What is the Military Diet?The Military Diet - which has no affiliation with the military - is a “combination of low-calorie, chemically compatible foods designed to work together and jump-start your weight loss.” At least that's what the diet website says. As a certified weight loss expert, however, I can tell you that those words are simply a marketing gimmick with no real meaning. There is no science or data provided on the website to back up the claims.
So why is the diet so popular? There is clearly someone collecting revenue from paid advertisements on the site, so there is probably a marketing machine behind it. The language on the site and the “contact” portal would lead you to believe that there is an actual person available to answer questions or offer more details about the Military Diet. But I tried reaching out to them (anonymously) on several occasions and no one ever replied.
Military Diet Review: Does It Work?
The Military Diet is not likely to work at all, but even if you do lose weight in the first few days, you could end up putting on more weight after the diet is done. Here are a few examples of why the diet is likely to fail:
There are no days off. This is not a diet that only takes three days. This plan actually requires you to diet all the time for at least a month. You have 3 days "on" and 4 days "off." But here’s what the site says about your four days “off”
“On the four days off, we recommend a diet of about 1300 – 1500 calories per day, made of up lean protein, veggies and easy on the carbs.”
I had to laugh out loud when I read this statement. Because anyone who counts calories to eat the right amount of lean protein, the correct number of carbs and plenty of veggies doesn’t need a new diet. They should just stick to the diet they're already on.
Suggested foods may cause weight gain. Even if you lose a few pounds at first, you may end up gaining more weight later. Why? The Military diet teaches you to eat foods that can cause weight gain later - like hot dogs and ice cream.
The Military Diet is calorie counting in disguise. The Military Diet is no different from any other plan that requires you to understand and record your caloric intake. On your 3 days "on" the calories are counted for you, but only if you eat the bizarre combination of foods that are suggested. If you substitute any food on your three days “on” you are required to measure your food and count calories. On your four days “off” you are also required to count calories.
Natural diet claims are questionable. The diet claims to be “one of the best natural diets.” They recommend that dieters avoid artificial sweeteners because they “aren’t good for you.” But then the site goes on to include foods like hot dogs and Skinny Cow brand treats in the daily meal plans. I’ve got nothing against hot dogs or Skinny Cows, but they are both loaded with artificial ingredients that aren’t natural. So this is definitely not a natural diet.
What about water weight? The site claims that when a dieter loses weight on the diet, it “is not just water weight.” But there is no further documentation provided to support that statement. I’m not sure why a dieter would believe that claim without significant evidence to prove otherwise. In general, when you lose weight quickly - it's water weight.
A Better 3-Day Diet That WorksIf you need to lose weight quickly, any diet that requires you to significantly cut calories will cause weight loss. But you're likely to put the weight (or more weight) right back on - unless the 3-day diet teaches you how to eat better in the long run. The Military Diet doesn't do that. And I don't know about you, but if I'm going to go on a diet, I want to keep the pounds off for good!
So which 3-day diet is more likely to work? These are the two eating plans that I use if I need to slim down after a vacation or before a big event like a photo shoot or a special party. There are no special foods required and they are really simple to follow. Most importantly, they teach you to eat the foods that will give you the body you deserve - lean, slim, tight and healthy.
If you've got more than a few pounds to lose, consider meeting with a registered dietitian or making small changes to your daily habits to lose weight and keep it off. Remember, your health is too important to trust it to a nameless, faceless fad on the internet. Find the right diet for you and invest a little time and effort into putting a reasonable healthy plan in place. Is it more work in the beginning? Yep! But you're far more likely to achieve sustainable results.