Are you in a hurry to lose some weight? Shed those extra holiday pounds with the fastest growing weight-loss trends in the world ─ the three day military diet. It’s also known as the navy diet or army diet. But what exactly is it? Is it a super special military menu to get soldiers into top shape? Nope, that’s not it. However, you do have to follow a military regimen if you want to achieve the desired weight-loss results.
What’s the military diet?
This is not dieting accompanied by starvation which causes undesirable effects. It’s free, it’s probably even cheaper than something you’re eating at the moment. It relies on food combinations which are especially designed to burn fat, increase your metabolism and lose weight for a short period of time. As a matter of fact, it’s a natural diet with a rapid weight-loss plan. Moreover there’s no need for demanding exercise or expensive pills. Do you find yourself intrigued yet? If not, then let me delve a bit deeper into what this diet is and explore its benefits.
First and foremost it’s a low calorie diet with a combination of chemically compatible foods. It covers a period of 7 days and is divided into two stages. As the name military suggests, you should follow a strict meal plan that consists of three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. But, don’t be alarmed, it’s not as scary as it sounds! You just need to possess a strong will-power, be determined and committed and then you’ll make it! This diet works wonders if you need to fit into a dress as soon as possible, or if summer is coming to a close and you want to flaunt that beach body. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s free and you don’t have to waste a lot of money on diets and products that don’t work.
The Meal Plan
The 3 day diet is a quick way to lose up to 10 pounds in a week. Some products which are recommended for this army diet are: tuna, meat, hot dogs, egg, beans, cheddar cheese, ice cream, apples, banana, carrot, toast, crackers etc. In addition, it is advisable to drink as much water as you can. Avoid artificial sweeteners as they are bad for you and your blood sugar. Here’s some good news for coffee lovers too. If you’re on a caffeine withdrawal, you’re allowed to drink black coffee since it has less than 5 calories per cup. You just need to cut the corresponding calories in another meal. But be careful! Cream and sugar are forbidden. You can also drink caffeine herbal tea if you’d like.
Bellow you will find a detailed meal plan on what else you should eat and avoid during the first stage which lasts three days and the second which lasts four days.
On the first day you should eat around 1400-1500 calories divided into three meals.
Breakfast: one slice of toast with two tablespoons of peanut butter, half a grapefruit, and one cup of coffee or tea (with caffeine).
Lunch: one slice of toast, half a cup of tuna, a cup of coffee or tea.
Dinner: 3 ounces of any type of meat, one cup of green beans, apple, banana, ice cream.
On this day, you have to reduce the energy value of the food intake to around 1200 calories, and again divide them into three meals.
Breakfast: one slice of toast, one hard-boiled egg, half a banana, coffee or tea.
Lunch: one hard-boiled egg, one cup of cottage cheese, five saltine crackers, coffee or tea.
Dinner: 2 hot dogs without a bun, one cup of broccoli, half a cup of carrots, half a banana, half cup of vanilla ice cream.
The meal plan for the third day should amount to around 1100 calories.
Breakfast: a one ounce slice of cheddar cheese, five saltine crackers, a small apple, a cup of coffee or tea.
Lunch: a slice of toast, one egg ─ cooked however you like, and a cup of coffee or tea.
Dinner: one cup of tuna, half a banana, one cup of vanilla ice cream.
Dieting is involved during the remaining four days as well. One thing that is different, however, is that snacks are allowed and there are no food group restrictions. Of course, it is preferable to limit the size of your portions and retain a total calorie intake under 1500 a day.
Substitutions and additional foods
Regardless of how serious or strict follower of this diet you want to be, there are always several food items that just don’t appeal to you or you can’t eat because of dietary restrictions. If you’re allergic to peanut butter for example, then you can substitute it for almond butter. Therefore, it’ very easy to create a gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian version of this diet. Have in mind, though, it is very significant that calories remain the same. Instead of worrying about size, be careful with the amount of calories. Just so you get the idea, one can of tuna equals around 200 calories which is the same as about 20 almonds. So if you substituted a can of tuna with a cup of almonds, that would seriously set back your dieting!
Some proponents of this 3 day diet have a problem with tuna. They simply don’t like it. The best substitute for canned tuna is chicken or any lean meat, though fish is preferable. Also feel free to swap it with sushi or tofu, cottage cheese etc.
Another common disliked food item on this diet menu is the green beans. If you are part of that group of people who don’t like it, then the substitute solution for you is spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, or any other leafy green vegetables. Just be careful not to go overboard with the calorie limit.
There’s a solution for the vegetarians too. The easiest alternative is beans, lentils, tofu or Portobello mushrooms.
You can replace cheddar cheese with a different kind of cheese such as cottage cheese or ham and eggs.
Although many people are not fans of grapefruit, whether because of its bitter taste or because it interferes with their medication, it is an amazing fruit with beneficial effects. As such, it is difficult to find a suitable replacement. Orange may sound like the most logical alternative, but in reality it creates an opposite effect. The only thing close to having the same benefits as grapefruit is one half tablespoon of baking soda mixed with water. Fun fact ─ both baking soda and grapefruit create more alkaline conditions, which are great for fat burning.
Instead of bread, you can eat various whole grain foods. These include 1/8 cup sunflower seeds, half of cup whole-grain cereal, half protein bar, ¼ cup yogurt, or ½ teaspoon flax seed. Other popular choices are tortilla wrap and rice cakes.
When you think of hot dogs, the words healthy and nutritional don’t exactly come to your mind do they? Well typical ones are not nutritional, especially not those which contain nitrates. Nevertheless there’s a solution for this too. Hot dogs can be replaced with turkey dogs, tofu dogs, soy dogs, bratwurst etc. Vegetarians can use beans, lentils, or Portobello mushrooms. Just for the record, there are approximately 250-300 calories in two hot dogs.
The most likely candidate for skipping this snack are rice cakes. If you eat any other cracker, such as gluten free, remember to check if you’re eating a similar amount of calories.
The recipe for egg substitution is one cup of milk, one chicken wing, ¼ cup of seeds or nuts, or 2 slices of bacon.
If you just can’t stand banana, like myself, there’s a wide variety of fruits to choose from. One banana is equal to two kiwis, one cup papaya or two apricots. Other options include grapes, plums and apple sauce, as long as you stick to the amount of calories from your meal plan.
Diet results and success
There are several reasons for the success of this weight-reduction plan.
Firstly, it’s low in calories which results with calorie deficit in your body. In order to make up for this, the body must use stored fat as fuel, meaning you lose weight. In addition, this 3-day diet plan is a form of intermittent fasting which is another factor for weight loss. Contrary to popular belief, fasting is a healthy way to lose weight.
Secondly, due to the food combinations in the meal plan, you metabolism increases and burns fat. In other words, you body becomes a fat burning machine. The diet plan consists of high protein foods, high fiber foods and foods rich in calcium. They are responsible for your increasing metabolism.
Thirdly, this diet is quite simple, as you just have to keep count of your daily calories and not look everywhere for rare foods to help you shed some pounds.
Is it safe?
It’s highly-likely that’s safe for the average person since it’s too short to do lasting harm. It’ s suitable for people who simply don’t want to prepare meals that take a lot of time. Furthermore because the meals are rather small, it’s beneficial for overeaters. In fact, you aren’t deprived of food whatsoever, since the meals contain fat, carbs, salt etc. Also, as mentioned before, vegetarians can replace the animal protein and dairy with vegan food of their choice.
Truth and facts
This diet doesn’t promise you impossible weight-loss results. All the menu items on the meal plan can be bought at your local grocery store, and as you can see above, the menu is quite simple and doesn’t seem unhealthy. The peanut butter and meats contain proteins which need more energy for your body to burn. On the other hand, the apples have pectin, which presumably restrict the storing of fat in your cells. There’s no doubt that these things are helpful, but it all boils down to calories. Considering the fact that the 3-day menu consists of consuming around 1000 calories, and taking into account that even the most inactive person can burn 100 calories a day, it’s safe to assume this diet is safe and can give results.
The hard part is keeping the lost pounds once you stop the diet. If someone consumes 2000 or more calories a day, and suddenly cuts his calorie intake to half, it’ going to cause a little shock to his system, which in turn will boost his metabolism and result with weight loss. Moreover, throughout the dieting, people drink a lot of water, coffee and tea. This will make them pee more and decrease the amount of water weight in your body. The best way to keep of the weight loss is to follow a 1500-2000 calorie diet, and ensure that you burn the calories you consume.
Are you convinced enough to go full military mode and try out this diet? Maybe you’re still skeptical about the rapid weight loss because it sounds too good. You’re thinking there’s no way I’ll lose up to 10 pounds per week or even 30 pounds per month. But let me tell you my first military experience with the diet.
The first day wasn’t that bad actually. I prepared myself mentally for the amount of food I was supposed to eat. I prepared everything with love and persuaded myself that I am destined to endure this military plan. In the meantime I looked at pictures from Victoria Secret models to keep me motivated and dream that maybe one day I may look like that. I went to bed that night feeling overly confident.
The second day, I was woken up by growls and noises from my stomach. I felt like instead of a stomach I had a black hole ready to consume everything. Even everyone. Trying to fill it, I drank a lot of water, and had some toast and hard-boiled egg for breakfast. During the day, I was trying to keep myself busy, so as not to think about forbidden pleasures. Like delicious, cheesy pizza. I finished the day with some broccoli, half a cup of carrots, half a banana, and a bit vanilla ice cream. I was still hungry, but went to bed hoping that I had lost weight.
The last day is always the hardest. I felt weak, exhausted, but nevertheless, I didn’t lose my faith. I had food withdrawals during the whole day but managed to stick to the meal plan.
The day after the end of my dieting, I weighed myself, and voila! I managed to lost 9 pounds. I was extremely happy, because the results were almost perfect and what I had hoped for. I promised myself I wouldn’t slip up and will follow through with the diet for a month.
I did the diet every week for a whole month. I didn’t have as much energy as I used to, so there were times where I increased the calorie intake for a bit, but just so I could work out too. The combination of this diet and exercising worked like a charm for me! In one month I lost 25 pounds. As the month went on, I saw as my body got used to the weight loss. After finishing it, the next month I restricted myself from some foods, but to tell you the truth, I permitted myself to have one cheat day where I could have anything I wanted. From my personal experience, if you allow yourself to enjoy once in a while, it’s more likely that you’ll have better results. And you won’t feel as miserable too.
Even though this is not a starvation diet, it’s as difficult as all. You should always look after your body, know your limit, whether it is able to handle this or not.
Don’t get discouraged if at first you fail. Nobody’s perfect. Instead, allow yourself to learn from each failure and focus on endurance, determination and find motivation for the next diet.
It’s very important to drink a lot of water. Health authorities often recommend eight 8-ounce glasses a day in order to rinse your system.
The next essential factor is exercising. Don’t forget to work out. Getting your heart rate up to at least 20 minutes day is vital for your heart and overall health, not just for losing weight. If by any chance, you can’t dedicate this time, split up into intervals from 10 minutes.
Last but not least, don’t think of it as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle. Nonetheless, don’t limit yourself completely. Food is considered as one of the simplest pleasures of life. You don’t gain a lot of weight by treating yourself once a month! Make every day count.