What is Military Diet | Is it Safe? | How it Helps Lose Weight | Shopping List | Menu | Advantages | Disadvantages | Substitutions

Obesity is so endemic that there is no shortage of people who are looking for how to lose 10 pounds in a week.

Targeted for these people is Military diet. You have probably heard about this so-called diet from a lot of people or sources. It has become sort of the top diet in the world nowadays like egg diet. But its name should not lead you to believed that it is related to the military in any way.

For a reference, a study found that military personnel eat high calorie diet and not the calorie restricted diet.

Well stick with me, this article is going to tell you all you need to know about the military diet so you don’t keep wondering about it.


What is Military Diet?

This is claimed to be created by U.S Military doctors to help the soldiers mold into perfect shape in no time at all but it?s not approved by military.

It’s consisted of a 3-day restrictive diet plan which then turns into the remaining 4 days off. This cycle is repeated on a weekly basis until you get the desired results.

It also assures you of losing 10 pounds within a week and 30 pounds within a month. The military diet is also known as some other names such as navy diet, the ice cream diet, and army diet.

It’s quite easy to follow because this diet doesn’t need any extra expenses on food or a need to buy a book and any specific supplements because it contains all the things which are used in our daily routine.

The military diet is basically divided into two stages within a week.

In the first stage, you are required to strictly follow the meal plan of low calories 3 times a day without any snacks in between.

In the second stage of this diet which is of 4 days, you can eat healthy foods while still making sure not to take any extra calories.

The founders of this diet suggest to keep repeating the military diet to get your desired weight.

Is Military Diet Safe?

It’s partially safe for a normal human being in the short term as it is not able to do any major harm to your body. But if you keep following the diet for months then it may cause nutrient deficiency because its daily calorie limit is below the minimum recommended daily calorie intake. (1)

It also promotes junk food such as crackers, ice-cream and hot dogs which are not good for a diet or your metabolism.

It’s no doubt sustainable because of the short time period but at the same time, it won’t help you in the long term.

Losing 10 pounds in a week is possible for the people who are overweight but the lost weight will be just excessive water. And water weight that these types of diets provide generally returns once you are off the diet plan

How Military Diet Helps Lose Weight

This diet has high protein levels with a lower rate of fats, calories, and carbohydrates.

It also claims that certain combinations of foods can help in boosting the metabolism.

But no scientific research is here to back it up.

There are no studies to show us whether it’s effective or not but it’s a sure thing when you take a restrictive diet and calories on such a lower rate, you are bound to lose weight according to your body type.

The food combinations provided in this diet are a bit off. You can see that some of the foods on the list are high in carbs which is strange for a weight loss diet.

As you already know that fad diets tend to be universal in gaining all the weight back. Same is the case with military diet. It can make you lose weight in no time at all but after some time you can easily regain all the weight you lost which will be highly disappointing.

Military Diet Shopping List

Important things you need to add to your shopping list for the military diet.

  • Carrots
  • Eggs
  • Whole wheat bread, not the white one
  • Tuna fish cans
  • Cottage cheese
  • Caffeine in the form of coffee or tea
  • Bananas
  • Peanut butter
  • Hot dogs
  • Ice cream, vanilla flavored
  • Green beans
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Broccoli
  • Meat
  • Crackers, salted

Once you have completed your shopping, you can carve your meal plan. A sample 3 day military diet plan can be as under:

Day 1

Calorie count: 1,400


– Toast, single slice

– Peanut butter, just two spoons

– Grapefruit, half

– To caffeinate yourself, 1 cup of coffee or tea can be taken


– Tuna fish, half a cup

– Toast, single slice

– Tea or coffee, 1 cup


– 85 grams meat serving, any type can be taken

– Banana, half

– Vanilla ice-cream, 1 cup

– Green beans, 1 cup

– Apple, small in size

Day 2

Calorie count: 1,200


– Toast, single slice

– A boiled egg

– Banana, half

– Coffee or tea, 1 cup


-Cottage cheese, 1 cup

– Boiled egg

– Salted crackers, 5


– Banana, half

– Carrots, half cup

– Hot dogs, 2 and no bun or bread should be taken with it

– Broccoli, half cup

– Vanilla ice-cream, half cup

Day 3

Calorie count: 1,100


– Cheddar cheese, 1 slice

– Salted crackers, 5

– Apple, small in size


– Toast, single slice

– Boiled egg


– Tuna, 1 cup

– Banana, half

– Vanilla ice-cream, 1 cup

 You can take tea and coffee whenever you feel the need to do so. But they should be strictly void of any sweeteners or cream.

?There is also a alternative meal plan for those who are vegetarians or prefer vegetables in diet.

Day 1


– Grapefruit, half of it

– Toast, 1 slice

– Tea and coffee, 1 cup

-Peanut butter, 2 tbsp.


– Avocado, half of it

– Hummus – 2 tbsp.

– Whole wheat, 1 slice


– Tofu

– Green beans- 1 cup

– Banana, half

– Apple, small in size

– Vanilla ice-cream, 1 cup

Day 2


– Baked beans, half cup

– Whole wheat toast, 1 slice

– Banana, half


-Almond milk or soy which should be unsweetened, 1 cup

– Avocado, half cup

– Salted crackers, 5


– Vegetable hot dogs, 2

– Broccoli, 1 cup

– Carrots, half cup

– Banana, half

– Vanilla ice-cream, half cup

Day 3


– Cheddar cheese, 1

– Salted crackers

– Apple, small

– Couscous or quinoa, half cup


– Avocado, half

– Hummus, 1 tbsp.

– Whole-wheat bread, 1 slice


– Canned chickpeas

– Banana, half

– Vanilla ice-cream, 1 cup

Military Diet 4 Days Off

After the first 3 days, it is recommended that you restrict your diet intake to 1500 calories for the 4 days off. And ideally it would be better if you eat foods that are part of the diet plan. Good thing is it is not that restricted for these four days.


In short, the military diet is beneficial for your weight loss. It contains specific foods, simple instructions about measurements and quick cooking recipes.?Meal plan for the 4 days which you are going to get off allows you a vast range of vegetables and fruits.It also has whole grains, legumes, and other choices.

It is according to every individual’s need as it provides you with different variations of foods and substitutions. There are a lot of choices for you so you would not feel bound and so much restrictive.

The diet provides the basic need of our body, proteins, which will give you the feeling of being full. It’s also helpful in keeping your muscle mass maintained, providing you the energy for daily activities as well.

A vital thing in weight loss is to maintain your muscle tissues as they are related to your metabolism directly which military diet helps with because of its focus on protein.

Disadvantages of Military Diet

Less Nutrient Intake

The diet does not contain a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which are essential nutrients for a healthy life, body detoxification, efficient working of your metabolism and production of energy.

Salt, Sugar, and Saturated Fat

If we see, saltine crackers, bread, peanut butter, cheese, and hot dogs are all processed foods which are not so healthy for your body and are also known to help weight gain.

You should be careful about nutrients when shopping, and make sure there is less sodium than the suggested amount of 2,300 mg in a day. If possible, it would be good to take the foods which do not have sodium or contain a low rate of it.

Hot dogs have fats in it, therefore, instead of helping you in weight loss it can aid you to gain more weight.

There should be fruits or juices instead of ice-cream which contains a lot of sugar. It is not good for health to daily take ice-cream or especially in a diet.

It also has extremely small quantities of food which might not be satisfying for you while eating and can easily result in eating more of it out of craving.

Less exercise

Most of the individuals feel that exercise is out of their reach when they are dieting because they do not feel the energy to exercise or work hard.

That is because you eat very few calories on a daily basis which makes it hard to exercise or do any other work. You will constantly feel lethargic.


The results of the military diet completely depend on the body type, current weight, your emotional and physical health and willingness. If you are willing enough you can lose those 10 pounds easily and maintain it.

If you have a habit of going back again and again to your old eating habits then nothing can motivate you to stay on this diet and lose weight.

Some people easily lose weight while others find it hard to do so. Keep in mind that the safe rate of losing weight is at the maximum 2 pound in a week.

Military Diet Substitutions

Sometimes there are foods you can’t take due to some medical restrictions or you just don’t like them to eat.

There are some military diet substitutes for the foods you might want to avoid. Let’s check them out.


If you can’t take grapefruit then don’t take oranges instead because its effects will be the opposite. For the real substitution, add half teaspoon baking soda into a glass of water for drinking. Squeezing the juice of grapefruit or adding stevia is also possible.

Reasons: The diet claims that our body has pH levels of alkaline or otherwise acids. Acid encourages the fat to increase which is why foods having alkaline for fat burning are more suitable. Grapefruits and soda both are good for alkaline.


There are a lot of substitutes for toast such as sunflower seeds, protein bars, yogurt and cereal of whole grains.

Peanut Butter

Substitutes for peanut butter are almond butter, pumpkin butter, hummus, bean dip, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter.

Coffee or Tea

Instead of coffee and tea for caffeine, you can have green tea, red bull without sugar or hot chocolate is also a good option.

Tuna Fish

Grilled tuna is a good substitute for tuna if you can’t eat the plain one.

Also if it’s lean meat you can take it to replace tuna. Some other substitutes for tuna are hummus, almonds, tofu, chicken or cottage cheese.

Small Piece of Any Meat

Instead, you can have some beans, Portobello mushrooms or lentils.

Green Beans

Tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, and every green vegetables contain the exact same calorie count.


Its substitute can be kiwi, papaya, apricot, grapes or plums.


Dried apricots, zucchini, peaches, or pears can be taken in place of apple.

Vanilla Ice-cream

A lot of people don’t like the flavor, or they don’t like ice cream so you can either change the flavor or have some flavored yogurt, strawberry. Coconut bliss is also a great option.


A small amount of baked beans, bacon, nuts or chicken wings will be suitable as a substitute.

Cottage Cheese

Hummus, soy milk or almond milk, cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, and ham can be taken as a replacement.

Salted Crackers

Rice cakes or some other gluten-free crackers are great substitutes but be careful about the amount you take.

Hot Dogs

Turkey dogs, tofu dogs or soy dogs are good to take as long as they have the same calorie count. No more or less.


It can be easily replaced by, asparagus, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower.


Squash, bell pepper, parsnips, and beets all have the same calorie count.

Cheddar Cheese

Egg, ham or cottage cheese. Some other substitutes can be soy cheese, soy milk, cabbage, and tofu.

Whenever you search for substitutes or add them into your diet keep count of calories instead of the size.

Be careful about how many calories you are taking and how much you are eliminating, they should be the same.

Bottom Line

After going through everything one can easily conclude that the military diet is not suitable in the long run. It is a very restrictive diet with calorie intake decreasing to 1100 calories. This is well below the minimum recommended limit and therefore, it is not sustainable for long term weight loss.

However, if you are overweight or desperately want to lose some extra pounds then this diet is good for you.

A healthy lifestyle is a must if you want to stay healthy and lose weight at the same time. Don’t just keep repeating the military diet over and over again to maintain your weight because it can also cause several risks and health issues.

There are other much better and safer diet plans waiting for you to maintain your diet.


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