If you want to lose weight there are many ways to achieve that goal. They include ones like reducing processed foods and exercising regularly. Another basic way to lose weight is to achieve something called “caloric deficit.” This involves burning more calories than you consume. You can do it through exercise or simply eating fewer calories like in the Military Diet. However, cutting calories is part of many diet programs so it’s critical to also learn how many calories in the military diet. This figure ranges from 1100 to 1500 and is based on which day of the week it is while on the strict diet.
The number of calories allowed by this diet decreases from 1400 to 1100 calories from Day 1 to 3. Then from Day 4 to 7, it’s recommended (but not required) that you consumer under 1500 calories per day. How much calorie-cutting are you doing? Consider that an average male adult’s daily calories are 2,500, and for adult females, it’s 2,000. So, on Day 3 an adult woman is consuming nearly 50% of the average daily calories. That’s a significant drop and is one way to lose weight/fat. The diet claims you can shed 10 pounds during the first three days.
What’s the Military Diet?
This is a popular diet that ironically isn’t connected to any country’s armed forces. Some websites claim that the US Army or Navy developed the plan. There’s no proof that’s the case or that any other nation’s military developed the weight-loss program.
So, does this mean the diet resembles what servicemen/women would eat during their three square meals? That doesn’t seem the case either based on online reviews.
So, it seems the “military” component of this diet is that it’s simply a strict diet. For example, you have to consume 1,100 to 1,400 calories during the first three days. You also must follow a strict diet. There’s some leeway through vegan/vegetarian versions but it’s still basically the same diet.
Another strict thing about this diet is you can’t eat snacks during the first three days. You get ice cream for dinner each day but that’s it. Another thing to point out is it’s vanilla ice cream and only one cup. So, there’s no unlimited double-chocolate rocky road allowed on this diet.
So, here’s the diet’s protocol. During the first three days, you have to follow a set menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are no snacks and dessert is only allowed for dinner.
Then during Days 4 to Day 7 of the diet, you have more flexibility. You should keep your calories under 1,500 and if you want to maximize weight-loss eat healthy and well-balanced meals.
In terms of weight loss, the diet claims you can lose 10 pounds during the first three days. This is probably including fat and water weight but 10 pounds is still a big question mark.
The diet also claims if you continue the diet you can keep losing weight until you reach your weight loss goals. One issue is you’ll probably lose less weight than during the first week on the Military Diet.
How Many Calories in the Military Diet?
Here’s a breakdown of the calories per day:
|Day 1||1400 calories|
|Day 2||1200 calories|
|Day 3||1100 calories|
|Day 4-7||1500 calories|
There are no official requirements for Days 4 to 7 but the diet recommends consuming under 1500 calories. This is still 1,000 calories lower than an average male’s daily calories and 1,500 calories below an average woman’s daily calories.
If we use the figure 1500 calories for Days 4 to 7 the Military Diet has a total 9,700 calories or about 1,385 cal./day. This figure isn’t rock-bottom since some diets include 500-calorie days. However, it’s still significantly below the 2,000 to 2,500 calories of average adults.
While the total caloric intake for Days 1 to 3 is lower than average there are still some relatively high-calorie foods allowed including:
- Meat (3 oz.)
- Hot dogs (2)
- Cottage cheese (1 cup)
- Cheddar cheese (1 slice)
- Vanilla ice cream (1 cup)
However, a caveat is the portion sizes are still low. In other words, you’re not eating a quarter-pound hamburger, tub of cottage cheese, or gallon of ice cream. So, while these particular items aren’t super-low in calories, they’re still lower-calorie foods versus the Standard American Diet (SAD).
In addition, there are ways you could minimize calories when eating these foods. If you pick vegan hot dogs, low-fat cheese, or all-natural ice cream you can cut more calories than by eating the standard versions of these foods.
There are also a few X-factors. You can drink unlimited coffee/tea while on this diet while adding calories with sugar/cream. This will help to speed up your metabolism and thus allow you to lose even more weight.
Secondly, while the Military Diet has no bundled exercise plan if you did high-intensity cardio and weight-resistance exercise you could also boost your weight-loss. Weight loss is about three-quarters diet but exercise can boost how many pounds you can shed.
How Important is Calorie-Counting?
The Military Diet is a low-calorie diet that significantly reduces how many calories you consume daily. One on hand it’s important to cut calories and especially if you’re consuming more than you need. In that case, it’s even more important because unburned calories turn into fat.
Why is this a problem? One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. While many diets make wild claims about how much weight you can lose, experts recommend only losing up to two pounds per week. One of the main reasons is rapid weight loss can also cause muscle loss.
That said, calorie counting is important in weight loss because the only true way you lose weight is by creating a “caloric deficit.” There are other factors involved but it’s basically simple math that involves burning calories faster than you consume them.
The Military Diet seems to have the potential to help you lose weight. However, one main drawback of the diet is it’s not well-balanced in terms of nutrition. One of the biggest issues is the two hot dogs allowed on the diet.
This causes various problems. It’s not clear what kind of hot dog you should pick whether it’s beef, chicken, or vegan. A vegan hot dog has about half the calories of a beef hot dog.
There are other ways you could reduce calories while on the Military Diet. They include picking low-fat dairy for the cottage cheese and sliced cheese, for example. A slice of low-fat cheddar could just about halve your calories versus full-fat cheese.
Another issue is there are no set menus for Day 4 to 7. Even if you stay within 1500 calories you could end up eating less healthy food than during Days 1 to 3. This could reduce weekly weight loss after learning how many calories in the military diet.