Military diet facts: Myths & reality

Military Diet in 2017

Military Diet Woman Body

Military diet is considered one of the most effective diets around the world. The first reviews of this diet appeared in 2012, and its popularity grew steadily in subsequent years.

The popularity phenomenon of the military diet on the Internet may be explained by several factors.

Firstly, it promises a rapid weight loss in just 7 days.
Secondly, it does not cause undesirable side effects.
Thirdly, it is free and does not require much time.

The basis of the diet is a sharp, but short-term restriction of calorie intake. In various military diet reviews, people point a different number of calories you have to consume for a quick weight loss.

Some authors argue that the military diet provides a fast weight loss, if you consume no more than 1,000 calories per day.

Other authors argue that a rapid weight loss requires consuming up to 1500 calories per day.

The lack of consensus on the issue of the required daily calorie intake makes one doubt that the military diet really works.

The so-called “military diet” attracts attention by its bright name, simplicity, and numerous references in blogs and vlogs. However, it has nothing to do with the guidelines for menu planning in the army.

Therefore, it should not be regarded as a science-based diet, designed specifically for weight control and obesity prevention in soldiers.

What is Military Diet?

After reading the military diet reviews, we may conclude that this is one of the varieties of the 7-day low-calorie diet, which consists of two stages.

The duration of the first stage is 3 days. At the initial stage, you should stick to a diet plan that consists of three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner (no snacking).

Two key features of the three-day diet plan.

1. Sharp restriction of caloric intake – up to 1,500/day.
2. Gradual decrease in calorie intake – up to 1,000/day.

The list of products, recommended for the military diet, includes:

  • toasts
  • crackers
  • tuna
  • meat
  • hot dog without a bun
  • peanut butter
  • beans
  • egg
  • cheddar cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • ice cream
  • grapefruit
  • apples
  • banana
  • carrot
  • broccoli
  • tea and/or coffee

3 Days Military Diet

Once you buy all these products, you will be able to start the first phase of military diet.

Day 1

On the first day, you should eat no more than 1500 calories, divided into three main meals.

  • Breakfast: toast, peanut butter, grapefruit, tea or coffee.
  • Lunch: bread, canned tuna, tea or coffee.
  • Dinner: meat, beans, apple, banana, ice cream.

Day 2

On the second day, you need to reduce the energy value of the daily food intake to 1,250 calories a day, and divide those calories into three meals.

  • Breakfast: toast, boiled egg, banana, coffee or tea.
  • Lunch: Egg, cheese, crackers, coffee or tea.
  • Dinner: hot dog without bun, carrots, broccoli, banana, ice cream.

Day 3

On the third day, you should eat no more than 1,000 calories per day, divided into three meals.

  • Breakfast: Cheddar cheese, salted crackers, apple, tea or coffee.
  • Lunch: toast, eggs, tea or coffee.
  • Dinner: tuna, banana ice cream.

Food-A-Pedia LogoTo figure out, what is the caloric value of foods, included in the military diet, you may use special online programs, including online calculators, recommended by the US Department of Agriculture, such as:

Using these programs, you will be able to create the military diet plan, incl.:

  • Calculate the total number of products per day (in grams).
  • Divide the total amount of calories for three main meals.

Tips and tricks for the first phase of the diet

Before you start the military diet, pre-purchase all the products that it includes. If you have a food allergy, and you are not allowed to eat foods from the military diet, you may replace them to similar products with other ingredients.

For example, you may replace peanut butter with butter made of almond, cashew, or hazelnut. When replacing one product to another, be sure to consider its calorie content and nutritional value.

The second stage of the military diet

The duration of the second stage is 4 days. During the second stage of the military diet you are allowed to eat any kind of food, but not more than 1500 calories per day. Despite the fact that there are no strict dietary restrictions for the second stage:

  • try to eliminate from the diet very fatty and very sweet foods.
  • eat more vegetables and fruits, and drink plenty of water.

Fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of insoluble fiber, which does not contain calories, but enhance satiety. Therefore, consuming fruits and vegetables will make it easier to comply with the low-calorie diet without feeling the painful hunger.

Military Diet Menu Plan

Calories-counting online calculators will also come in handy for the second phase of the military diet. They will make your military diet more simple, understandable and accessible.

According to the military diet fans, in just 7 days they are able to reduce their weight by 10 pounds. However, the human body is incapable of burning fat with such a high speed.

A significant reduction of body fat percentage takes as much as several weeks to several months. Therefore, military diet is unlikely to please and impress you with excellent results.

If you want to lose weight by burning fat, repeat the intermittent military diet until you get sustainable results in the fight against obesity.

Who benefits from Military Diet?

One of the most important advantages of the 7-day diet lies in the fact that it motivates the obese person to make the first step to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.

Another plus of the 7-day intermittent diet is that even a short-term caloric restriction may be useful for metabolism.

This short-term diet has no cons, so you may treat it as another attempt to become leaner. Yet, if you want to get maximum results in the fight against obesity, look for long-term weight loss diet, for example, the real military diet, used in the US Army.

What diet is recommended for American soldiers?

Obesity is a growing problem for most people in the United States, including for military men and women. According to the US Army Human Resources Command Public Affairs Office, more than 4 500 thousand American soldiers have been dismissed because of excessive weight in 2008.

To combat obesity, Army Weight Control Program (AWCP) was launched in the US Army, which included the science-based diet Go for Green (G4G).

Namely G4G is the true military diet, thanks to which the military succeed in:

  • maintaining a healthy weight.
  • increasing muscle strength and mental capacity.
  • quickly recovering from intense exercise.

Military diet (G4G) is recommended for all army dining facilities. Yet, proper planning of this diet requires the efforts of trained personnel. Therefore, it is used for healthy diet planning only in some of all the military installations, in which US soldiers serve.

What is the real military diet?

The principle of a healthy diet in the US Army is based on the distribution of food into three basic categories.

  • The first category – low-calorie foods, recommended for frequent consumption. This product category is coded green.
  • The second category – mid-calorie foods, recommended for occasional use. This product category is coded yellow.
  • The third category – high-calorie foods, recommended for occasional use. This product category is coded red.

The American soldiers have the possibility to consume food of any color category. However, knowing that the products with the red coding may contribute to a rapid weight gain, soldiers are trying to limit their consumption, and opt for a more “healthy” food with green and yellow codes.

Effective Military Diet

In addition to color coding, military diet has a coding that accounts for the salt content of the products. All foods from the diet are divided into three additional categories:

  • Foods with a low salt content
  • Foods with an average content of salt
  • Foods high in salt

In periods of high physical activity, soldiers need to consume more salt, than in the period of rest. Additional coding helps soldiers limit salt intake during rest and increase salt intake during intense military training.

The military diet plan includes more than 2,000 ready-made dishes with a different salt content, and with a different color codes. If desired, you may find the recipes for these dishes and try to cook them at home.

To adhere to the real military diet at home, you will need to study a lot of information about:

  • caloric and nutritional value of different foods.
  • cooking methods for foods from different color categories.
  • processing methods for packed and fresh products.

Unfortunately, strict adherence to military diet is impossible in domestic conditions. Yet, some of the tips and advice, given by the authors of the diet for the US military, may be useful for you.

You may find a summary of this diet for the US military in this brochure, as well as subscribe to the official page of military diet in Facebook.

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