All About: The Military Diet

Military Cadets in position with a plane flying above

The Military Diet is a trendy, fad diet that claims it will help you rapidly lose weight. But does it work? Is it safe? Learn all about that as well as a shopping list with the ingredients in the Military Diet.

What is the Military Diet? How does it work?

The Military Diet is a fad diet that claims it can help you lose as much as 10 pounds in a week. The way it works is simple. For 3 days, you eat far fewer calories than you burn. After that, you take 4 days off and the cycle repeats until you reach your weight loss goal.

The Military Diet also involves a strict meal plan during the 3 days of caloric restriction. For example, the first day involves:

  • 2 slices of toast
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 1/2 a cup of tuna
  • 1 small apple
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 3 ounces of meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream

You're also allowed to have coffee and tea.

The second and third days also have a strict meal plan but you could swap other similar, low-calorie food to accomplish the same results.


Does the Military Diet work?

If you are able to stick to the strict meal plans and not gain weight back on the "off days", you will lose weight using the Military Diet. Short-term weight loss is the only benefit of the Military Diet.

Is the Military Diet safe? Is it healthy or unhealthy?

In our opinion, the Military Diet is probably unhealthy and not safe to try for several reasons:

  1. Rapid weight loss can cause unexpected health issues, particularly if you have pre-existing health conditions. For this reason the Mayo Clinic recommends a maximum weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week.
  2. Rapid weight loss from fad diets usually doesn't work as a UCLA study shows. Making permanent lifestyle changes is far more effective.

With that said, it's more possible to implement the Military Diet without health complications if:

  • You're younger and in good health outside of wanting to lose weight.
  • 10 pounds is a smaller percentage of your overall weight. e.g. Losing 10 pounds is tougher and more significant at 180 pounds than it is at 300 pounds.

Military Diet Menu & Shopping List

If you're still interested in trying the Military Diet, here's a grocery list and meal plan for the Military Diet. Coffee or tea can also be optionally included with any breakfast or lunch.

For Days 4-7, you're allowed to eat anything but it's recommended to continue limit your overall number of calories.

Day 1 Breakfast

  • 1 slice of toast with 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 a grapefruit

Day 1 Lunch

  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1/2 a cup of tuna

Day 1 Dinner

  • 3-oz (85 grams) serving of meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1 small apple
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Day 2 Breakfast

  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1/2 a banana

Day 2 Lunch

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

Day 2 Dinner

  • 2 hot dogs with no bun
  • 1/2 a cup of carrots
  • 1/2 a cup of broccoli
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 a cup of vanilla ice cream.

Day 3 Breakfast

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

Day 3 Lunch

  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 egg

Day 3 Dinner

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