The Military Diet: What to Know
The Military Diet is popular and, contrary to popular belief, has no affiliation with the military. It is restrictive in calories and promises a weight loss of up to 10 pounds within one week.
How It Works
The Military Diet, also known as the Army Diet, the Navy Diet and the 3-Day Diet, is centered around a two-phase plan of three days on and four days off. For three days, dieters adhere to a very low-calorie diet. During the first three days of the meal plan, dieters consume between 1.100 and 1,400 calories per day. No snacking is allowed during this time, although vanilla ice cream is included in some of the dinner plans during the first three days. For those who want to lose more weight, the diet can be repeated over and over again until the desired results are achieved.
Four Days Off
After completing the first three days of the diet, dieters are allowed four days off. This is where things can get confusing. While the diet does claim that dieters are allowed four days off, upon closer inspection it is found that it is recommended for dieters to continue eating low-calorie meals. Therefore, it is not really a three day on, four day off diet; the four days off only allow followers to consume slightly more calories.
Special Programs, Equipment and Food
One thing that people seem to enjoy about this diet is they do not need anything special. There are no books or equipment needed with this plan. Dieters can eat regular food that is readily available at a local grocery store, so they are not spending extra money on specialized food options, expensive memberships or equipment. It is a program that even those on a tight budget can begin.
Does the Military Diet Work?
The Military Diet does work, if it is followed. Any time calories are cut for an extended period of time a person loses weight. The body burns fat during this time, which helps the pounds melt off. However, if during the four days off a person eats a lot of high-fat, high-calorie foods and foods loaded with sugar, the desired weight loss will not happen. In order to lose the 10 pounds per week, one has to adhere to the low-calorie plan throughout the entire week.
It can be difficult to stick with a diet that allows for so few calories. Dieters have to be careful not to overcompensate for the caloric restrictions after the first three days. Essentially, dieters have to continue calorie counting for as long as they remain on the Military Diet. The bottom line is, this is a diet of calorie counting and portion control. Any time a person can burn more calories than he or she takes in, he or she can lose weight. The calories allowed in this diet are so low that even those who get very little exercise are able to burn them off.
Some people might not consume enough calories while on this diet. They may experience dizziness or feel lightheaded. For those people, this diet may not be the right one. As with all diets, one should check with their physician before beginning.