Last Updated on Jan 21, 2017

What is Military Diet?

The Military diet is a 3-day diet, every week; which claims that one can lose 10 pounds or around 4.5 kg per week. Certain food combinations have been pre-chosen that makes one eat less than 1000 calories for each of the 3 days. The corresponding 4 days of the week, any normal diet can be followed. However, it is advised that the calorie intake for the rest of the 4 days, of the week, should not be more than 1500 calories, each day.

The Military diet can prevent slowing down of metabolic rate, or signaling starvation mode whereby, the body starts holding on to the fat stores instead of shedding it.

Military Diet

How Does the Military Diet Work?

  • The Military Diet is used for emergency situations when one needs to lose weight quickly without having to resort to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercise, surgery or expensive weight loss pills.
  • Each of the 3 days of the diet, one consumes less than 1000 calories.
  • It includes coffee, tuna, meat, ice-cream, vegetables, and fruits; thereby pre-empting the sensation of cravings and deficiencies that are associated with other diets that depend only on juice or fruits.
  • There is something on the platter for breakfast, lunch, dinner and one does not have to go for prolonged fasting.
  • You get to eat all familiar, favorite food albeit in low proportions, avoiding refined sugar and flour.
  • Volumes of water are advised.
  • Green tea (without caffeine) can be consumed.
  • Stevia (plant-based sugar substitute) is the only sweetener to be chosen.
  • For the three days one consumes less than 1000 calories
  • The food plan is simple and food items are found in every kitchen shelf.
  • Next four days of the week, healthy food can be chosen up to 1500 calories each day.

It is difficult to attribute the design of the plan to any particular person. It is believed that the US Army dietitians used this plan to keep their soldiers fit. Celebrities and trainers are also endorsing this plan.

Military Diet Plan

DAY 1 -


  • 1 cup coffee or tea (without sugar and cream)
  • 1 Slice of Toast
  • 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Grapefruit


  • 1 cup Coffee or Tea (without sugar and cream)
  • 1/2 Cup of Tuna
  • 1 Slice of Toast


  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 small apple
  • 3 ounces of any meat
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream
Military Diet Plan - Day 1

DAY 2 -


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


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


  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream
  • 2 hot dogs (without bun)
Military Diet Plan - Day 2

DAY 3 -


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


  • 1 egg (hard boiled or cooked as per choice)
  • 1 slice of toast


  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup of tuna
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream
Military Diet Plan - Day 3


Some food items might not be available or preferred. Military diet has scope for few alternatives. There can be lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian version of the Military Diet. Choose portions of a substitute to match the calories of the food that is being substituted. Remember all calories are not same. Some food gives more satiation. Fructose metabolism is different from that of glucose. In terms of calories, 1 can of tuna is matched by 20 almonds; each of them is less than 200 calories. Four ounces of cottage cheese and 1 ounce of cheddar cheese both have 100 calories each.

FoodSubstitute with same calorie amount
Grapefruit might interfere with medications
  • Half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Do not substitute grapefruit with orange
Peanut Butter
  • Almond butter
  • soy butter
  • pumpkin butter
  • sunflower seed butter
  • bean dip / hummus
  • Two tablespoons of plain sunflower seeds can also be chosen
  • 1 tortilla or
  • 2 rice cakes
  • 1/2 cup of whole grain cereal
  • 1/2 high protein bar
  • 1/8 cup of sunflower seeds, or
  • 1/4 cup of yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon of flax seeds
  • Green Tea without artificial sweeteners; or
  • Sugar-free hot chocolate
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 chicken wing
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 cup of seeds or nuts
Canned tuna
  • 1 piece of grilled sushi grade tuna
  • Cottage cheese
  • Chicken
  • Tofu
  • Almonds or
  • Peanuts
  • Each of them with matching calories
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Tofu or
  • Portobello Mushrooms
Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach / Green vegetable
Cheddar Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Cottage Cheese or
  • Ham
Other calcium-rich source are
  • Soy Cheese
  • Soy Milk
  • Cabbage And
  • Tofu
Cottage Cheese
  • PLAIN Greek Yogurt
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Ham
Hot Dog
  • Non-Vegetarian
    • Turkey Dogs
    • Soy Dogs
    • Tofu Dogs
    • Deli Meat
    • Baloney
    • Bratwurst
    • Luncheon Meat
  • Vegetarian
  • Same as Meat Substitute
Vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup of fruit flavored yogurt
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • Strawberry, vanilla or banana flavored almond milk. However no chocolate almond milk
Saltine crackers
  • Rice Cakes
  • Any other gluten free crackers
Banana 1 whole
  • 2 Apricots
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1 cup of papaya
  • Plums,
  • Grapes
CarrotsSquash, Beets, Parsnip, Celery, and Bell Pepper.
BroccoliCauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Spinach, Asparagus.
ApplesPlums, Peaches, Grapes, Zucchini, Pears or Dried Apricots.

Points To Note:

  • Lean meat should be preferred
  • Saltine crackers are made of refined flour. Multigrain or wholewheat crackers can be used.
  • Toast should be made from multigrain or wholewheat
  • Do not miss your daily exercise regime.
  • Fat thrives in an acidic environment. Therefore eat foods that are more alkaline in nature.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • For the remaining 4 days of the week, eat healthy, alkaline food. Fruits, dark vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and seeds help to fulfill vitamin and mineral requirement of the body.


  • The science behind the Military diet is elusive.
  • Some dietitians feel that in place of ice-cream, other healthy foods with an equal amount of calories could have been suggested.
  • After the three days, weight loss resistance and lowered metabolic rate can set in.

However, owing to different body types, different people respond variedly to any diet and same is true for the military diet. At present the Military diet has caught everyone’s imagination.

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