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The military diet is currently one of the most popular nutrition trend in the world. It is claimed to help you break the weight loss plateau and lose weight quickly.

But does this diet actually work, and is it something you should try? This article explains everything you need to know about the military diet.

What is the Military Diet?

The military diet is a fast weight loss diet based on a set low-calorie meal plan. The diet involves a 3-day low-calorie meal plan followed by 4 days with fewer restrictions. Proponents of the diet claim that it was designed by nutritionists in the US military in order to get soldiers into top shape quickly. However, the truth is that the diet isn’t affiliated with any military or governmental institution.

How It Works?

The 3-day military diet is actually split into 2 phases over a 7-day period. For the first 3 days, you must follow a set low-calorie meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are no snacks between meals. For the remaining 4 days of the week, you are encouraged to eat healthy and continue to keep your calorie intake low.

In short, the first 3 days of the military diet have a set meal plan and involve calorie restriction. The remaining 4 days have fewer restrictions.

The sample meal plan for 3 days

Total calorie intake during this phase is roughly 1500–1800 calories per day. You can check your own calorie requirements and modify your diet according to your daily calorie needs.

- A slice of toast / a paratha
- An omelette made with three eggs / Cooked oats
- A cup of coffee / tea / milk / whey protein shake

- A slice of toast / Two rotis
- A cup of veg sabji
- A bowl of dal and rice / Chicken and rice
- Two apples

- Grilled chicken (200 grams) / grilled fish (200 grams) / a bowl brown rice and dal
- Mashed potato
- Vegetable salad
- Two bananas

Feel free to drink as much coffee or tea as you want, as long as you don’t add any calories from sugar or cream. Drink plenty of water too.

The Remaining 4 Days

The remainder of the week also involves healthy eating. Healthy snacks are permitted and there are no food group restrictions. However, you are encouraged to limit portion sizes and keep total calorie intake under 1,800-2000 per day.

In short, The first 3 days of the diet have a set menu, while the other 4 are less restricted. You are still encouraged to eat healthy and restrict calories for the remaining 4 days.

Is it effective?

It can help you lose weight because it is very low in calories. It is a form of intermittent fasting. It includes the foods which are high in protein, fiber and calcium so it helps you boost your metabolism.

Is the military diet based on evidence?

There have been no studies on the military diet. However, the average person is very likely to lose weight due to the week-long calorie restriction. It can help you lose weight because it is very low in calories.

Is it safe?

The military diet is likely safe for healthy people, but it shouldn’t be done for extended periods of time. It probably does not lead to lasting weight loss.

What about exercise?

If you are currently not doing any exercise, start by walking for 45-60-minutes per day every day of the week. If you are already exercising regularly, feel free to continue with your current schedule but be aware that, during the Military Diet, you may feel a little tired or weak.


- If you want to break weight loss plateau, then it can help.
- If you want to lose a few kilos quickly, then it can help.
- If you are serious about losing weight and keeping it off, then it can't help.

It is not sustainable for long time. You need to follow overall fitness lifestyle to stay fit for long.

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Written by Sapna Vyas Patel , PhD in Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sapna writes simple, easy to understand articles that are based on pure scientific evidence. She is one of the most popular fitness professionals in India and is followed on social media by fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, trainers, and professionals.

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