Military Diet Meal Prep – If you’ve been looking for a new diet to try or just scrolled through Pinterest for healthy recipes, you’ve probably come across the Army Diet. It’s the new fad diet that promises to help you lose 10 pounds in about a week — even more if you’re lucky. It was supposedly named after a method used by the military to help new recruits lose weight. But what exactly is this diet? Does it work as well as its proponents claim – and can you really eat ice cream every day? We took a closer look at the menu.
There isn’t a lot of clear information on how the military diet plan was started – or for that matter, who started it. MilitaryDiet.co and TheMilitaryDiet.com, two major diet resource sites, are run by diet advocates and advocates who are not cited as medical professionals. However, according to them, the military diet plan is intermittent fasting, which combines three days of strict low-calorie eating with four days of eating whatever you want (as long as it’s sub-calorie).
Military Diet Meal Prep
On each of these three scheduled days, the military diet is strict: you can only consume about 1,000-1,400 calories. Our calculations show that most days we consume around 1150 calories. For four consecutive days, you should aim to keep your calorie intake under 1,500 calories. In comparison, the United States government’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion states that moderately active adult men need about 2,200 to 2,800 calories per day, and moderately active adult women need about 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day.
Military Diet: Lose 10 Pounds In 1 Week With This 3 Day Plan?
No – and this is not the only name of the diet. Some know it by the sea diet, the military diet and even the ice cream diet, since the three-day menu involves at least a few pieces of vanilla ice cream every night. Personally, we like to think it’s called the military diet because sticking to a restrictive eating plan requires military-level self-control.
In the first three days, the diet consists of three separate meal plans. On the first day, breakfast consists of half a grapefruit, a slice of whole-grain toast with two tablespoons of peanut butter, and a cup of black tea or caffeinated coffee. If you can’t drink black, it’s recommended to sweeten with a natural sugar substitute such as stevia. For lunch, drink half a glass of tuna, one slice of whole grain toast and another cup of black coffee or tea. Dinner is a more filling meal consisting of three ounces of meat, one cup of green beans, half a banana, one small apple, and one cup of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
The second day is even brighter. For breakfast, eat a slice of whole-wheat toast, one hard-boiled egg and half a banana. Lunch is one cup of cottage cheese, one hard-boiled egg, and five (yes, count) pretzels. Dinner includes two hot dogs (only hot dogs, no buns or condiments), one cup of broccoli, half a cup of carrots, half a banana, and half a cup of vanilla ice cream.
The third day is the brightest. Breakfast consists of a slice of cheddar cheese, a small apple and five saltine crackers. For lunch, eat a piece of whole grain toast and an egg cooked any way you like. When dinner comes around, you can enjoy a cup of tuna, half a banana and a full cup of vanilla ice cream.
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Basically anything – but you’re only allowed 1,500 calories a day, so it’s best to stick to a healthy diet if you want to feel full. The advantage is that instead of limiting yourself to a set menu for the first three days, you can divide those calories however you want. You can fill up on salad, eat lots of small fruit snacks throughout the day, or focus on protein. It’s up to you and what you decide to do with it.
When you go to the market, be sure to focus on eating healthy as usual, as you will need at least a week’s worth of food. But specifically for planned meals, here’s what you need to add to your 3 Day Military Diet shopping list:
If you don’t eat meat – or any animal products – or if you have a food allergy, you can replace everything in your meal plan with foods that have a similar number of calories and provide the same nutrients. For example, instead of eating half a cup of tuna, you can eat about 2/3 cup of tofu. Instead of having an egg for breakfast, you can drink a glass of soy milk. On the second day of the military diet, you can replace cottage cheese with 15 to 20 almonds. Almonds are also good for a slice of cheddar cheese. And instead of peanut butter for breakfast on the first day, toast can be spread with almond or sunflower.
The longer answer, according to MilitaryDiet.co, is that it “contains carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, all of which are essential for the body to function optimally.” At least in theory. But the short answer is, you are severely restricting your calorie intake. As mentioned, moderately active adult women need about 1,800-2,000 calories per day, so by following the military diet plan, you’re actually cutting your calories almost in half. And while you’re indulging in ice cream, most of the dishes on the menu are also pretty lean.
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Again, the simple, short answer is yes. By severely restricting your calorie intake, your body burns more than it takes in and you shed pounds quickly, perhaps even 10 pounds in a week, as others who have tried this diet have claimed. However, the diet itself is designed for only one week. If you want to jumpstart your weight loss journey, this could be a good place to start. But if you want to make healthy changes in your life, long-term solutions may be more appropriate.
While this diet will help you lose weight quickly while eating ice cream and staying on a budget, the fact that you’re consuming fewer calories than you burn throughout the day means you’ll eventually burn out. A healthy lifestyle requires a balanced diet and exercise. A diet this low in calories doesn’t give your body enough energy to burn if you want to exercise or simply become a more active part of your daily routine.
Scroll through the hashtag #militarydietresults on Instagram and see how many people are trying the meal plan. Most say they’ve lost at least a few pounds and lowered their body fat percentage. And looking at their pictures, it’s crazy how much progress they can make in just a few meals and a few days. Want to see what we mean? We asked Instagram users @healthyhappydays_ and @sweatherly816 to share their results with us. Check out the results of their military diet in the video below.
While some say they can’t wait to start the diet again – “I wasn’t hungry… just had no energy,” wrote one user – others preferred to find a diet that kept them feeling full. Mom of three @sweatherly816 tried it too. “I wanted to see how much I could lose, and I wanted to start by being healthier,” she said. “I lost 7lb 3oz in three days, which I was very proud of.” But it was difficult for her. “It’s a tough task, you need to drink a lot of water to stay full.” In the end, she was happy with her results.
Military Diet: 3 Day Diet Or Dud?
Instagram user @healthyhappydays_ is also happy with her results. “It was easy for me to follow because it’s only three days,” she told us. “You know you’re going to see results when you give it 100%… If you’re feeling bloated, especially after a long weekend or event, this is a good diet to get back in shape in a short amount of time. That’s why I did it after indulging during [vacation].” Since she usually follows a vegetarian or vegan diet, she substituted two vegetarian hot dogs instead of hot dogs and meat.
We asked two experts to find out what they think — and whether the diet works. “It’s a low-calorie diet that includes typical American foods,” said Janice Jibrin, MS, RD, associate professor of nutrition at American University. “It’s nutrient deficient, but it’s not as crazy as some (like juice fasting).” As for the meal plan, she’s not a fan. “It is deficient in many nutrients,” she explains. Only the second day is “so poor in fiber, iron, calcium and
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