What is the Military Diet?

What is the Military Diet?

Often known as a fad diet or quick fix, the military diet is a three-day-long calorie restrictive diet that promises to offer you quick results. Now, whether such a diet is sustainable or not is another question all on its own. Today, we cover all there is to know about a military diet, how long it should be, the best pattern to follow, how it works, and what substitutes you can add to your diet as replacements. Without further ado, let's proceed!

What is the Military Diet?

While the name may indicate a diet created by or for the US military, that is not the case here. In fact, the name is supposed to be an accurate representation of what the military diet might look since it is pretty restrictive in terms of calorie intake. 

If you happen to be looking into following the military diet, you will need three days, during which you will have to adhere to a prescribed diet. Once the three days are over, you can have four days to eat around 1,500 or fewer calories every day. 

According to statistics, more than 56% of Americans get takeout or dine out two to three times per week. If you fall into that category and have noticed a bit of weight gain creeping in, you might want to try the military diet. According to experts, the military diet can help you shed as much as 10 lbs. in a week. 

How Does the Military Diet Work?

The diet follows a three-day plan followed by a 4-day easy consumption period. If done right, the official website of Military Diet brags you can keep going and lose as much as 30 lbs. if strictly followed for a month. 

The military diet is extremely low in calories. It combines restricted calorie intake and a subtle version of intermittent fasting. When combined, those two elements speed up fat burning and boost metabolism. 

The diet works by tackling your water weight and decreasing the number of calories you consume each day. For instance, this is what the calorie intake for the three days of the diet looks like:

  • Day 1: 1,400 calories.
  • Day 2: 1,200 calories
  • Day 3: 1,100 calories.

The Military Diet Meal Plan - What You Can Eat

Now comes the part you're really curious about: what can you eat? Here's a list of things you can consume during this period, so write these down for your next grocery shopping trip. This isn't all-inclusive but just offers a few highlights of things you can eat on this diet. 

Breakfast items: grapefruit, toast, peanut butter, coffee/tea, eggs, bananas, cheddar cheese, apples, and saltine crackers

Lunch foods: tuna, toast, cottage cheese, eggs

Dinner items: carrots, broccoli, hotdogs, green beats, 3 ounces of any meat

What You Can't Eat

Now that you have a grasp of what you can eat, let's look at what food and drink items are completely off-limits.

The items mentioned above are what you can eat during the diet, but there are substitutes for all of you if you are vegan or lactose-intolerant.

The items that you cannot consume include: dairy items such as cream or milk or any form of sugar, including honey, maple syrup, white/brown sugar, or even sweeteners. Furthermore, alcohol is off-limits, including wine, spirits, beer, etc. 

Pros and Cons of the Military Diet

Like all things in the universe, the military diet has its fair share of pros and cons. Let's start with the pros...


  • Quick boost to your metabolism to help facilitate weight loss
  • Fast way to shed water weight temporarily (great if you need to lose a bit for a weigh-in or an event)
  • Comes with a structured plan so you don't have to stress out about what you can or can't eat  
  • Healthy, flexible diet plan during your four days "off"


  • This isn't exactly a long-term sustainable diet; most folks can't or shouldn't stick to it for the long run
  • Potential for lack of sufficient nutrients

Should You Go for the Military Diet?

Should you even try the military diet for a few days?

That depends on your goals. If you are healthy and have gotten your doctor's approval, you might want to give it a try. Just keep in mind, it's suggested for adults to consume a wide variety of nuts, veggies, fruits, meats, grain, dairy, and beans for a healthy and balanced diet. 




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