3-Day Military Diet Science-Based Review

What is the Military Diet


You may have heard about the military diet – a combination featuring low-calorie foods that works together to jump start your weight loss goals.

Well, the 3 day military diet is gaining popularity, but it’s not quite clear how the military was involved!

People who need to lose weight fast are more interested in this 3-day low-calorie diet plan.

So if you want to get skinny in a week or fit into a dress that’s smaller, military diet plan could be something you’d want to try.

Before we talk about how this diet actually works, you need to understand that this diet isn’t right for ‘nervous’ dieters.

Of course military diet claims that you can lose 10 pounds or even more in a week, but it is severely restrictive and very low calorie.

When you start following the diet, you have to eat less for three days and then maintain a 1,500 calorie count for the next four days.


What’s Good About 3-Day Diet


Most popular weight loss diets are either too complicated or too lengthy.

In fact, some options require that you stick to the big list of ingredients for grocery shopping and weight your food before eating it.

What’s worse is that some diets include special ‘supplements’ that prove to be more expensive than real food in the long run.

Another reason why most commercial diets are ineffective is that people give up too soon.

Of course, these plans are okay if you have all the time in the world to lose a few unwanted pounds.

But if you have a strict deadline, and the big event is approaching fast, this slow progress can be frustrating.

Remember that long-term diets also require a great deal of willpower as you have to monitor your eating habits and calorie intake for weeks, or even months.

The three-day military diet on the other hand is short, easy to follow and most importantly, very effective for quick weight loss.

Your meals will include foods you can easily buy with a quick trip to the local grocery store.

The meal plan is easy to prepare, and the best thing is that it promises to shed off the extra pounds in just seven days.


Who Should Try the 3-Day Military Diet


The three-day military diet has attracted some great reviews on social media and has plenty of loyal, praising followers.

And this shouldn’t sound surprising.

Think about it this way.

You need to collect enough motivation to eat low-calorie foods for three days.

This means you only need to overcome hunger pangs and more importantly, refrain from eating delicious and tempting high-calorie fattening and sugary foods.

As long as you remain true to the diet plan and stick to low calorie food for three days, you should be able to see good results.

Military diet is also a good option if you don’t want to spend lots of time grocery shopping or for preparing ‘special’ low-calorie food.

In fact, if you want to lose weight while staying on a budget, military diet is something you need to go for.

Military Diet isn’t Complicated

Unlike other weight loss plans where you have to make so many decisions and calculations, military diet is crystal clear and gets straight to the point.

Dietary compliance is easier and you only have to eat what you’ve been told.

Also, you’re not required to plan menus or spend hours reading and preparing ‘low calorie’ recipes.

What Can I Expect?

Perhaps the simplicity of the military diet is its most attractive aspect.

Yes, there’s no calorie counting or hunting down complicated ingredients at the grocery store.

Every meal included in the three-day diet plan is low calorie, and you do get a nice mix of proteins, dietary fiber and carbohydrates for rapid fat burning.

While the diet looks simple and overly restrictive, it does include wonderful foods that can help you lose weight quickly.

Most importantly, the meals require little cooking and most ingredients are easily available in your kitchen.


The 3-Day Military Diet Plan


Following is the diet plan you need to follow if you want to lose pounds with the three-day military diet.

Each of the three important meals of the day, i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner are mentioned clearly, and there’s a section about substitutes and other commonly asked questions coming up later.


Day One



  • ½ Grapefruit
  • 1 Slice of Toast – preferably wholegrain
  • 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Coffee or Tea (caffeine is acceptable)


  • ½ cup Tuna or lean protein substitute
  • 1 Slice of Toast
  • 1 cup Coffee or Tea (caffeine is acceptable)


  • 3 ounces of any type of meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • ½ banana
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream (*coconut milk ice cream is just divine!)


Day Two



  • 1 egg (cooked however you like)
  • 1 slice of toast (preferably whole wheat)
  • ½ banana


  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • 5 saltine crackers


  • 2 hot dogs (without bun)
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • ½ cup of carrots
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup of vanilla ice cream


Day Three



  • 5 saltine crackers
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1 small apple


  • 1 hardboiled egg (or cooked however you like)
  • 1 slice of toast (whole wheat works best)


  • 1 cup of tuna
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream


Days Four to Seven


This is the tricky part.

You can eat what you like for the next four days, but if you’re serious about not regaining the pounds, make sure you stick to a maximum of 1500 calories a day.

Sadly almost 80% of dieters miscalculate their daily calorie count and end up gaining weight.

Also, maintain a journal so that you don’t misjudge what you’re eating every day.

In addition to the foods listed above, water is the best thing you can drink on the military diet.

Plain water helps flush out the toxins, and it is great for weight loss too.

You can also drink caffeinated tea as well as regular coffee but avoid sugars and even artificial sweeteners.

You can add Stevia to your cup of tea or coffee is you can’t live without a sweetener.


How Does Military Diet Work


The military diet plan actually consists of 2 phases – days 1 – 3 and days 4 -7.

Over the 7-day period, you are required to follow a low-calorie meal plan for the first three days.

Remember, you’re not supposed to “snack” between meals during the first three days.

Day 4 onwards, you are allowed to eat everything, but you must maintain your calorie intake between 1,100 to 1,400 calories.

This does sound much lower than the standard adult calorie intake, but you are encouraged to keep the calorie count low until you reach your weight loss goals.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is the Diet Suitable for Caffeine Addicts?


It’s hard to skip coffee, and the good news is that the three-day military diet doesn’t include caffeine withdrawal.

You can drink black coffee, tea, and even herbal tea, but do not add sugar, cream, or artificial sweeteners.


Can I Drink Diet Soda?


Drinks loaded with sugars, artificial flavors are NOT allowed because they interfere with rapid weight loss.

Simply put, you need to stay away from diet sodas, and other low calorie or even calorie free drinks.


Can Vegans Follow the 3-day Military Diet?


Well, it is possible to personalize the military diet meal plan so that it suits your personal food preferences.

For an easy meat replacement, you can use any one of the following:

  • Lentils
  • Soya
  • Tofu
  • Quorn – meat substitute product that is available easily
  • Even cottage cheese and nuts can be used as meat substitutes.

*If you don’t like tuna, any other lean meat or fish can be used as an acceptable replacement.


How do Food Substitutions Work?


The only thing you need to consider while substituting foods is the number of calories and the amount of protein.

For example, if you decide to replace a 75 calorie apple, the other fruit or food must also contain 75 calories and should preferably be from the same food group.

Simply put, replace fruit with fruit, meat with meat/meat substitute and vegetable with vegetable.

For example, if you’re allergic to peanuts, you can swap peanut butter for almond butter.

Vegetarians can also replace 1 cup tuna with a handful of almonds.

The bottom line is that if you change the food, you need to be counting calories so that they remain the same.


Is the Military Diet Based on “Solid” Evidence?


No hardcore scientific studies have been conducted on the military diet.

However, you are likely to lose weight due to calorie restriction.

Remember when fewer calories enter your body, your body starts using the fat reserves and you lose weight.

Some experts claim that military diet has a clear advantage over other diets because of the food combinations used.

The experts suggest that the food combinations used in the military diet work synergistically to increase your metabolism and burn more fat, however concrete medical evidence to support this claim are lacking still.

The military diet allows you to drink coffee and green tea that can slightly increase metabolism and boost weight loss.

Protein rich foods do boost metabolism, so this can be another reason why the three-day military diet works.


Is the Diet Plan Safe and Sustainable?


Well, I do have a background in nutrition, and I can say that the military diet is safe for the average, healthy person.

Three days, as you can guess are too short to do any kind of lasting harm, but as a general safety rule, you shouldn’t follow this diet for more than a week.

This is because strictly limiting your calories could increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies.

It is important that you eat fresh, highest quality fruits, vegetables, and protein after the first three days.

Furthermore eating processed such as hot dogs, crackers, and ice creams every day can increase your risk of developing metabolic disorders.

If you talk about sustainability, my experience suggests that the military diet is fairly easy to follow.

You can collect your motivation and willpower to change your habits for a relatively short period of time, i.e. three days.

As stated earlier, this diet isn’t helpful if you want to keep the weight off for a very long time.

That’s right.

You can use the three-day plan to lose weight loss, but at the same time, you need to have a backup plan for dealing with the weight you will regain once you start eating normally.


Can I Really Lose 10 Pounds in a Week


This diet is popular for the fact that you can lose 10 pounds in a week.

But the happiness bubble is about to burst … soon.

When you restrict calories, your body starts losing water first, not fat.

Water loss happens because your glycogen stores begin to decline.

You might feel jubilant on the weighing scale, but the moment when you begin eating normally again, the “lost pounds” are going to come back soon.

So you can say that you can lose 10 lbs in a week, but most of this lost weight is water, and it is most likely to be regained when you start eating normally again.

I know that this isn’t the best thing that you want to happen.

Remember that Military Diet can work, but not for long.

It is a quick fix, but if you want to lose weight for good, there are other diets that are much better than the military diet.


How to Make the 3-day Military Diet Work


If you want to get the most from the Military Diet, your plan should be simple. Just follow the diet and make sure you don’t make any silly eating choices and sabotage your progress.

For best results, you shouldn’t tweak, change or modify the plan. That’s right. Follow the meal plan discussed earlier, unless you make to make any of the previously discussed food substitutions. If you feel that you’ll end up in a fix, maintain a calorie journal to keep your diet on the right track.

Do be prepared to handle the cravings and hunger pangs that would happen at the most awkward times. You will feel hungry often, especially during the first three days, but use this opportunity to detox your body and prepare for the rest of the week when you can eat normally.

Do stick to 1500 calories for the next 4 days – this way, you will not end up regaining the pounds you lost during the first three days.

Unlike other diets, the Military Diet plan does not allow snacks. Even if you eat low-calorie sugary or salty munchies, you’ll only add calories, and this will slow down the fat loss.

Men following the military diet can consume an extra 100 calories a day.

Never overeat on the “off” days, as this will eventually undo all your hard work and you can never get the results you want.

For getting motivating results:

Make your weight loss journey more effective by drinking a big glass of water the first thing in the morning and right before every meal. Plain water has zero calories and it fills your stomach. Simply put, you will feel less hungry if you drink lots of water every day.

Plan your meals in advance and buy the grocery so that you can prepare the meals before going into the “diet” mode.

You can accelerate the weight loss by combining military diet with your daily workout or exercise. Exercise first thing in the morning, preferably on the empty stomach so that your body gets into the habit of burning stored fat for fuel. If you cannot exercise in the morning, try to exercise or walk before meals.

Workouts are not mandatory during the Military Diet, but they help burn more calories and enhance your fat loss results. If you’re not much of a hardcore exerciser, start by brisk walking 20 or 30 minutes a day and slowly increase the intensity by building up the pace and pumping your arms.

Diets and workouts are always fun when you have a diet/exercise buddy. You can ask a close friend or a family member to join your diet and exercise plan and get into the best shape of their life.

Nothing is more motivating than seeing your progress in numbers. Keep a track of your body measurements and put on the outfits that didn’t fit you before you started with the diet. You will be more motivated than ever to stick with the healthy eating habits for the remaining 4 days as well.


The Science Behind the Military Diet


The Military Diet works for a number of scientifically proven concepts.

Calorie restriction

Stored fat is equivalent to stored calories so every time you eat more or don’t exercise your body starts storing excess calories as fat.

Similarly, when you restrict your calorie intake, your body cells start burning the fat deposits to create energy and make up for the energy shortfall.

The Military Diet is low in calories and this guarantees that your body will have to use the fat stores to keep the metabolic processes running smoothly.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting basically means that the diet consists of periods of eating normally and then there are periods of not eating anything.

Fasting improves your insulin sensitivity, so the next time you eat normally; all nutrients are directed towards your muscle and liver cells, not your adipose tissue or fat stores.

Studies show that intermittent fasting decreases IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) levels in the blood.

This interestingly promotes muscle growth and repair and at the same time, reduces your risk of type I diabetes and obesity.

It is also important to remember that the military diet is not the true form of intermittent fasting, but it does give you beneficial results.

Boost Metabolism

The military diet is designed to boost your metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn each day.

In fact, many of the food combinations have been included in the three-day diet specifically for their fat burning and metabolism boosting properties.

High protein foods are shown to have a high thermal effect.

This means you end up using a lot of calories while eating and digesting them.

Similarly, foods rich in dietary fiber such as apples, broccoli, and even green beans can boost your metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn per day.




The Military Diet certainly gets the job done, and if you’re looking for a quick “fat” fix, this diet is the way to go.

Of course, like any other diet or exercise, you need to do it right and never come up with excuses.

Want to share your experience or story?

Let’s get the conversation started in the comments right here.

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