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Military Diet: Lose Up To Ten Pounds In Three Days

The Original Three Day Diet Plan

Since I first published the Military Diet diet in 2007, countless people around the world have used it successfully to lose weight. Although there are copycats, this is the original, which is important because even a small change to this diet can set you up for poor results.
How did I come up with all of this?
A military gentleman who attended our church some years back introduced me to this diet. He said that military recruits use this diet when they need to get in shape quickly. Since then I’ve done extensive research and heard from countless people who have tried this plan. Combined with my own personal trial and error, the diet that follows is carefully tested and includes advice to help you succeed. Feel confident and see the results for yourself!
Here's what I'll be covering:
  • Doctor's Approval for Dieting
  • The Three Day Diet: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • How the Diet Works
  • Beverages
  • About the Food Choices
  • Allowed Additions
  • Important Information About Substitutions
  • Exercise
  • Tips to Keep the Weight Off
  • How to Make the Diet Work for You
  • Success Stories

Doctor Approval for Dieting

Before starting this or any diet, check with your doctor. Read on for facts and information, but whether this diet is right for you is up to you and your physician.

Three Day Military Diet: Day One

Breakfast Day One

Breakfast
1/2 grapefruit
1 slice toast
2 tablespoons peanut butter
coffee or tea (any brew, as long as it's caffeinated)

Lunch Day One

Lunch
1/2 cup tuna
1 slice toast
coffee or tea

Dinner Day One

Dinner
3 ounces meat (any type)
1 cup green beans
1/2 banana
1 small apple
1 cup vanilla ice cream

Tips to Make Dinner Delicious

Cook the green beans with the meat or simmer in broth.
Cook the green beans with the meat or simmer in broth.
Warm the apple and/or banana and pour over the ice cream. Yum!
Warm the apple and/or banana and pour over the ice cream. Yum!

Three Day Military Diet: Day Two

Breakfast Day Two

Breakfast
1 egg
1 slice toast
1/2 banana

Lunch Day Two

Lunch
1 cup cottage cheese (or 1 slice cheddar cheese)
1 hardboiled egg
5 saltine crackers

Dinner Day Two

Dinner
2 hot dogs (no buns)
1 cup broccoli
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 banana
1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Three Day Military Diet: Day Three

Breakfast Day Three

Breakfast
5 saltine crackers
1 slice cheddar cheese
1 small apple

Lunch Day Three

Lunch
1 hardboiled egg
1 slice toast

Dinner Day Three

Dinner
1 cup tuna
1/2 banana
1 cup vanilla ice cream

How the Military Diet Works

The foods on the menu work together to boost metabolism, provide energy, help with sugar swings, and jump-start the fat-burning process. The diet must be followed for three consecutive days. In three days you should lose up to 10 pounds. After three days, eat as you normally do, but don’t over-do it! If you want to repeat the Military Diet, eat normally for at least four days before doing the three-day diet again. You could lose up to 40 pounds in a month if you follow these guidelines precisely.
No snacking between meals!

Approved Beverages

  • Caffeinated coffee or black tea for the first two meals of day one only. No added sugar or milk.
  • Water only from then on. Here is what to aim for: Take half of your weight in pounds and drink at least that many ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink at least 80 ounces of water per day (more if you exercise vigorously).

About the Military Diet Food Choices

  • Toast: You may use any type of bread but whole wheat is preferred. Eat it either toasted or not.
  • Peanut butter: Crunchy or smooth. Choose a brand without added sugar.
  • Tuna: Fresh or canned.
  • Slice of cheddar: About two ounces.
  • Meat: May be any type, including (but not limited to) seafood, beef, pork, or poultry. If using canned or deli meat, look for low-sodium.
  • Vanilla ice cream: Plain, nothing added.
  • Egg: Where not specified, the egg can be cooked in any manner.
  • Saltine crackers: Plain soda crackers. If not available, use plain crackers.
  • Hot dogs: Beef or turkey franks. Avoid mixed-meat wieners with fillers.

Allowed Additions

  • Splenda
  • Small amounts of mustard
  • Small amounts of relish
  • Lemon pepper
  • Sugar-free gum and mints
  • Salt and pepper but no other seasoning

Important Information About Food Substitutions

Five ounces of a meal replacement shake or two ounces of low-fat yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon flax seed can be substituted for a slice of toast.
Five ounces of a meal replacement shake or two ounces of low-fat yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon flax seed can be substituted for a slice of toast.
The foods recommended for this diet work together to boost metabolism, so it is not recommended that you substitute any foods. The results are not guaranteed and the diet may not work if not followed precisely.
If you must find an alternative to a food on the diet for a health or medical reason, here are the best choices with the same nutritional value.
Toast Substitution Choices
1 ounce (1/8 cup) sunflower kernels (sunflower seeds are gluten-free. If you are avoiding gluten, don’t choose the Planters brand which has traces of gluten.)
1/2 of a high protein nutrition bar
2 ounces (1/4 cup) low-fat yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon flax seed
1/2 cup of unsweetened whole grain cereal (such as Kashi Go Lean)
5 ounces of a meal replacement shake

Grapefruit Substitute

1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water can be substituted for grapefruit. Allow the mixture to sit for  at least 30 minutes before drinking. Eat another piece of fruit in place of the grapefruit with your meal.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water can be substituted for grapefruit. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking. Eat another piece of fruit in place of the grapefruit with your meal.
Banana Substitute Choices
2 kiwi (1/2 banana = 1 kiwi)
1 cup papaya
2 apricots
Peanut Butter Substitute Choices
soy butter
sunflower seed butter
same measurement of sunflower kernels
The same measurement of cottage cheese can be substituted for tuna.
The same measurement of cottage cheese can be substituted for tuna.
Tuna Substitute Choices
cottage cheese
cooked chicken
tofu
almonds
flax seeds
pumpkin seeds
peanuts
Hot Dog Substitute Choices
veggie dogs
bratwurst
any type of beans or lentils (4 ounces per frank)
Apple Substitute Choices
Any other "fleshy" type fruit, including plums, peaches, or grapes.
Substitute two slices of bacon for cooked egg.
Substitute two slices of bacon for cooked egg.
Egg Substitute Choices
1 cup milk
1 chicken wing
1/4 cup seeds or nuts
2 slices bacon
Vanilla Ice Cream Substitute Choices
strawberry or vanilla flavored milk (not chocolate)
low-fat yogurt with a small amount of fruit
apple juice
Substitute three cups of fresh (or one cup cooked and drained) spinach for green beans.
Substitute three cups of fresh (or one cup cooked and drained) spinach for green beans.
Green Beans Substitute Choices
lettuce and a few cherry tomatoes
tomatoes (same measurement as beans)
3 cups raw spinach or one cup cooked and drained
Carrot Substitute Choices
2 cups raw (or 1/2 cup cooked and drained) spinach
beets (same measurements as carrots)
1 whole bell pepper
small salad of 1 cup fresh spinach, 1/4 bell pepper, and a few cherry tomatoes (may include salt, pepper, mustard, lemon pepper, or lemon juice for dressing)
Cheddar Cheese Substitute Choices
cottage cheese (1 cup = 1 slice)
2 eggs
2 ounces ham
Broccoli Substitute Choices
cauliflower
beets
asparagus
brussel sprouts
Substitute two ounces cheddar cheese for one cup of cottage cheese.
Substitute two ounces cheddar cheese for one cup of cottage cheese.
Cottage Cheese Substitute Choices
2 ounces cheddar cheese (for 1 cup cottage cheese)
2 eggs
2 ounces ham
Coffee or Tea Substitute Choices
sugar free hot chocolate made with hot water, not milk

Exercise Too? Yes!

Many readers ask whether they should exercise on this diet. The answer is yes! Remember, this diet is used by the military and you don't find those people sitting on their rumps!
The type and duration of exercise you choose depends on your current activity level and how lean you are.
If you are severely overweight, you might choose a brisk walk around the block. That’s great—just keep moving! You may only be able to walk around the block this week, but next week you can try two!
If you are already active and have more muscle, go ahead and push yourself. You'll gain even more muscle and the more muscle you gain, the more you can exercise! You'll look leaner and more toned and will be much healthier in general.
Some great weight-loss exercises include:
  • jogging
  • walking briskly
  • using an elliptical machine
  • swimming
  • jumping rope
  • using a treadmill
Of course it's always wise, and recommended, to discuss your exercise program with a doctor, especially if you have medical/health conditions.

I'm Afraid I'll Gain It All Back!

Whether you repeat the Military Diet after four days off or not, gaining the weight back is a concern. If you eat cheesecake and candy bars instead of fruit, you may indeed gain it back!
However, it doesn't have to be that way. Keep up your good eating habits and stay active and you will keep the weight off.
For help staying focused, I suggest this free service: My Fitness Pal. This online tool can be used with a computer or mobile device to help you keep track of what you eat. It's easy and will help you stay on track. You can keep track of exercise, too.

Tips to Keep the Weight Off

Take half of your weight (in pounds) and drink at least that many ounces of water every day.
Take half of your weight (in pounds) and drink at least that many ounces of water every day.
  • Continue to drink your water as before. Here’s what to aim for: Take half of your weight (in pounds) and drink at least that many ounces of water. For example if you weigh 160 pounds, drink at least 80 ounces of water per day (more if you exercise vigorously).
  • Take dietary supplements including a good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement. Some other good choices are Omega 3, herbal system cleansers, and food enzymes. (DO NOT take supplements during the three days of the diet unless recommended by a healthcare provider).
  • Keep up the exercise!
  • Continue eating nutrition-packed food, although in more variety.
  • If you plan to continue the Military Diet, use your four days off to refocus and prepare for the three days back on by shopping, cooking ahead of time, and ridding the house of tempting foods.

How to Make the Military Diet Work for You

  • Weigh yourself on the morning of the first day but not again until the morning of the fourth day, because weight can fluctuate unpredictably and make you discouraged. (This is important so that you stay focused and positive.)
  • If you repeat the Military Diet, take a four day break between cycles to refuel, refocus, and reset your metabolism.
  • Take your measurements. If you're gaining muscle, you may not weigh less but you may have lost inches. Toning is great! You will look leaner even with a higher number on the scale if you have toned muscle.
  • Follow the diet exactly for best results.
  • Exercise! Save your biggest workouts for your days off to save your energy. Exercise lightly on the three days, but be sure to really get moving when you are no longer on the diet.
  • Get support! Whether it's a family member, weight loss support group, the Three Day, Military Diet Facebook page, or the comments section below, reach out if you have questions or need motivation. Also, return the favor to others. You may be the one that gives someone the exact words they need to succeed!

Success Story Showcase

These are people just like you who found success using the Military Diet. I'm sure that the stories featured here will inspire and motivate you to achieve your own goals.

Becca: Salem, Oregon

Becca lost 87.2 pounds through diet and exercise.
Becca lost 87.2 pounds through diet and exercise.
"I'm sure that the Military Diet has saved my life! Let’s be honest: Weighing 332.2 lbs at age 32 isn't much of a life. I was an active person, but still it took a lot of oomph to get me moving and feeling good!
Since I have found and started this meal plan, it has been an amazing adventure! I have dropped weight, increased my activity level, and I feel more confident with myself in everything I do. In March, 2012, while I was still at my highest weight, I completed my first 5K. Then, by walking, doing cardio hip hop, and watching what I ate, I managed to lose 20 pounds. However, when the scale stopped going down I thought I was stuck.
That July, I started this amazing, three-day diet. I told myself that it's only three days, I’ll give it a shot. In the first week, I was down 10 lbs. The weight just kept melting away. I am now down almost 70 lbs. (67.2lbs). I've done this in two months with a few weeks off for vacation and getting back into our school routine. That’s a total of 87.2 lbs since March! I just finished my fifth 5K and have plans of working toward a half marathon! I would have never imagined doing this had I not found this amazing meal plan."
Way to go, Becca! We're proud of you. We'll keep watching for your updates of progress. You’re such an inspiration to us all!

Perla: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Perla lost 80 pounds through diet and regular workouts.
Perla lost 80 pounds through diet and regular workouts.
"I'm a military wife and a mother of three children. Being a military wife is hard, so I found myself turning to food every time I felt sad, worried, or depressed. Because of this, I ballooned to 278 pounds. I was shocked that I had let myself get that unhealthy!
Thankfully, the Military Diet gave me the boost that I needed. In February, 2012, I began following this plan religiously and also combined workouts four times a week. Now, I have managed to lose a total of 80 pounds!
So I say, 'Everything is possible, never give up!'"
Congratulations, Perla! Your experience is an inspiration!

Renee: Grain Valley, Missouri

"Before the birth of my second child, my max weight was 241 pounds. I had gained double the weight with my second pregnancy, but had just accepted the weight gain as being healthy for myself and my baby girl. I was thinking that I would be able to lose it with no problem. Then, at my six week postpartum checkup, I was only down to 216 pounds. I thought to myself, "OK, now that it's been six weeks since my baby was born, I can get back on my exercise routine and lose this weight. No more of those, 'You just had a baby' excuses." Well, I got lazy, and my eating habits didn't change as I thought they would. I would catch myself eating double portions and getting second helpings to the cake, cookies, and all the other "good" stuff.
I was going through some photos on our Ipad one day and I thought to myself, "Oh my . . . who is that lady sitting on our couch?" Looking closer, I realized it was ME! It was heartbreaking that I didn't even recognize myself. My three year old son had candidly taken a picture of me that evening. I'm so glad he did because that was the turning point for me. I had to do something. Only I can change this, right?
One day, as I was browsing on Pinterest, I noticed a link to this article. I was thinking, "WOW! Is this for real? It's probably just another diet that won't work for me." After reading into it further, I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad that I did and that I stayed committed. I never gave up no matter how hungry I was. It changed my life in every way! Now, I don't avoid mirrors anymore. I am getting rid of clothes that are too big, rather than too small. I feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally. I have confidence now that I've never carried with me before! I'm healthier, and just feel better all the way around; more than I have in my entire life! Another thing that makes this experience even better for me is that I just received my lab results from my physician yesterday, and they are better than they have ever been!
I just completed my 15th week and had my weigh-in this morning. I am proud to say that I've reached my weight loss goal of 45 pounds! I am so proud of myself for staying committed to this diet plan and to my exercise routine.
I once read a quote on this diet's Facebook page that has stuck with me ever since: "Life isn't a remote. So get up and change it yourself." That's exactly what I did and I will never regret it.
So now I say to you, 'Stay committed and NEVER give up! This diet does work and will work for you!'"
Hooray for Renee! We are all celebrating your success with you!

Please Share!

I encourage everyone to share their experiences and successes in the comment area below. Please feel free to cheer each other on, give helpful tips, make friends, and just have some fun! I hope everyone finds this page useful and that it helps you in your weight loss journey. (As usual, please use good manners and avoid rude comments. Keep it friendly and be polite!

How much weight have you lost on the Three Day, Military Diet?

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