3 Day Diet – Military Diet Plan to Lose 10 Lbs in a Week

3 Day Diet Plan

The 3-day diet or as some call, a Military diet, is one popular diet with a promise of rapid weight loss.

This short-term restrictive diet lasts for 3 days, followed by 4 days of regular eating. In the end, it promises you that you lose 10 pounds in 1 week.

This 3-day military diet is free and has no affiliation with any organizations including the military and product sponsors. There are no shakes or supplements you are required to buy or exercise plans you have to do while on diet.

Instead, it comes with a pre-arranged set of menu for 3 days.

And the only rule is simple. Just follow the menu.

Needless to say, these claims have made the 3 day military diet wildly popular.

But is this diet effective? Is it even legit and safe? Here is what this weight loss meal plan is all about in a nutshell.

What Is the 3 Day Diet Plan?

The 3 day military diet is a strictly restrictive low-calorie meal plan that promises dieters to lose 10 pounds in a week.

The diet is one of the most popular weight loss short-term fad diets around today.

The plan is low in calories, totaling up to 1 400 calories a day. The meal plan for the first three days consists of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

The menu items include but not limited to coffee, eggs, green beans, saltine crackers, cottage cheese, and steak. On some days, you’ll even be eating vanilla ice cream and banana. If you love peanut butter, you’ll be happy with this meal plan too. 

The food pairings seem quite random at best, but those who try this military menu say it works. 

While losing 10 lbs in 7days is quite possible, a short-term, calorie-restricted diet plan often falls short on its long-term sustainability. 

More likely than not, you will gain your weight back once you resume normal eating patterns. 

For some, this may even increase the risk of binge eating after the first 3-day dieting period. 

This military diet became famous for its supposed origin in the armed forces. But the fact of the matter is, it has no affiliations with any U.S. military institutions.

There is no magic in this diet itself. 

Loss of weight is mostly caused by restricted calories. Some loss will be from water weight while, while others may come from fat.

It’s a 7-day cycle that gets repeated until you reach your goal weight.

How Does the 3 Day Military Diet Work?

The 3 day military diet is split into 2 phases: 3 days of dieting, followed by 4-days off.

During the first 3 days, you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner per the low-calorie meal plan. You’ll be eating roughly a total of 1,000 to 1,400 calories per day.

There are no snacks between meals, but there are food item substitutions available if you can’t eat certain foods on the menu.

This diet plan keeps the amount of calorie intake low by incorporating a lot of low-calorie foods. You’d find an abundance of black coffee or tea, fiber-rich veggies like broccoli and green beans. But it also offsets the macro imbalance by adding fat sources like cheddar cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla ice cream. For protein, you have foods like canned tuna, steak, and eggs on the menu.

After the strictly enforced first 3 days of dieting is over, you have a 4-day off period, where you get to choose what to eat.

There is no specific instructions for your eating during this period, healthy, however, healthy, low-carb eating is recommended.

You can repeat this weekly diet schedule if desired.

Now that you have a sense of how the 3 day diet works, you may be wondering if it really works.

So let me answer the question here.

Does the 3 Day Diet Work?

Yes, the 3-day military diet works. 

More precisely, many cases show it can, and the reasoning is simple. 

Anytime you reduce your calorie intake, you’ll lose weight. It does not matter which diet plan you are on. It could be intermittent fasting, Paleo or the ketogenic diet.

And the military diet is no exception. 

With that in mind, let’s dive into the meal plan for the first 3 days. 

Day 1: 857 to 1,300 total calories.

Day 1: Military Diet plan

Breakfast: roughly 222 calories

  • 1 slice of whole-grain toast
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1/2 Grapefruit
  • 1 cup of coffee or tea *no milk or sugar

Lunch: roughly 172 calories

  • 1 slice of whole-grain toast
  • 1/2 cup of Tuna
  • 1 cup of coffee or tea

Dinner: roughly 463 calories

  • 3-oz of any meat
  • 1 cup of green beans.
  • 1 small apple.
  • 1/2 banana.
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream.

Day 2: 973 to 1,100 total calories

Day-2 Military Diet Plan

Breakfast: roughly 206 calories

  • 1 slice of whole-grain toast
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1/2 banana

Lunch: roughly 305 calories

  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 5 saltine crackers

Dinner: roughly 462 Calories

  • 2 hot dogs without a bun
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3: 719 to 1,000 total calories

Day 3: Military Diet plan

Breakfast: roughly 253 calories

  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 5 saltine crackers
  • 1 small apple

Lunch: roughly 153 calories

  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 hard-boiled egg

Dinner: roughly 313 calories

  • 1 cup of canned tuna
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Coffee or tea is okay as long as it’s free of sugar and milk. Any other sugary or calorie-added drinks are not allowed. 

The Remaining 4 Days

The remaining 4 days are off-days with far less dietary restrictions. 

But it’s not to say you can be diet free. 

The military diet encourages you to keep your calories under 1,500 a day by managing portions. 

Other than that, you are free to eat what you want to eat. 

Once you complete your 4 days, you can either repeat the 3-day meal plan or continue your off-day diet. 

How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Military Diet?

The proponents of the military diet claim you can lose 10 pounds or 4.5kg in a week. 

While it is possible to lose that much weight in a short period of time, the weight loss most likely comes from water, not fat. 

But the “results” vary from person to person. 

Here is what may influence your result. Age, sex, and current health conditions. 

These personal factors can affect your progress just as much as your calorie intake. So don’t rely on others’ military diet results.

Be willing to consider your personal factors. 

With that said, those overweight or obese may have an easier time seeing a greater and faster weight loss result. 

Generally speaking, it’s harder to lose weight for those already at a healthy weight. 

Regardless of the actual figure, the military diet can help with weight loss —at least for the short term.

But you are also likely to regain the weight back very fast too. Though the diet is repeatable, it’s no way designed to be long-term. 

If you’re serious about permanent weight loss, there are many healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off.  

Why Does the Military Diet Work?

This diet works primarily due to the calorie deficit you create while on a low-calorie meal plan. 

Another aspect is the food selection. 

Granted, not all foods on the menu are healthy or weight-loss friendly. 

For example, ice cream is no friend to dieting. It’s basically sugar and cream in a frozen form. 

But there are many other foods that are indeed diet staples. 

Black coffee, grapefruit, banana, tuna, steak, and even eggs are foods with powerful nutritional benefits. 

Proteins such as 1 cup of tuna, meat, and eggs contain a thermic effect. They burn a good portion of the food’s own calories to digest the food. 

What this means is that your body may only absorb 70 calories eating a 100 calorie steak. 

When trying to limit the calorie intake, certain foods’ natural reaction within the body can be a quite helpful resource for creating an even bigger calorie deficit. 

Other foods like banana, grapefruit and black coffee are similarly known for their weight loss benefits. 

While when you look at the diet as a whole, it may look nothing but illogical planning. However, if you look closely at each food individually, you may start to discover why the military diet works. 

Is 3-Day The Military Diet Evidence-Based?

This diet is most likely not evidence-based. Nor, it has extensive research to back up its claims. 

If you must try, know that you are doing so at your own risk. 

Final Thoughts

This 3 day military diet can work to lose weight—for the short term. 

With their strict meal plan, you may lose some water weight rather quickly. 

But it won’t lead to a sustainable long-term weight loss especially if you neglect to eat healthily after the 3 days and beyond. Too often, dieters regain all the weight lost after the 3 day diet. 

To say the lease, it’s nothing more than a short-term fix with some noticeable results. 

To keep your weight off, be sure to follow a long-term healthy weight loss plan that’s much sustainable and can be part of your lifestyle. 

As with any diets, be sure to check your local physician before starting a new diet. Also, remember to drink lots of water or zero-calorie drinks like coffee or tea to stay hydrated throughout. 

Misato Alexandre

Co-Founder

After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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