Given a chance to lose 10 pounds in just a week, wouldn’t you run after it? Think about it again – the best thing ever, right? Is it the healthy way to lose weight?
Rapid weight loss involves loss of water, fat mass, and muscle mass.
In the fast weight loss process, you lose the water stored in muscles hence the rapid success. Unfortunately, once you are off this diet, you will gain back most, if not all or more than your initial weight.
This rapid weight loss is a kind of crash diet called the military diet. It is a low-calorie diet plan which you can choose to follow through a few days every week to lose weight quickly.
To pull off this diet plan, you need a soldier’s discipline.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF MILITARY DIET
1. POSSIBLE WEIGHT LOSS
Looking at the numbers and the experiences of those who’ve tried this diet, it works. Even though it is limiting in terms of the number of nutrients in the diet, the number of calories you eat is less than what you need.
This is because any active adult will need between 2000 and 2600 calories for healthy weight yet you only get 1500 calories from the military diet.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a healthy way of losing weight and that weight loss is not equal to fat loss.
2. SERVINGS OF FRUITS & VEGETABLES
There is room for improvement, but military diets include servings of fruits and veggies. These give you essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. However, do not think that this is a balanced, vitamin-packed diet. Not at all.
3. DIETING FOR JUST THREE DAYS
Unlike other diet plans, it doesn’t cost anything, and you don’t have to join a support group, buy supplements or special foods. Also, the foods on the diet plan are easy to prepare.
This way, you are actually saving your money as your daily allowed food costs just a small portion of three regular meals.
5. CUTTING DOWN ON CALORIES
The unexpected benefits of cutting calories include better sleep, a boost in your mood and enhancement of your sex life. Not only that, you can experience a weight loss and potential fat loss if maintained for a longer period of time.
6. MAKES IT EASY TO DIET IN FUTURE
If you are doing the military diet once, you will learn a few things about your lifestyle and what you need to reduce intake of. This is because you are only allowed to drink water, tea and black coffee with no sugar or cream.
Not only that, you will get used to basic rules of restriction diets, as well as your stomach will get used to smaller portions of your meals hence making your future dieting efforts much easier.
7. YOU DON’T HAVE TO EXERCISE
Though exercise facilitates weight loss, under a military diet, you won’t need any HIIT or cardio exercises. All you can do (if you find enough strength) is to do some light stretching, spot jogging and basic Yoga poses.
As you can see, there are some advantages and benefits of the 3-day military diet.
UNFORTUNATELY, EVEN WITH THESE BENEFITS, THE MILITARY DIET HAS SOME SIGNIFICANT DISADVANTAGES.
SIDE EFFECTS & CONS OF MILITARY DIET
1. HUNGER PANGS
Despite the protein servings, a military diet will bring you the worst hunger pangs. You will be hungry all the time, and this is, therefore, a miserable way of losing weight.
You also have to plan ahead.
The worst bit is that you aren’t allowed to snack, even on a healthy fruit. With all these under consideration, it is easy to fall into the temptation of munching a snack midmorning.
If you are working, your productivity will hit a slump because of low blood sugar slow brain activity. To beat hunger pangs, check out this article: Experts Reveal 15 Tips to Beat the Hunger Pangs
2. MISSING SUPERFOODS
The diet plan doesn’t include nutrient-packed superfoods like salmon, quinoa, almonds or avocado. You need these healthy foods because they provide you with your healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
This affects cognitive function.
You can also say that it isn’t nutritionally balanced because the diet plan gives you the right to take two ounces of ice cream every night.
Make sure that you eat more of the called superfoods after you end with this diet. Feel free to consult this article for the foods to eat: 25 Greatist Superfoods and Why They’re Super
3. FASTING THAT LONG IS UNSAFE
Going three days with under 1500 or 1000 calories may leave you weak, and you may faint, experience dizziness, headaches, nausea, and binging three days after the fast. So, you are most likely to gain it all back immediately after abandoning the military diet.
If you want to avoid regaining all your lost weight, you need to prepare a healthier meal plan for next few days after military diet. For managing issues with fasting and eating low calories overall, check out 5 Healthy Fasting Tips From a Nutritionist
4. WATER WEIGHT LOSS
The worst part about this diet plan is that you will most likely lose weight only in the form of water. Failing to lose fat means that you will get back your weight after the diet.
Especially if you return to your regular diet that may be rich in salt and carbohydrates.
5. NO LONG-TERM PLAN
This diet outlines what you should and shouldn’t eat in three days but, there is no long-term dieting plan. For sustainable weight loss, you need a long-term and a lifestyle diet plan.
Also, the menu is nutrient restrictive. If you would continue this diet for a long-term period of time, then you may face malnutrition and serious health risks.
6. EXPERTS ADVISE AGAINST IT
As stated on the CNN, despite the name Military Diet, active members of the military and military officials claim that they aren’t aware of this diet and they don’t use it because it is nutrient limiting.
Also, organizations like the Cleveland Clinic, the American Heart Association, Birmingham Hospital, or Mayo Clinic disassociate themselves from the military diet.
THE THREE DAY MEAL PLAN
1 Slice toast, ½ grapefruit, 2 tablespoons peanut butter & 1 cup coffee or tea (with caffeine)
½ Cup tuna, 1 slice toast & 1 cup coffee or tea (with caffeine)
3 Ounces of any meat, ½ banana, 1 cup green bean, 1 small apple & 1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 Egg, 1 slice toast & ½ banana
1 Cup cottage cheese, 5 saltine crackers & 1 hard-boiled egg
2 Hot dogs (without bun) ½ cup carrots, 1 cup broccoli, ½ banana & ½ cup vanilla ice cream
1 Small apple, 1 slice (1 ounce) cheddar cheese & 5 saltine crackers
1 Hard-boiled egg & 1 slice toast
1 Cup tuna, ½ banana & 1 cup vanilla ice cream
To lose the 10 pounds, you can’t follow it through for more than three days, and you cannot stray from the regime. So, you need to exercise a high level of restraint to pull off this diet plan. The military diet plan comprises of a stepwise food and fluid guide that provides between 860 and 1150 calories daily.
The numbers depend on the number of calories you need to gain one pound of fat.
This is about 3500 calories in a day. So, by eating less than you are burning, your body will target fats first. This makes the military diet a form of fasting. This intermittent fasting regime has three days of controlled caloric intake and four off days.
But, there is a strict list of approved food on the list and no snacking.