Lose Upto 4 Kgs in a Week with a Military Diet!

Updated on March 23rd, 2020
military diet

The military diet is currently one of the most popular diets around the world. The popularity of the military weight loss diet stems from the fact that it is inexpensive and does not require any supplements. It is believed that this diet was designed by the US military dietitians to get soldiers in shape in less time. However, in actuality, the diet is not affiliated to any government or governmental institution.

It is known by many names such as the ‘3-day diet’, the Army diet, the navy diet, and the ice cream diet. The proponents of the military diet proclaim that it can help in shedding up to 10 pounds (or 4.5 kgs) in a week! It involves following a strict low-calorie meal plan for three days, with four off-diet days. You should continue this weekly cycle until you reach your ideal weight.

Is the Military Diet Effective?

women Eating

In the military diet, the food patterns are split into two phases: Stage I or the first three days, and Stage II, the following four days.

In Stage I, the person is expected to follow a predefined low-calorie diet meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacking between meals is not permitted. The calorie intake during Stage I is about 1,100-1,400 calories per day.

In Stage II, the individual is considered off the diet and is encouraged to eat healthier while maintaining a low-calorie intake.

Given the structure of the diet, it can be understood that considering the calorie intake of 1,100-1,400 per day is much lower than an adult’s average intake. Hence, it is a no-brainer that the calorie-deficit will result in weight loss(1). However, the weight that is lost will be water weight and not fat weight.

[ Read: Benefits of  Warrior Diet ]

Who Should You Try the Military Diet?

The military diet is suited for young men and women who are capable of sticking to a very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) and fighting hunger and fatigue that comes with it. Those struggling with obesity will register a greater success with the military diet.

However, VLCD is a big no-no for those above the age of 50, as it can be dangerous for them(2).

Foods to Eat

Here are a few foods that you can eat while on the military diet:

  • Bananas
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Tea/coffee
  • Grapefruit
  • Hot dogs
  • Saltine crackers
  • Meat
  • Ice cream
  • Tuna

If you are looking for a military diet grapefruit substitute, you could swap the fruit for a glass of water with a teaspoon of baking soda in it.

Similarly, those following a vegan military diet can substitute the military egg diet with either half a cup of baked beans or a quarter cup of nuts and seeds. Tofu is yet another useful military diet substitute for vegetarians and vegans.

Foods to Avoid

Here is the military diet’s list of foods to avoid:

  • Creamers
  • Artificial sweeteners (except Stevia)
  • Fruit juice
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Oranges

[ Read: 8 Hour Diet To Lose Weight ]

Military Diet Meal Plan

Based on the military diet ingredients and food items mentioned above, here is a day-wise meal plan for Stage I of the military diet:

Day 1 (Calorie Count 1400)


  • A slice of toast
  • Two tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Half a grapefruit
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • A slice of toast
  • Half a cup of tuna
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • 85 grams of meat
  • A cup of green beans
  • A small apple
  • Half a banana
  • A cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2 (Calorie Count 1200)


  • A slice of toast
  • A hard-boiled egg
  • Half a banana
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • A hard-boiled egg
  • A cup of cottage cheese
  • Five saltine crackers
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • Two hot dog sausages (without buns)
  • Half a cup of broccoli
  • Half a cup of carrots
  • Half a banana
  • Half a cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3 (Calorie Count 1100)


  • A slice (about 30g) of cheddar cheese
  • Five saltine crackers
  • A small apple
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • A slice of toast
  • An egg (cooked any way you like)
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • A cup of tuna
  • Half a banana
  • A cup of vanilla ice cream

Days 4-7 (Stage II)

During the off-diet phase, you are not bound by any rules. You have the freedom to consume the various food groups without exceeding the 1,500 calorie limit.

From days 1 to 7, you can have as many cups of tea and coffee as desired as long as you don’t add calories to it. Further, you should drink plenty of water too.

An acceptable list of military diet substitutes is as follows:

  • Peanut butter: Almond butter, hummus, seed butter
  • Tuna: Almonds, cottage cheese, lean meat, tofu
  • Toast: Sunflower seeds, high-protein bar, yogurt
  • Vanilla ice cream: Flavored yogurt, flavored almond milk, apple sauce

[ Read: GOLO Diet Plan Benefits ]

Potential Risks and Benefits of Military Diet

The military diet recipes offer the following drawbacks and advantages:


  1. Given the restrictive nature of the diet, it could result in limited nutrient intake that may affect the individual’s health, metabolism, and energy production capacity.
  2. The diet is high in added salt, sugar, and saturated fats, which can exceed the recommended daily intake of certain minerals and vitamins.
  3. A diet that offers fewer than 1400 calories makes it harder to exercise or may even stop people from exercising.
  4. There is not enough research backing this diet. Further, the science behind the diet appears to be confusing.
  5. Since the military diet only lasts a week, you could gain the benefits of the low-calorie diet. However, it is not healthy for the long term.


  1. It helps in weight loss.
  2. The diet is easy to follow and maintain as it makes use of readily available food items.
  3. It mostly covers the major food groups.
  4. The detailed meal plan, along with military diet-approved alternatives, makes it easy to stick to the calorie target.
  5. Since the diet focuses on proteins, it is more likely to make the individual feel full and satiated.
  6. In addition to weight loss, the military diet can also help in toning the body.
  7. It is a mix of the Alternate Day Fasting and Very Low-Calorie Diet, both of which have been proven to be effective in fat loss and preservation of fat-free mass.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to weight loss, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula. However, it is highly restrictive and may result in weight gain once the diet is over. To optimize the efficacy of the diet, individuals should monitor their calorie intake to maintain their ideal weight.

The military diet can be considered safe as it merely lasts a week and doesn’t affect food habits. However, you may consult your doctor before following the military diet.

Also Read:

Scarsdale Diet Plan

Boiled Egg Diet Plan

Tuna Diet Plan


1. What can I drink on the 3-day military diet?

You can ideally drink 1 cup of black coffee or tea with caffeine, and ½ grapefruit daily or 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea.

2. What do I eat on the 4 days off the military diet?

The military diet requires you to follow a low-calorie diet for 3 days and then resume a normal eating pattern for 4 days.

On the 4 days off, you can opt for

  1. caffeinated coffee or tea.
  2. One grapefruit.
  3. Two bananas.
  4. Two apples.
  5. Whole-wheat bread.
  6. Almond butter.
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