Does the military diet work?

In this article, we are going to discuss and answer the question “Does the military diet work?”. I will define the military diet, the food permissible, and those prohibited on a military diet. In addition, I will add the drawbacks of the diet.

Does the military diet work?

Yes, the military diet works with losing weight. It happens by burning more calories than you consume. It is highly restrictive for a short period aiming for rapid weight loss. However, despite it being a fast way to lose weight, it is rather unhealthy and not advised to follow.

What is the military diet?

The military diet is also known as “the 3-day diet” is a restrictive low-calorie diet for 3 days followed by 4 days of less restrictive properties. It is a diet that is only a week but can be repeated cyclically for a month or more.  It claims to help you lose approximately 10 pounds, which is about 4.5 kilograms in a week.

It is divided into two phases. These two phases are the first three days of the week, and the other the remaining 4 days of the week.

The calories are divided into 3 meals only, breakfast, dinner, and lunch. With total calories of 1000-1100 calories per day. This makes it a low-calorie diet since it is below 1200 calories. The second phase is the next 4 days of 1500 calories and a well-balanced diet to prevent the development of vitamins and mineral deficiencies. 

While if you compare the military diet with the recommended dietary guidelines it is almost half what you should be consuming. Men have higher calorie requirements of not less than 2200 calories, and women have not less than 1600 calories. 

The diet should not be followed if you suffer from any medical condition and you should ask a healthcare medical professional. 

What food can I eat on the military diet?

The food that is permitted in the military diet are the following:

  • Peanut butter toast
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Grapefruit
  • Tuna
  • Meat
  • Hot dogs (no bun)
  • Saltine crackers
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Coffee
  • Ice cream

What drinks are prohibited on a military diet?

It is better to stay away from processed food and healthier choices. 

Some drinks are prohibited on a military diet. These include alcohol, wine, and beer. In addition to that, milk should not be taken on a military diet. Milk is a calorie-dense food having 149 calories in one cup of full-fat milk. 

What other foods are not allowed on a military diet?

Some food should not be consumed while on a military diet. The cream is one of them. Adding cream to coffee will not only increase your fat intake but also your calorie intake. Calories are the ones restricted on a military diet. One cup contains almost 400 calories, which is almost half of the calories you can have daily. 

Sugar is another forbidden food on a military diet. Sugar has some links to health issues like inflammation in the body and weight gain. Sugar is also considered an empty-calorie food. This means it provides no nutritional content and no added value in terms of vitamins and minerals. So it should not be added to your diet even if you are not going for a military diet. Sugar includes all products containing sugar like chocolate, maple syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, and agave.

What are some drawbacks to the military diet?

A military diet is considered a FAD diet. Fad diets are diets that promise quick weight loss in a short time. Usually, it is unrealistic in its promise. Military diets are restrictive in calories, so many deficiencies are expected to develop if followed for a long time. However, nutritional deficiencies do not develop overnight, it needs a long period. 

Low energy is one of the disadvantages of the military diet. The low calories permitted would make you feel sluggish and not get the required nutrients for your body to function. The dangers of low-calorie diets make your cravings worse, which will make you more likely to overeat later on during the 4 days off. 

There is not any scientific evidence that supports the diet. In addition to that, it encourages unhealthy eating habits. The weight change would have a yo-yo effect which means you will regain the weight you lost, and the cycle repeats.


In this article, we discussed and answered the question “Does the military diet work?”.  I defined the military diet, the food permissible, and those prohibited on a military diet. In addition, I added the drawbacks of the diet.


The Military Diet: Safety, Effectiveness, and Meal Plan ( | USDA

The 3-Day Military Diet: Pros, Cons, and What You Can Eat (

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