1.10.19

What is the military diet and does it work?

What is the military diet and does it work?

The military diet requires that people follow a low-calorie diet for 3 days and then return to eating regularly for 4 days. During the first three days, the diet restricts daily calories to 1400, 1200 and 1100 calories.
The diet is rich in protein, low in fat, carbohydrates and calories. It also includes specific food groups to try to increase metabolism and burn fat. Despite its name, this diet is not related to the way people eat in the army.

A website that provides information on a military diet suggests that people can lose up to 10 pounds (one pound) in a week and up to 30 pounds in a month if they continue to follow that diet.

In this article, take a look at whether this diet works, its possible problems and benefits, and what you eat to follow the plan.

Is the military diet effective?

Woman with shopping list for military diet

The military diet is high in protein and low in fat.

A review article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looks for low-calorie diets (VLCD) and suggests that they may be effective in helping people lose weight in the short term.

VLCD allows a maximum of 800 calories per day. Obese people may need to adopt VLCD to achieve rapid weight loss before bariatric surgery.

Low-calorie diets are those that allow less than 1,000 calories per day.

It is impossible to predict how much weight an individual will lose on a restricted diet for a week because each person is different.

However, people often experience rapid weight gain after stopping one of these meals in the short term, unless they develop a plan to maintain weight loss.

Meal plan and shopping list



Here is a 3-day meal plan that includes a website that supports the military diet. There is also a complete shopping list for people looking to follow this diet.

People can drink water throughout the day, as well as 1-2 cups of coffee or black tea.

Day 1
Breakfast
  • half a grapefruit
  • one slice of toast
  • 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of peanut butter, ideally a salt-free and sugar-free brand
  • 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea
Lunch
  • half a cup of tuna
  • one slice of toast
  • 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea
Dinner
  • 3 ounces of any meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • half a banana
  • one small apple
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream
Day 2
Breakfast
  • one egg
  • one slice of toast
  • half a banana
Lunch
  • one hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • five saltine crackers
Dinner
  • two hot dogs without the buns
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • half a cup of carrots
  • half a banana
  • half a cup of vanilla ice cream
Day 3
Breakfast
  • five saltine crackers
  • one slice of cheddar cheese
  • one small apple
Lunch
  • one hard-boiled egg
  • one slice of toast
Dinner
  • 1 cup of tuna
  • half a banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Vegetarian meal plan

A vegetarian and vegan meal plan is also available:
Day 1
Breakfast
  • half a grapefruit
  • one slice of toast
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea
Lunch
  • half an avocado
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • one slice of whole-wheat toast
  • 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea
Dinner
  • tofu (up to 300 calories)
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • half a banana
  • one small apple
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream (vegans can use dairy-free ice cream)
Day 2
Breakfast
  • half a cup of baked beans
  • one slice of whole-wheat toast
  • half a banana
Lunch
  • 1 cup of unsweetened soy, hemp, or almond milk
  • half an avocado
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • five saltine crackers
Dinner
  • two veggie hot dogs without the buns
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • half a cup of carrots
  • half a banana
  • half a cup of vanilla ice cream (can be dairy-free)
Day 3
Breakfast
  • one slice of cheddar cheese (for vegans, about 15–20 almonds)
  • five saltine crackers or half a cup of couscous or quinoa
  • one small apple
Lunch
  • half an avocado
  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • one slice of whole-wheat bread
Dinner
  • half a cup of canned chickpeas
  • half a banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream (or dairy-free ice cream)

Shopping List

Peanut butter in a jar and whole wheat bread
The military diet shopping list should include peanut butter and whole wheat bread.

The following list contains the food that people will need to purchase during the first three days of the week in the military diet:




  • caffeinated coffee or tea
  • one grapefruit
  • two bananas
  • two apples
  • whole-wheat bread
  • peanut butter
  • eggs
  • three cans of tuna
  • hot dogs
  • a small piece of meat
  • green beans (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • small head of broccoli
  • carrots
  • saltine crackers
  • cottage cheese
  • a small amount of cheddar cheese
  • vanilla ice cream
  • Disadvantages



    Following a 3-day military diet plan can cause many potential problems.

    Some of the problems below relate specifically to the proposed meal plans.

    Limited nutrient intake

    The amount of nutrients is limited.
    The low diversity on diet days means that people will have difficulty eating enough fiber, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are essential for good health, energy production, detoxification and effective metabolism.

    High in added salt, sugar, and saturated fat

    Rich in added salt, sugar and saturated fats
    Among crackers, peanut butter, bread, hot dogs and cheese, the diet is very rich in processed foods that contain salt.

    People should check their food labels to make sure they do not consume a greater amount of sodium than the recommended 2300 milligrams per day. Whenever possible, it is better to buy low-sodium brands or without additional salt.

    The hot dogs recommended by the diet consist of processed meats. They contain high levels of saturated fats and sodium.

    The daily meal plan also includes vanilla ice cream, which can be rich in added sugar. People can replace ice cream with 300 calories of healthy fruits, vegetables or whole grains, which the plan currently lacks.

    A diet that focuses on high-calorie foods may not be very satisfactory because portion sizes must be small to keep meals within the daily calorie budget. This approach may not be sustainable.

    Calories too low to exercise?

    Too many calories to exercise?
    A big man tired of running
    Some people may find difficult exercise on diet days.
    Eating less than 1,400 calories on diet days can make exercise difficult, especially any high intensity activity.

    Eating enough calories for 4 days off will allow people to exercise more easily. However, diet supporters also recommend consuming less than 1,500 calories these days.

    A small study that examined alternative calorie restriction on the day (ADCR), also called intermittent fasting, found that the combination of ADCR with exercise causes greater weight changes than diet or exercise alone.
    Following VLCD can prevent people from exercising.

    Confusing science (The flag is confusing)



    A military diet suggests that people who do not want or cannot eat grapefruit exchange it for a glass of water with baking soda to further promote an alkaline environment.

    It is true that foods can change the pH from acid to alkaline. However, this mainly affects the acidity or alkalinity of a person's urine. The pH of food in the diet does not affect a person's blood or metabolism enough to significantly affect weight gain or loss, although it can affect other aspects of health.

    All fruits produce alkaline products in the body. As a result, replacing the fruit with another fruit should be good.

    The protein-rich aspect of the diet will make the urine more acidic. As a result, they are not suitable for someone with kidney problems or gout.

    Advantages

    In the short term, a military diet can be beneficial for losing weight.

    It is easy to follow because it includes limited foods with simple measures and cooking methods.

    The recommended 4-day meal plan allows a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, including whole grains, legumes and various meal options.

    The plan provides calorie goals for each food and suggests alternatives for people with food intolerance and other dietary considerations.

    The diet focuses on proteins, which increases the feeling of fullness, maintains muscle mass and provides energy for daily activities. It is important to maintain muscle tissue, as it contributes directly to a person's metabolism.

    A small study of 2018 analyzed the effects of diets with caloric restrictions on alternative days. The researchers compared the results of diet and exercise in obese and overweight people.

    In participants who followed diet and exercise, body weight, waist circumference and body fat percentage decreased.

    2016 review compared to VLCD with an alternative fasting daily diet (ADF). The researchers found that ADF was more effective in losing fat and maintaining fat-free mass, including muscle.

    Due to the recommended daily calorie diet of 1000 to 1400 calories in the first three days, they cannot be classified as a VLCD or ADF program. Find the VLCD and ADF systems that only look for diets that provide less than 800 calories per day.

    Although the calories consumed by the military diet are too high to be considered fasting, the normal four-day eating style mimics the practice of intermittent fasting. Therefore, people can achieve better long-term results by following this diet instead of following a low-calorie diet.

    More research is needed to confirm the specific benefits of a military diet.

    Conclusion

    The military diet involves restricting calorie intake in 3 days, then eating a regular diet for the next 4 days. To improve weight loss, people can also try to reduce calories in 4 days off.

    A military diet can be effective and harmless in the short term, but long-term commitment is associated with risks. These include regaining the weight lost later, especially if people are reducing the calories they eat every day of the week.

    The diet has a very limited choice and includes certain foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. It also promotes the consumption of unhealthy processed meats and reduces the consumption of vegetables.

    Adopting healthy eating habits every day is a more sustainable approach to losing weight and maintaining weight loss.

    What is the safest way to lose weight quickly?

    TO:
    There is no single approach to weight loss. However, excessive consumption of carbohydrates in the form of sugar is one of the main reasons for gaining weight, especially if a person's exercise regime is disproportionate to their carbohydrate intake. One cup of sugar provides 774 calories. A person can eat 12 cups of grapes for the same calories, they contain many nutrients and provide more satiety.

    To lose weight safely, eliminate all added sugars from your diet. Clean the store, refrigerator, freezer and remove or avoid products that contain any form of sugar added to the ingredient list. These products will include soft drinks, sweet drinks, cereals, most yogurt, baked goods, etc.

    Although it can greatly reduce a person's dietary options, eliminating added sugar (and most of the ingredients packaged and processed in this process) will reduce calories and give them a better understanding of what a food is. truly nutritious

    Natalie Butler, RD, LD
    The answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is informative and should not be considered medical advice.


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