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How to Meet Weight Requirements for US Military Enlistment

Updated on April 2, 2016
Soldiers must keep fit even when they are deployed.
Soldiers must keep fit even when they are deployed. | Source

How to Lose Weight Before MEPs

It happens to the best of us. We get lazy and quit watching what we eat, or we become stressed and lose the time or motivation to exercise. However, if you have plans to join the United States Armed Forces, then those bad habits will only bring you grief.

I'm speaking from experience. I dropped thirty pounds in a few months for the Air Force, and I am still struggling to stay at weight while I'm in the delayed enlistment program.

If you are truly committed to joining a branch of the military, then from experience, I suggest that you lose the weight the right way. Otherwise if you cheat your way (by dropping five pounds overnight of water weight), it will only cause you more headaches while you wait to ship out to basic training.

So here I will explain how to lose the weight correctly. However, I will also talk about a few ways to drop a few pounds too quickly, because chances are if you are going to do that, then you've already made you mind up about it. The least I can do is to help you do it the healthiest way possible so that you do not cause yourself long-term bodily harm.

New sailors and soldiers are sworn in at MEPS Jacksonville Florida.
New sailors and soldiers are sworn in at MEPS Jacksonville Florida. | Source

Can I Enlist or Join DEPs While Overweight?

It is up to a recruiter's discretion to allow overweight candidates join the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP). However, in my experience, if the recruiter knows that you are serious about enlisting, he or she will be happy to help you lose weight.

In the past (especially during war times), the military has allowed overweight individuals to join, and they went through a "fat boy program" during basic training. This is no longer the case. Every individual must be within the height and weight standards before signing a contract and on the day they leave MEPS to basic training. If you are overweight for your last MEPS appointment you will be sent home, even if you were within weight standards at previous appointments.

How to Lose Weight for the Military

Step 1: Identify the Problem

The first step to forming healthy habits that will lead to a prosperous military career is to identify the problems that have caused you to become overweight. This is no time to make excuses. You have to be honest with yourself.

Some causes could be:

  • You have been overweight all of you life.
  • You have become lazy about your eating habits.
  • You have become lazy about exercising.
  • You have lost your motivation for exercising.
  • Unhealthy weight-loss habits have slowed down your metabolism.
  • You have over scheduled your life.

Any reason can be overcame. It will just take time, patience, and hard work, all of which will be required once you join the military.

Always remember that joining the military is an entire lifestyle change, and dropping those last few pounds the wrong way is not going to help you as much as losing them the right way.
Always remember that joining the military is an entire lifestyle change, and dropping those last few pounds the wrong way is not going to help you as much as losing them the right way. | Source

Step 2: Set Your Goals

Contact Your Local Recruiter for More Information and Help

Find a US Air Force recruiter.

Look for your local Navy recruiter.

Locate an Army recruiter to learn more.

Request information about joining the Marines.

Each branch of military has different weight requirements. The weight requirement depends on your height and age. They also can do a body fat percentage.

Air Force Requirements:

A recruit must be 4'10" or taller to enlist, and at this height the minimum weight is 91 pounds and the max weight is 131 pounds. With each additional inch of height, increase the minimum weight by three to four pounds and the maximum weight by five pounds.

Under 30:

  • Males must have no more than 20% body fat composition.
  • Females can have no more than 28% body fat composition.

Height (inches)
Max weight (lbs)
58
131
59
136
60
141
61
145
62
150
63
155
64
160
65
165
66
170
67
175
68
180
69
186
70
191
71
197
72
202
73
208
74
214
75
220
76
225
77
231
78
237
79
244
80
250

Army and National Guard

Men must be five feet tall, while females can be 4'10". With each inch, the min/max weight increases by about four pounds, and with each age bracket the weight requirements change more so than most other military branches. The female weight max at 4'8" is 109 for recruits with prior military service, and the max is 112 for recruits who have not previously served with the Armed Forces that are between the ages of 17 and 20. For males of the same age group, the max weight at five feet is 132 pounds.

  • Females must not be over 30% body fat composition. (For a non-prior service member age 17-20)
  • Males must not exceed a body fat composition of 24%. (For a non-prior service member age 17-20)

Height (inches)
Max weight (lbs) for women ages 17-20 yrs
Max weight (lbs) for women ages 21-27 yrs
Max weight (lbs) for women ages 28-39 yrs)
Max weight (lbs) for women ages 40+ yrs
58
119
121
122
124
59
124
125
126
128
60
128
129
131
133
61
132
134
135
137
62
136
138
140
142
63
141
143
144
146
64
145
147
149
151
65
150
152
154
156
66
155
156
158
161
67
159
161
163
166
68
164
166
168
171
69
169
171
173
176
70
174
176
178
181
71
179
181
183
186
72
184
186
188
191
73
189
191
194
197
74
194
197
199
202
75
200
202
204
208
76
205
207
210
213
77
210
213
215
219
78
216
218
221
225
79
221
224
227
230
80
227
230
233
236
Height (inches)
Max weight (lbs) for men ages 17-20 yrs
Max weight (lbs) for men ages 21-27 yrs
Max weight (lbs) for men ages 28-39 yrs
Max weight (lbs) for men ages 40+ yrs
58
-
-
-
-
59
-
-
-
-
60
132
136
139
141
61
136
140
144
146
62
141
144
148
150
63
145
149
153
155
64
150
154
158
160
65
155
159
163
165
66
160
163
168
170
67
165
169
174
176
68
170
174
179
181
69
175
179
184
188
70
180
185
189
192
71
185
189
194
197
72
190
195
200
203
73
195
200
205
208
74
201
206
211
214
75
206
212
217
220
76
212
217
223
226
77
218
223
229
232
78
223
229
235
238
79
229
235
241
244
80
234
240
247
250

Source: Army and National Guard direct height and weight requirements

Coast Guard

The Coast Guard has a measuring system that, to be honest, I am unfamiliar with. They determine max weight by height and "frame size." The frame size is determined by measuring the circumference of the wrist where the two bones stick out like little "knobs." To be sure, just ask a recruiter.

  • Females under 30 years old can not have a body fat index of above 33%.
  • Males under 30 years old cannot have a body fat index of above 23%.

Frame size code
Dominant wrist measurement (in) for women
N
< 5 1/4
P
5 1/4 - 5 1/2
Q
5 1/2 - 5 3/4
R
5 3/4 - 6
S
6 - 6 1/4
T
6 1/4 - 6 1/2
U
6 1/2 - 6 3/4
V
6 3/4 - 7
W
7 - 7 1/4
X
7 1/4 - 7 1/2
Y
7 1/2 - 7 3/4
Z
> 7 3/4
Height (in)
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code N
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code P
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code Q
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code R
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code S
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code T
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code U
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code V
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code W
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code X
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code Y
Max weight (lbs) for women frame size code Z
58
122
126
130
134
137
141
145
149
152
156
160
164
59
125
129
133
137
140
144
148
152
155
159
163
167
60
128
132
136
140
143
147
151
155
158
162
166
170
61
131
135
139
142
146
150
154
157
161
165
169
172
62
134
138
142
145
149
153
157
160
164
168
172
175
63
137
141
145
148
152
156
160
163
167
171
175
178
64
140
144
147
151
155
159
162
166
170
174
177
181
65
143
147
150
154
158
162
165
169
173
177
180
184
66
146
150
153
157
161
165
168
172
176
180
183
187
67
149
152
156
160
164
167
171
175
179
182
186
190
68
152
155
159
163
167
170
174
178
182
185
189
193
69
155
158
162
166
170
173
177
181
185
188
192
196
70
157
161
165
169
172
176
180
184
188
191
195
199
71
160
164
168
172
175
179
183
187
190
194
198
202
72
163
167
171
175
178
182
186
190
193
197
201
205
73
166
170
174
178
181
185
189
193
196
200
204
208
74
169
173
177
180
184
188
192
195
199
203
207
210
75
172
176
180
183
187
191
195
198
202
206
210
213
76
175
179
183
186
190
194
198
201
205
209
213
216
77
178
182
185
189
193
197
200
204
208
212
215
219
78
181
185
188
192
196
200
203
207
211
215
218
222
79
184
188
191
195
199
203
206
210
214
218
221
225
80
187
190
194
198
202
206
209
213
217
220
224
228
Frame Size Code
Dominant wrist measurement (in) for men
A
< 6 1/4
B
6 1/4 - 6 1/2
C
6 1/2 - 6 3/4
D
6 3/4 - 7
E
7 - 7 1/4
F
7 1/4 - 7 1/2
G
7 1/2 - 7 3/4
H
7 3/4 - 8
J
8 - 8 1/4
K
8 1/4 - 8 1/2
L
8 1/2 - 8 3/4
M
> 8 3/4
Height (in)
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code A
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code B
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code C
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code D
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code E
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code F
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code G
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code H
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code J
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code K
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code L
Max weight (lbs) for men frame size code M
60
140
144
148
152
156
159
163
167
171
175
179
183
61
144
148
152
156
160
164
167
171
175
179
183
187
62
148
152
156
160
164
168
172
176
179
183
187
191
63
152
156
160
164
168
172
176
180
184
188
191
195
64
157
160
164
168
172
176
180
184
188
192
196
200
65
161
165
169
172
176
180
184
188
192
196
200
204
66
165
169
173
177
181
184
188
192
196
200
204
208
67
169
173
177
181
185
189
193
196
200
204
208
212
68
173
177
181
185
189
193
197
201
205
208
212
216
69
177
181
185
189
193
197
201
205
209
213
216
220
70
182
185
189
193
197
201
205
209
213
217
221
225
71
186
190
194
197
201
205
209
213
217
221
225
229
72
190
194
198
202
206
209
213
217
221
225
229
233
73
194
198
202
206
210
214
218
221
225
229
233
237
74
198
202
206
210
214
218
222
226
230
233
237
241
75
202
206
210
214
218
222
226
230
234
238
242
245
76
207
210
214
216
222
226
230
234
238
242
248
250
77
211
215
219
222
226
230
234
238
242
246
250
254
78
215
219
223
227
231
234
238
242
246
250
254
258
79
219
223
227
231
235
239
243
246
250
254
258
262
80
223
227
231
235
239
243
247
251
255
258
262
266

Marines

Height (in)
Max weight (lbs) for men
Max weight (lbs) for women
58
132
120
59
136
124
60
141
128
61
146
132
62
150
137
63
155
141
64
160
146
65
165
150
66
170
155
67
176
160
68
181
164
69
186
169
70
192
174
71
197
179
72
203
184
73
208
189
74
214
195
75
220
200
76
226
205
77
236
211
78
238
216
79
244
222
80
250
228

Navy

Height (in)
Max weight (lbs) for men
Max weight (lbs) for women
51
97
102
52
102
106
53
107
110
54
112
114
55
117
118
56
122
123
57
127
127
58
131
131
59
136
136
60
141
141
61
145
145
62
150
149
63
155
152
64
160
156
65
165
160
66
170
163
67
175
167
68
181
170
69
186
174
70
191
177
71
196
181
72
201
185
73
206
189
74
211
194
75
216
200
76
221
205
77
226
211
78
231
216
79
236
222
80
241
227
81
246
233
82
251
239
83
256
245
84
261
251
85
266
257
86
271
263
When training, make sure to run in similar conditions that you will experience in boot camp, such as: running on terrain, running in the heat, and long distance running.
When training, make sure to run in similar conditions that you will experience in boot camp, such as: running on terrain, running in the heat, and long distance running. | Source

Step 3: Choose a Plan

How to Lose It Quickly

There are a ton of ways to quickly lose weight. Unfortunately, few of them are healthy or will keep the weight off long-term. Remember that, by enlisting, you are commiting to a lifestyle change.

However, if you are convinced that you want to lose the weight quickly, sign those papers, and worry about the consequences later, there are a few things you can do.

3 Day Miracle Military Diet

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Three-Day Military Diet

The three-day military diet is a trick that is used to make weight. It's possible to lose up to ten pounds doing this. After completing the diet, it is possible to repeat it after a two day rest. The majority of the weight lost through this is only water weight, and will come back after stopping the diet. However, it is useful for the week before your MEPS appointment.

The diet works by severely limiting calories—it comes out to under 1,000 calories a day. Such calorie restriction is not healthy; neither is the lack of nutrients to be found in the all of the processed food.

DAY 1:

Breakfast

  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of coffee or tea (with caffeine)

Lunch

  • 1/2 cup of tuna
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 cup of coffee or tea (with caffeine)

Dinner

  • 3 ounces of any type of meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

DAY 2

Breakfast

  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1/2 banana

Lunch

  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 5 Saltine crackers

Dinner

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

DAY 3

Breakfast

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

Lunch

  • 1 egg (usually hard-boiled, but can be cooked however you like)
  • 1 slice of toast

Dinner

  • 1 cup of tuna
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

How to Lose It Correctly

Losing weight is a fairly simple process. You have to take in fewer calories than you burn during the day. Most people burn roughly 2,000 calories a day, so to maintain weight, a normal person would aim to consume about 1,850 calories a day. I generally aim for less calories than needed, simply because I know that I am bad about "secret calories," or consuming calories without realizing.

It's generally accepted that one pound of weight is about 3,500 calories. So to lose a pound, you would need a negative amount of 3,500 calories. To lose weight healthily, you should never consume less than 1,000 calories in a day.

To see the time that it would take you to lose the amount, multiply the number of pounds that you need to lose times 3,500. Then figure out your caloric goal. For example are you aiming for 1,500 calories a day? Then factor in the amount of exercise that you plan to do daily (running one mile=100 calories).

Depending on your current metabolism, if you cut your calories down to 1,500 a day and run/walk/jog five miles a day, then you will lose about two pounds a week. At first, you may lose slightly more, so as your body adjusts, you may need to add more exercise or eat slightly less.

If you cut your daily intake to 1,000 and continue to run 5 miles a day, then you should be losing about a pound every two days. I do not suggest eating less than 1,000 calories a day, especially if you plan to exercise vigorously.

Also, stay away from all soda, processed foods, and salt. Period. No arguing or moaning. These foods are only going to hinder your weight loss.

Becoming Healthy to Pass Military Fitness Requirements

What Not to Do

Do not take pills or supplements to lose the weight. They check your urine and you have to tell them all of the medication that you have taken in the past week. I told them about a Midol that I had taken two days before, and I was disqualified for two weeks because the doctor said that it causes water weight loss.

You could always take the pills and just not tell them. However, this runs the risk of something funky coming up in the urine test, which will lead to you being disqualified for a lot longer (I believe 180 days).

A simple way to lose weight is to sweat. This will not be a permanent loss, and the weight will return as soon as you rehydrate, so this is done the night before. Don't start to dehydrate yourself too soon, because it will cause you to become weak and not perform as well at the MEPS station. There are a few wrestling/weightlifting techniques to lose this water weight.

The first is using plastic wrap. Any type of standard kitchen-grade plastic wrap will work. You wrap the plastic wrap around your body, touching your skin, on as many places as possible, especially your stomach and thighs. Then dress in layers of clothing to begin to overheat yourself. You can try just sleeping like this, or if you are farther away from you goal for the next morning, work out with the wrap on. This can also be achieved wearing multiple layers of clothing and a trash bag.

There are two other ways to quickly lose water weight: dry saunas and immersing your body in water that is as hot as possible without becoming burning. These two work the same in that they force your body to sweat. Do not combine the plastic wrap with the sauna or hot water; it can fuse to your skin and cause major burns.

You can also try taking ex-lax or other diuretics starting a few days before and only eat liquids for a few days to help clear out your bowels. I can lose five pounds in two days with this.

Always remember that these will not actually get you to your weight. You may be at weight when the nurse asks you to step on the scale, but the moment you begin to rehydrate and eat solid foods you will gain the weight back (and, normally, you'll gain a little extra).

Don't Forget to Study for the ASVAB

Make sure that you do not forget about your ASVAB scores while you focus on weight loss. Your weight can get you into military service; however, your ASVAB score determines your job.

Comments

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    • profile image

      James 3 years ago

      The ASVAB is an important test indeed. I'd check out this site before taking the test.

      http://howtopasstheasvab.com

    • hrymel profile image
      Author

      hrymel 3 years ago from Fort George G Meade, MD

      Yes James, the ASVAB is an incredibly important test. It is the main deciding factor in deciding which military jobs a person is qualified for.

    • profile image

      dalia6259@gmail 2 years ago

      I'm a fourteen year old female And plan to join the military. And tips for me to start doing to be able to qualify. My height is 5feet right now. do You know Any long term ways to lower my weight And keep it that way.

    • profile image

      river 12 months ago

      For your army weight, 17-19 year old females while in the DEP is 160. After BCT it needs to be at 155

    • profile image

      Donovan 7 months ago

      I am 18 and I'm 5'8 193 pounds I am trying to get into the airforce I went from 200 to 193 but I hit a wall and now even after running 2 miles every morning and push ups sit ups I still haven't lost it I have to be 180 is there any tips to help me lose this before the end of the year

    • profile image

      rad 6 months ago

      Donovan try running it everyday for 2 weeks straight add 4 walking miles and jog for 3 half miles with the runs 2 weeks straight don't eat to much diet get your water . i tied similar for 2 weeks lost 35 pound but i had it to lose basic training's like this where you challenge yourself more for a period of time and diet work as long as it challenges you if not try making it more difficult

    • profile image

      Onna 5 months ago

      I am 19 years old female and I weight 205 and I am 5'9. I want to join Air Force p,ease help me

    • profile image

      Jessica 8 weeks ago

      I'm a 5'6 female and weigh 186 what is the max weight to join the airforce for my height?

    • profile image

      Yesica 5 weeks ago

      I am looking to join the military I am 18 years old female I am 5'7 weigh 100 what should my first step be?

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