cooking healthy foods

10 Things to Know Before You Try the 3 Day Military Diet

Everywhere you look, ads are filled with diets, supplements, and drink regimens with the promise of fast weight loss for your dream body. The 3 day military diet is a strict eating routine that predicts weight loss averaging 10 lbs. in one week. Many people look to diets like this to get ready for special occasions like weddings or reunions where they want to look their best and often have little time to dedicate to weight management.

The diet is tempting for multiple reasons. It only requires three days of prescribed meals, so you won’t have an excessive grocery list for the week. The meals for the three days require little to no cooking and can be prepared quickly, so a lack of culinary skills is no excuse. There are no additional supplements or products required, making it appear more trustworthy than miracle diet pills from someone who wants to make money off those desperate to lose weight. It is also extremely affordable to follow and will probably save you money on food for the weeks you follow the plan. While the results are incredibly tempting, there are some things you need to know before you commit to this plan to slim down at top speed.

Diet Details

Simply put, the 3 day military diet is three days of prescribed meal plans for a daily total of 1,500 calories. However, there is a lot more to the diet than the prescribed meals, especially if there is something in those meals you can’t or don’t want to eat. In its simplest form, someone with a lot of willpower and self-control who is not very picky may find this diet easy, but unfortunately, that does not represent the majority of the general population. If you don’t fit into that category, you need to think through the extra obstacles you might face with this diet:

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This diet has very specific meal plans for three days in a row. Because every aspect of the meal is already portioned and prescribed, it can be very easy to follow, but it will take more work from you if you require substitutes. For example, if you have an aversion to hot dogs, your substitution needs to have the same number of calories, or you will have to adjust the portions for the rest of the meal to maintain the same calorie count. The diet also claims the menu is optimized for the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients, so your substitutions should fall into the category of the food you’re removing.

If you drink coffee regularly, you can still enjoy it to start your morning, but you cannot add cream or sugar. A cup of coffee alone is roughly five calories, but adding creamer makes that number skyrocket, which will negatively impact your results.

If you must add a sweetener to your coffee or tea, stevia leaf is the only permitted sweetener, whether in liquid extract or granulated form. Other sweeteners have calories and extra ingredients that are worse for your body than sugar and can stunt your weight-loss efforts.

Even though it’s advertised as a three-day diet, you actually need to commit to restricted eating habits for the entire week. Only three days are meticulously planned, but for the other four days that aren’t prescribed by the plan, you must stay under 1,500 calories each day. If you don’t get tired of the same meals over and over again, you can recycle the meals from the three days as many times as you’d like.

You should drink lots of water during the diet. In fact, drink as much water as you can. Water helps you feel full and fight the hunger that will come from lowering your daily caloric intake. Water also helps your body release toxins that could be impacting unhealthy weight.

Health Considerations

Outside of the requirements of the food itself in the diet, there are other aspects to consider. Not every method of weight loss is good for your body in the long run; what works for other people may not be the right choice for you and your body. Dieting is not a one size fits all scenario, and being skinny or perfecting your summer beach body isn’t worth risking your long-term health. There are multiple health factors to consider before deciding the 3 day military diet is right for you, as well as things to keep in mind while you’re using this plan for weight loss, such as:

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Depending on your general health or any health conditions you may have, this could be dangerous for you. Always check with your doctor before starting a new diet plan, especially one as strict as this one, which is often drastically different from someone’s normal eating habits.

Your exercise habits may need to change. If you regularly work out for long periods of time or your regimen includes high-intensity exercise, you may need to shorten them or give yourself breaks throughout your workout. With fewer calories, you may lose some energy, so you need to be careful not to overwork your body during the diet timeframe. If you don’t normally workout but want to add some physical activity to your use of the diet, start with brisk walking for up to 30 minutes at a time. Try to work out at the beginning of the day, because being active on an empty stomach helps burn more fat for the same amount of activity.

Just because it can help you lose weight doesn’t mean it’s healthy. The diet includes food like hot dogs and ice cream. Though in small portions, these foods are not good for you or your body. Highly-processed foods often have additives and preservatives that actually make it harder for your body to process them, while all-natural foods like fruits and veggies go through your body quickly and efficiently.

This is a short-term diet with short-term results. Restrictive eating like what is required in the 3 day military diet is not sustainable for a healthy lifestyle, especially for someone who is active regularly. It would require an equally rigorous diet to keep losing weight and continuous restrictive eating habits to avoid gaining all the weight back as quickly as it was lost. Turning your results from this diet into a lifestyle requires significantly more planning for you than the diet prescribes, especially if you are likely to get tired of the same foods for a few days each week.

You should never reduce your caloric intake more than the diet prescribes. Everyone’s body responds differently to diets and loses or gains weight at different paces. It is very dangerous to lose weight too quickly. If you prioritize drastic results in too short of a timeframe, you could be doing damage to your body that may last much longer than any results of this or other diets.

Your health and safety are far more important than a timeline of weight loss. This diet may promise quick weight loss, but it also requires discretion and caution. Your body will communicate its needs to you. If you begin to feel weak and lightheaded, you should increase your daily calories so your body can function properly.

 Tips and Tricks

helpful tips

If you’ve decided the 3 day military diet is right for you, there are some ways to increase your chances of success for using the plan to achieve the body you desire for the long haul.

If you want to lose more weight than you can in one week, repeat the diet for as many weeks as you need until you reach your desired results. Keep in mind that if you’re exercising, you may reach a point where you are no longer losing weight but gaining it due to increased muscle mass.
If you feel that the diet is too extreme for you and your body requires more food, start by increasing the vegetable portions of each meal. This is the easiest way to get the most food with the smallest jump in calories. Try to increase each meal by no more than 100 calories. You can also replace the ice cream with something more filling like Greek yogurt.

Choose an interval of time like once a week or twice a month to indulge in one meal or item that doesn’t fit into your healthy diet. This will help you stay on track when it’s difficult to stick to the plan and help motivate you without damaging your progress.
If you want to try the diet, but doubt your ability to follow it strictly, ask someone to do it with you. Accountability improves the likelihood that you will succeed in your efforts. If you are exercising, invite the same person to join you. This ensures more of a commitment, because seeing each other regularly makes it more difficult to “cheat” on the diet without anyone knowing.

If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add sliced lemon, frozen blueberries and strawberries, or mint leaves to add a little flavor. You can also try carbonated water with small amounts of flavoring that don’t have calories.

Remember, this diet does require dedication to its methods to reap the full benefits, but if you have the willpower and self-discipline, you could be thrilled with your results.