3-Day Military Diet: Plan, Working, Tips, Pros and Cons
freshly chopped fruits

3-Day Military Diet: Everything You Should Know About This Military-Style Diet

Here is a guide to know everything about the 3 Day Military Diet. It has its own advantages and disadvantages and this guide will answer all the questions you have about this strict, military-style diet.

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Want to lose a few pounds with a diet which has vanilla ice cream and hot dogs for dinner? Oh, yum! The three day military diet is a program for weight loss, which helps you in losing weight within three days. Yes! Three days. All you have to do is follow this strict diet plan for 3 days, and you will lose a few pounds.

As unbelievable as that sounds, the military diet is gaining popularity as it helps you to lose weight within one week. Like other diets, you don’t have to spend a lot of money buying fancy ingredients to follow the diet plan. But there is a health warning that must be put out along with this diet: following such a strict diet must only be done under caution, and cannot be repeated often.

This diet can cause harm in the long run as it takes a whole lot of nutrition away from your plate – and it is an extreme, caloric restrictive diet. The diet also aims for maximum weight loss and makes you cut down on your calorie intake every day.

complete breakfast of the 3 day military diet
3-day military diet is a program for weight loss which helps you in losing weight within 3 days. The nutrition quotient of this diet is not sufficient and has a low calorie intake.

The 3 Day Military Diet is a strict diet and you must eat what is mentioned in the diet plan. You consume 800-1200 calories on the first 3 days of this diet and the remaining 4 days you must consume only 1500 calories. The diet plan offers calculated calories and you must stick to them to achieve desirable results.

There is no solid proof as to how the three-day military diet came into being. But some say that it was designed by a few nutritionists who were working for the US army. They found that this diet could encourage soldiers to lose weight fast and stay fit. However, there is no evidence or science to prove that the military diet works for all. But it works on the simple mathematics of calories consumed Vs. calories burned, which might help you lose a few pounds super fast.

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Some dieticians believe that the 3-day military does not offer a complete set of nutrients. It affects your health in a negative way, as well. The only way the military diet is associated with the actual military is when you don’t feel like sticking to the diet plan, you must be stubborn and tough just like well-trained soldiers to follow such challenging goals. A lot of people do end up losing a few pounds (some may lose upto 10 pounds in a week also).

Looking for a sustainable diet? Here we listed 10 different type of diets to lose weight.

Working Of The 3 Day Military Diet Plan

The 3-Day Military Diet is divided into 2 phases in a week. You must develop a low-calorie diet plan for the first 3 days, which starts the process of weight loss. And the remaining four days of the week, you must eat functional foods and ensure the calorie consumption is still low. If you don’t lose the desired weight, you can continue with the military diet for the following 3 days and so on.

Exercise caution when trying the 3-day Military diet:

Following such a strict diet must only be done by those who do not have any underlying health concerns. This diet needs a strong will power and because it cannot be repeated often, when you do follow the diet, give it your best. If repeated often, the diet can cause more harm than good, as it is an extreme, calorie restrictive diet.

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days in a week
You must follow a diet plan with low calories for the first 3 days and the remaining four days. You must eat a healthy and calorie free meal. The diet claims to help in considerable weight loss within a week.

People often believe what they see. If you see someone losing weight because of the military diet plan, you would believe it and would want to try it. But you never think, every person has a different metabolism and their cause of being overweight is different too. The concept of military diet sounds good, but in reality, it is just using an already proven fact that lower intake of calorie leads to weight loss.

Without actually starving yourself, you can actually lose weight by simply following a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet. Eating the correct foods at the correct time can help manage your weight.

3 Day Military Diet – Meal Plan

A low-calorie diet means a meal plan with a combination of veggies, proteins, grains, and fruits. The first 3 days of the diet plan have a strict eating plan and the subsequent 4 days are easier, but the calorie intake must be less than 1500 calories during these days, too.

Please note that each body is different and some people shed a few pounds or kilos easily, while some take longer. Most people would think this as a fun way to lose a few pounds.

1) Day One : 1400 Calories

Day 1 of this diet plan includes 1 slice of toast with peanut butter, half grapefruit and 1 black coffee or tea for breakfast. Lunch time on day one means 1 slice of toast with half a cup of tuna fish and one black coffee or tea. Day one, dinner time is 3 ounces meat, half banana, one cup of green beans, 1 small apple and 1 cup vanilla ice cream. Do not exceed 1400 calories per day.

peanut butter spread on bread
A slice of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter should be consumed only in the breakfast of day 1.
Breakfast 1. 1 slice of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
2. Half grapefruit
3. 1 black coffee/tea
Lunch 1. 1 slice of toast
2. ½ cup of tuna
3. One black coffee/tea
Dinner 1. 3 ounces meat
2. ½  banana
3. 1 cup of green beans
4. 1 small apple
5. 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

2) Day Two : 1200 Calories

Day 2 menu plan for breakfast includes 1 slice of toast, 1 egg and half a banana. The lunch consists of 5 saltine crackers, 1 hard-boiled egg and 1 cup of cottage cheese. For dinner, 2 hot dogs without the buns, ½ banana, 1 cup of broccoli and one cup vanilla ice cream.

vanilla ice cream with a dried strawberry on top
Who said you cannot lose weight by eating ice cream? Eat vanilla ice cream for dinner, and still lose weight.
Breakfast 1. 1 slice of toast
2. One egg
3. ½ banana
Lunch 1. 5 saltine crackers
2. 1 hard-boiled egg
3. 1 cup of cottage cheese
Dinner 1. 2 hot dogs (bunless)
2. ½ banana
3. 1 cup of broccoli
4. 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

3) Day Three : 1100 Calories

Day 3 menu includes eating 1 slice of cheddar cheese, 5 saltine crackers and 1 small apple for breakfast, 1 slice of toast / bread and one egg for lunch. You are allowed to eat ½ banana, 1 cup of tuna and 1 cup of vanilla ice cream for dinner on day 3.

Count your calories – A banana is an essential part of the 3 day military diet plan. A grapefruit and apple are also added in this diet.
Breakfast 1. 1 slice of cheddar cheese
2. 5 saltine crackers
3. 1 small apple
Lunch 1. 1 slice of toast / bread
2. 1 egg
Dinner 1. ½ banana
2. 1 cup of tuna
3. 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Following the above-mentioned diet plan will help you lose weight quickly. You also need to drink lots of water if you feel hungry, as water makes you feel fuller. There is absolutely no need for exercise in this military diet as it is a low-calorie diet and exercising would mean additional cutting down on calories, which would leave no energy in your body and you will be lazy all day.

Do not apply any other spread or butter on the toast. If the diet has prescribed peanut butter, do not apply any other form of nut butter, like almond butter or cashew butter. Avoid adding any form of cheese or butter to your diet plan that is not already mentioned (like cheddar cheese). Make sure you do not exceed the amount of saltine crackers mentioned in the diet. You can replace saltine crackers with regular low-calorie crackers. Make sure the amount of calories in both the crackers is the same.

If you are vegetarian, you can replace the egg / meat / tuna with cottage cheese, soy, tofu or almonds. For vegans, instead of ice cream, you can have dairy free ice cream or ice cream made with soy. Keep in check your breakfast, lunch and dinner timings. Try to keep the meal timings as similar as possible on all three days. If you have dietary restrictions, substitutions of the same calorific value are allowed.

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Who Can Try And Who Can’t Try The 3 Day Military Diet?

The military diet should be followed if you need to lose weight quickly for a big day or for some other reason, which needs instant results. It should not be followed for a long time as it is not sustainable and can harm the body in many ways in the long run. This diet would work well for people who can follow diets easily or those who can fight hunger and low energy levels for 3 consecutive days.

Food Items That You Can Eat In A Military Diet

green beans
Green beans can be eaten in a 3 day military diet.

Here is a list of food items (as per guidelines) that you can eat while following the 3-day military diet and they will not sabotage your diet in any way. However, slight alterations can be made after consulting a proper dietician.

  • Tuna fish
  • Tea
  • Saltine crackers
  • Meat
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Hot dogs (No bun – The hot dogs can be steamed, grilled or cooked however you like)
  • Grapefruit
  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Coffee
  • A small amount of whole wheat bread
  • Bananas
  • Cottage cheese (Paneer)
  • Green beans

Food Items That You Can’t Eat In A Military Diet

This is a list of food items that should not be consumed in the military diet, as they may sabotage your diet. It is recommended that not even a small amount of these food products should be consumed.

  • Sugar
  • Orange
  • Fruit juice
  • Whole milk – No almond milk or coconut milk
  • Creamers
  • Artificial sweeteners

Military Diet Indian And Vegetarian Food Options

Most Indian diets include a lot of prepared curry dishes. In this diet, there are no proper Indian-style cooked meals in this diet, but you can replace some with the following vegetarian options in the Indian version of this diet –

  • Kidney beans (Rajma)
  • Chickpeas (Safed Channa)
  • Hot dogs can be replaced with tofu and soya.
  • You may also use soya chunks.

Tips – Things To Keep In Mind Before Starting The 3 Day Military Diet

  • The 3 day military diet has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Even though weight loss is guaranteed, but gaining weight after the diet is also natural.
  • In order to change your diet to lose weight, you must change your lifestyle.
  • Exercise is the best way to lose weight and that is sustainable even in the long run, unlike fad diets.
  • Not only during the 3-day military diet, even after the diet is completed, but your meals should also have a perfect balance of protein, carbs, and fats.
  • You must keep a positive attitude about losing weight and you will end up making healthy food choices even when you are not dieting.

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Some Dos And Donts While Following The Military Diet

Here are some dos and don’ts that you must adhere to while following this diet plan. Apart from the recommended foods and portion size, also make sure your fluid intake is ample. Keep a strict check on your calories too. If the diet states half a grapefruit or apple, stick to the portion size.



1. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day.

2. Get all the food items mentioned in the diet before starting it.

1. No alcohol consumption.
2. No consumption of soft drinks.
3. No consumption of diet sodas.
4. No high-calorie foods

What Are The Benefits Of The 3 Day Military Diet?

The 3-day military diet is widely followed as it comes with a number of benefits, which are:

  • It ensures you lose weight in only 3 days.
  • There is a strict diet plan that needs to be followed so that you know exactly what you have to eat and there is no guesswork included in selecting the next meal.
  • Since the diet is only for 3 days, you don’t feel like you haven’t tasted your favorite foods for a long time.
  • The foods are easily available and pocket friendly as well. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this diet.
  • Every meal has the required amount of proteins for muscle maintenance except there are no calories, which leads to weight loss.
a plate with healthy meal served
Every meal has the required amount of proteins for muscle maintenance except there are no calories, which lead to weight gain.

Cons Of Military Diet – What Are The Drawbacks?

  • Even though it is a strict diet, it makes you lose weight so quickly that it is possible that only water weight is lost.
  • After you start your normal diet, you might gain weight again if you are not careful. However, if you ease into a normal diet, chances are you might not gain any weight.
  • There is no scientific proof that the 3-day military diet actually works.
  • The entire concept of the 3-day military diet is good for only 3 days, but the remaining four days, you might want to reward yourself because of the intense diet and going overboard can also make you gain back all the lost weight.
  • Experts say it is not healthy to cut down all the calorie intake from your body. Weight loss needs to be achieved in a healthy way with a balanced diet and light workout.

Does The Military Diet Plan Actually Work?

You may lose a few pounds quickly, but you will end up gaining weight once you resume your normal diet, if you are not careful. Based on the working principle of the 3-day military diet, this is a calorie in, calorie out kind of diet. It works on the fact that when the consumption of calories decreases, weight automatically comes down.

Portion control and sticking to the list of foods allowed is the key to success for this diet. If the diet mentions one toast, stick to the portions recommended. A better way of diet is when you eat only for fixed hours during the day. This diet is more sustainable and is called Intermittent Fasting.

Frequently Asked Questions

A few interesting FAQs about military diet.

1. What can you drink on a military diet?

In a military diet you can drink water, black coffee or green tea without milk and sugar. Make sure there is no consumption of soda, milk, canned juice, fresh juice or alcohol. Unless you have some specific dietary needs, consult your nutritionist to make necessary changes.

2. Does the military diet work? Does it help with weight loss?

The three day military diet is a very calorie deficient diet and can help with quick weight loss in less than one week. But, do note that it is not a diet that is recommended for a long duration. If you are looking to shed those few extra kilos quickly for a special event, the military diet can help with weight loss. Be warned that those lost kilos can come back to you in a short amount of time.

3. What is a substitute for tuna in the military diet?

Tuna fish can be replaced with the same amount of paneer (cottage cheese) or chicken. If you are looking for a vegan option, tofu, avocado or hummus can be used too.

4. What do you eat on the 4 days off in military diet?

After you are done with the first three days of the military diet, the next four days are crucial too. Keep the diet throughout the next four days on a strict 1500 calorie limit. This phase can include healthy options like eggs, nuts, berries, fruits, salads, chicken and veggie wraps, hummus and crudities. Make sure you are consuming enough protein.

Avoid intake of any high calories, high fat, fried, sugar filled foods that can hinder in weight loss. Make sure you do not consume alcohol throughout the diet. Do not consume cottage cheese made of high fat milk.

5. What can I substitute for saltine crackers in military diet?

Saltine crackers can be substituted with rice cakes , couscous or quinoa of the same calorific value. Do not exceed the mentioned portions.

6. Can you eat snacks in military diet?

No, there are no alterations in the military diet and absolutely no room for snacking. Snacks, even healthy ones, aren’t allowed.

Final Words

In conclusion, even though the 3-day military diet plan is followed by a lot of people to quickly lose a few pounds, this diet is not sustainable. Some claim that with this diet, one can lose upto 10 pounds in one week. Is it that simple? The calories in this diet are not sufficient to carry out regular day-to-day activities.

If you believe that you will not bounce back to your regular eating ways, then you could look at this diet as a way to lose a few kilos quickly or to break the plateau you may have hit in your weight loss journey. You can find many fad diets, but in the long run, healthy eating habits and a light exercise plan are the only sustainable method for a healthy weight loss.

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