Here’s a brief review of what a week on this diet looks like.
The 3-day meal plan
The 3-day meal plan on the military diet consists of a limited selection of foods — 16 total, to be precise — that is meant to be divided between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Examples of breakfast foods include:
- toast or saltine crackers
- peanut butter
- grapefruit, apples, or bananas
- hard-boiled eggs or cheddar cheese
Examples of lunch options include:
- toast or saltine crackers
- canned tuna, hard-boiled eggs, or cottage cheese
Examples of dinner options include:
- any type of meat, hot dogs without a bun, or canned tuna
- green beans, carrots, or broccoli
- apples or bananas
- vanilla-flavored ice cream
As you can see, there isn’t much variety during the first 3 days of the diet.
Also, the recommended amounts of these 16 foods slowly decrease day by day. Your total calorie intake starts at about 1,400 calories on the first day and falls to roughly 1,100 calories on the last one.
Regarding the permitted drinks, the diet promotes water or herbal teas. However, the menu allows caffeinated coffee or tea twice per day — but advises you to avoid creamers and sweeteners.
The remaining 4 days
In theory, there are no rules for the remaining 4 days of the diet aside from following a healthy eating pattern.
However, a less restrictive, 1,500-calorie menu is provided for those who hope to speed their weight loss even further.
For instance, snacks are permitted during these days, but you’re encouraged to limit your portion sizes.
Again, keep in mind that eating 1,500 calories per day is still a calorie restriction that may not fit everybody’s energy needs. This is especially true if you lead an active lifestyle, which translates into increased energy expenditure, and thus, higher calorie needs (4Trusted Source).
SUMMARYThe first 3 days of the diet have a set menu, while the other 4 days are less restrictive. You’re still encouraged to eat healthy or follow the diet’s suggested low calorie menu for the remaining 4 days.
For those with dietary restrictions, the military diet allows substitutions during the 3-day phase, as long as portions match the calorie count.
Aside from swapping foods that may cause allergic reactions, such as peanut butter, substitutions include alternatives for those looking for a gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian, or vegan version of the diet.
Yet, the diet does emphasize avoiding substituting orange for grapefruit. Instead, it advises replacing it with a glass of water with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, which is purported to help alkalinize your body and reduce body fat.
However, research shows that while some foods increase your body’s acid load, your kidneys can excrete the excess acid through urine. Thus, your dietary choices have little effect on your body’s acidity or alkalinity levels (5Trusted Source).
What’s more, animal-based protein foods such as the ones permitted in the diet are the type of foods that tend to increase your body’s acidic load, making this recommendation a bit contradictory (6Trusted Source).