept the internet, claiming to help you lose weight in a short period of time. With so many diets around it’s hard to make the right choice.

You need something that allows you to eat enough calories, doesn’t drag on for too long, and saves you from all that dieting stress. Well, it certainly sounds like the Military diet will be perfect for you!

Of course, you have a lot of questions about this diet plan. Our guide provides you with all the information that you will need to plunge into this diet. From the why, how, when, what, we have got it all. So read-on ahead because this 3-day diet is straight-up magic!

1. What is the Military Diet, and is it really used in the military?

The Military diet, the Navy diet, or the Army diet, is a 3-day diet that allows you to lose a lot of weight in a week! Sounds too good to be true, right?

According to most people, this diet has been carefully hidden from the public, to be used by actors, dancers, and as a quick army weight loss plan. Need to be in shape for your big show? This three-day diet is your support. Need to fit into that uniform? The military diet got your back.

Although it seems like a very alluring idea, this isn't exactly true. The military diet doesn't have any connection to the actual army or military. The most likely reason for its name could be the strictness of the diet's standards which are similar to those followed by the army.

So what makes this diet that strict?
The military diet consists of a three-day meal plan that, if you follow strictly, will allow you to lose at least 10 pounds in a week. This breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal plan consists of foods that kick-start your metabolism and remain within an 800-1100 calorie limit. After the three days, you have a 4-day rest period where you can jump back to eating 1500 calories. With such a low-calorie intake you're lucky that this diet doesn't necessarily prescribe working out.

2. Does the Military Diet work for Everyone?

Before you start on this marvelous diet it is better to make sure that it is safe for your body. Due to the strict restriction of calories in the military diet, it is not advisable for pregnant women or nursing mothers to try this. It will severely hamper with their nutrition.

Since this diet provides fast weight loss without supplements or pills, the diet tips for women include a maximum of 1200 calories a day. For men, the diet tips involve a calorie-intake limit of 1300 calories.

During the 4-day maintenance period, you are allowed to have 1500 calories. This bouncing between the inflexible calorie requirements might affect you, so it is best to know before you go! For older people the military diet might prove to be too demanding; it is best to get advice from your doctor before trying it.

If the diet makes you feel sick or dizzy then taking a few days off will be the best for you. It will take you some time to adjust to this diet, but once you do the pounds will just fall off.

3. What makes the Military Diet Different from other diets and, How Much Weight can you lose?

This 3-day diet is unlike many other diets that you have seen or tried. The first difference is that it proposes a 3:4 ratio. That is 3 days of following a tailored diet and 4 days of rest. There are many diets out there with bigger or smaller ratios, like the fast diet which has a 5:2 ratio. The military diet helps you lose weight quickly through burning fat, some muscle mass, and reducing your water weight. All in all, you can lose 10 pounds (approximately 5 kilograms) by following the military diet, and that too in just 7 days!

Why does the Military Diet Work so well?
Another way that the military diet is different is that it doesn't stop you from having 'unhealthy' food or exclude any particular food group. Rejoice because your favorite ice cream is still on the table.

Other diets like the body reset diet involve drinking healthy smoothies, having dips, and healthy snacking. They focus more on eating vegetables and stop you from eating carbs. When you are kept from having certain foods then it can cause you to binge later on. This is extremely counterproductive. Luckily the military diet isn't about cutting out certain tasty treats, rather it is about keeping your calorie intake in check.

Can I Lose Weight in 3 days without Side-Effects?
The army diet is one of the few diets that doesn't screw with your metabolism. So no pesky side-effects, no exhaustion, and no illnesses. The combination of food in this diet work together to provide you with enough energy to get through the day, and also burn your fat efficiently. So no more napping at work, am I right?

4. Should you Exercise while doing the Military Diet?

The military or army diet, in itself, helps to burn fat by restricting portion sizes. The main question that most people have is whether there is a daily exercise routine to follow while dieting.

On the three days of the diet, you can take up low-intensity workouts. Simple things like walking for an hour, cycling, or yoga can supplement your diet. This will help you to burn additional calories on military diet and keep you fit.

On the military diet's 4 days off you can take up higher intensity workouts. Strength training workouts, swimming, and running can help you to build muscle on your off days. Building muscle will help to burn fat even on days when you are completely sedentary. We all need some couch days.

How to Do it and Keep the Weight Off?
Some simple tricks to boost the effectiveness of your diet are:

  • Drinking enough water every day. Water will keep you hydrated and your mind sharp. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can also help to lessen any hunger pangs that you might have.
  • Smaller portion sizes are better. When serving your food it is better to use smaller plates. This will trick your mind into believing that you are eating more. It will also keep you from binging and will help you stick to the diet.
  • Black coffee or green tea can provide variety. If you get tired of just drinking water then you can switch things up and some have black coffee or green tea. They are low in calories and great on the taste buds.

5. What is the Military Diet Meal Plan?

The military diet menu consists of food items that work together to enhance one's metabolism. This 3-day daily diet plan needs to be followed to-the-T for best results.

Let’s begin with Military Diet Day 1:

Breakfast consists of half a slice of grapefruit, one slice of toast, two tablespoons of peanut butter, and one cup of coffee or tea. This blend of grapefruit and peanut butter helps to kick start your liver and send your body into a fat-burning mode. Breakfast itself consists of approximately 320 calories, not including artificial sweeteners in your tea or coffee.

The type of food you can have for Lunch is half a cup of tuna, one slice of toast, and one cup of coffee or tea. This lunch only racks up 170 calories. You need to be mentally prepared to have this low-calorie meal especially if you are working or going to university.

At Dinner, you are granted choice of three ounces of any kind of meat, one cup of green beans, half a banana, one small apple, and a cup of ice cream. Dinner is a bit better in terms of calories and it adds up to 650 calories approximately.

The only tiresome part of the military diet menu is that it doesn't allow you to snack in between meals. If you enjoy having a few healthy snacks throughout the day then that isn't allowed either. Well, at least you can console yourself by having ice cream.

Military Diet Day 2:

Day two's Breakfast consists of one egg, one slice of toast, and half a banana. This breakfast just about reaches the 200 calorie mark. Remember to eat your food slowly so that you can savor each morsel till lunch!

Lunchtime is a bit better. You are allowed one cup of cottage cheese, one hard boiled egg, and 5 crackers.
At 380 calories, this meal is slightly better than your breakfast.

Finally, for Dinner, there are two bunless hotdogs, one cup of broccoli, half a cup of carrots, half a banana, and half a cup of vanilla ice cream. This dinner meal plan weighs-in at 650 calories and allows you to go to bed full, and satisfied. As mentioned before there aren't any military diet snacks to keep you company throughout the day.

Military Diet Day 3:

The day three Breakfast consists of five saltine crackers, one slice of cheddar cheese, and one small apple. This breakfast consists of approximately 230-240 calories.

Lunch is one hard boiled egg and one slice of toast. This meal is only around 150 calories. Don't look so glum, you're almost at the end of the 3-day diet!

Your Dinnertime meal is one cup of tuna, half a banana, and one cup of vanilla ice cream. This meal is around 520 calories.

Does the Daily Diet Plan work?
On an average, a person burns 1800 calories just by following a sedentary lifestyle. On the military diet plan, the menu adds up to less than 1200 calories a day. In order to lose a pound of fat, we must burn at least 3500 calories. Therefore with the daily diet plan, we eat within a calorie restriction and then let our bodies do the rest to burn fat. Cutting out snacks, drinking unsweetened black coffee or tea, and following the prescribed calorie limit is what makes this diet work.

6. What is the 3-Day Military Diet Meal Plan for Vegans and Vegetarians?

Here is the complete meal plan for vegans and vegetarians:

Military Diet Day 1

At Breakfast you will be required to have half a grapefruit (53 calories), one slice of toast (75 calories if toasted), two tablespoons of peanut butter (188 calories), and one cup of coffee.

Lunch consists of half an avocado (113 calories), two tablespoons of hummus, (50 calories), one slice of whole wheat toast (75 calories), and one cup of coffee or tea.

If you are gluten free then a good substitute for the toast would be half a protein bar, half a cup of whole grain cereal, or half a cup of flax seeds.

There is a lot more to eat at Dinner. You'll have tofu (300 calories), one cup of green beans (31 calories), half a banana (36 calories), one small apple (78 calories), and one cup of dairy-free ice cream (approximately 200 calories).

It's only day one but the military diet vegetarian and vegan shopping list is so much simpler than the original!

Military Diet Day 2

Breakfast is a hearty half-cup of baked beans (191 calories), one slice of whole wheat toast (75 calories), and half a banana (36 calories). Brace yourself the calories will keep decreasing.

When you reach Lunchtime there's one cup of soy/almond/hemp milk (54 calories), half an avocado (113 calories), two tablespoons of hummus (50 calories), and five saltine crackers (approximately 400 calories).

If you are gluten free you can substitute rice cakes for the saltine crackers. You could also eat quinoa or couscous instead.

Day two's Dinner is two veggie hot dogs (143 for 100 grams), one cup of broccoli (31 calories), half a cup of carrots (40 calories approximately), half a banana (36 calories), and half a cup of dairy-free ice cream (approximately 200 calories). The dairy-free ice cream just boosted this vegan military diet shopping list to first place.

Military Diet Day 3

Breakfast consists of five saltine crackers (approximately 500 calories), one small apple (79 calories), and around 20 almonds (140 calories). Hang in there, day-three is tough.

At Lunch, you'll have an avocado (180 calories), one slice of whole wheat bread (75 calories), and a tablespoon of hummus (25 calories).

Finally, you've reached Dinner. Feast on half a cup of chickpeas (110 calories), half a banana (36 calories), and one cup of dairy-free ice cream (approximately 200 calories).

This meal plan is a good vegan diet for most people. It stays within the same calorie limits as the original. To see the results of the Vegetarian Military Diet, check out the Youtube video below.

7. What are the Benefits of the Military Diet?

As always the question on everybody's mind is, did the military diet work for you and, can it work for me too? So to help you make a good decision and build a body for life, here are some benefits of the Army Diet:

  1. The low-calorie content of this diet ensures that you stay in a calorie deficit. With a healthy deficit, you will be able to lose weight much faster and burn fat over time.
  2. In terms of nutrition, the 3-day diet allows you to have a little bit of every kind of food. There is no specific restriction on carbohydrates, fats, or any certain food group. Although the meal portions are smaller, you are still allowed to have ice cream and hot dogs. This diet is as close to a real-life dream as it can get.
  3. The three-day diet lasts exactly as long as its name suggests. Within these three days, the Navy diet promises quick weight loss of almost 10 pounds in a week. Rather than a month-long diet that you have to struggle through why not just three days of dieting?
  4. In the time of weight loss supplements, expensive diet plans, or gym memberships, the military diet is refreshingly inexpensive. The recommended food for the diet is cheap and easily available. It's easy on your pockets, and within a week it will be easy on your waistline too.
  5. Say goodbye to Jim, err...I mean Gym. While you are on the army diet you don’t have to work out, unless you want to. The calorie deficit on this diet allows you to lose weight without having to actually do any exercise.
  6. Reducing your calories can have positive effects on your metabolism, sleep, and energy levels. Many military diet success stories involve renewed energy alongside efficient weight loss. Cutting down your calories for a short period of time can also help you to manage your intake better, in the future. Once you get used to such a lifestyle you will go on fewer binges.
  7. Long-term dieting can be made possible by the military diet. The diet follows three strict days and four days of rest. Therefore if you want to try the military diet for a month you can! This diet, if followed consistently can lead to substantial weight loss in a month's time. You can also substitute food with the same calorie content each week in order to make the diet more sustainable. It is also important to find out the military diet health risks for your specific body type before you take it up for a month.

8. Does the Military Diet work?

Now that you know more about the military diet it is important to see whether the results that it claims to produce are legitimate. In order to do that, it is important to get accurate military diet reviews. We have provided some reviews and tips from people who have tried the diet.

This is the Military Diet before and after:

  • One of the couples who tried the military diet mentioned how important it was to have a good support system. When you are low on motivation to continue the three-day diet it helps to have someone by your side to help you get through it. This accountability will make the diet process so much easier for you.
  • Another thing that many dieters have tried, is to use substitutions. Many people who have tried the military diet for a month have found that substituting food can work better over time. You can find the various calorie-specific food substitutions in the next section.
  • To increase your motivation and your drive, it helps to have a list of all the military diet meals. Once you have completed a meal then you can check it off each day. This will boost your willpower, self-esteem, and get you through the diet easily.
  • A favorite of many reviewers is the ice cream component of the dinner plan. Being able to have ice cream at night helps to sustain one's faith in the diet.
  • A few people mentioned that the daily calorie limit was too low for them. Many who were used to high-intensity workouts were unable to sustain this diet plan. They reported headaches, mood swings, and fatigue. Therefore it is important to make sure with your doctor before trying the diet. If you wish to exercise then you should stick to shorter and lower intensity workouts during the three days.
  • One of the reviews mentioned better ability to control cravings. With the restrictions of the diet meal plan, one learns how to stick to certain food and avoid snacking. This can help you to build a healthier habit over time, even without following the diet.

Now that you have read these military diet reviews you can try the diet out for yourself. Get advised by your doctor, prepare yourself mentally, and be prepared to lose weight.

9. What are the Military Diet Substitutions Available to me?

The military diet menu follows a certain number of calories for each meal, lasting for three days. Since the diet is quite simple, inexpensive, and helps you lose a lot of weight, you might be tempted to try it out more often. In such a case eating the same food over and over again can start getting boring really quickly.

You can start searching for military diet substitutes to make the diet more interesting and fun. Here are the various meal substitutes that you can make use of:

  • What are the Alternatives for a cup of Tuna?
    While on the diet many people want to avoid eating tuna from a can, but what can you do to switch it up? First, you need to ask yourself how many calories are there in a cup of tuna. There are 150 calories in half a cup of tuna and so you must find something that fits into that calorie budget. A great alternative would be to have a small amount of sushi. Tofu or any kinds of fish would be a great substitute. Just keep the calorie limit in mind.

  • What is a good Banana Substitute?
    100 grams of banana contains approximately 89 calories. Look for a substitute that fits within this limit. Kiwis, grapes, papaya, and apricots can be great banana substitutes without messing up your calorie count.

  • What are the Alternatives to Grapefruit?
    The main aim of the army diet is to lose weight, and this is where the grapefruit plays a major role. Its alkaline conditions create a great atmosphere in your body for fat burning. The entire grapefruit contains up to 104 calories. If you can't stand the taste of grapefruit or cannot eat it due to medical reasons then go in for a substitute. Mandarin oranges or grapefruit juice can serve as a good alternative. The military diet creators also mention putting baking soda in water and drinking that.

  • What Substitutes are there for the 5 Saltine Crackers?
    The 5 saltine crackers contain approximately 64-69 calories. A great substitute for this would be rice cakes, quinoa, or even couscous. Just remember to substitute your food within the calorie compound.

  • What is a Good Hot Dog Substitute?
    Your substitutes for the bunless hot dogs can range from soy dogs, turkey dogs, tofu, to deli meat, and baloney. Stay within the 250-300 calorie count of the bunless hot dogs and you will be A-Okay!

  • What is a tasty Cottage Cheese Alternative?
    Cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of hummus, Greek yogurt, and eggs are wonderful and delicious cottage cheese replacements.
    If you want to find a proper cheddar cheese substitute then you can have cottage cheese, ham, or eggs.
    Cottage cheese and cheddar cheese both chalk-up-to 90-100 calories each. Find a good replacement that has as many calories as the original food item.

  • What is an effective Hard Boiled Egg Substitute?
    A delicious hard boiled egg substitute is half an avocado. One can also try a cup of milk, some seeds or nuts, or two bacon slices. Just pick whatever strikes your fancy to make your three-day diet more exciting and fulfilling.

  • Are there any Carrot Substitutes?
    Yes, there are some great carrot substitutes such beets, celery, squash, and bell peppers.

At the end of the day, the size of the food replacement doesn’t matter. It is the military diet calories that hold the most weight, literally. When you substitute one food for another keep a track of the calorie limits. This will prevent you from straying from the military diet plan.

If you'd like to find more replacements for the military diet food, then you can search for more substitutes right here.

10.Common Misconceptions about the Military Diet:

Based on the information we have provided you may still have some doubts about the diet. So, here are the most common misconceptions and questions about the 3-day diet.

  • Can I do the Military Diet back to back?
    The most frequently asked question is whether the military diet can be done for more than 3 days. Yes, you can continue to do the diet for as long as you please. It is also important to ask yourself if you can do the military diet for a month. The best way to do the diet is for 3 days and take 4 days of rest. After that, you will have to adjust it to your schedule and your bodily requirements. By adding substitutions you will be able to move onto a more sustainable path and lose up to 30 pounds in a month. Start shopping for new clothes because your wardrobe will need a makeover after this.

  • Can you Cheat on the Military Diet?
    With the small number of calories that the military diet allows it is no wonder that most people are driven to snack. The biggest question before starting the diet is can I snack on the military diet? Unfortunately, the answer is no. You aren't allowed to eat anything in between the meals. It's all or nothing on this diet, and you need to be prepared for it. Your tantalizing bag of snacks is just going to have to wait for the 4 rest-days.

  • When to Weigh Yourself on the Military Diet?
    The army diet lasts for 7 days. That is three days of calorie restriction and four days of rest. Therefore for the best results, it is better to weigh yourself once the week is over. This diet promises that you can lose 10 pounds in 3 days. So give your scale a surprise once the week is over.

  • Does the Military Diet work without Exercise?
    Fortunately for all the gym-wary folk out there, this diet does not require you to exercise. Under the balanced diet provided for the three days, your body will be in supreme fat-burning mode. So even if you skip the gym this week you'll still look fit at the end of it. Isn't this just the best diet?

  • Can you Drink Sparkling Water on the Military Diet?
    When it comes to drinking on the military diet, it is best to follow the prepared meal plan. You are allowed to drink black coffee or tea on the diet, and it should be unsweetened. It is important to also keep your body hydrated. Flavored water is allowed on this diet.

You can use lemon and other such healthy additives to your water. You can also drink apple cider vinegar while on the military diet. Although it is important to keep an accurate check on the calories that you are taking in. So for the people asking, 'What can I drink on the military diet,' the fool-proof route is to drink water. Ah, what a fantastic refreshment.

  • What is the Best Calorie Tracker to Use while doing the Military Diet?
    The detailed diet plan of the Army diet will help to keep your calories in check. If you are still fretting over counting calories then it is best to go in for a calorie calculator. MyFitnesspal is the best calorie tracker app that will keep your calories in check, and update your calorie graph. Counting calories has never been so easy.

  • Can I do the Cabbage Soup Diet at the same time?
    With the alluring weight loss proclamations of each diet, you may be tempted to try out two diets at the same time. It is not recommended to try out two diets simultaneously even if they overlap quite a bit. Stick to one diet for the best results. Do not forget to follow the diet's recommendations properly. This will keep you safe, and your body healthy.

What should I do during the Military Diet Four Days Off?

The 4 days off in the army diet is a time for you to relax and eat slightly larger meals. During these four days, you are allowed to consume 1500 calories a day. This consists of any-one breakfast/lunch/dinner item, and two snacks.

To help you stay on track, here is a 4-day diet menu:

Breakfast Items are:

  • One scrambled egg, with whole wheat toast, and half an avocado.
  • One banana, one cup of milk, one cup of cheerios, and an orange.
  • A cheesy omelet consisting of two eggs, and cheese of your choice.

Lunch Items are:

  • Two cups of lettuce, one cup of raw vegetables, one hard-boiled egg, two teaspoons of raisins, and two teaspoons of almonds.

  • One whole-wheat tortilla stuffed with one-third cup of shredded Cheddar, a cup of black beans, and one cup of sliced peppers & mushrooms.

  • Two slices of whole grain bread with one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, five slices of turkey, one pear sliced, and one slice of Swiss cheese.

Dinner Items are:

  • Two ounces of fresh shrimp, one cup of zucchini, two tablespoons of basil, one tablespoon of olive oil served with a cup of pasta.

  • One tuna roll, one cup of miso soup, and a small seaweed salad.

  • Half a cup of vegetarian chili, eight tortillas, two tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese, and a salad.

Snack Items are:

  • Fruit-and-nut bar

  • One cup of carrot sticks with three tablespoons of hummus

  • One apple and twenty-two pistachios

  • One banana with One tablespoon of peanut butter

  • One cup of plain yogurt with one cup of mixed berries

For a more detailed 4-day meal plan, click here.

Equipped with this detailed guide to the military diet plan you are ready to take it head-on. Once the week is over, and the weight is off, you can start looking for a long-term way to stay healthy, and prevent weight gain.

Check out this simple article that will set you on the path to long-term weight loss.