The Ultimate Guide To 3-Day Military Diet

You already know that there many extreme dietary plans one can choose from. This list is even broadened by many fat loss products like pills and powders! But is there any healthy weight loss program that works? If you want (or need) to lose fat, you’ve likely heard of Military Diet already. Generally, most nutrient plans have something to recommend them; flexibility, peer support, or delicious food. But not every regimen is healthy and for everyone…

  • The Subway method does actually consist of buying a Subway sandwich three times a day and eating it. That is it. But facing a Subway sandwich with your coffee every morning is definitely not for everyone.
  • The Cabbage Soup way to shed some pounds means eating lots of, well, cabbage soup that is definitely not for everyone.
  • Dieters have good things to say about fat burning systems that you pay for, like Weight Watchers, and Nutrisystem. But who wants to pay a company for this?

Well, some people do – but you can lose weight while actually saving money, tightening your actual belt and your budget belt too.

What Is This Army Diet All About & Do You Need NAVY Training?

Military Diet

Firstly, it is easy to follow fat loss method suitable for both men as well as women. Why? It is a three-day-a-week meal plan. That’s right. It is not a 24/7 process – the kind that you never get a break from.

Just knowing that you can achieve the results you want in making a commitment to a specific regimen that you follow only three days a week is a huge deal. It means that you go into following this military plan knowing that you’ve got this. You can totally commit to changing your eating habits for only three days each week to see fast body-fat reduction. Let’s get into this little deeper.

Oh, do not worry it does not involve having a NAVY Sergeant – his reddened face two inches from yours – screaming at you while following extreme fat loss workout plan as well as while you take your morning nutrition, wearing fatigues. This is tremendously good news.

The 3-Day Factor

So, now we know what this weight loss program is not. Let’s look at what it is. We’ve already pointed out that a super important part of military fat loss diet is its schedule; you follow it – strictly – for three days a week. Why is this so important?

This woman is sharing her results and ideas on this plan:

Many dieters give up on their goals – because they feel overwhelmed as they try to completely change how they eat. It just feels like it is too much; like it is not possible. And when one feels that way, he/she is not going to have a successful experience.

Knowing that there are four days a week where you can eat as you normally have is a huge mental motivator. Let’s turn to the 3-day menu right now.

The Menu

  • Water: We know that as human beings we need to drink lots of water; there are several health benefits to keeping our bodies well hydrated throughout the day. What is more, this regimen requires that you drink only water, and lots of it. Most individuals are surprised when they realize the percentage of their daily caloric intake that comes from drinks. Water is the coolest drink out there.
  • Snacks: This meal plan does not include snacks. Its main tenet is that eating three meals a day – when they are composed of the right combination of proteins and nutrients – is the way to success. The fact that you follow such food plan for only three days a week to achieve slimming effects means that you can easily get on the no-snack train.
  • Meals: You will not need to learn any complicated fat loss recipes. It is built on the idea that the 3 meals a day should be kept simple and easy to prepare. Keeping preparation time to a minimum and ingredients basic, easy to find and inexpensive. You will not find arugula, Japanese eggplant, or polenta on this menu.

What kinds of healthy food will you find on this simple menu for fat loss? Bananas, broccoli, whole wheat toast, canned tuna, meat of your own choice, eggs, green beans, cottage cheese, and hot dogs. Oh, and vanilla ice cream!

Red Arrow LeftAlthough you will not find sugar on this menu do not give up your hopes for a sweet flavor during these three days as here is the list of accepted sweeteners.

The 3-Day Meal Plan & Schedule

Breakfast – 7:30, Lunch – 13:00, Dinner – 18:30 (Please note that this timetable serves just as an example. Remember that the magic is not in when you eat but in how much calories you eat per day.)

Day 1:

  • Breakfast -1/2 Grapefruit, 1 Slice of Toast, 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter, and Coffee or Tea
  • Lunch -1/2 Cup of Tuna, 1 Slice of Toast, and Coffee or Tea
  • Dinner -3 ounces of any type of meat, 1 Cup of Green Beans, 1/2 Banana, 1 Small Apple, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream

Day 2:

  • Breakfast -1 egg, 1 Slice of Toast, and 1/2 Banana
  • Lunch -1 Cup of Cottage Cheese, 1 Hard Boiled Egg, and 5 Saltine Crackers
  • Dinner -2 Hot Dogs, 1 Cup of Broccoli, 1/2 Cup of Carrots, 1/2 Banana, and 1/2 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream

Day 3:

  • Breakfast -5 Saltine Crackers, 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese, and 1 Small Apple
  • Lunch -1 Hard-Boiled Egg, and 1 Slice of Toast
  • Dinner -1 Cup of Tuna, 1/2 of a Banana, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream

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If you do not like any of these specific foods you should read our article about their substitutions.

Video including some thoughts and ideas about 1st day:

Keeping meals basic for three days a week will not only help you to lose weight but to save time and energy on those days. (Which means you can do something awesome in the extra time that you have).

Tips For 4 Days Off

You should not worry too much about what precisely to eat while you are off during the other 4 days per week as long as you follow simple rules. Do you want to know why? During those three fasting days while following this plan, your stomach should become little bit smaller in its capacity and so, you should get that feeling of being filled up after eating smaller portions than you was used to eat. In that way, your body will have naturally reduced calories intake.

However, if you are afraid that you might ruin all your fat reduction effort then stay informed about tasty fat loss dietary meals and recipes. This means that all you need to do is just to check how much calories you eat and do not go over the estimated amounts of daily calories intake based on estimated energy requirements (this depends on the gender, daily activities as well as your age – For example a man of age 19-30 with a sedentary lifestyle should eat around 2,400 while a women in same age and activity category should eat only around 2,000 calories a day – Source: – “Estimated Calorie Requirements“).

Red Arrow RightHowever, if you want to be sure you will not gain any weight after you finish these 3 days, you can follow these tips for 4-days off the military meal plan.

Please do not take these numbers as sacred and try to do much deeper research into this topic. Additionally, calories are not everything you should take into consideration. To counter the negative effects on your health you should eat during those 4 days meals that are rich in vitamins as well as minerals.

Tips For Making It Work For You

Human beings are individual creatures. We are all different and we respond differently to challenges. And shedding pounds – reaching your important goals – is most definitely a challenge. Following The Military Diet will bring you results – if you can commit to it. Here are some tips that will help you to get the optimum results you can potentially achieve.

  • Lose Fat With A friend: Research consistently shows that individuals who are working together – friends – are more likely to reach their goals than dieters that strike out on their own.

3-Day DietChoosing a friend as a fat burning buddy who has similar goals as you is a smart idea. If you want to lose 50 pounds, you are in for a serious commitment of time. If your buddy wants to lose ten pounds, he is going to be done with the weight loss much more quickly than you are.

If you and your buddy both want to lose 50 pounds, you can truly support each other throughout the entire journey.

  • Create An Activity Jar: We tend to eat when we are bored or inactive. Right? If you are planting tulip bulbs in your garden, you are not thinking about food. Or if you are taking photographs of a stunning lake. But if you are just hanging around your house, you are much more likely to start thinking about how delicious those oatmeal/raisin cookies are. Or how much you’d love to have a piece of cheddar cheese.

If you have a cookie jar, put it to a new use. Cut up a few pieces of paper into 100 squares. Write an activity on each piece of paper. On the back of those pieces of paper, write an estimate of how long the activity takes. When you get that hungry feeling – when you are two minutes from opening that cupboard door and reaching for those cashew nuts – reach into the activity jar and choose an activity that you have time to do. And just do it.

  • Blog It: Don’t keep your quest to reach a healthier body a secret. Why? Successful individuals tend to be more open about their process and progress. If you like to write, how about starting a blog about your efforts to get new body shape? Write about your progress, what is working for you and what isn’t. Write about how you feel on your diet days as opposed to your off days. Sharing your thoughts and feelings as you are following a specific food plan makes it more likely that you will reach your goals. And you can feel good about helping out others who are also trying to lose weight.
  • On The Off Days: One practical step that you can take on your off-days – so on the 4 days a week that you are not following the 3-day diet – is to change what you eat when. So, instead of eating your heaviest meal in the evening, try eating it at noon. The food that you eat in the evening is the most difficult for your body to burn off, so why not give your body a break and give it less work to do at night? On the off days, when you will eat rather normally you can try to combine healthy food and exercise program.
  • Get Right Back On That Horse: It is easy – too easy – to think of following this program as an all or nothing activity. If you slip – say you have a snack on a day when you should not – you should just accept this and move on. All too often, individual will engage in self-sabotage and turn a small slip into a reason to abandon efforts to shed pounds completely. A slip does not mean that you are no longer committed to the weight reduction program. It just means that you are human and you are not perfect. That is really all it means.

Now that we’ve had a look at this plan and offered some tips about how you can get the results you want to achieve, let’s turn to results.

What Results Can You Expect From The Military Diet?

Wanting to lose body fat is, at the end of the day, all about results. After all, we commit to various nutrient plans because we want to improve our health and get rid of some pounds. This program has been built on three pillars that have been designed for optimum weight reduction and it should serve as a metabolism booster.

  • Pillar One: This is a low-calorie method. Its followers will take in less than 1000 calories for 3 days every week. This level of calories is sure to result in getting skinnier as you are eating fewer calories than you burn off in these days. It is really that simple.
  • Pillar Two: The 3-day on and 4-off structure mimics a fasting regime. And fasting has been proven to increase metabolism. Training your body to burn off calories more quickly is a great way to increase chances of getting slim.
  • Pillar Three: The specific foods that have been chosen were chosen so because they increase your body’s metabolic rate. Apples, for example, have lots of pectin – and pectin limits the amount of fat that your body stores. Grapefruit has been shown to work within the liver to boost the burning of fat.

The food in this menu that is high in protein does its part as well as the body uses much more stored fat to burn up protein. And we want to burn fat. Lots of it.

These three pillars work together in an effective way to burn more fat more quickly – these are the scientific principles that lie beneath this specific three day menu.

So, we now know why this plan should work. Let’s look at how it has worked for some individuals who have been open about their quest to shed some pounds.

How Successful Has This Been For Its Participants?

A look around the Internet shows some evidence about the results that regular followers of this 3-day weight reduction method are experiencing.
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 FYI: Here you can see feedback from other people following this three day diet: Results.

  • A blog called Slimpickins Kitchen – clever name – is being written by individual who has embraced this military fat burning program ( Readers of Slimpickins Kitchen post their thoughts at this space as well, and one contributor points out that she lost one and a half pounds on the first day.
  • Pinterest “pinners” have embraced the positive effects of this meal plan ( One poster named Kelly Buckner revealed that she lost 5 pounds in 3 days. Another poster, name of Heather Jacobson, apparently lost 8.4 pounds in 3 days.

There seems to be plenty of evidence online that some people achieve results from following this program. Though as with every other way of fat reduction on the planet, the only way to see what results it can bring you, is to try it for yourself.

To Close

Are you thinking of jumping aboard this weight loss trend? Do not be afraid as you do not have to be a member of U.S. army air force or marine corps division for this fat loss program to work. My advice for you if you are scared of failure is that you should take the time to plan ahead. However, try to keep things very simple for yourself and do not become complicated eating planner. It is human nature to stick with things that are easy to stick with.

If you decide to blog about your quest, you will have a record of your progress and an outlet for the expression of your thoughts and feelings. If you are not into the idea of blogging, keeping a daily personal journal will also help you stay on course.

A final word of advice, do not be too hard on yourself – if you fall off this train one rainy Monday afternoon, just pick yourself up and dust yourself off. And start again. Losing excessive fat is important for your mental and physical health. What it is not is easy. Important goals are rarely easy to achieve. Though you should know that this is totally doable. If you decide it is.

(Update 04. 04. 2013 – Precise 3-day meal plan added based on the article from

(Update 22. 05. 2013 – After several requests from readers I have added tips what to eat during 4 days you are off this diet – Based on the information gathered from

(Update 08.07.2013 – Added more information substitutions & sweeteners).

Article Resources:

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  • Ryan

    Does your stomach get smaller? Like a flat stomach?

    • Earlene Blosser

      Hello Ryan,
      This is really tricky question you ask because it highly depends on various factors. For example like how much body fat you have overall, where is your body used to store excessive calories at first place etc. However, by this diet you should be able to get rid of your body-fat even from belly area. Give it a try and let us know how successful you were.

  • Jennifer

    I would like to know more about the 4 days off. What should I eat on off days?

    • Earlene Blosser

      Hello Jennifer,

      I have already updated this article with several tips about what to eat on days off this diet. It would be great if you could check it out and tell us what you think about it. It is the section right after the precise meal plan for each day.

  • Michael

    Each day, how long do I have to wait to eat the meals like from breakfast to lunch? And I hate coffee and tea so can I just replace both with just water?

    • Earlene Blosser

      Dear Michael, I have added simple timetable when you should eat breakfast, lunch and dinner into this article. However, these do not have to be strictly adhered to.

  • Maria Mota

    Thank you so much for this article, I wanted to know WHY it works, and I couldn’t find my answer anywhere! I love your article, very informative, fun, and well written. Thank you!

    • Earlene Blosser

      You are welcome Maria. It is always great to see that what I do helps other people as well. I hope you will read my blog regularly and find there all you need to know.

  • Dee

    Can I sub something for cottage cheese?

    • Earlene Blosser

      Hi Dee, yes you can :) ! Just change it for one of these three things: tofu, Greek yoghurt or cheddar cheese.

  • Julie

    Is there anything I can substitute tuna and cottage cheese for?

    • Earlene Blosser

      Hello Julie!
      Firstly, let me thank you for stopping by and spending you time reading this article. I really appreciate that. But back to your question. Yes, there are many substitutions to almost each food from original meal-plan. Tuna can be substituted for tofu and cottage cheese can be changed for cheddar, plain Greek yogurt or tofu as well.

      By the way, I have added whole new article about various substitutions so do not forget to check it out!

  • rachel mcadams

    I just started today and I can’t wait to see how it will turn out for me.

    • Earlene Blosser

      Hi Rachel, it is great that you are going to try it out. I believe that if you will follow it correctly you will lose some weight. It would be great if you could share with us your results. I wish you good luck & strong will!

  • Josh Brancek

    Hey Earlene !!!! Does this diet work???

    • Earlene Blosser

      Hi Josh. Well, many ordinary people who had tried it say that they lost some pounds with it. It has worked for me as well. However, your results will depend on whether you follow it correctly. So having strong mind is a huge asset.

      • Josh Brancek

        Earlene, thanks for replying.

  • stefanie

    I want to lose 40lbs will it work for me? I just started today…

    • Earlene Blosser

      Hello Stefanie,
      I honestly believe that you can shed that amount of weight by following this regimen. However, you will need to do it regularly for several weeks. People most usually see weight loss of 5-8 lbs. after each 3-day period.

  • heather

    Will this work for those who needs to lose over 100 pounds? Will they see results just as fast?

    • Earlene Blosser

      Dear Heather,
      I have great answer for you! Yes it should work even for those who need to shed such a significant amount of body weight. However, they might have bigger problem to follow this regimen as the daily calories intake will be severely limited. But this can be solved by strong willpower and motivation! As you can see, it is only for 3 days so everyone should be able to follow it at least once and get rid of initial body fat. Then you can pause for 4 days and if you will feel like you will be able to repeat it then feel free to do so right next week in order to maximize monthly fat reduction. I hope this has helped you and if you decide to start with it then please share your results with us! This helps to motivate others to make a change in their diets as well.

  • Adam

    Isnt the ice cream a little fatty for a diet ?

    • Earlene Blosser

      Adam you are right. However, for a good functioning of a metabolism and successful fat reduction you have to eat specific amount of fat during day that you can get from this ice cream. Just give it a try.

  • Joshua Buck

    What if I keep going on the diet over and over without the four day pause? Will I still lose weight?

    • Earlene Blosser

      Hi Joshua.

      To answer your question first, yes you should still lose weight. However, I highly recommend you to have those four days off as following it without pause will not be healthy as except other negative effects on your body you could start to have deficiency of some vital nutrients.

      • Joshua Buck

        Would exercising help me lose more weight? I’ve tried it once before and I lost seven pounds without working out.

        • Earlene Blosser

          Yes. Mild exercising will help you to get rid of more weight. However, I do not recommend you to do anything too much exhausting for your body as with so limited amount of daily calories intake your organism may collapse after too much of an exhaustion.

  • coco


    I was just wondering, why do you have to take four days off? Is it okay if I only take one day off? Also, is it okay if I exercise on all of the days? I <3 exercise.

  • Arham

    can i eat anything on the 4 days in burgers etc?or do i have to eat healthy only on the days off aswell.and hsould i diet 3 days ina row or every alternate day?

  • Kasey Yoke

    Is it safe?

  • Deb

    Hi, Can you interchange the meals for the day e.g. Have the lunch menu at dinner and vice-versa?

  • tiffany

    I am noticing that most people that are losing more than 4 or 5lbs are more overweight to begin with… do you find that to be true as well? I was 122.5lbs when starting (I had a baby 3 months ago and nothing I do is getting the weight off- I noticed I was snacking a lot and thought this would help me with time control and not eating when bored) I am on day 3 now and have only lost 1lb. I am following the guidelines and food examples exactly….. even have a monster headache from caffeine withdrawals. Thanks a ton!

  • Mari

    Hi Earlene, Just wanted to thank you for the article, very informative. This is my 2nd week on this diet and I want you to know it worked for me. I lost 6 lbs the 1st week. I was never hungry on this diet even though the portions are small compared to what I’m used to. I will continue to do this diet until I lose 30 lbs….Mari

  • Pam L

    Would this still work if I’m already having a 1200-calories diet?

  • Lacey

    how important is the caffeine? is it those for people who drinks lots of pop? Can I just drink water as a substitute or does the caffeine play a important role?

  • Jessie Rose

    Has anyone every tried it 6 days in a row? Will it not work?

  • Jessie Rose

    Nevermind, I see what you said to the guy above. Thanks for your posts!

  • Corina Marquez

    I was wondering are we allowed to drink water in between meals for ex. first day of diet after breakfeast ? Thank you ahead of time :)

  • Dena Domey

    Day 1 down – Dinner was very filling thinking I didnt eyeball the meat amount right :( Im actually forcing the ice cream now because I think your suppose to eat verything together.\?

  • elenaa

    insdaid of peanutbutter is it ok to have tzandziki?(cucumber,garlic,yogurt)

  • ashley

    I am 5ft 6in and 135ibs, I only want to lose ten pounds of fat, does the military diet work for those who don’t have a lot of weight to loose?