Are you considering the Military Diet? This is a popular diet that is low-calorie and semi-restrictive. During the first three days, you have to follow a strict diet that includes 1400 (Day 1), 1200 (Day 2), and 1100 (Day 3) calories. Some other strict rules make you feel you’re in the army now. For example, some meals on Days 1-3 of the military diet menu list include things like ½ banana or grapefruit, 5 saltines, and dry toast. You get vanilla ice cream after dinner but there’s no snacking between meals. The diet’s supporters claim you can lose 10 pounds although it’s probably fat and water weight.
One of the biggest overlooked issues with this menu is what you eat during the other four days of the week. Are there any differences? One of the main tweaks is you’re allowed to eat snacks during those days. That said, it’s recommended you stay under 1500 calories, which is roughly the same caloric intake as Day 1. So, it’s critical to keep your calories in check during the rest of the week. This means you should pick ingredients and meals that are low-calorie. They don’t have to be rock-bottom in calories but the day’s meals should be about 300-500 calories lower than an average adult’s caloric intake.
What Is the Military Diet?
This is a strict diet that requires you to follow a set menu for the first three days. There’s no solid proof that it’s been designed by the US Army or Navy as claimed on the diet’s websites. It also doesn’t include meals that might be consumed by people in the armed forces.
That said, you still have to follow some strict rules with this diet. You have to consume 1400 calories on Day 1, 1200 calories on Day 2, and 1100 calories on Day 3. You also aren’t allowed to eat snacks for the first three days. Also, you must eat some super-low-calorie foods like ½ grapefruit, 5 saltines, and dry toast. So, in a sense, it’s like a diet boot camp.
You still get some tasty foods with the Military Diet. They include hot dogs, peanut butter, and even ice cream. However, even in these situations, there’s some give and take to keep calories low. For example, you should probably go with turkey/vegan hot dogs, no-salt/sugar peanut butter, and organic ice cream.
There’s no real exercise plan bundled with the Military Diet. It’s recommended you do some light exercise like 30 minutes of cardio/day. However, it’s quite ironic that something called the “Military” Diet doesn’t include an actual exercise plan. This would also help to maximize weight loss, so there’s that.
The Military Diet claims you can lose 10 pounds in 3 days. That probably includes fat and water weight but is somewhat high. You can lose weight from low-calorie meals. However, the overall diet isn’t well-balanced and is more ideal for short-term weight loss.
That said if you want to boost how much weight you lose then make sure you keep calories under 1,500 during Days 4 to 7. This will help to reduce how much time you need to reach your weight loss goals.
Military Diet Menu List: Days 4 to 7
If you want to get the most from the Military Diet it’s important to stay under 1,500 calories during Days 4 to 7 of the diet. If you’re planning to do the diet long-term this is especially important. It will help to prevent you from getting tired of eating the same foods over and over.
Here are some menu items to add to your meal planning for Days 4 to 7:
- Avocado egg toast
- Egg sandwich on whole-wheat toast
- Quick-cook oatmeal (1/2 cup) w/ fat-free milk (3/4 cup), apple (1/2), honey (1 tsp), and cinnamon
- Bran flakes (3/4 cup) w/ 1 banana and fat-free milk (1 cup)
- English muffin spread w/ light margarine (1 tsp)
- Smoothie w/ frozen berries (1 cup), banana (1/2), and fat-free milk (8 oz.)
- Greek yogurt w/ blueberries and granola
- Veggie burger in whole wheat pita w/ lettuce and salsa
- Chicken breast (4 oz.) w/ mixed greens (1/2 cup)
- Vegetarian vegetable soup (1 cup)
- Raisins/almonds/egg salad w/ lettuce
- Chicken salad with skinless roasted chicken breast, red grapes (1/4 cup), and almonds (1 tsp)
- Apple & cheddar pita pocket
- Turkey/roasted pepper whole-wheat pita sandwich
- Chicken tikka masala w/ brown rice
- Squash/Tofu curry (1.5 cups) w/ brown rice (1/2 cup)
- Steamed Shrimp (4 oz), baked potato w/ salsa and sour cream, and steamed spinach (3 cups)
- BBQ chicken w/ vegan baked beans, red potatoes (3) with margarine and dill
- Salmon and veggies
- Broiled flounder (4 oz) w/ couscous and steamed broccoli (1 cup)
- Dried apricots (6)
- Dates (2)
- Baked tortilla chips (18) w/ guacamole (1/4 cup)
- Apple (medium)
- Carrot sticks (1 cup) w/ hummus (6 TBSP)
- Pistachios (22)
- Peanut butter (1 TBSP)
- Banana (small)
- Walnuts (6)
- Avocado yogurt dip (4 TBSP)
- Cucumber (1 cup)
Make sure the total calories for all three meals and snacks are under 1,500.
Tips for Days 4 to 7 Meals
1. Do meal planning
It’s a good idea to plan your Day 4 to Day 7 meals ahead of time. It will take some time but will certainly be worthwhile in the long run. You won’t have to look inside your fridge or your pantry’s shelves and think about what you want to eat for each meal.
This step also makes it easier to make a shopping list. You’ll know exactly everything you’ll need to buy at the supermarket or farmer’s market. This, in turn, will help to prevent buying lots of unhealthy food and can even lower your weekly grocery store budget.
2. Count calories
You won’t have to do that for Days 1 to 3 but it’s something to do for Days 4 to 7. Take note that the Military Diet doesn’t technically have calorie limits for these days. However, if you want to reach your weight loss goals faster it’s a good idea.
One method is to make your meals about 400 calories. That gives you about 300 calories for morning and afternoon snacks.
There’s also some leeway here. Dinners tend to be a little higher in calories with this diet. So, you could reduce your breakfast/lunch calories a little if you want a heartier dinner. You could also skip snacks if you want to achieve the same goal.
3. Enjoy your snacks
Make sure to plan some nutritious and delicious snacks since you don’t get any during days 1 to 3 of this diet.
4. Look for recipes
If you’re planning to do the Military Diet long-term then you should surf the web for recipes. You don’t have to use “Military Diet” recipes per se. Just make sure you find well-balanced meals that are under 400 calories or so. This will make it easier to make your military diet menu list.