Military Diet – A Complete Guide to the 3-Day Diet

By Summer Banks on Nov 07, 2017

The 3 Day Military Diet is a trendy weight-loss plan. But, does it work? Is it an effective weight-loss plan or something else? We dug into the food list, rules and regulations. Our research team picked it apart. Then, we put everything together. But, we’ll just give you the facts you need and the bottom line.

Military Diet


What is the Military Diet?

People wonder if the Military Diet is a meal plan supported by the United States Department of Defense.

Technically, it’s not. Also called the Navy Diet and the Army Diet, the Military Diet is often used as a weight loss plan for those wanting to lose weight before joining the military. [1]

In some cases, you may follow the diet for four, five or seven days out of the week.

On off-days, you have more freedom of food choices, but you will still have to restrict your calories.

Many people find that it’s a good diet plan because you don’t have to think too much about what you should eat.

If you follow the diet plan with minimal substitutions, then you should lose weight.

How Does the Military Diet Work?

The Military Diet involves restricting calories. On the days that you follow the diet, you will be eating between 1,100 and 1,400 calories per day.

Even on the “off” days of the diet, you’ll eat no more than 1,500 calories a day or less.

Since reducing calories and consuming fewer calories than you burn each day can help you lose weight, this can be a highly effective means of dropping a few extra pounds. Different people get different results from various types of diet plans.

However, this diet has been popular for a long time for a reason. A lot of people have found that they were able to quickly and easily lose weight by following this diet.

military diet food list

How Many Calories in the Military Diet?

Since reducing the number of calories that you eat is a very important part of seeing success from this diet, you could be curious about “How many calories in the Military Diet?”

On the days that you follow the diet plan, your calories will be restricted to between 1,100 and 1,400 calories per day.

Even on the “off” days on which you do not have to follow a specific diet plan, you are encouraged to count calories and consume fewer than 1,500 calories per day. By sticking within these calorie ranges, you can help ensure that you lose the weight that you are hoping to lose by following this diet. [2] [3] [4] [5]

The purpose of this diet is to encourage you to eat the most well-balanced and satisfying diet possible while still ensuring that you stick within low calorie ranges. [6] [7]

Is it Safe?

Is the Military Diet Safe?

It’s definitely a common question to ask yourself, “Is the Military Diet safe?”

Of course, this depends on the person. Since you are severely restricting your calories, this might not be a safe option for everyone.

For example, if you are an athlete or if you are not an adult, it might not be a safe option.

However, since the diet does seem to be fairly well-balanced — since it includes protein, vegetables and fruit — it is a somewhat healthy choice.

Of course, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before you start any type of diet plan.

Then, you can make sure that the diet plan that you are thinking about following is safe for you.

Why Does the Military Diet Work?

Before you try it, you could be wondering, “Why does the military diet work?” This diet helps you get results because it requires you to heavily restrict your calories.

Burn more calories than consumed and there’s a greater chance of you losing weight.

On the three “on” days of the diet, you’ll be heavily restricting your calories, allowing you to shed weight.

Even on the “off” days of the diet, you’re expected to restrict your calories to 1,500 calories or less per day, so this can cause you to lose weight as well. [8]

3 Day Military Diet

Three Day Military Diet

There are a few different variations of the military diet. However, the three-day military diet is the more popular diet type.

You’ll follow a strict diet plan for three days out of a week.

The other four days of the week, you will have more freedom to eat what you want, although you will have to stick to certain calorie restrictions on those days.


3 Day Military Diet Menu

If you are wondering about the 3 Day Military Diet menu, you could be wondering about the types of foods that you will be eating if you do choose to go on this diet.

Luckily, they’re all pretty normal foods.

You’ll eat meat and drink coffee, and you’ll even be able to enjoy hot dogs and ice cream. However, the foods that you eat will be restricted, and you will need to carefully measure out your portion sizes if you want to stick to the diet.

Does it Work?

Does the 3 Day Military Diet Work?

Before you get started with this diet plan, you could be wondering how does the military diet work?

Who wants to restrict calories in order to lose weight?

Luckily, a lot of people have been able to see a lot of success from the Military Diet.

In fact, many people claim that you can lose 10 pounds in a week by following this diet. Of course, results do vary from person to person. However, if you give it a try, you might be surprised by how much weight you can lose.

Military Diet Plan

4 Day Diet

4 Day Military Diet

The most common form of the Military Diet is a three-day “program.”

However, there are some spin-offs out there. For example, if you want to lose weight more quickly, you can try the 4 Day Military Diet.

With this diet plan, instead of following a strict diet menu for three days out of the week, you will instead follow the diet plan for four days out of the week.

If you think that you have what it takes to restrict your diet for an extra day out of the week, you might find that following this diet will help you achieve your weight loss goals that much more quickly.

7 Day Diet

7 Day Military Diet

One thing that a lot of people like about the Military Diet is the fact that they do not have to follow a strict diet every day of the week.

Instead, with the more traditional version of the diet, you can eat what you want for four days out of the week as long as you restrict your calories on those days.

With the 7 Day Military Diet, this is not the case.

Instead, you will have to follow a menu plan for the entire week. For those who do not want to go through the work of figuring out their meals while sticking with calorie restrictions, this can be a good choice.

It can also be helpful if you have a lot of weight to lose and if you’d like to jump start your diet and lose as much weight as possible in a short period.

Of course, since this diet requires you to restrict your caloric intake for a longer period, you may want to talk to your doctor before you get started. [9]

Military Diet for Weight Loss

Many people choose the Military Diet for weight loss. If you have been looking for ways to lose weight, you might find that following this diet is a good way for you to achieve your goals.

Military Diet List

Military Diet Day 1

If you are ready to start the diet, you could be wondering about what to expect from Military Diet day 1.

On your first day of the diet, you will eat grapefruit, a slice of toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast.

For lunch, you’ll have tuna and a lean protein substitute along with toast and coffee or tea.

For dinner, you can have a small portion of your favorite meat with green beans, a small apple, half of a banana and even a cup of ice cream.

military diet day 2

Military Diet Day 2

If you stick with the traditional plan for Military Diet day 2, you’ll have an egg, a slice of toast and half of a banana for breakfast.

For lunch, you’ll have crackers, a hardboiled egg and a cup of cottage cheese.

For dinner, you can have another small portion of meat along with broccoli, carrots, half of a banana and half a cup of ice cream.

Even though the portions are small and the calories are restricted, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of foods with various nutrients. This can help you stay satisfied while you’re enjoying this restricted diet.

4 Days Off on the Military Diet

As you might have already noticed, with the Military Diet, you actually get four days off of your “diet.”

You could be wondering how you are supposed to handle the Military Diet 4 days off so that you can maximize your weight loss.

Of course, this is not a good time for you to just eat any foods that you have been craving without paying attention to things like portion control, as tempting as that might be.

Instead, during your days off from the Military Diet, it is important for you to continue keeping an eye on what you eat and what your portion sizes are.

Traditionally, it is suggested that you keep your calorie count below 1,500 calories a day on the four off days with this diet.

Of course, the recommendations for this can vary based off of things like your size and how active you are.

Before & After

Military Diet Before and After

If you’re wondering about the Military Diet before and after pictures that are out there, it could be because you are excited about losing a lot of weight yourself.

If you look online, you can actually find a lot of pictures and testimonials from people who have lost a lot of weight with this diet plan.

Military Diet Before and After

Grocery List

Military Diet Grocery List

The Military Diet grocery list is quite simple and includes regular, everyday items that you might normally buy when you go grocery shopping, including things like ice cream, meat and vegetables.

To help ensure that you buy everything that you need so that you can stick to the diet, it’s a good idea to take your time to write up a grocery list before you go shopping.

It’s also a good idea to stick to your list so that you can ensure that you don’t buy foods that you might be tempted to eat outside of your diet.

Even though you might find the Military Diet menu to be restrictive, many people like the idea of having a strict diet plan to follow so that they can achieve their goals.

The Military Diet plan is popular among those who want to see weight loss results very quickly. It’s not for everyone, but it can help you get the results that you’re hoping for.

Before you can begin the Military Diet, you will need to make sure that you have the right foods for the diet on hand. Therefore, you could be wondering if there is a Military Diet shopping list that you can bring with you to the store.

Of course, it’s a good idea for you to look over the diet plan beforehand. Then, you can check for anything that you want to find substitutions for, and you can make a list of items that you need to purchase.

If you’re going to follow the diet as it is written without any substitutions, you’re going to need to purchase following items:

  • Canned tuna
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Grapefruit
  • Coffee or tea
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Your choice of lean meat
  • Cottage cheese
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Saltine crackers
  • Hot dogs
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Whole wheat bread

If you buy all of these items while you’re at the grocery store, you should have what you need so that you can follow the diet for a few days.

Along with helping you to lose weight, you might also find that you will save money on buying groceries by following this shopping list, since many people find this to be an economical grocery shopping list when compared to what they normally buy.


Military Diet Results

Everyone gets different Military Diet results. However, many people find that they are able to lose 10 pounds in just one week by following this diet.

Military Diet Alternatives


Military Diet Substitutions

Even though a lot of people like to follow the Military Diet exactly so that they do not have to worry about counting calories or “messing up” on the diet, you could be wondering if there are any Military Diet substitutions that you can make.

Luckily, there are military diet substitutions you can make. Of course, when making substitutions, you’re going to want to make sure that you choose similar foods and that you stick within the calorie restrictions for the day.

For example, if you are allergic to peanut butter, you can substitute the peanut butter in the Military Diet with other types of nut butters. If you are eating gluten-free, you can choose a gluten-free bread. Small substitutions like this can help you ensure that the diet is safe for you.

But, it can help you ensure that you still get the results that you are hoping for as well. [10] [11]

Is Military Diet Vegetarian?

As you might have already noticed if you have been doing your research about the Military Diet, it does include foods that include animal products. If you are a vegetarian who is interested in trying this diet, you could be wondering if it’s possible to make the Military Diet vegetarian.

Luckily, the diet does allow for some substitutions, including the substitution of non-animal products for meat.

For example, you can substitute tofu and peanut butter as your sources of protein so that you aren’t eating meat. This can help you ensure that you are getting the protein that you need while on the diet while also sticking within the calorie restrictions that are necessary so that you can get the results that you’re looking for. [12]

Military Diet Results

Military Diet Results

If you are wondering how others have done with this type of diet, you could be wondering if there are any Military Diet reviews out there that you can look at. After all, you might assume that seeing what others’ experiences have been with this diet can help you get an idea of whether or not the diet is right for you.

Of course, as with any other type of diet, you are probably going to find mixed reviews out there. Some people might hate the diet, but a lot of people might have found great success from it. Of those who do actually like the diet, there are a few common similarities between many of the positive reviews.

A lot of people like the idea that the diet is budget-friendly and that they do not have to purchase a bunch of specialty items or go through an expensive program.

Many people also like that it is very simple; after all, it’s a very simple menu that you have to follow in order to see results. Plus, a lot of people have been able to lose significant amounts of weight very quickly by following this diet. For these reasons, you might find that it’s actually the right diet plan for you as well.

About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.