One of the most popular diets making the rounds these days is the military diet. It makes the claim to help you lose up to 4.5 kilograms, which comes to about 10 pounds in just one week. There are countless places on the internet where the meal plan for this magical 3 day military diet can be downloaded for free.
Before you go marching off to jump in the deep end with this diet plan, here are some things you need to know before you commit.
What is the Military Diet?
The military diet is also known as the three-day diet. It is used for rapid weight loss. It is a cyclic program that involves severely restricted caloric intake for 3 days, followed by 4 days of eating normal food. This weekly cycle is to be repeated until the target weight is achieved.
What does the Military have to do with it?
The military diet has several other names, including the air-force diet, navy diet, and the army diet… basically anything military. Rumour has it that the military diet was designed by nutritionists in the US military. It was apparently used to get soldiers in ship shape quickly. However, the reality is that this diet isn’t affiliated with the military or any other governmental institution.
How Does the Military Diet Work?
This three-day diet is divided into two phases over a period of one week. The first phase, which is the actual dieting phase, lasts three days where you must strictly follow a low-calorie meal plan. What you are allowed to eat and what your portion size will be is clearly defined for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You are not allowed to snack between meals. Total caloric intake is about 1,100–1,400 calories per day which is much lower than your recommended calorie allotment for an average adult.
For the second phase, which is the remaining 4 days of the week, you can eat anything you like as long as you make healthy choices and keep your calorie intake low.
What if I cannot eat the foods allowed in the first phase?
You are allowed to make certain substitutions during the first phase if there are any dietary restrictions for you, but you must be careful that the portions contain the same calories and belong to the same food group as the initial choice. For instance, people with peanut allergies may substitute almond or other nut butters in place of the allocated peanut butter. Vegetarians can also make some substitutions for meat products.
Is the Military Diet Safe?
In all likelihood, the military diet is safe for an average healthy person with no underlying medical conditions. Since the span of the diet is short, it cannot do any long-lasting harm. However, this diet should not be continued indefinitely as the strict limitation on calories could cause nutrient deficiencies.
So be sure to supplement your diet with healthy fruit, vegetables, and other quality food during the second phase and avoid junk foods even on your days off.
When it comes to the question of the diet is sustainable, it is an easy diet to stick to since it doesn’t make you change your lifestyle permanently and requires willpower for a brief period only.