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What You Need to Know About the Military Diet

Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen · Dietetics and Nutrition

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Dec 09, 2021

    What You Need to Know About the Military Diet

    The Military diet claims that you can lose up to 10 pounds of weight in 7 days. But is it possible? Is this diet sustainable? In this article, we will discuss its premise, along with a sample diet plan.

    What is the Military Diet?

    The Military Diet is a type of low-calorie diet. In this regimen, you need to divide your week into two phases.

    • First 3 days – on diet days
    • Last 4 days – off days; you can eat regularly for the rest of the week

    Many people find this type of diet intimidating because, on the 3 days when you are supposed to be on the diet, your calories are restricted to only 1,400, 1,200, or 1,100. Some references even say that you should not go above the 1,100 calorie limit. On top of that, you cannot have snacks on those 3 days.

    For the 4 “off days,” you can eat regularly, but you are still encouraged to eat healthily and maintain the low-calorie meals. Some people say that you can repeatedly go on this diet until you have attained your desired weight.

    The upside, according to testimonials, is that you can lose a lot of weight in just a short period of time.

    It is also worth noting that despite its name, it is not in any way associated with the principles in the military. In fact, experts reiterate that a good diet is very important for military personnel. This is because poor nutrition often leads to poor military performance.

    The Risks

    Doctors still recommend losing weight in a sustainable manner through proper diet and exercise. This diet is not for long-term use as it will lead to hunger and low energy due to the caloric restrictions. If you do decide to try this diet, do so with caution and it is best to consult your doctor.

    Perhaps, the best thing about this diet is that it is less expensive than other diets, like the Mediterranean, keto, or paleo. This is because, in this diet, you can consume “real food,” and you don’t need to buy any supplements or special ingredients.

    The Military Diet Plan

    Suggested Foods on the 3-Day Military Diet

    The following are the best foods if you want to try the Military Diet:


    • Apples
    • Bananas
    • Grapefruit


    • Green beans can be fresh, frozen, or canned
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots


    • Eggs
    • Tuna
    • Hot dogs
    • Other kinds of meat

    Other food

    • Whole wheat bread
    • Saltine crackers
    • Peanut butter
    • Ice cream
    • Tea
    • Coffee
    • Greek yogurt
    • Cottage cheese
    • Cheddar cheese

    Worst Foods on the 3-Day Military Diet

    On the other hand, you are discouraged to consume the following foods during the 3 “on days.”

    • Oranges
    • Fruit juices
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • Creamer
    • Butter
    • Milk
    • Sugar (except for ice cream)
    • Yogurt (except for Greek yogurt)

    military diet

    Sample Military Diet Plan

    If you want to know if you can carry on with this diet, you can look at this sample plan:

    Day 1


  • Grapefruit, half slice
  • A slice of toast with 2 tbsp of peanut butter spread
  • Tea or coffee, 1 cup
  • Lunch

    • Tuna, ½ cup
    • Toast, 1 slice
    • Tea or coffee, 1 cup


  • Meat, about 3 ounces
  • Ripe banana, ½ serving
  • Green beans, 1 cup
  • A small apple, 1 piece
  • 1 cup of ice cream, vanilla
  • Day 2


    • Toast, 1 slice
    • 1 pc of egg, hardboiled or fried
    • Ripe banana, ½ serving


    • Hardboiled egg, 1 pc
    • Saltine crackers, 5 pcs
    • Cottage cheese, 1 cup


    • Broccoli, 1 cup
    • Carrots, ½ cup
    • Hotdog, 2 pcs
    • Ripe banana, ½ serving
    • A cup of ice cream, vanilla

    Day 3


    • cheddar cheese, 1 slice
    • Saltine crackers, 5 pcs
    • A small apple, 1 piece


    • Toast, 1 slice
    • 1 pc of egg, hardboiled or fried


    • Tuna, 1 cup
    • Ripe banana, ½ serving
    • 1 cup of ice cream, vanilla

    Please note that you can have a substitution in this diet. For instance, if you are allergic to peanut and cannot consume peanut butter, you can opt for almond butter. If you are vegetarian, you can replace the can of tuna with some almonds.

    On the remaining four days of your diet, there are no longer food restrictions or recommendations and you can have snacks. However, remember that you are still encouraged to eat healthy on those off days.

    Key Takeaways

    Although the military diet is generally safe for an average, healthy person because they will only be doing it for 3 days at a time, going for it long-term may not be advisable. The reason is that low-caloric intake may result in nutrient deficiencies.

    Some doctors also emphasize that a low-calorie diet has the potential to slow down metabolism. Hence, when you return to the regular diet (remaining 4 days), you may gain weight even quicker. This may result in the frustrating scenario of yoyo dieting.

    There are also arguments when it comes to food choices as items like hotdogs, peanut butter, and saltine crackers, which are quite high in salt and even saturated fats. Keeping this in mind, don’t forget to consult your doctor, especially if you have an underlying health condition.

    Those who have tried the Military Diet claim that you can lose up to 10 pounds in just a week. However, the success rate and quality of weight loss (meaning whether individuals are able to keep the weight off) have yet to be studied. Remember, the ideal and healthy rate for weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds a week. Going over this rate may be bad for your health.

    Learn more about Special Diets here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Chris Icamen

    Dietetics and Nutrition

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Dec 09, 2021

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