Military Diet Plan – Does it Work? Side Effects and Advantages

What is The Military Diet Plan?

The military diet plan is probably one of the most popular diet plans in the world currently. The best thing is that the diet doesn’t let you stay hungry… you will be eating a lot, but only healthy foods.

Due to its name, many people believe that this Diet plan was Designed by The Military United States. It is claimed that soldiers of the army used this diet plan to get in shape fast. But it’s not true.

The military diet plan is not developed by or associated with any military force. However, the plan is an effective way to lose weight fast. Sorry Vegans – It’s not a Vegetarian diet plan.

military diet plan

It claims to help you lose weight really fast. Some fitness trainers even suggest that you can lose up to 5 Kg weight in just 7 days (notionally) by following the military diet plan only.

Contrary to the popular belief, the Military diet is not a “3-day diet”. It is actually 7 days plan. The diet focus on eating low calorie, high protein, and fiber-rich foods for 3 consecutive days. Then take the break for 4 days. This 3-days diet and 4-days break makes a weekly cycle. In order to lose weight using this diet plan, you will need to follow this diet for 3-4 weeks in a row.

  1. The Diet Plan
  2. How Does This Diet Work?
  3. Advantages of The Diet?
  4. What are the Side Effects?
  5. What are the precautions I need to take?
  6. Bottom Line
  7. Frequently asked questions?

The Diet Plan

For the first 3 days, let’s say starting on Monday, going to Wednesday – Follow the below plan for your 3 daily meals.



Start off your day with a cup of tea or coffee (Less Sugar). In fact, we suggest to skip the tea/coffee and go on with a warm glass of water. Warm water will kick-start your metabolism and balance the pH of your stomach acids.

You can eat a slice or two of toast with low-fat peanut butter. Include half of the grapefruit in your breakfast. Grapefruits contain a lot of antioxidants and vitamins.


A slice of toast, ½ tuna, 1 cup coffee or tea


1 cup green beans, 3 ounces meat, ½ banana or some other fruit, 1 cup ice cream (vanilla flavor) 1 apple.



A slice of toast, 1 egg, ½ banana or some other fruit


1 Egg (boiled), 1 cup cottage cheese, 5 crackers


2 Hot dogs without the bun, ½ cup carrots, 1 cup broccoli, ½ banana or some other fruit, ½ cup ice cream (vanilla flavor)



1 Slice cheddar cheese, 5 crackers, 1apple


A Slice of toast, 1 cooked or boiled egg


1 Cup tuna, 1 cup ice cream (vanilla flavor), ½ banana or some other fruit.

Some exercise can be combined along with the diet to get the desired results. Overweight people can go for a walk during the diet.

How Does This Diet Work?

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.

The first 3 days have a strict diet plan that you have to follow. However, for the next 4 days, there are not any restrictions.

military diet result

Total calorie intake during this phase is roughly 1,100–1,400 calories per day. This is much lower than the average adult’s intake, that normally ranges between 1300-1800 calories.

Then, For the 4 remaining days of the given week, you will have to maintain the low-calorie intake in your meals. Cut the excessive consumption of oils, butter, sugar, coffee, soda etc. Keep the total calories under 1500. One good way to achieve it is to reduce the portion size of your meal.

Instead of three heavy meals – eat healthier, smaller portions 4-5 times a day. However, there is no restriction of foods that you have to sacrifice, but control the appetite for unhealthy processed foods.

This habit of consuming lower calories for a few days activates your metabolism. Also, it trains your body to utilize maximum fats to run metabolism.

Following the military diet plan for few weeks, can certainly reduce your body weight.

Advantages of The Diet?

The diet is relatively easier than other option you might have. It doesn’t have many critical restrictions. Also, the military diet plan doesn’t keep you hungry and craving. You will be eating a lot of healthy and tasty foods.

The best thing is that you will only have to watch the calories. That doesn’t mean you will have to stay on the half-filled stomach. Various items included in the diet plan have sufficient quantity to keep you full for long hours.

This diet plan is especially good for people who want to build muscles. The foods that you will eat during the diet contain a good amount of muscle building proteins.

What are the Side Effects?

The Military diet plan is not medically approved. There hadn’t been any medical and scientific studies to prove the benefits or adverse effects of the diet plan. However, people and dietitian who have tried and studied this diet plan, claim that there can be a few side effects. The side effects are listed below:

  • It’s a short-term diet plan. Hence, the loss in weight achieved by following this diet plan can also be temporary. You might start gaining weight again, after just a few days of completing the diet plan.
  • A sudden change in diet habit can cause digestive disorders. You might feel an upset stomach, flatulence, indigestion, stomach pain, diarrhea etc.
  • In order to lose weight in a healthy way, you will need to gradually remove the stored fat from the body. Rapid Weight loss plans such as the Military diet plan can strive the loss of more water and lean tissue than the stored fat particles. This can weaken the muscles and cause muscle pain.
  • Tiredness, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Loss of appetite, musculoskeletal disbalance.

What are the precautions I need to take?

You should take the following precaution while on the Military Diet Plan:

  • Military diet is not suitable for women who are pregnant. Sudden weight loss in a pregnant can be fatal. Follow your doctor’s advice for a healthy diet during pregnancy. Losing body weight in an unhealthy way can put the life of mother and fetus in jeopardy.
  • This diet is also not suggested for women who are breastfeeding a baby. The diet plan can reduce the production of breast milk and also affects its quality. Such breastmilk may not be healthy for the baby.
  • People who have any other serious health conditions such as liver or kidney problems, ask a doctor before starting this diet.
  • Diabetic patients should not opt for this diet plan.
  • If you are suffering from any eating disorders such as Binge eating or Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa etc. then this diet plan will not be good for you.
  • Patients suffering from Anemia, jaundice and other implication should follow their doctor’s advice for a healthy diet.
  • The diet forces a sudden and drastic change in eating habits and lifestyle. If you feel any discomfort, terminate the diet immediately.

Bottom Line

The Military Diet plan is one of the effective ways to lose weight in a short period. But as discussed above, the diet is a short-term activity. You may gain weight again after stopping the diet.

The diet plan is not designed to be followed for a longer period. However, following the plan for just 3-4 weeks can significantly change your weight.

The real objective to lose weight is to reduce the stored fat particles from the body. To achieve this you should follow a consistent diet for a long term. Longterm diet plans are healthier than rapid weight loss plans.

If you are ready to overcome the mild adverse effects of the Military Diet and you are physically healthy to maintain the sudden changes then you can go for it. However, the best way to lose weight is a permanent and long-term change in diet and lifestyle.

Frequently asked questions?

Will I really lose 10 pounds in a week with the Military diet plan?
The answer is a little different than what you expect. Yes, you can lose 10 pounds using the military diet, but not in 1 week. The military diet plan is a ‘1-week‘ plan. To lose weight, you will need to follow the ‘1-week’ cycle for 3-4 weeks consecutively.

Is this diet Healthy?
Yes, the diet is healthy and relatively safe option to lose weight. However, you should always ask a dietitian first about the suitable diet for your health.