If you have an upcoming wedding, party, reunion or are in a pinch to lose weight in less than a week, you probably feel desperate. And that is the only reason you would do something so ridiculous as to eat like a tiny parakeet for the next 3 days. I won’t lie to you – this diet is grueling and not for the faint of heart. They do call it the military diet after all. But if you are after quick results in a short time frame and aren’t exactly bothered about whether or not the results last much longer than a week, this could be the diet for you.
It’s short, simple, and kind of disgusting. The meals are bland and boring (and not all healthy clean eating has to be this way) but the idea is that you will restrict your calories to such a drastic extent, that you’ll shed both water weight (causing you to “bloat” and look larger than you actually are) and also some fat in there as well. My stomach was definitely a lot flatter after doing this diet before my beach vacation. The results lasted for as long as I needed them to, but there are much better ways to go about long term weight loss such as the popular portion fix containers plan.
What is the 3 day plan for the Military Diet?
Let’s delve right in. Note: Don’t get too excited, although ice cream is literally the only thing you will enjoy eating over the next three days.
Day One of the Military Diet:
1 black cup of coffee (scroll down to my “hacks” list for alternatives to black coffee!)
1/2 of a grapefruit (this is very important, please eat this!)
1 slice of whole wheat bread, toasted
2 tablespoons of peanut butter (I recommend all-natural, sugar-free with that good oil stuff on top you need to stir!)
1 cup of coffee or tea (again black and caffeinated – add sweetener or Stevia to taste if you prefer!)
1/2 cup or 1 can of tuna (check my hacks list below for making the tuna tastier with a calorie-free option!)
Slice of whole wheat or whole grain toast
3 ounces of meat (any or your choosing, chicken breast, lean steak, fish, etc) – About the size of the palm of your hand
1 cup of steamed green beans
1/2 of a banana
a small apple
1 cup of vanilla ice cream (no Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough, don’t even think about it! Just good old fashioned plain vanilla!)
If you find that dinner has too much food, you can opt to have the banana or apple as a snack either before or after dinner or in between meals. This also might help you feel satisfied throughout the day.
Military Diet Day Two:
1 cup of caffeinated black coffee again without sugar or cream
An egg (cooked as you like, boiled, fried, scrambled, etc)
A slice of toast (whole wheat or multigrain)
1/2 of a banana
1 cup of cottage cheese (there are different fat-free or low-fat varieties but choose whatever you prefer, it won’t matter in the end and 2% tastes much better than fat-free)
1 egg prepared as you please
5 soda or saltine crackers (white or whole wheat)
2 hot dog wieners (without the buns)
1 cup of broccoli
1/2 cup of carrots (you might choose to steam the broccoli and carrots together. If you are struggling to get the broccoli down, cutting it up in small pieces and doing a light stir-fry with low-cal cooking spray and add a touch of low-sodium soy sauce for flavoring is fine)
1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream (just half a cup this time, boo hoo!)
Military Diet Day Three:
5 soda crackers
1 slice of cheddar cheese
1 small apple
Slice of wholewheat toast
Egg prepared as you prefer
(This is seriously an abysmal lunch. Add a slice or two of tomatoes to the egg and toast sandwich with a dash of salt for extra flavor and to help fill you up. A few slices have almost no calories and is full of nutritional value)
1 cup of tuna (or two small cans)
1/2 a banana
1 full cup of vanilla ice cream
After the final day, you’ll be tired and hungry and likely feel lethargic. Now that you’ve come so far, do NOT give in to temptation. Drink tea, lemonade with stevia, suck on ice, drink coffee. Anything to avoid stuffing your face! You want to see the scale tomorrow to see if the past three torturous days was worth it. Don’t let yourself down!
Military Diet Hacks:
During this insufferable diet, there are many things you can do to make you stop screaming at your co-workers, family, friends, children, partner, and strangers in the street as you grumpily go through the day hungry and sad. You can try to curb those cravings and add calorie-free enhancements to your bland dull sad diet.
#1 – Coffee Creamer (fat-free, sugar-free, carb-free – a miracle, I know)
I recently discovered Walden Farms has a line of delicious creams in a variety of flavors like Sweet Cream, Mocha, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, etc. And they have 0 calories, no sugar, no fat, nothing. It’s sweetened with splenda and makes your coffee nice and creamy with NO extra calories so it won’t hinder your diet whatsoever. Wahoo! Sometimes when I get really hungry, I’ll have an extra coffee with French Vanilla or Mocha (I seriously have one of every flavor on hand) and that curbs my sweet tooth and helps fill my tummy a bit.
#2 – Add Mayo to your Tuna (Again, calorie and fat-free)
No, I’m not talking about getting yourself some “light” miracle whip or Hellman’s mayo. One tablespoon of that stuff is still packed with fat and high in calories, light or not! Walden Farms has a line of delicious Mayo like Chipotle and mixing a tablespoon (or two!) with your tuna and some freshly ground pepper to spread on your wheat toast is just a dream. It tastes delicious and again, has absolutely no impact on your diet because of it having no calories whatsoever.
#3 – Keep Hydrated and Drink Flavored Water or Iced Tea
Always drink at least 8 glasses of water each day but if you want something extra, you can make a pitcher of fruit-infused water. I personally like to make a pitcher of lemonade. I fill it up with water, squeeze 5 lemons or so of fresh lemon juice into the pitcher, add Stevia to taste and pour it over a glass with ice. It will keep you refreshed and satisfy your need for something in between meals. Additionally, the sourness of the lemons helps combat any sugar or carb cravings.
#4 – Brush your teeth in between meals
When you have a fresh minty mouth, you’re less likely to indulge in any cravings that hit you during your military diet pilgrimage. Afterwards or before, drink a tall glass of water to fill you up even more.
Personal Review (The After Shock) of the Military Diet:
Ouch. So. Hungry. Actually, Day 2 was probably worse than Day 3. On the third day, my stomach felt as empty as my soul. Food is more than just comfort, it provides you that energy you need to get through the day, to smile, to laugh. This felt borderline starvation. Especially since you eat less on the third day than you do the first two days.
This 3 day plan is the reason “die” are the first three letters of diet. Because that’s how you feel. Like you’re dying on the inside. Sorry, is that too dramatic? But seriously, a can of tuna on a slice of bread? What is this, the prison diet?
Usually people give up on the third day because of how grueling it is on day three. If you’ve already committed to two days, you might as well keep going for a third to see how your results fare. Furthermore, don’t weigh yourself until the morning of Day 4 to get the best results possible. And if you want to continue dieting after the fourth day, keep reading as I discuss what to do and how to maintain or continue losing weight after you have completed the three day military diet plan.