Written by Lukas Lengauer, BSc on January 08, 2020

Military diet plan for weight loss

The military diet is currently experiencing a hype. Numerous magazines and television stations are now reporting about it.

Basically, the military diet is a radical 3 day diet to lose weight fast.

But how does it work in the first place? And should you try the military diet plan or rather stay away from it?

This and the complete menu is exactly what we are looking at in the following article.

What is the military diet?

The military diet is a very low-calorie diet for rapid weight loss. It is often claimed on the Internet that it can be used to lose up to five kilograms in one week.

However, the military diet has nothing to do with the military. It was simply called so for marketing reasons and was not used by the Army or other units.

Due to the sharp reduction in calorie intake and the lack of a change in diet, the so-called yo-yo effect  can occur after termination.

How does the military diet work?

On the first three days, one consumes between 1,100 and 1,400 calories. After that, the second phase takes place, which lasts for four days.

In the second phase, there is no longer a predetermined calorie target. According to the official instructions, one should simply eat healthy  and be careful not to consume too many calories.

In total, it is recommended to eat three meals each day. Healthy snacks or other meals are not allowed in between.

Due to the very low calorie intake, one naturally achieves a very high calorie deficit. This means that more calories are burned than you consume in the same time. As with any other diet, this factor is ultimately decisive for fat loss.

Foods allowed during the military diet

As with many other diets, the military diet is pretty restrictive. Many foods, such as milk, are not allowed.

The following foods may be eaten:

  • Bananas
  • Grapefruits
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Toast
  • Salty crackers
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Hot Dogs without buns
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Canned tuna
  • Peanut butter
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Meat

Plan for the military diet

The original plan for the military diet is as follows.

Day 1:


  • 1/2 Grapefruit
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 cup coffee or tea with caffeine (black tea, green tea, white tea, …)


  • 1/2 can of tuna
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 cup coffee or tea with caffeine (black tea, green tea, white tea, …)


  • 85 grams of meat
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Day 2:


  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1/2 banana


  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 5 salty crackers


  • 2 hot dogs without buns
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

Day 3:


  • 5 salty crackers
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1 small apple


  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of toast


  • 1 can of tuna
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream

There is no strict plan for the remaining four days of the week. According to the inventors of the military diet, however, attention must also be paid to a reduced calorie intake.

Persons suffering from an allergy, intolerance or indigestibility should exchange the appropriate foods for others. For example, lactose-free dairy products must be used if one has lactose intolerance. Overall, however, care must be taken to ensure that the calorie intake is not increased.

Which drinks are allowed during the military diet?

In general, the representatives of this diet recommend drinking water mainly. It is also often advised to add some lemon juice to the water.

Beverages that contain sweeteners are strictly prohibited during the military diet, even though they have no calories.

Otherwise, the inventors also recommend the consumption of caffeinated beverages, such as tea or coffee. If you don’t tolerate caffeine well, you shouldn’t take it, of course.

Is the military diet harmfull?

Since the military diet lasts only a few days, it is quite unlikely that negative effects will occur in healthy individuals. But you can never completely rule this out.

If you’re on this diet for more than seven days, you should definitely be careful. Due to the low variety of foods allowed, it is quite likely that one or more nutrient deficiencies will occur.

The longer you do the military diet, the more likely it is that side effects will occur. We advise you not to try this diet. You can find out why in the following paragraphs why.

Why we don’t recommend to do the military diet

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why we don’t recommend this method for weight loss. The six most important ones are listed below.

1.) Not a science-based diet:

To date, there have been no studies dealing with the military diet.

Rather, someone has simply walked in and claimed that the Army would feed oneself this way and abuse this for marketing purposes.

2.) No good macronutrient distribution:

When losing weight, a certain amount of protein and fat should always be eaten.

Protein makes us less hungry when we lose weight. At the same time, it also protects our muscles from degradation.

Eating enough fat is important, otherwise hormonal problems may occur. This is particularly true for women, who can even lose their period as a result. We do not really need to mention that this is highly unhealthy.

In the military diet, it seems that the inventor had no idea what a good macronutrient distribution might look like. It is also possible, of course, that he or she simply ignored these basic rules.

3.) Insufficient fiber intake:

Fiber is important for gut health and, if we drink enough, ensures that we don’t get constipation.

The original plan for the military diet clearly contains too little fiber. This can lead to the fact that one has only rarely bowel movements and more hunger. Because fibre can bind fluids, it also saturates very well.

4.) No planning for long-term success

If you eat as before after a diet, you will not be successful in the long term. A well-thought-out concept for losing weight must therefore always think about the time after the diet. Even during weight loss, the diet should be changed step by step so that there is no yo-yo effect afterwards.

Unfortunately, when the military diet was created, no thought was given to incorporate such a strategy. That is why it is more likely that you will gain weight again after finishing the military diet.

5.) Spreading weight loss and nutrition myths:

Regarding calorie-free drinks containing artificial sweeteners, it is claimed that they would stimulate appetite. This claim has not been scientifically proven.

In fact, the opposite is true. Because if you often feel like eating sweets, you can satisfy your cravings with such drinks.

Artificial sweeteners are not healthy, but in small quantities they are completely harmless from a scientific point of view.

6.) Strange composition of the permitted foods:

Hot dogs and vanilla ice cream have nothing to do with healthy eating. While it is definitely okay to treat yourself to such foods from time to time, they should not be an inherent part of your diet plan.

Simultaneous military bootcamp training?

One might think that the military diet also uses some kind of bootcamp training to accelerate fat loss. But this was obviously not thought of either.

It is now well known that strength training is extremely beneficial during weight loss, but a corresponding training concept was not created by the inventors.

The bottom line

The military diet is a short diet designed for fast weight loss. However, it seems that the creator did not really have a clue on nutrition.

Overall, we can only advise you not to try this diet. Other methods can lead to the same success, are much healthier and ensure that you keep the weight off forever.

Have you had any experience with the military diet or a question about it? Then leave a comment right now!