It’s 2018 and we’ve seen diet fads come and go, die out in obscurity while others make an interesting comeback like the military diet. Popular in 2015, this diet is not in any way attributed to the military. It claims to help you lose weight in just a few days by restricting your calorie intake.
But is this diet really safe to follow? Are the claims founded by evidence? Should this diet deserve a comeback or stay out of the limelight for good?
This article delves deeper into what the military diet actually is.
What is the military diet?
As we said, the military diet has no association with the military but it often goes by other names like the Navy diet, the army diet despite the claims of the proponents of this diet claiming it was designed by a nutritionist for US soldiers to get fit faster.
The proponents of this diet claim that you could lose up to 10 pounds in just a single week.
It mainly consists of a 3-day strict meal plan followed by 4 days off. Doing this repeatedly is thought to help you lose weight.
For the first 3 days of the diet, your calorie diet revolves around a relatively low set of calories (around 1,100-1,400 a day) which is far lower than an adult daily intake. For the next 4 days, you are encouraged to eat off the diet but are still encouraged to eat healthily and eat foods relatively low in calories.
The military diet meal plan
According to Healthline, this is the set of meals you should strictly follow for the weeks that you’re on the military diet:
Day 1 (1,400 calories)
- Breakfast – a slice of toast with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, half a grapefruit, tea or coffee
- Lunch – a slice of toast, half a cup of tuna, tea or coffee
- Dinner – 85 grams of meat with green beans, small apple, half a banana, one cup vanilla ice cream
Day 2 (1,200 calories)
- Breakfast – a slice of toast, hard-boiled egg, half a banana, tea or coffee
- Lunch – hard-boiled egg, a cup of cottage cheese, 5 saltine crackers, tea or coffee
- Dinner – two hot dogs (no bun), half a cup of carrots and broccoli, half a banana, one cup of vanilla ice cream
Day 3 (1,100 calories)
- Breakfast – 1-ounce cheddar slice, 5 saltine crackers, small apple, tea or coffee
- Lunch – a slice of toast, one egg, tea or coffee
- Dinner – cup of tuna, half a banana, one cup of vanilla ice cream
Day for and so on – you are allowed to eat however you want, granting that you keep your calorie intake at around 1,500 calories per day.
As for substitutes to the meal plan it can be made accordingly. An example may be to replace peanut butter with almond butter for those who are suffering allergies. Keep in mind that when substituting the calories need to be in exact value so as not to have to resort to counting calories on your own.
Founded in science?
There have been no studies done on the military diet and how it helps you lose weight, however, experts argue that the weight loss experienced due to the huge restrictions in calorie intake. When fewer calories enter your fat tissues, you’re more likely to lose weight.
But claims from the proponents’ diet say that the weight loss is due to the combination of food found in the military diet that makes it efficient in increasing metabolism helping you lose weight. And while coffee and tea boost metabolism for a short period of time, there are no other food combinations found in the diet that make it suitable for fat-burning. In fact, the diet lacks in protein which is more than likely able to boost metabolism and help you burn fat.
In the long run….
The diet may seem like a good idea at the start what with losing weight in only a few days time. However, the diet is not recommended if you keep at it for months on end. The diet itself is grounded on the fact that it restricts calorie intake in helping you lose weight which can’t really be good for you. Nutrient deficiencies arise if you lack enough calories which may cause problems for you if you continue with the military diet.
The military diet is a fad that has recently come back, even with the ungrounded claims to weight loss. As it restricts calorie intake, which can cause nutrient deficiencies, it may be best to leave this fad behind or never try it out.