Army Diet to Lose Weight Fast—How It Compares to Other Diet Plans

Those who’ve tried the army diet claim they lost 10 pounds in the first week. Is that really possible?

2 soldiers on the army diet

Have you considered starting on the Army Diet? This is also known as the Navy and Military Diet. The diet plan’s website claims it can help people lose 10 pounds in three days. The weight loss industry is worth $70+ billion in the US alone so you have many options including the army diet to lose weight fast. The diet reduces calories from 1100 to 1400 during Days 1, 2, and 3. Then it’s recommended you reduce your calories to under 1500 for Days 4 to Day 7 each week you’re on the diet plan. You can also enjoy snacks during these days, unlike the first three days when you’re not allowed to eat snacks.

The big question is how the Army Diet stacks up vs. other diet programs on the market like Weight Watchers, Atkins, Paleo, Keto, and so on. When you pick a diet program you’ll likely want to select one that can maximize how much weight you can lose in the long-term. Losing 10 pounds means you’d need a caloric deficit of 35,000 calories, which itself is a bold claim even if you include the weight of fat and water. Even if the claim is true it’s good to do a side-by-side comparison versus other diet programs.


What’s the Army Diet?

This Diet is also known as the Military Diet, Navy Diet, and other names. Despite online claims, it’s worth noting the diet isn’t actually linked to any branch of the US military or any other country’s armed forces. It also doesn’t resemble the three square meals typically served to military personnel.

The Army Diet requires you to maintain a low-calorie diet for the first three days. The breakdown is 1,400 calories for Day 1, 1200 calories for Day 2, and 1100 calories for Day 3. This is quite low and up to nearly half of an average adult’s daily caloric intake.

The Army Diet is low-calorie, carbs, and fat. It’s also high-protein and includes foods like meat, fish, and hot dogs. It includes certain food combos that help to burn fat by boosting metabolism. For example, studies show that citrus, full-fat dairy, and veggies can turn your body into a fat-burning machine.


The diet makes some bold claims about how much weight people can lose while on the diet. Specifically, some claim that a person may lose 10 pounds during week 1 and up to 30 pounds within 30 days. These are bold claims and there’s no solid proof that’s the case.

However, regardless of these claims, there are certainly some perks of the Army Diet. For example, it’s free and doesn’t require you to invest in any books, apps, meals, or supplements. So, there are certainly some perks for this diet.

The big question is whether the diet is worthwhile in terms of weight loss. As noted, there are some benefits that could result in short-term weight loss. For example, it’s low-calorie for the whole week if you stay under the recommended 1,500 calories for Day 4 to 7.

There are some super-low calorie foods on the diet. They include half a grapefruit, half a banana, saltine crackers, etc. There are other factors that produce weight loss but a low-calorie feature is one of the most critical ones.

Army Diet: Lose Weight Fast?


The Army Diet also includes some foods that are known to boost metabolism. They include grapefruit, beans, broccoli, and tea or coffee for breakfast or lunch.

An interesting item that also boosts metabolism is full-fat milk. That includes the daily ice cream for dessert. Studies show that full-fat dairy is able to boost metabolism.

It’s curious that these caffeinated drinks are only optional since black coffee and green tea can boost metabolism.

Animal Protein

Some meals during Days 1-3 allow for a small amount (3oz.) of “meat.” A big problem is it’s not clear what options the dieter has. For example, is it beef, pork or chicken? Should this include lean cuts? These are factors that would affect the total calories/fat of the meat.

One of the most questionable items in this diet is 2 hotdogs. A beef hotdog has about 2x the calories of a veggie hotdog. There are also other options like chicken hotdogs, which would have fewer calories than beef but more than veggies.

Yet another issue about the hotdogs is it’s still processed meat. The UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that processed meat is cancerous and red meat might be.

Nutritional Balance

Health experts have questioned how well-balanced the Army Diet is. For example, if you’re already limiting calories to 1100 or 1200 some days you really have to make calories count. There’s virtually no nutritional value in saltines even though they’re low-calorie/carb.

A related issue is the diet claims you can keep following the same Day 1-3 menus until you reach your weight loss goals. While you can lose weight, you’re not getting optimum nutrition with this diet.


While the Army Diet includes veggies, it doesn’t include any raw veggie salads. This is another question mark since they’re low-calorie and chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.


Army Diet vs. Other Diets

So, how does the Army Diet compare with other diets in terms of weight loss? In the short term, you could definitely lose weight through different features. They include low-calorie and low-carb.

Could you lose 10 pounds in the first 3 days and 30 pounds in one month? In theory, it’s possible although it depends on various factors like whether or not you’d drink the coffee or tea, consume vegan hotdogs, and so on.

A major issue with the Army Diet is it’s not well-balanced for long-term use. In other words, it’s not a bad idea if you want to lose some weight within a few weeks or even one month. However, it’s obviously not healthy to be eating hotdogs every week.

Another issue is there’s no guidance about what you should eat for Day 4 to 7 while on the diet. Even if you consume under 1500 calories you might have some problems like eating too many carbs/bad fats.

Another issue worth noting is there’s no exercise program bundled with the Army Diet. In fact, it’s been pointed out the situation is ironic since this is a Military Diet. If you want to maximize weight loss it’s critical to do cardio and weight-resistance exercises.

Is it fit for long-term practice?

Other diets like Keto and Paleo are more practical as long-term diets. In many ways, they’re more structured and designed to be used for long-term use.

The Army Diet definitely has some perks over other diet programs. You won’t have to spend any money and you can definitely lose some weight for a few weeks.

However, if you’re looking for a diet that promotes long-term healthy eating this isn’t the best option. Make sure to think about your weight loss and health goals when weighing if you should pick the army diet to lose weight fast.

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