What Is the Military Diet?
Social media is continuously advertising wonder pills and fad diets that promise miraculous weight loss. I came across "The Military Diet" while browsing online. I don't want to take credit for another author's work, so here's the original source here: Military Diet: Lose Up To Ten Pounds In Three Days.
I'm not one for quick fixes, but this one really piqued my interest. In the past 7 months, my boyfriend and I had put on quite a bit of relationship weight—pretty much the equivalent of some peoples' baby weight! We have spent the past several weeks going die-hard, balls to the wall, healthy. We cut out all alcohol, and upped our veggie intake. We had eaten salad with oil and vinegar dressing before every protein-filled meal. We work out 3-5 times a week. I knew that it was going to take time to get the 10 (okay, more like 15) pounds that I'd put on off, but I had already noticed a significant difference. I had gotten to the point where I noticed a difference in my weight, but I thought this diet would be an easy way to jump start my metabolism and help me out with getting back into some of my old clothes!
This is the experience we had (from my perspective) with the three day Military Diet.
I found this diet cruising through some blogs online. The boyfriend was sitting across from me in the living room, and he took a glance at it. We both agreed that it was something we should try. After he consulted his personal trainer friend, his friend told him that that was way too few calories to be good for you, and that it was most likely just water weight that would be gained back quickly. After reading a few more articles and reviews online, we decided that we'd go ahead and head to the grocery store and give it a shot anyway.
I'll be honest, I thought this would be easy-peasy. I had survived on almost a whole year of my early twenties on solely rockstars and Slim Jims. My boyfriend seemed skeptical on some of the food choices—he didn't really like cottage cheese, or grapefruit. We decided to not use any substitutions, and do the diet by the book.
- I made sure to check all the nutritional values online with the foods we were purchasing. I was worried I would get something with too many calories per serving. Most of the calorie values ended up being slightly less than the website. For example, the frozen chicken breasts from Trader Joe's were only 150 calories for 4 ounces, instead of the 300 I had read it was supposed to be for 3 ounces. I tried to just make sure the calorie count was not over, and stuck to the recommended serving size.
- Also, I had read online that men should up their calorie content by 100 calories a day, so my boyfriend got to eat a little extra. No biggie.
- We already had reusable water bottles that hold 32 ounces of water. Water wouldn't be a problem, because we were already used to drinking about 3-4 bottles of lemon water a day.
- We got organic peanut butter, with just peanuts and sea salt in it.
- I was worried about the vanilla ice cream, but I was able to find some that was the suggested 300 calories a cup.
- Also, the canned tuna we had purchased was slightly lower in the calorie content than an article had stated.
- I've never been one for black coffee. I usually used just skim-milk, so I wasn't missing the sugar. I had decided after drinking this that I really didn't mind it black, and might just start drinking it like that from then on.
- My boyfriend had already gotten up and had his breakfast, so my half-grapefruit was cut and ready to go.
- The peanut butter seemed like it was about to spill over the toast, so I scooped some of it into a spoon and ate it like that.
I felt fulfilled and not super hungry for about an hour afterward. Then I started looking at the clock, waiting for lunch.
When lunchtime came around, The boyfriend and I were like starved dogs.
- I had eaten tuna with just oil and vinegar before, but plain tuna was a little dry. It was still welcome because I was flipping hungry.
- The boyfriend was starting to seem a little discouraged, so I made it seem like I was fine. I knew he wasn't going to bow out unless I did. The coffee pot looked so tempting, but we both resisted the urge to grab second cups.
Dinner was really similar to what we had been eating on a daily basis anyway.
- Because I was so hungry, I cut up my apple and sprinkled a little sea salt on it to munch on while I cooked the chicken breast.
- I steamed the green beans, and baked the chicken with just a little lemon pepper on it.
- Best part of the day? The ice cream. I cut up half of the banana, and mixed them together. So good!
The boyfriend had lost significant steam today. By the time I woke up, he had come back from the gym and was feeling lightheaded. Breakfast was simple, but still resembled somewhat of a normal breakfast. I find myself staring at the clock often, anticipating the next meal. During these days, we were eating breakfast around 7 or 8 am, lunch at noon, and dinner around 5:30.
- I typically drink 2-3 cups of coffee every morning. The boyfriend had 2-3 every morning, and then switches to iced coffee with almond milk for the afternoon.
- We broke down and started drinking black coffee between breakfast and lunch. There was positively no way we were going to make it through the next 36 hours on this diet sans coffee.
- I enjoyed lunch, as I like cottage cheese and saltines.
- The boyfriend sulked through it. I gave him an extra hard boiled egg, so that his excess calories would come from protein.
Somewhere between lunch at dinner, the hunger went away for the time being. This didn't happen to boyfriend, though. At 6:16, when I came back from sunbathing, he looked irritated and miserable. I quickly steamed the veggies for our hot dog dinner. (The hot dogs were the only thing on this that boyfriend got excited about!)
- By the time we ate dinner, I found myself getting full way before I had finished eating.
- Boyfriend had three hot dogs, instead of two.
- When I finished eating it was really simple to save the ice cream and half a banana for a snack later, I didn't have room for it at the time!
- Then, it occurred to me that it was a little weird to have almost 3/4's of the days calories at dinner. Wasn't about to dismiss it yet though.
Haven't gotten on the scale, but I felt like I'd already lost a couple pounds.
This day was the easiest and the hardest. If that makes any sense.
Breakfast and workout
- Boyfriend and I ate, then went to the gym.
- The workout was easy, but I did feel a mild nausea. It was probably my imagination, but my yoga pants felt like they fit a little less snug, and I liked that.
- Lunch was disappointing, but I sliced the egg so it felt like I was taking a bunch of smaller bites.
- We both gave in and had two cups of black coffee each.
- Dinner was surprisingly filling. 1 cup of tuna is about two cans.
- Of all the days, the ice cream was most welcomed this day. Especially topped with sliced banana! Yum!
End Results and Tips!
End result? I lost 4.5 pounds and my boyfriend lost 7. We're going to go back to our regular diet of mostly chicken breast and salad, so I don't expect to gain much back.
- This would have been really difficult to do on my own, without a support system. Every time we caught each other saying, "This is ridiculous. This can't be healthy," we would reassure each other that we had already made it halfway through.
- I had made a list of every meal we were going to eat, and in what order. As we crossed them out, I could say things like, "Look. We've already had five meals, we only have four left. We're more than halfway through."
- I would also suggest buying pre-hard boiled eggs or hard boil your eggs at the beginning of the week to make it easier to prepare.
- It turns out that not eating completely seems easier than eating small meals. This makes sense though, your body is getting hungrier because your metabolism is working extra hard. I told myself that it was a good thing.
Will we do it again? I might, but I doubt boyfriend will.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Wildace63 on July 05, 2020:
1988 was the first time I tried this diet (x's 2) worked like a charm (lost 10lbs) and never gained it back. Then again 1996, 2005, 2016, like a charm again. And right now Covid gave me 20lbs. I know it will work except have to do 3 x's. for sure will always have to watch what eat for the rest if my life and exercise ❤
Superheart2000 on March 06, 2019:
Can the breakfast and lunch portion be eaten at the same time and then eat dinner later. I'm not a morning person.
prabathzxz on October 27, 2018:
some body please tell me, how much water do you have to drink? and What is special about the military diet menu?
thanks for this useful letter ! and also i found good article about this !
Sheri on August 22, 2018:
Can we drink coffee every morning in thid diet?
Do really care about name? Yea no on July 28, 2018:
I’m 14 and I weight 156 should I do this? And like if I do should I eat like half of the food cause I’m like a teen?
Matt on June 23, 2018:
To the Mike A douche.. yes you can lose 5 pounds in a week, idiot. I’ll bet you $10,000 I can be 235 on a Monday and be 230 by the following Monday. Shut up if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
PEACHES on June 22, 2018:
Today is my first day, I have to go home and weigh myself. I forgot. I hope I loose at least 8-10 pounds.....wish me luck
Melissa on May 30, 2018:
I am aiming to restart this diet. About 4 years ago i lost 90 doing this diet...i still have 80 lbs to lose i didnt mind the diet at all
William on January 09, 2018:
My wife and I are on day three. I have been taking pictures of morning weight from start until now. I have steadily been decreasing and the military diet is no scam. It takes a certain amount of tolerance for food that does not seem to go together in a meal sometimes, but the foods work together to balance the body's ph levels.
Starting weight: 206.2
After day one: 202.6
After day two: 200.6
I am on day three now which will require a lot of discipline as the meals a extremely light. I recommended the diet to lose some pounds after the holidays (my reason), but it is no way to live constantly. Have to enjoy some of the good stuff, so I will do that after today. LOL
Debbie on January 03, 2018:
My husband is on the 2nd day now and eats a rice cake with tuna as an in between snack. Is this advisable? He needs to lose 40kg.
Seethe Guadalupe on December 05, 2017:
I have been on the military diet few times and in fact starting it again tomorrow. I use it as a means to get back to portion control and eating clean.
Since I've started it I came with a trick, since the calories are so few and you end up being so hungry before lunch time.
The trick is:
I have my dinner as breakfast except the ice cream and apple, keeps me fuller longer.
Lots of green tea and water in between
For lunch I have the peanut butter plus toast for breakfast and lunch my lunch (so 2 slices) and coffee.
Lots of water and green tea..
For dinner I have the tuna and I add plain yoghurt plus a spoon of flax seeds (ice cream substitute) and the apple...
My day i's just as normal. No hunger pangs!
My advice is take from the dinner items, the apple apple and banana add them to your breakfast. ..
JoJo on November 18, 2017:
I must be super un nhealthy. After my day three(yesterday) I'm down 6 pounds.
Mike A. on October 11, 2017:
People claiming they are losing 5 lbs in a week or less are full of crap, it is physically impossible unless you are REALLY overweight. 1 pound is 3500 calories, and the average man's daily BMR is around 2000. Do the math. Even if you ate ZERO calories in 5 days you would lose 2.5 pounds... take note: 2.5 lbs lost eating exactly nothing for 5 days.
Mike on October 08, 2017:
Love this diet. Quick & easy to prepare for the time poor and cheap for the price conscious. I am on day four and have lost 2.5kgs. I feel healthier and my clothes are fitting better. My target is 10kgs so will probably keep going for four weeks. I have kicked in doing 20 mins per day of some form of exercise. The biggest thing I have learnt though is how much I was over eating and how I need to control my portion sizes for the long term. 95kgs to 92.5kgs in 4 days ...85 kgs here i come ;-0
DaNi on September 13, 2017:
Hi i lost about 3 pounds in 3 days and instead of 4 days off i did 1 day off and next 3 days almost lost 4 pounds.in this way 7 pounds in 7 days.later did 4 days off and gained back 2 pounds.now started next cycle its 2nd day today.
Hope on September 10, 2017:
This diet did not work at all for me, or my mum who followed the rules strictly for the past week (neither of us lost anything)! I would not recommend this Diet to anyone
Yvonne on August 24, 2017:
I lost 2pounds on this diet.On my last day of the 4 daysisters break
Will do it again tomorrow and see after that. I'm hoping to loose more.
Steve on July 20, 2017:
I have done this diet many times. Twice last year in the summer. It works.
I have found that men lose more than women on this diet. I have had lady friends do it the T and they only lost a few pounds. Another thing is to exercise during this time, that helps a lot.
Theresa on June 08, 2017:
I completed my 3rd day and lost 2 pounds. My bread is 45 calories per slice not 100 and I don't like tuna so I had 3oz of chicken breast. I was hoping to at least lose 5 pounds. I'm going to follow lchf for 4 days and do the 3 days again and see what happens. I don't understand the 1/2 banana at the end of the day. Banana's are high in sugar (carbs and calories) I would think they would have it at the beginning of the day. Any thoughts on that?
Judy schurgin on April 15, 2017:
This is Day 3 of the military diet. I have followed it to a t except for two cups of black coffee. I'm 67 years old and only have lost maybe 1 1/2 pounds. By the way, I drink tons of water and still no way will I lose 10 pounds unless I cut off an arm.
What to do??? HELP. GOING ON VACATION CANNOT FIT INTO MY SIZE 6 pants.
Evi Von Sichartshofen on April 12, 2017:
I am on day three and hanging in, I find the worst part of the day is between lunch and dinner. Can't wait to weigh myself tomorrow
Ivy on March 29, 2017:
On my day 1, hoping for optimal results
noir on March 28, 2017:
Do you have to drink tea or coffee? I don't like nither could I just drink water?
Jordy on March 28, 2017:
Hey guys! so im wanting to do this diet however i dont like tuna, is there a substitute?
Caroline on March 08, 2017:
Im starting this diet tomorrow first day been trying so many diets hoping this one works!!!
Aaron on January 27, 2017:
I did in fact lose 9 pounds doing the military diet. I decided since I wanted to lose 60 pounds I am going to do this every week until I get to my goal. I am going to incorporate some exercise starting next week to ramp up my metabolism faster.
Aaron on January 25, 2017:
Only 2 days on this diet and I have lost a total of 6 pounds. I did modify this diet ever so slightly. I had celery to this with peanut butter. I see it is critical not to eat a lot of carbs, almost like Atkins.
Maddy on January 25, 2017:
After 2 days of doing the 3 day military diet, my boyfriend and I have lost 3 lbs w/out exercising... On Day 3 of the diet and can't wait to see how much weight we lost tomorrow morning. :) I definitely will continue this diet until I reach my goal (another 26lbs) and incorporate some exercises to see how that goes.
Ziad on January 20, 2017:
It worked for me, AMAZING diet,
2.7 kgs in 3days, 30-40 min moderate sport per day as well,
Good luck ;)
kendall on January 18, 2017:
I'm on my first day, i followed the exact diet, BUT I GAINED WEIGHT!!!!! HEEEEELLLPPPP MEEEEEE!!
AnnMarie on December 28, 2016:
Does this remove fat also how much water do you have to drink?
Ammu on December 18, 2016:
In the plan, it says a slice of bread is 120 calories. But I eat healthy life whole bread which is around 70 calories for 2 slices. So can I have 2 slices?
karen on November 10, 2016:
I love this plan...although the 3rd day was the most difficult I hung in there. I lost 6 pounds. I had already lost 25 pounds in the past 3 months so this 6 was a bonus!!! I will do this weekly until 15 more pounds is off:)
sana on November 06, 2016:
i did this and only lost 4 pounds but i didnt drink all the water for me it was supposed to be 10 glasses, i only had like 4
Sue on November 02, 2016:
I did this diet but only lost 3 pounds. Didn't feel hungry actually felt well fed. Like you said, not sure how much military is in this and the haters are in full force nagging on anyone who calls it 'military' diet but call it what you want, it fed me and I lost some weight. I think its great for a quick fix if you intend to fit into that dress this weekend or want to really kickstart a major eating change.
Hardtail on November 02, 2016:
I've done this diet off & on for over a year , I initially lost over 20 lbs & have been able to keep it off , when I feel the inevitable 5 lbs trying to sneak back on I just do the military again, I usually do 2 rounds but I find the trick is to diligent on the 4 days off, you can eat a little more but def try to keep it healthy. My only issue is that I workout & run and I do loose stamina during workouts , I'll grab a handful of nuts it an apple post workout when I'm not on the military. One tip is to definitely follow it verbatim NO CHEATING
Anna on November 01, 2016:
Started the military diet today.it was a struggle eating the 2 tbsp peanut butter for breakfast and the dry tuna at lunch.Enjoyed the dinner more. I must admit I am a bit skeptical but I'm committed to carry on for the full 3 days. Hope I get good results!
Daniel on October 09, 2016:
This worked amazing. I did hot yoga and followed the diet and lost 10.8 lbs
Blessings2All on October 07, 2016:
Thank you for the great review and congratulations on your success. It inspired me to go on it and I did. I followed it exactly as written, drank the water, and exercised. I did feel very hungry between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner on day 2 and between lunch and dinner in day 3, but overall enjoyed it. I was hoping for at least a 3 pound loss when I weighed in on day 4. I lost not even a tenth of a pound.
Helen Ventry on September 09, 2016:
Thank you so much for sharing, I laughed out loud the whole time. I completed this 3 day diet plan a few years ago, it does work. I lost 6 pounds, about 6 pounds seems to be about average to lose. I sure did slim down. I will start on Monday and try to do about 3 or 4 rounds, hopefully I can lose 20 pounds. Thanks again!
Lacey on August 29, 2016:
I am currently on Day 1 and made a few substitutions. I want to break a few habits and form new ones so I felt like this was a great start. Enjoyed reading your experience. Thank you for sharing!
Maria Smith on August 23, 2016:
I've used this 3 day diet plan and it was easy to follow. The first day was a bit difficult but after a while, my body adjusted to the new routine. I was able to scout around the web for some more resources such as http://3daysmilitarydiet.com/effect/what-is-the-mi...
Your review was very comprehensive and I liked the fact that you've shared your personal experience with the diet. Did you have any irritability at all? I suffered a bit of irritability probably with the low carbs but I just drank a lot of water and did some light walking. Thanks for this great review! I'm sharing this to my sissies!
Bryan on August 09, 2016:
I personally think I might try it because my friend tried it but I'm going to try it with exercise
linda on August 09, 2016:
I faithfully executed this diet for the 3 days and did not lose one single pound.
I tried choking down 2 cans of tuna, but had to give up and give about a third of a can to my cat. It was also difficult to eat that much cottage cheese at one sitting. And I'm totally sick of hard boiled eggs!
Singlegurl on July 29, 2016:
I have been going through menopause and gained significant weight. For the past year I have tried different eating plans and exercise programs, in hopes of halting my weight gain. Nothing I tried worked past losing about 5 lbs. A co-worker, in passing, said she had to go on the military diet to fit in her dress (size 4), but I did not think much of it..because she is tiny and I always roll my eyes at skinny people dieting!! Then I thought about it, she is thin for a reason, so I researched the Military Diet. I have done the diet 3 rounds in 5 weeks. I find it very easy since it only restricts you 3 days. I do tweek the food a bit- for instance, I cannot eat plain tuna so I chop tomato and spinach into the tuna. I also will mix spicy relish or spicy mustards into egg and tuna. I have averaged 6.5 lbs each round. The weeks that I do not do the military diet, I have not gained any weight back. Many of friends have started because they have seen my results..and they all know how much I am struggling with my weight and these crazy hormones!! Anyone can do something for 3 days..so if you have a serious weight problem and dieting 6 days leads to one binge day..this is worth a try sonce you have 4 days to eat 1400 calories
Christine Durante on July 23, 2016:
What country's military are eating these scant amounts of food? When I was in the Army I ate for the work I was doing which was strenuous which means I ate a lot. I added up the calories for day 1 of this plan and it is less than 1,000 calories. I hope you aren't going to try and exercise on this diet. This isn't a military diet. This is a starvation diet. You cannot stick with this diet discussed in this article and live a healthy balanced life. There is not enough calories and seriously lacking in healthy fats, fruits and veggies. I would strongly suggest no one actually follow this diet without talking it over with your physician.
michelle on June 10, 2016:
Diet really does work I've tried it before last year and I'm back on it again worried about hitting a plateau but I do have 30 pounds I'd love to lose
Susie on April 08, 2016:
This is worth trying.
Molly Layton from Alberta on March 10, 2016:
Wow, those are some nice efforts. Did you ever figure out if it was water weight?
Msamg on February 21, 2016:
This is my first week after three days I lost 6 pounds this wasn't bad at all ...
rarity0268 on January 14, 2016:
I actually lost 8 pounds was kinda skeptical about it at first . Messed up on the first day ate the wrong things well ate the second day meal on the first day :D . Other than that liked it . The diet didn't seem hard to me at all tbh . I will do it again in 4 days .
Pippa on September 11, 2015:
stuck to diet precisely and only lost 1 kilo! a bit disappointed for all the effort put in and three days of hunger
Jill Spencer from United States on August 05, 2015:
Isn't it funny how being happy makes you gain weight, which then makes you unhappy? Every rose has its thorn, huh. Congrats on your weight loss success. The diet seems doable, and it's only three days out of a lifetime after all.
Teaster on July 27, 2015:
I have to admit this 3day diet really worked and helped me to control my eating habits. I lost 6 pounds yeah!! I have also started eating less portions in each meal but I still eat. I have cut down on snacking, I don't even think about it at times!!! I am going to do it again in 4 days.
Matthew from Florida on July 20, 2015:
Wow, I actually never heard of this... I think I like the idea of a juice cleanse better - you get your fruit and veggies ( and nutrients you need) and lose the weight. Starvation diets shouldn't be used unless really necessary.
carrie on July 16, 2015:
I enjoyed the video, I'm definitely going to try this diet and hope for some good results , this is simple and easy , should be fun…
Dianna Mendez on July 04, 2015:
I applaud your efforts with this diet plan. I'm not sure I could stick it either. I do count calories, workout regularly, and supplement but I still need to adjust my diet occasionally. It takes dedication. I enjoyed your sharing on this from personal experience.