Does The Military Diet Actually Work?
The Military Diet is a relatively popular meal plan which is designed for maximum weight-loss.
It promises weight-loss in the neighborhood of 10 pounds in a single week.
Needless to say, this is quite a bold claim.
The Grapefruit Diet seemed like it was promising too much and that was 10 pounds in closer to 2 weeks.
So is there really anything to the Military Diet?
In this article we’ll tackle exactly that. We'll discuss:
- What Is The Military Diet?
- How Does It Work?
- Is There Any Research On The Military Diet?
- What Kind Of Results Can You Expect?
- Is It Safe?
- Natural Supplements To Consider
And a whole lot more. Okay then, let’s get started…
What Is The Military Diet?
Despite rumors that the Military Diet was crafted by “top military nutritionists” specifically to get soldiers into shape quickly, it’s origins are not actually associated with any branch of the Armed Forces.
The term “military” has a nice ring to it and makes for a catchy name.
And hey, the Military Diet is VERY popular so whether the name makes any sense is pretty irrelevant. The truth is nobody really knows where it came from…
So what is it?
It’s a diet plan that involves sticking to a strict low-calorie meal plan for 3 days, followed by 4 days off.
Then you repeat as many cycles as it takes to hit your ideal body weight.
Although several variations exist at this point, the core tenets of the Military Diet remain the same.
In general, it emphasizes:
- SERIOUS Calorie Restriction
- Intermittent Fasting
- So-Called “Fat-Burning” Foods
That first one–the fact that the diet involves placing yourself in a large calorie deficit–is really the key.
Here are the most common Military Diet meal plans.…
3 Day Military Diet plan
½ Grapefruit (25 calories)
1 Slice Of Toast (75 calories)
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter (180 calories)
Black Coffee (Optional) (5 calories)
1/2 Cup Of Tuna (100 calories)
1 Slice of Toast (75 calories)
Black Coffee (optional) (5 calories)
3 Ounces Of Meat (120 calories)
1 Apple (75 calories)
½ Banana (50 calories)
1 Cup Green Beans (35 calories)
1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream (140 calories)
Total (885 calories)
1 Slice Of Toast (75 calories)
1 Egg (80 calories)
½ Banana (50 calories)
1 Egg (80 calories)
1 Cup Cottage Cheese (200 calories)
5 Saltine Crackers (40 calories)
2 Hot Dogs (No Bun) (300 calories)
½ Cup Of Carrots (25 Calories)
1 Cup Broccoli (30 Calories)
½ Banana (50 Calories)
½ Cup Vanilla Ice cream (140 Calories)
Total (1070 Calories)
1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese (100 Calories)
5 Slatine Crackers (40 Calories)
1 Apple (75 Calories)
1 Egg (80 Calories)
1 Slice Of Toast (75 Calories)
1 Cup Of Tuna (200 Calories)
½ Banana (50 Calories)
1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream (140 Calories)
Total (760 Calories)
The Military Diet is designed to be a 3-days on, 4 days-off diet.
That means you abide by the meal plan above for 3 consecutive days, then abide by a relatively normal diet on the other days.
This is similar to intermittent fasting in the sense that you’re severely restricting calories for a specified amount of time and cycling on and off periodically as needed.
How Does The Military Diet Work?
The reason the Military Diet works is because you’re serverely restricting calorie intake.
The foods that you’re eating are pretty irrelevant. So is the fact that you’re intermittent fasting.
There are no magic fat-burning foods or magic fasting intervals. It just comes down to calories in vs calories out.
That is, if you eat significantly less calories than you burn on a daily basis, you’ll lose weight.
In fact, if you take a look at the meal plan above, only one of the days has you eating just over 1000 calories.
Day 1 is around 900 and Day 3 is closer to 750. If you eat a normal (2000-2500 calorie) diet, you’d be placing yourself in a 50% caloric deficit.
Now, the only reason this diet may actually be possible to adhere to is that you just need to go 3 days and then you can eat normally.
Unfortunately, the average person may be tempted to overeat on those days to compensate for the 3 days of seriously under-eating.
Eating more than normal for the 4 days that you’re “allowed to” pretty much defeats the purpose of the diet in the first place, because you’re just replacing the calories you cut.
If you want the diet to actually work, you need to make sure you don’t eat more than normal on the 4 days following the 3 days of the actual diet.
Is There Any Research?
There’s are no studies pertaining to the Military Diet specifically, but there is a TON of research proving that restricting calories results in weight-loss.
One study actually compared calorie-shifting (intermittent fasting) to normal calorie restriction and found that weight-loss and fat-loss were the same for both.
Another study which compared the degree of weight-loss between subjects consuming calorie restricted diets with different macronutrient compositions found that calorie restriction reduced fat-mass and body weight in all groups, regardless of macronutrient composition.
In other words, it doesn’t REALLY matter what food you eat. What matters is the total amount of calories.
Perhaps the most well-known example of this this principle at work is Mark Haub, a Nutrition Professor at Kansas State who was able to lose 27 pounds while eating a diet consisting of Twinkies and Doritos.
How is this possible?
Well, it’s actually pretty simple. Haub estimated that a man like him would typically need to eat about 2600 calories a day, so he limited himself to 1800 calories a day.
In other words, he took in significantly fewer calories than he burned, day after day, for several weeks.
The foods that you’re consuming on the Military Diet have nothing to do with the actual weight-loss. No, grapefruit doesn’t burn fat.
Starving yourself sure does though.
What Kind Of Results Can I Expect From The Military Diet?
Assuming you currently eat something like 2000 calories a day, you can definitely lose some weight on the Military Diet. How much weight you lose depends on how much of a calorie restriction 1000 calories a day is for you.
If you eat 2000 calories at your current weight (and it stays the same), and the Military Diet has you eating 1000 calories a day, that’s a 1000 calorie deficit.
There are roughly 3500 calories in 1 pound of fat. Assuming you ate normally (not too much) on the 4 off-days, then repeated the cycle, you’d lose roughly 1 pound a week.
Of course that’s just an example. If you eat more than 2000 calories a day on average, you can lose more than 1 pound a week with The Military Diet.
Can you lose 10 pounds in 1 week?
It’s possible, but mostly because of water loss. Research has shown us that low-carb diets are associated with loss of water weight.
The lower your carb intake, the more water weight you’ll lose.
So, if you dramatically cut your total calories, including carbohydrates, you could potentially lose 10 pounds in a week.
As soon as you start eating carbs again, however, the water weight will return.
You could realistically lose a pound or two of fat a week on this diet. It’s not healthy to lose 10 pounds a week though, nor is it sustainable.
Is The Military Diet Safe?
There’s nothing “unsafe” about the Military Diet.
The real danger is just in wasted time and frustration because, unless you modify your eating habits for the long-term, you’ll just regain the weight after the diet.
Again, this diet works via starvation; plain and simple.
If you eat less calories than you burn, you'll lose weight.
So, if you suddenly start eating half the calories you normally eat and change nothing else, you'll lose a lot of weight quickly.
It has nothing to do with the actual diet, just the ridiculously low amount of calories it prescribes.
Natural, Safe Supplements To Consider Assisting With Your Weight Loss
Before you go starving yourself to lose weight, you should consider a few natural supplements that have been scientifically proven to induce or contribute to weight-loss.
That's not to say you can't do both, but these supplements can help you lose weight without starving yourself, which is essentially what the Military Diet is: starvation.
Berberine is a unique substance found in a variety of plants and has been used for centuries for various reasons, including things like:
- anti-cancer effects
- intestinal health
- improving cholesterol
- reducing tryclyerides in the blood
Most notably, however, is the powerful impact that Berberine has on blood glucose regulation.
Research has shown time and time again that Berberine can lower your blood sugar dramatically, ultimately improving insulin sensitivity and inhibiting fat storage.
If you want to get ripped, improving your Insulin sensitivity is certainly a step in the right direction (the other direction is Diabetes).
In fact, Berberine is so effective at regulating blood glucose levels that it's actually on par with prescription Diabetes medications like Metformin.
Over time, Berberine can completely transform your physique and allow you to eat more of what you want without having to worry about carbs being stored as fat.
If you take a look at the supplement facts panel on Glycoshield, you'll notice that each serving contains 190mg of pure Berberine HCl.
This allows for flexible dosing since the amount of Berberine you should be taking depends on your current insulin sensitivity as well as the amount of food you consume.
It also contains a host of other ingredients clinically proven to do things like block carbohydrate absorption, reduce blood glucose, induce lipolysis (fat breakdown), ultimately leading to fat-loss.
If there's one supplement on the market that can really help you get a handle on blood glucose regulation, ultimately helping you get lean and shredded, it's Glycoshield, Berberine being one of the major active ingredients (among others of course).
There is no better glucose disposal, nutrient partitioning agent in existence.
Raspberry Ketones have had a controversial history. It was first touted by people like Doctor Oz as a "miracle weight loss supplement" but those statements were later placed under extreme scrutiny and it turns out it's far from a "miracle".
That said, there is some solid science behind Raspberry Ketones indicating that it can a useful weight-loss tool (in combination with other supplements of course).
Research indicates that Raspberry Ketone consumption can suppress appetite as well as trigger noradrenaline-induced lipolysis (fat-breakdown) and fatty acid oxidation (fat burning).
So, while it's certainly no magic pill, Raspberry Ketone appears to contribute to weight-loss, especially in combination with other complimentary supplements.
Liposhield is flavorless powder that contains a sufficient dose of Raspberry Ketone in combination with Garcinia Cambogia to ultimate help you prevent weight gain, prevent new fat cells from forming, and help you stay lean year-round.
The best part?
You can take it continuously without worrying about the negative side effects generally associated with weight-loss (stimulant-based) supplements.
Simply add a scoop to whatever your eating or drinking and avoid weight-gain, excess fat accumulation, and control cravings.
Grains Of Paradise
Grains of Paradise, also known as Aframomum Melegueta, is one of the most unique non-stimulant fat-burning ingredients we know about.
It contains an active component known as 6-Paradol which research has confirmed can significantly increase your metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn at rest) by activating Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT), ultimately leading to fat-loss in the long-run.
You see, there are two types of fat cells in our bodies: White Adipose Tissue (WAT) and Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT).
Brown Adipose Tissue creates heat to keep us warm by burning calories which--you guessed it--are supplied by White Adipose Tissue.
By activating Brown Adipose Tissue, Grains of Paradise can directly increase energy expenditure.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Grains of Paradise (and 6-Paradol) is that it doesn't require exercise to work.
Most fat-burners only contribute to fat-burning during exercise but Grains of Paradise literally just burns fat while at rest.
In other words, it increases your resting metabolic rate.
Want to burn fat in your sleep? Grains of Paradise is your answer!
There are a ton of Grain of Paradise supplements out there but Paroslim is far superior due to the fact that it contains a patented form of Aframomum Melegueta known as AfraLean.
Paroslim contains 35mg of AfraLean per serving, yielding an unprecedented 15% 6-Paradol, or 10.5mg (the clinical dose).
Research indicates that 10mg of 6-Paradol is capable of burning an additional 100 calories per day!
That's 700 calories per week, not including exercise or dieting.
There's no one miracle weight-loss supplement, but Paroslim is just about as close as you can get.
The Bottom Line On The Military Diet
The Military Diet is basically like any other diet that involves severely restricting your calories.
There’s nothing inherently special about it.
There’s no such thing as “fat-burning foods” and intermittent fasting isn’t a better weight-loss strategy than ordinary calorie restriction.
Still, if you feel like you need to adhere to a particular diet, go for it. You could just restrict your calories yourself though.
Better yet, pull back your calories to a tolerable degree and use the right supplements to give you the edge you need to knock those pounds off.