The Ultimate Guide to 3 Day Military Diet

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woman thinking about easy diet

Your best friend is having a wedding next week, and you still don’t fit into the bridesmaid’s dress. Or maybe boyfriend is taking you on a surprise vacation, and you’re not feeling bikini-ready quite yet.

We’ve all been in a situation where we want to lose weight, but don’t have time to complete a long term weight loss program, and aren’t sure drinking lemon water for five days is a healthy option.

Don’t worry – there is a healthy way to lose weight quickly and still have the freedom to eat ice cream, burgers, and waffles. Intrigued?

It’s called the Military Diet.

It’s a low-calorie, and it works by boosting your metabolism without leaving you feeling starved. This is your go-to guide to losing weight fast and healthily with the Military Diet.

The Way This Diet Works

The 3-Day 1500 Calorie Military Diet is a low-calorie diet designed to help you lose a healthy amount of weight in a very short period of time.

It does this by maximizing your metabolism and guiding the way your body processes calories. How does it do this?

1. Healthy Fasting:

The Military Diet is structured on a schedule of 3 days on/4 days off. This is a form of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting involves periods of very little calorie intake and periods of eating normally.

When you fast, the insulin in your body becomes more sensitive.

This sensitivity leads to increased efficiency once you start eating again because nutrients in your food are preferentially directed to your muscle and liver cells rather than your fat cells.

The Military Diet is not “true” fasting because you never stop eating altogether. Instead, the Military Diet is designed so that the “fasting” portion of the diet is both manageable (so you won’t be starved at any point) and short-lived.

It allows your insulin levels to become sensitive enough to direct nutrients away from your fat cells, but not so sensitive that they begin to starve.

This is the healthiest and most efficient way to fast. It allows your body to take advantage of the benefits of fasting without suffering any serious health consequences.

2. Boosting Your Metabolism:

Like any diet, it is extremely important to stick to the meal plans of the Military Diet. The Military Diet food choices are specifically designed to boost your metabolism and help your body burn more fat and calories.

There are a number of ways to use your diet to boost your metabolism.

One is to eat lots of protein.

Foods containing high protein have what is called a high thermal effect, meaning they require a lot of calories to digest. In this way, they very act of eating burns calories. If you choose your food carefully, you can actually burn more calories than you consume.

Another way is to eat foods high in fiber.

Fiber might be thought of in some ways as the healthy version of those dangerous carbohydrates we all love. We crave carbs because they make us feel full quickly. Fibers do the same, but unlike carbs, they come with the advantage of boosting your metabolism.

Finally, there is calcium.

Calcium binds to fat molecules so that they pass through your digestive system rather than being digested and deposited in your body. Plus, as we all know, calcium is great for your bones.

Combined, eating a diet high in protein, fiber and calcium boost your metabolism making it efficient in fat and calorie burning, and keeps you feeling full so you can lose weight without feeling hungry all the time.

Meal Plan for 3-Days on the Diet

spinach with meat salad

Meal plans can be very restrictive and are often the biggest downside of any diet. With all the health benefits discussed above, it may seem hard to believe that the Military Diet meal plan is actually delicious and flexible.

These recommendations can be mixed and matched, as long as you stick within the caloric value for each meal.

Day #1

Breakfast #1

– 1 cup coffee or tea (5 calories)

– 1 slice whole wheat toast (77 calories)

– 2 tablespoons peanut butter (188 calories)

– ½ grapefruit (52 calories)

Lunch #1

– 1 cup coffee or tea (5 calories)

– 1 slice whole wheat toast (77 calories)

– ½ cup canned tuna (166 calories)

Dinner #1

– 3 oz any meat / 3 oz is about the size of a deck of cards (139 calories)

– 1 cup green beans (44 calories)

– ½ banana (53 calories)

– 1 apple (78 calories)

– 1 cup vanilla ice cream (290 calories)

Day #2

Breakfast #2

– 1 slice whole wheat toast (77 calories)

– ½ banana (53 calories)

– 1 egg / cooked however you like (72 calories)

Lunch #2

– 1 cup cottage cheese (231 calories)

– 1 hard boiled egg (72 calories)

– 5 saltine crackers (65 calories)

Dinner #2

– 2 hot dogs / no bun (380 calories)

– 1 cup broccoli (31 calories)

– ½ cup carrots (25 calories)

– ½ banana (53 calories)

– ½ cup vanilla ice cream (145 calories)

Day #3

Breakfast #3

– 1 slice (1 oz) cheddar cheese (113 Calories)

– 1 apple (78 calories)

– 5 saltine crackers (65 calories)

Lunch #3

– 1 slice whole wheat toast (77 calories)

– 1 egg / cooked however you like (72 calories)

Dinner #3

– 1 cup canned tuna (331 calories)

– ½ banana (53 calories)

– 1 cup vanilla ice cream (290 calories)

Substitutes

slices of sprouted bread

Many people struggle to stick to the Military Diet not because they lack the will or desire to lose weight, but because they have allergies or food preferences that prevent them from eating certain food items on the meal plan.

Thankfully, there are substitutes for most of the food items so you can challenge yourself to the Military Diet without missing out.

Before using any substitute not listed here, ensure that the caloric value is approximately the same and that you are not exceeding the original food item’s sugar and fat content.

Bread:

With so many people looking for gluten alternatives these days, it is important to have a substitute for bread in any meal. You can, of course, choose a gluten free slice of bread if an allergy is a concern, but there are other substitutes as well.

These include a whole wheat tortilla, two rice cakes, ½ cup grain cereal, ½ protein bar, or ½ a cup of yogurt topped with ½ tsp flax seeds.

Eggs:

You can substitute eggs with 1 cup of milk or a small amount of chicken (about the size of a chicken wing) or ¼ cup of seeds or nuts.

Grapefruit:

While some people think the grapefruit could be easily replaced with another citrus fruit such as orange, this is actually not the case. Fat flourishes in acidic environments, and the purpose of the grapefruit is to create an alkaline environment in your body. An orange will produce more acids, so they are not an appropriate substitute for the grapefruit.

Instead, you can put ½ tsp of baking soda in water to drink. This will produce an alkaline environment like the grapefruit. Alternatively, you can squeeze the grapefruit juice into 1 cup of Stevia.

Apple:

Most fruits are an acceptable alternative to apples. The best options are plums, peaches, grapes or pears. You can also try dried fruit such as apricots, or even rich vegetables such as zucchini.

Peanut butter:

Many people are also allergic to peanut butter, or simply don’t like the taste. You can replace the peanut butter any other nut butter (such as almond or cashew) or any peanut butter alternative such as pumpkin butter, sunflower seed butter, soy butter. You can even use hummus, bean dip, or if you are partial to spreads in general, two tablespoons of plain sunflower seeds can also be used.

Coffee or tea:

If you want to get your caffeine intake without drinking coffee or tea, sugar-free hot chocolate can be used as it contains small amounts of caffeine. Do not take energy drinks as they contain too much sugar and/or artificial sweeteners which will interfere with the effectiveness of the Military Diet.

Saltine crackers:

The best substitute for saltine crackers is rice cakes, which can be used by anyone with gluten allergies or sensitivities.

Tuna and/or meat:

If you are looking for an alternative to the canned tuna, a small piece of sushi-grade raw or seared tuna is perfectly acceptable. If you are hoping to avoid tuna altogether, you can also opt a very lean meat such as chicken. Unsalted almonds can be used instead of tuna, keeping in mind that one can of tuna is equivalent to approximately 20 unsalted almonds.

For vegetarians, there are many alternatives to the 3 oz meat portion on Day 1, as long as you make sure the calorie value is approximately the same. These alternatives include lentils, beans, tofu, or portobello mushrooms.

Hot dogs:

For hot dogs specifically, any of the meat substitutes are acceptable as long as they are in the range of 250-300 calories (same as two plain hot dogs). You can also use hot-dog alternatives such as tofu dogs, turkey dogs, soy dogs, or bratwurst. Sandwich or deli meat, such as baloney are also acceptable.

Vanilla ice cream:

The vanilla ice cream can be easily replaced with flavored yogurt. Dairy-free alternatives include apple juice or almond milk, as long as you select plain or fruit flavored almond milk and avoid chocolate.

Cottage cheese:

Dairy alternatives to cottage cheese include plain Greek yogurt, ricotta cheese or cheddar cheese. If you are concerned about the dairy aspect, you can replace the cottage cheese with an egg, small portion of ham, or tofu.

4 Days Off the Diet

salad with meat

For the four days “off” the Military Diet, it is important to keep in mind that these days are not a free-for-all.

– It is recommended you stay within your 1500 calorie daily intake and avoid any artificial sweeteners.

– It is also important to eat foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals to compensate for the 3-day diet.

Below is a meal plan to help you meet these goals during your 4-days off the diet. The best part is, you can mix and match the meals however you like.

Note About Sweeteners:

It is recommended that you avoid most sweeteners during these four days, as they contain a high sugar content that your body turns into fat.

– It is crucial that you avoid sweeteners such as sugar and corn syrup.

– In small doses, organic maple syrup and honey can be used as alternatives as they contain natural sugars less harmful to your health.

To avoid calories, the best sweetener alternative is fresh or dried Stevia leaves which contain zero calories. They can be used if you need that little extra kick but don’t want to cheat your calorie intake.

Day off #1

Breakfast – Almond Butter Pear Toast (350 Calories)

– 2 slices multigrain bread

– 1 tbsp almond butter

– 1 pear, sliced on toast

Lunch – BBQ Black Bean Burger & Slaw (400 Calories)

– 1 black-bean burger

– 1 whole-grain hamburger bun

– 1 tbsp low-sodium barbecue sauce

*slaw:

1 ½  cups shredded cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot mix (combine with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 2 tsp olive oil)

Dinner – Garlic Basil Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta (450 Calories)

– 1 cup whole-wheat pasta noodles, cooked

– 3 oz frozen precooked and shelled shrimp, thawed

– 1 cup chopped zucchini

– 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– 1 tbsp olive oil

Day off #2

Breakfast – Whole Grain Waffles with Berry & Walnut Compote (350 Calories)

– 2 frozen low-fat, whole grain waffles

– ¼ cup blackberries

– ½ cup strawberries

– 1 oz walnuts, chopped or whole

Lunch – Turkey, Pear & Swiss Sandwich (400 Calories)

– 1 tsp dijon mustard

– 2 slices whole grain bread

– 5 thin slices turkey

– 1 pear, sliced

– 1 slice low-fat swiss cheese

Dinner – Three Pepper Cilantro Fajitas (450 Calories)

– ⅓ cup each sliced red, green and yellow bell peppers

– ½ small onion, sliced

– ½  cup canned low-fat refried beans

– 2 whole wheat tortillas

– ¼  cup cilantro, chopped

*Saute peppers and onion in 1 tbsp olive oil for 8 minutes, then add to wrap with beans and cilantro

Day off #3

Breakfast – Eggs Florentine on English Muffin (350 Calories)

– 2 scrambled eggs

– ½ cup cooked baby spinach

– 1 whole wheat English muffin, toasted

– 1 cup cantelope

Lunch – Balsamic Chicken Salad Pita (400 Calories)

– 1 cup precooked and diced chicken

– 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

– ¼ cup chopped scallions

– 1 large stalk celery, chopped

– 1 whole wheat pita

– 1 cup bagged mixed salad greens

Dinner – Hoisin Grilled Fish & Summer Vegetables (450 Calories)

– 4 oz fish (salmon or tilapia fillets)

– 1 tbsp hoisin sauce (Chinese barbecue sauce found in the Asian section of grocery stores)

– ½  cup chopped yellow squash

– ½  cup pea pods

– ½  cup chopped carrots

– ⅔  cup cooked brown rice

*Wrap fish, hoisin sauce, yellow squash, pea pods and carrots together in foil and cook on a pan in oven for 10-12 minutes. Serve over rice.

Day off #4

Breakfast – Cottage Cheese Delight (350 Calories)

– 1 cup nonfat cottage cheese

– 1 cup strawberries

– Sprinkle with cinnamon

Lunch – Grilled Chicken & White Bean Salad (400 Calories)

– 2 cups Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach)

– 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, peppers, tomato)

– 3 oz grilled chicken breast

– ½ cup cooked white beans

– 2 tbsp low-calorie salad dressing

– 1 tangerine

Dinner – Grilled Salmon with Beans, Rice & Salad (450 Calories)

– 8 oz grilled salmon with lemon

– 2 cups steamed green beans with garlic

– ½ cup cooked brown rice

– 2 cups mixed leafy greens salad

– 2 tbsp reduced calorie salad dressing

Snacks – Choose 2 per day (150 Calories each)

– 1 cup snap peas or carrot sticks, ¼ cup hummus

–  Fruit and nut bar

– 18 baked tortilla chips, ½ cup guacamole

– 1 small banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter

– 1 slice whole-wheat bread spread with 2 tbsp. part-skim ricotta, topped with 1 chopped dried fig and 1 tsp honey

– 1 apple, 22 pistachios

For more ideas on 1500 calorie, daily menus check out these two articles from Eatingwell.com and Discovergoodnutrition.com

Various Results & Feedback

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Military Diet FAQs

FAQ #1: What is the Best Drink for the Military Diet?

The best drink for the Military diet is good old plain chlorine and fluorine-free water. It has the best hydrating properties and zero calories.

FAQ #2: Can I Drink Coffee When Following the Diet?

The short answer is yes! A cup of black coffee contains only about five calories. As long as you don’t add cream (which has a high-fat content) or sweeteners, you can drink up to 1 cup of coffee a day.

FAQ #3: Can I Eat Snacks While on the Military Diet?

No. Remember, the Military Diet is specifically designed to boost your metabolism and burn calories. It requires dedication and commitment in order for it to work properly.

FAQ #4: Can I Work Out and Exercise While on the Military Diet?

Absolutely! In fact, exercise is encouraged. Exercising burns fat and calories, so being active will greatly improve your results.

However, vigorous exercise can make you feel weak if you haven’t been eating enough calories, so slow down your activity a little if you find that happens to you.

Keep in mind: It is important to maintain a right balance between low-calorie intake and exercise.

FAQ #5: What Kind of Seasonings Can I Use During the Military Diet?

You can use salt and calorie-free seasonings like pepper, and most spices. If you use salt, or seasonings containing salt, be sure to use them in small doses or go for its pink Himalayan version.

FAQ #6: Can I Drink Alcohol While Following the Military Diet?

No. Alcohol contains empty calories, which basically means calories that your body can’t use for energy. It is very important to avoid empty calories during the Military Diet.

FAQ #7: How Should I Prepare My Dood?

For vegetables, you can steam, boil, or eat them raw. For meat, you should bake or grill. Avoid frying your food as the oils contain lots of fat.

FAQ #8: Can Men Try the Military Diet?

Yes! Men trying the Military Diet should add about 100 calories a day. However, it is best to add these calories eating protein rather than carbs.

Extra Tips for a Successful Finish

happy female patient

Some people struggle the first time they try the Military Diet. They might feel hungrier than expected, forget to buy certain ingredients or have a hard time committing the whole way through.

These five tips will help ensure you get the most out of the Military Diet on your first try.

Tip #1 – Drink Lots of Water

Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated, but it is also an excellent way to keep your appetite at bay. Make sure you drink lots of water in the morning and throughout the day, so you feel less hungry when it’s time to eat.

Tip #2 – Buy Your Food in Advance

Planning ahead is a great way to succeed on the Military Diet. We all know the dangers of grocery shopping while hungry, so plan your meals and buy all your groceries ahead of time.

That way, everything you need will be close by, and you won’t be tempted by other food that will hinder your success.

Tip #3 – Start Your Day With a Workout Before You Eat

Your metabolism is highest in the morning, so working out before breakfast is a great way to take advantage of that. Exercise will only enhance the results of the Military Diet, and is a great way to get you pumped for the day.

Tip #4 – Go on the Diet With a Friend

It’s easy to be tempted to cheat on the Military Diet, and doing it with a friend will really help you stay on track.

Having someone hold you accountable will drive you to work for it, and sharing the experience will keep you both motivated.

Tip #5 – Track Your Progress

Make sure you take before and after measurements so you can have something tangible to demonstrate your progress. This includes keeping track of your calories, especially if you use some food item substitutes.

Keeping a log of both your calorie intake and weight loss will keep you on track and highlight your success.

Hello, I hope you find here all the best info that will help you lose weight and feel healthy and fit. My pen name is Christine and I want to make this site a great resource for those that want to get fit. Please, keep in mind that this website is for informational purposes only and that you always need to consult your decisions with your doctor.