The Military Diet

The Military diet, also known as the navy diet, the army diet and the ice cream diet. It is a 3 day diet – apparently one of the world’s most popular diets that claims you can lose up to 10lb in one week!

It is a diet that consists of 3 days “on” and 4 days “off”, to be cycled through until a target weight is reached. It is claimed to have been devised by nutritionists to get soldiers into shape quickly, it is also claimed that it has nothing at all to do with the military itself, it just relies on a similar level of discipline!

It is a simple diet to follow as it is very precise, there is no ambiguity, you just follow the 3 day plan (and for best results the subsequent 4 day plan). There are substitutions for each of the foods so it can be adapted to anyone depending on your likes, dislikes, allergies and [in]tolerances. Use the provided substitutions rather than making your own up for optimal results.

The diet

My 7 day plan can be found in the My Meal Plan for the Week section below.

Full details of the diet can be found here –>

Here’s the pdfs:

Standard 3 Day Plan

Vegetarian/Vegan 3 Day Plan

4 Day “Off” Plan This is a nice guide for meal choices that add up to the daily calorie goal however, you can eat whatever you want on the “off” days, it is just advised that for best results you stick with a calorie maximum of 1,500.

No alcohol is to be consumed during the 3 day phase, it may be consumed in the 4 day “off” part but the calories must be accounted for.

*Warning: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice interacts with certain medications, read more here and consult your doctor if you have any questions.

Calorie intake

The calorie intake for each of the days is roughly as follows:

Day 1‘s calorie intake is around 1,400kcal
Day 2‘s calorie intake is around 1,200kcal
Day 3‘s calorie intake is around 1,100kcal
Day 4 – 7‘s calorie intake is around 1,500kcal

Looking at the above figures, it’s easy to see how the dramatic weight loss is achieved.

🗒️NOTE: Men should add 100 extra calories per day, preferably in the form of protein, not carbs.

How I did it

Followed the 3 day plan, to the letter 😇  No alcohol consumed over the whole week because I’d rather have the calories for food! I will say though, based on the brands that I chose/could get hold of my calorie intake for the 3 days “on” was actually lower than indicated (by a few hundred kcal some days!) so please be aware of this; size of egg, type of bread and brand of ice cream (try and go for the “full fat” option) will all be factors in this.

Food for days 1-3

Substitutions I made were:

🥜 Peanut butter for Almond butter (I don’t like peanuts!)

My meal plan for the week:

This plan includes the 3 days “on” as per the plan, apart from the peanut butter substitution and the choices I made for days 4 to 7 with photos of each meal. Click here for the PDF.

Note: a cup is a standard measure US cup, please refer to an internet search engine for conversions if you do not have an appropriate measure (most kitchen measures tend to have cups as well as tablespoons and grams).

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

💯 Energy levels/Exercise

This excerpt is taken straight from the website “If you exercise on the 3 day Military Diet, you can expect even better results. It’s highly recommended to walk 30 minutes per day while you’re on the diet, 5 days a week. If you’re already on a cardio/weight lifting/circuit program before you start the diet, keep going. But if your workout makes you feel dizzy or weak because of the low calorie count on the diet, slow down your exercise during the three days and try something more moderate. If you ever feel uncomfortable or weak, stop what you’re doing.”

Perhaps obviously, I did continue with my exercise regime, at this point in time I was doing the Insanity program, as well as some filming of my own programs… This is high volume and high intensity and wouldn’t be appropriate for many but as I was already working out at this level, I decided to continue but was fully prepared to stop/dial it back if I felt I didn’t have enough energy.

How I felt

Day 1: Weight 9st 10lb
I have to say, I really enjoyed the food! I enjoyed grapefruit for the first time in my life, lunch was a bit dry but I thoroughly enjoyed dinner – I cooked the green beans in the same [dry] frying pan as the steak so they had a great charred flavour and I heated the apple 🍎🍏 and banana 🍌(again in a dry pan) to top the ice-cream 🍦, it tasted a bit like apple crumble… without the crumble! 😜
I was hungry though… I could have happily eaten the whole days food again!
Day 2: Weight -2lb 
Uninspired with the food when looking at it but actually quite enjoyed it. Definitely looking forward to my breakfast on day 4! I had to take the intensity down slightly on my workout today, reducing some of the jumping.
Day 3: Weight -1lb
Enjoyed my cheese and cracker breakfast but I have to say I was dreading dinner…. just tuna, that’s it – wasn’t bad but wanted something else.
Day 4: Weight -1lb
Beware of portion size on days 4 to 7. If the plan calls for one potato, it does not say what size. Be sensible and don’t go for the biggest you can find – weigh it and use a calorie tracking app or search the internet to ensure the meal allows you to stay within the allocated calories for the day.
Day 5: Weight +/= 0lb
This lunch option was a bit bland, I would recommend adding some spice here, perhaps some chilli or maybe even mustard. 
Day 6: Weight +/= 0lb 
Day 7: Weight +/= 0lb 
Day 8: Weight 9st 6lb
Back to my more usual diet, although I will be taking forward my like for grapefruit and almond butter on toast… and the fact that I don’t always need 2 slices of bread/toast – as long as I add a whole load of veg with it. Oh, and a solitary bowl of tuna does not make a meal!

Water consumed

The diet guidelines tell you to “drink as much water as you can on the Military Diet for the best results”.

You can drink water, black coffee, black tea, and as much unsweetened herbal tea as you like on the 3 day diet. You can also drink these on the 4 day part but any additions in terms of sugar and milk/creamer MUST be included in your calorie count.

For me: I drank 3-4L water each day

💪Body changes/Weight loss

For me: total -4lb and 3cm off my waist!
Weight loss seems kind of inevitable! Being such a low calorie diet, weight loss is inevitable (as long as you’re honest with yourself!) however whether it’s fat you lose is questionable… Water weight is likely the first to go. Whether this is sustainable in the long term, I am unsure, it is said that the 3 days can be repeated weekly so as long as you can keep the calorie count under control on the “off” days it should be doable, personally, Ineed more food than that, especially protein and I’d like to get all the vitamins and minerals I require without having to supplement.

😵 Side effects

Apart from hunger – no adverse side effects.

💰 Cost

Reasonable, as there’s not a lot of food involved, especially for the first 3 days!

🤔 Ease

Very easy to follow, have to weigh/measure out to be uber accurate. Easy to plan ahead.

🙌Was it enjoyable?

A quick, easy plan that can kick start weight loss by reducing your calorie intake. I actually quite enjoyed the food but it’s not something I would want to commit to long term. I think the key is to make each meal look as pretty as possible because there’s not a lot of it.
It works – calorie restriction and portion control are the key. 

Would I recommend it 💭

If there is an event that you want a quick transformation for, I would recommend the Military Diet, body changes and weight loss were apparent.