3 Day Military Diet - The Best Meal Plan to Lose Weight

The 3 Day Military Diet – The Simplest Way to Lose Weight Quickly

We all dream of eating all we like without gaining weight. Alas, they must remain dreams! Weight is neither gained overnight nor lost in a day. Dieting is essential for weight loss. However, there is a fine line between a sensible diet plan that aids a healthy lifestyle and a crash diet that can help you drop the pounds quickly but isn’t sustainable in the long run. One such diet that is trending is the military diet. Let us understand what it entails and whether it works at all.

What is the Military Diet?

The military diet, commonly known as the 3-day diet, the Cleveland Clinic diet, or the American Heart Association diet, is a diet plan that focuses on mercilessly cutting calories out of your meal to lose weight. The diet is marketed as aiding in 10-pound weight loss per week. It is a tremendously low-calorie diet that works on the theory of rapid calorie restriction. It is, however, not a diet whose origin can be traced back to any armed forces. It is popular because it does not require investing in any supplement, special food, or a guide-book. The military diet 3-day weight loss program consists of following a strictly planned diet that controls the intake of calories.

How Does the Military Diet Help In Losing Weight?

The military diet is divided into two stages spread over 7 days. The first three days involve a meal plan that limits the calorific intake for the day to between 1400 to 1000 calories respectively. The meal plan covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but does not permit snacking in between. This limit of 1000 calories per day is much lower than the average intake of an adult. The next four days are not planned, but you are instructed to keep the calorie intake restricted to under 1500 per day. This calorific deficit that is created in a short period forces the body to work under an energy deficit. This leads to an initial weight loss. The foods included in this restrictive military diet chart are low in calories, and some of the food combinations are said to improve metabolism as well. It is suggested to drink copious amounts of water to support this diet. The water helps flush out toxins while making you feel full without eating much.

Is the Military Diet Sustainable and Safe?

The military diet raises red flags due to its inconsistencies. It does not include nutrition from all food groups and cannot meet the average nutritional requirements per day. It consists of low-nutrition and high-calorie foods like ice cream which brings into question the safety of following such a diet in the long run. It is also suggested that while you might lose considerable weight initially, it may all be water weight. The body is made up of a lot of water. High carb and salty foods tend to help retain this water. The military diet menu eliminates these foods from your system and thereby reduces the quantity of water that is held in your body. This loss of water weight may not even be consistent from week to week. The sustainability of this diet is questionable because being low on energy endlessly can make you susceptible to irritation, fatigue, and hunger.

Hard-boiled eggs

A Sample Meal Plan of the Military Diet

Given below is a sample meal plan of the military diet:

Day 1

The meal plan for day 1 consists of foods amounting to about 1400 calories.


  • One slice of toasted bread and two tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Half a grapefruit
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • One slice of bread toast
  • Half a cup of tuna
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • Meat with green beans – 85 grams of meat with 1 cup of beans
  • A small apple
  • Half a banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2

The second-day menu roughly amounts to 1200 calories.


  • Bread toast – 1 slice
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • Half a banana
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 5 saltine crackers
  • A cup of tea or coffee


  • Two hot dogs (without the bun)
  • Half a cup of carrots and half a cup of broccoli
  • Half a banana
  • Half a cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3

The plan for day 3 allows about 1100 calories in total.


  • Cheddar cheese – 1 ounce
  • 5 saltine crackers
  • 1 small apple
  • A cup of coffee or tea (optional)


  • 1 slice of bread toast
  • 1 egg (cook as desired)
  • A cup of coffee or tea


  • A cup of tuna
  • Half a banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

There can be substitutions and variations in this diet chart depending on whether you are a vegetarian, a vegan or have gluten intolerance. The vegetarian substitutes for eggs and meat are nuts, soy dogs and vegetables. It is advised that you drink coffee or tea without sugar or cream.

Pros and Cons of the Military Diet

The military diet is known to be a crash diet of sorts, and we list the positives and the negatives of following this diet.


  • The food combinations in this diet can help speed up your metabolism.
  • The diet works well for obese people who need to lose a significant amount of weight before bariatric surgery.
  • It is cost effective and doesn’t involve investing in supplements or exclusive ingredients.
  • It is a strict plan for those who enjoy structure and surgical precision.
  • The diet includes ice cream which makes it feel less like a diet for the sceptics.


  • There is a dangerous reduction in your daily calorie consumption.
  • The nutritional value of the diet menu is very minimal and cannot sustain a healthy mind and body.
  • Foods like ice cream are processed and high in sugar content, which is why it cannot be considered a healthy method of losing weight.
  • The lack of energy can make you fatigued and irritated.
  • The diet may not be sustainable, and you are most likely to gain all the weight back through binge eating while making up for the near starvation while on a diet.

A cup of black coffee

Precautions to Take When Following the Military Diet

Make sure to remember the following while on the military diet:

  • Do not snack in between meal times.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep you full and clear out toxins.
  • Plan ahead and buy all the foods required. This will prevent binge shopping or eating when you go to a grocery store while on a diet.
  • Do not make many substitutions unless you are vegan, vegetarian, or have allergies.
  • Maintain a sensible diet on the four days after the restrictive plan.
  • Men should remember to add 100 calories to the mentioned meal plan because they burn more calories.


Some frequently asked questions regarding the 3-day diet are answered below:

1. Can Sparkling Water be had on the Military Diet?

You can drink sparkling water. Tea, coffee, and water are allowed while soda, juices, and alcohol containing sugar are not allowed. Tea and coffee are known to be metabolic stimulators. They help speed up weight loss.

2. What Can I Substitute Tuna with If I am Allergic?

You could substitute tuna with cottage cheese, pistachio, peanuts or almonds. You could also try chicken or tofu instead of tuna.

3. Is the Military Diet Safe?

This diet is likely to be safe for a short span of time. It may cause deficiencies if continued for a long time. Coffee, tea, ice cream, and toast have very little nutritional value to support a healthy life in the long run.

4. Can Spices be Used in the Military Diet?

Salt, pepper, cilantro, garlic, and other zero-calorie seasoning are freely allowed on the military diet. Seasonings like mustard and soy should not be added.

5. Can I Extend the Diet Beyond 3 days?

The military diet is a 3-day diet, followed by 4 days of healthy eating. If you require to lose more weight, then repeat the cycle again. But make sure you stick to 3 days of dieting and 4 days of healthy, mindful eating.

6. What Can I Consume On the 4 Days Following the 3-day Diet?

You are recommended to eat a low carb diet that is below 1500 calories for every 24 hours. You could have yoghurt parfait, eggs on toast, or bagel with a spoon of cream cheese.

If you are following the military diet, Indian dishes that are deep-fried and oily should be avoided. The best method to lose weight is to find a healthy way of losing sufficient calories while maintaining your calorific intake at an optimum level. This should include eating nutritious and well-balanced meals that include all food groups. Weight loss through crash diets may be difficult to keep off because these diets drain you of nutrition and energy. You might end up piling on all the weight that you lost soon after you stop dieting. It would be wiser to stay healthy by eating right and exercising regularly. Ultimately, listen to your body, do not starve yourself but exercise caution on how much and what you eat if you wish to lose those last few pounds.

Also Read:

Diet Foods That are Making You Fat
Detox Diet Plans That Boost Your Body
Healthy Drinks That Help You Lose Weight

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