The Military Diet, Hooah!

As one who is a retired veteran of the US military, having served in two separate branches, I want to state very emphatically, this diet is not used by the US military!

Nor was it created by the US military!

The origin of the three-day military diet is unclear. According to some sources, the diet was allegedly created by nutritionists working for the United States military as a fast way to help soldiers slim down. It is also widely speculated, however, that the diet was created by a marketing specialist and not a dietitian. For the life of me, I cannot see any legitimate nutritionist or dietician creating something so flawed and nutritionally unsound. The truth is, this diet isn’t affiliated with any military or governmental institution no matter what the hell Ol’ Joey Bagofdonuts might tell you.

But do military members ever try to use this diet?

Sadly the answer is in the affirmative, some do try this out of desperation when their semi-annual physical fitness test is coming up and they are sweating out making the weight standards. This is more common than those who have never served realize, especially in some fields where physical fitness can take a backseat to other tasks such as maintenance of ground and aviation assets that require multiple man hours of maintenance for each hour of actual equipment operation. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into maintaining a units operational readiness, and it is not uncommon for the responsibility of the military members physical fitness  to be handled on their own time away from work, which from my experience can amount to 24 hour work days even in peacetime. If one has never served, it is difficult to understand how hard our service members work and what they go through to always be  either deployed, preparing to deploy or returning from deployment. We are human and can break down over time the same as the over used equipment we operate and maintain.

Picture of me in the early 90’s while assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron Four. The Red Wolves
Red Wolf helicopter on Special Operations training with a Navy SEAL squad.

Why the Military Diet is foolish!

The Military Diet is simply foolish in that even if you do manage to lose ten pounds of weight in three days, it will be almost exclusively nothing more than water weight. If a service member cannot weigh more than a certain weight for their age, gender and height, they might resort to this when they exceed their weight limit, especially since the next step is being measured by tape to ensure they also do not exceed the maximum allowed body fat percentage. For instance, at my height and age, I am not supposed to weigh over 165 pounds and my body fat limit is not to exceed 22 percent. If I were still serving, when I stepped on the scale I would automatically be measured because I am 15 pounds over my max weight at 180 pounds. However, since I maintain my body fat at 9%, I am well within my limits and have nothing to worry about. If I were to measure out at greater than 22%, my career would then be in jeopardy. Once a service member exceeds their body fat standard three times in four years, they are involuntarily separated from military service. When one is facing the loss of their career under these circumstances, they will try desperate measures to not fail the standard. This diet would be a desperate measure to say the least. It is also a very temporary bandage to cover a serious problem. As soon as you quit this diet, the water weight will swiftly return.

Doomed to failure before you even begin!

The military diet is a “combination of low-calorie, chemically compatible foods designed to work together and jump-start your weight loss,” according to the Military Diet website. However, there is no science to back up these claims.

The program requires you to eat a very strict list of food for three days (these are referred to as your “on” days). Then you take four days off from the strict diet. I am not going to get into how to follow the plan because it is not a healthy diet and it relies on too large of a caloric restriction. For short-term weight loss, the three-day military diet is reportedly effective, but weight lost on the plan will be regained once you resume a normal diet. This very stupid diet is  not a long-term weight loss solution or a healthy eating plan, nor does it teach skills, like healthy meal planning and preparing, needed for sustained weight loss.

Advocates of this diet falsely proclaim that it has a certain weight loss advantage due to the “food combinations” in the meal plan. These combinations are said to increase your metabolism and burn fat, but there is no truth behind these claims. There are no known combinations of food able to do this no matter what proponents of fad diets might spout off about.

Foods high in protein boost metabolism more than other foods. But most of the meals in the military diet are low in protein and high in carbs, which is a bad combination for weight loss. If you look at the overall foods included in the meal plan, it simply is not a sustainable fat-burning diet. I recently wrote about the difference between fat loss and weight loss here.

Some people also claim this diet has similar health benefits to intermittent fasting. However, there is no fasting involved in the diet, so this is false. Look if you truly want to lose body fat and to be fit and trim, then follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. You can find our simple to follow plan by clicking on this link. I am so confident that you will lose body fat in a healthy manner and then keep it off by following us that I will give a money back guarantee!

I will return every penny you spend to follow us if you can not lose body fat in a healthy manner and then keep it off. I can make you this promise because my site has been, is, and will always be free to our readers and subscribers. I charge nothing to help others as the large weight loss businesses do. My goal is to simply pay the benefits of my good life forward by helping others around the world.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you, David for the informative post. Since one pound of fat is burned from expending 3,500 calories, I seriously doubt any three-day diet, military or not, can create a significant fat loss in such a short period. It’s impossible for any human being to burn that many calories over a three-day span. That is precisely why short term extreme dieting does not work.

    1. David Yochim says:

      Thanks Frieda. We do not recommend anyone trying to lose more than one pound a week. Short term fad diets will always result in failure and disappointment. Thanks for commenting my friend.

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