The military diet is one of the world’s most popular weight loss ‘diets’ at present. These diets also claim to help you lose weight fast up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in less than 30 days in a single week. The military diet is something that can be easily cooked without the need to buy any book or expensive food or supplement.
But does this diet really work is the question many people like you battle it in their minds. However, if you want weight loss now but not later, then the 3-day diet promises exactly that. Here are the details you need to work out regarding the military diet if you are tempted to try it.
What is the Big Deal with a 3-Day Diet-Plan?
As is evident by the very name, this 3-day diet aims at people who want to lose a lot of weight very fast. It claims that you will lose up to 10 pounds if you follow the diet for up to three days.
The menu for weight loss diet plan is about having three breakfasts, lunches, and dinners where you can also consider a cup of tuna fish or two hot dogs alongside with fruit and vegetable sides dinner. The calories you need to ingest as per the diet is very clear as you won’t be eating much. If you get just 870 calories on Day 1, Days 2 and 3 are not any different in terms of calorie intake.
What foods to take? – The Do’s and Don’ts
For three days, you must eat extremely basic meals made with foods you have in your kitchen. If you can be prepared for a meal of around 1,400 calories on Day 1, then go ahead with a morning breakfast with the following items – a cup of black coffee or tea if you need, then half a grapefruit and a slice of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
Be prepared with another slice of toast, half a cup of tuna and a cuppa coffee as part of your lunch whereas a small apple, half a banana, a cup of vanilla ice cream, and a cup or two of green beans with 85g serving of meat will do the needful for your Day 1 dinner.
Similarly, on Day 2 you can plan to have around 1,200 calories. Add one hard-boiled egg and replace half a grapefruit with half a banana to Day 1’s breakfast. As with lunch, go with five saltine crackers and a cup of cottage cheese along with a hard-boiled egg along with a cuppa coffee. Plan two hot dogs with no bun for Dinner. Also, prepare half a cup of carrots and half a cup of broccoli along with half a banana and vanilla ice cream to complete the Day 2 diet plan.
On the final day of the 3-day cardiac diet, go with a plan that allows you to consume only around 1,100 calories. Go with a similar kind of diet plan of all the previous two days for your Day-3’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. Add just an ounce of cheddar cheese to your breakfast with every other item being the same that you followed the previous two days of your military diet.
Is it all over with just 3-Day Diet?
The remainder of the week i.e., the remaining 4 days also involves dieting. Snacks are now permitted after the 3-day course and there are no restrictions as per the food group. Thus, you are advised to limit portion sizes further and keep the total calorie intake under 1,500 per day. You can do away with just these rules for the remaining 4 days of the diet.
The bottom line of this 3-day diet plan apart from losing weight super fast is that the first three days have a set menu while the remaining 4 are less restricted. However, as per your individual convictions, you can still restrict your calorie intake through healthy eating.
Will this Diet work for Vegetarians?
The 3-Day diet menu particularly is not meant for vegetarians or vegans. Since it’s a low-calorie diet as opposed to the vegetarian’s usual choice of a low-carb, low-salt, and low-fat diets.
Similarly, if you are looking for a gluten-free diet then this is not the right choice for you. Since this diet comprises of toast and crackers, that traditionally involve gluten in wheat. Despite going gluten-free is not a major diet feature, you could still buy gluten-free versions if you wish.
Can you Permit additional Foods into the Diet?
For those who have dietary restrictions, substitutions are allowed during the major 3-day phase. But those portions too should contain the same number of calories. For instance, you can swap peanut butter for almond butter if in case you are allergic to peanuts.
Likewise, if you are a vegetarian then you can also swap a cup of tuna for some almonds. What matters after all is that the calories remain the same. But too many changes in the meal plan in any other manner will require you to be counting calories instead of counting them down.
Proponents of the military diet recommend drinking hot lemon water but recommend against beverages that are artificially flavored. But the bottom line for permitting these additional foods is to substitute foods that have an equal amount of calories as those foods in the diet plan.
Is this Evidentiary Based Diet?
The diet however was most unlikely developed by nutrition experts. Also, there have been no official research on the military diet. However, due to the week-long calorie restriction, the average person is much more likely to lose a few pounds if not the entire amount. You will lose fat even if fewer calories enter your fat tissue.
However, supporters of the diet claim that it has a better weight loss advantage due to the “food combos” in the meal plan. These combos nevertheless are said to raise your metabolism and burn fat. Coffee and green tea can slightly increase metabolism than food combinations.
There is evidence not about whether it is a wholesome healthy diet or not but by what names this diet is previously known to be. This military diet plan or the 3-day cardiac diet was previously known to be the Kaiser diet, Mayo Clinic diet, and the Birmingham Hospital diet, and so on, though none of these organizations have really endorsed the 3-day diet.
There are some people who claim that this diet has health benefits akin to intermittent fasting. As there’s no fasting involved in the 3-day diet, so it is a false comparison of similarity in the diet.
The military diet helps you in weight loss as it is very low in calories. But health experts claim that it is not very different or effective when compared to other calorie-restricted diets.
Is it a Safe and Healthy diet?
Restrictive diets like the 3-day diet likely won’t do much harm. However, you should individually take certain precautions so that you will not be left with hunger pangs while following the diet. As you may get to experience dizziness, fatigue, and headaches, especially while working out during the 3-day diet period.
Unlike other weight loss plans or diets like Keto, the 3-day cardiac (military) diet have definitely got one advantage over them. That is they tend to erase entire food groups wherein the military diet includes a combo of proteins, fats as well as carbohydrates, though in smaller amounts. However, for some people, it’s hard to estimate just by looking at the 3-day diet menu whether the foods listed are good for them or not.
Even if you take a look at the overall food included in the meal plan, it simply doesn’t look like a fat-burning diet. Of course, foods high in protein boost metabolism more than other foods but then most of the foods in the military diet are high in carbs than protein, which is not an ideal combination for weight loss.
For an average person, the military diet is likely to be safe because its too short a diet course to do any long-term harm. However, experts warn that if the diet is followed for months on end, the strict cap on calories could put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies. This becomes particularly true if you don’t consume vegetables, fruits, and other quality foods regularly on your days off.
Besides the above deficiencies, junk food like crackers, hot dogs and ice cream shall not be a regular part of your diet owing to the military 3-day cardiac diet plan. Because junk food has the potential to germinate metabolic issues, it cannot be observed religiously like other diet plans.
It is also a fairly easy-to-do diet in terms of sustainability as it doesn’t depend on making long-term habit changes. It, nonetheless, demands your will power for a brief amount of time. Having said that, the immediate weight loss resulting from the diet doesn’t help you sustain it for long because it doesn’t aid you in giving your food habits a make-over.
The takeaway point for people who are looking for a quick weight loss with this diet plan is that it is likely to be safe for healthy people and it shouldn’t be conformed to for extended time periods. As doing it for long cannot lead to enduring weight loss.
What is the lurking truth behind losing 10 pounds in a week?
All the popularity that this 3-day diet attracted could be attributed to its claims that you can lose 4.5 kg or 10 pounds in a week time. By theory, this kind of weight loss is possible only for overweight people who go on extreme dieting to restrict calories. Even this weight loss is largely possible as it is due to loss of water but not the loss of fat content in the body.
The fact is that water weight drops drastically due to the decline in the body’s glycogen stores. This happens when you limit the intake of carbs and calories as part of your diet. Albeit, this level of military discipline in the diet may look good on the scales. Yet this lost pounds will be regained once you start eating normally again.
The bottom line is that losing 10 pounds of weight in a week’s time is possible only because the weight loss is large of water content but not fat which can be regained as you begin to eat well.
Will the diet-plan work without any exceptions and for how long?
The chances for anyone to lose weight on any diet will be possible when you eat less than 910 calories a day which means giving up 3,500 calories over the course of a week. But the claim here is to lose 10 times the same amount of calories in just 3 days!
Going by the recommendation of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a slow-and-steady approach to weight loss of not more than 1 pound a week is a safe diet plan for an average person. Going by these demanding diet plans in very less time is not just about losing excess of calories but also losing muscle and water including the weakening of your bones. Though, the silver lining here is that you are almost able to gain it all back once you return to your routine diet.
The big exception to this military diet comes in where it is not a healthy option for most people with health issues to follow. In particular, it is not advised for most people with certain medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Ultimately, a healthy and sustainable weight loss which includes healthy nutrition and exercise is the right advice to give for someone aspiring to lose weight sans any side effects.
In last words, this 3-day diet is a very low-calorie diet that employs simple and easy-to-make foods which are also low cost and easy to buy. Albeit, all the good news ends with a likely short-term weight loss.