The military diet, also known as the three-day diet, is gaining immense popularity among the fitness community because of its effectiveness.
According to experts, the diet can help you lose weight very fast compared to other diets. This diet is a very low-calorie one that is designed to help those who want to lose weight in a short period.
According to the military weight loss diet, you can lose 10 pounds in a week if you follow it strictly.
The diet combines various foods in a way that it burns the calories and boost metabolism in the body.
You’ll be surprised, but this diet also includes foods like hot dogs and vanilla ice cream, which no one would think of eating while on a weight loss plan.
If you’re planning to start the military diet for weight loss, here’s all you need to know about it!
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What is the military diet plan?
The military diet is a 3-day meal plan which is followed by four days off.
This meal plan can make you lose weight within a week, and that’s the feature of this diet that makes it very popular.
This weekly cycle is repeated again and again till you reach the goal weight. According to some nutritionists, the diet was proposed by the US military to keep the soldiers fit and smart.
During the first three days of this diet plan, you have to restrict your calorie intake to 1400, 1200, and 1100 calories.
The remaining four days you’re allowed to eat regularly without following any diet plan. However, you have to make sure that you don’t consume junk and fatty food during these four days.
The diet is high in protein and has very low amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and overall calories.
The calorie intake during the first three days is low to the average adult intake. You can drink water as much as you can and 1 to 2 cups of tea or black coffee.
Following is the military diet plan:
Breakfast: half grapefruit, one slice of toast with two tablespoons of peanut butter, one cup coffee
Lunch: one slice of toast or bread, ½ can tuna, one cup coffee
Dinner: 1 cup green beans, 3 ounces meat, ½ banana, one small apple, and 1 cup vanilla ice cream
Breakfast: 1 egg, one slice of toast, and ½ banana
Lunch: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cup cottage cheese, and five saltine crackers
Dinner: 1 cup broccoli, ½ cup carrots, two hot dogs, ½ banana, and ½ cup of vanilla ice cream
Breakfast: 1 slice of cheddar cheese, one small apple, and five saltine crackers
Lunch: 1 slice of toast, and one hard-boiled egg
Dinner: ½ banana, 1 cup of tuna, and 1 cup of vanilla ice cream
The remaining four days of this diet also involve dieting, but there are no food group restrictions. You can have snacks, but you have to do portion control and limit your calorie intake to 1500 calories per day only.
How does the military diet work?
The military diet is a diet based on a combination of low-calorie foods that work together and help your body lose weight. To be precise, it’s a ‘short term calorie restriction’ that helps you lose weight very fast.
However, one thing to note is that any military research center or organization do not back the military diet.
Nutritionists claim that because of the food combinations used in this diet, this diet has a weight-loss advantage over other diets.
Green tea and coffee consist of compounds that boost metabolism and promote weight loss. However, some people get confused as to when you look at the overall meal plan; you’ll feel that it’s not a fat-burning diet.
The military diet cuts out specific foods from your diet and focuses on a low-calorie diet. Overall, the main thing that works for weight loss in this diet is the calorie count per day. The restrictions of calories consumed daily make the people shed weight very fast.
Benefits of the Military Diet:
If you want to shed weight fast, this diet can be very beneficial for you. Following are the benefits of following the military diet for weight loss.
1. It is very easy to follow, as there are only some foods included in the diet. The cooking methods are simple, and measurements are easy too.
2. It includes a good variety of fruits and vegetables and other healthy meal choices such as legumes and whole grains.
3. There are substitutions for people who have some dietary considerations or intolerances. The plan also includes the exact calorie targets for you to lose weight.
4. The diet is more focused on protein intake, which maintains the muscle mass and keeps you fuller till long. The energy obtained from the foods in the meal plan keeps you active and healthy throughout the day.
5. People achieve better results because of the normal eating plan for four days which mimic the way of intermitting fasting. As compared to other low-calorie diets, this diet is more effective.
In a study done in 2018, the effect of caloric restriction was observed on alternate days in the participants.
The research was done on participants who were exercising and following a calorie-restriction diet.
According to the results, the participants had a significant decrease in body weight, and waist circumference, and the overall fat percentage of the body was decreased too (BMC Public Health, 2018).
Is the military diet healthy?
Following the 3-day military weight loss plan is not very healthy, and there are some disadvantages to it too.
According to the dietician, Toby Amidor R.D, although the diet contains a variety of foods, they are not enough to provide you daily nutrition especially the low-nutrient foods like vanilla ice cream and hot dogs.
She further says that if you follow the diet, you won’t be able to have complete nutrition for these three days. Following are some of the unhealthy effects of the military diet:
Disadvantages of the Diet
The main disadvantage of this diet is limited nutrient intake. You won’t be able to get enough vitamins, fiber, and minerals which are needed for detoxification, energy production, and good health of the body.
The foods included in this diet are high in saturated fats, salt, and sugar. Apart from this, the diet also includes processed foods such as hot dogs and vanilla ice cream. The foods contain high amounts of saturated fats, sodium, and sugar.
The low-calorie intake can make it difficult for you to exercise daily, particularly the exercises that require high intensity and endurance.
However, you can exercise easily on the remaining four days of the week. But, during these three days, it will be harder for you to exercise because of the low caloric intake.
You may shed weight when you’re on the military diet, but when you’re off the diet, there are high chances that you gain the weight back.
Who should follow the military diet and who shouldn’t?
The military diet is good for those who want rapid weight loss options. This is perfect for those people who want to shed weight quickly in a short period.
The diet seems to work well only for people who have the ability to stick to a low-calorie meal plan and bear the hunger and cravings for three days. Also, if you want to try something affordable, this diet is for you as you don’t have to buy any supplements or beverages for that.
The foods included in the meal plan are quite affordable and are easily available too.
If you’re over 50, a low-calorie diet can be harmful to you as stated by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). According to Rothenberg, the low-calorie diet is not quite sustainable or realistic, and there are greater chances that you may end up eating more calories when you’re off the diet plan.
The military diet plan will work for you if your caloric intake per day is 2,500 to 3000. In such a case, it’s obvious that if you suddenly switch to 1400 to 1100 calories during these three days, you’re going to lose weight.
The military diet actually works on the principle that you consume fewer calories and burn more. So, this diet is for those who are currently consuming too high calories per day as compared to this diet plan.
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If you want to lose weight quickly, the military diet is a fantastic diet for you. However, keep in mind that when you’re off the diet plan, you must maintain your caloric intake; otherwise, you could end up gaining more.
This is a short term weight loss plan and is not meant for you if you want a long term solution.
If you’re following the military diet for the short term, it’s beneficial for you, disregarding long-term use has many risks.
Before you try this diet, you must consider the pros and cons and then decide according to your preferences.