Food Substitutions for the 3 Day Military Diet

Dieting to lose weight is difficult, especially if the diet restricts the type of foods you can eat. The 3 Day Military Diet claims to be able to help people lose up to 10 pounds with the three-day meal plans it provides.

However, if you’re allergic to some of the foods on the diet or do not like them, it can be discouraging, and you may feel as if the diet isn’t for you. Fortunately, if you cannot eat some of the foods, there are 3 Day Military Diet substitutions that you can make.

​How does the Diet Work?

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Before you make substitutions with any diet, it’s important to know why certain foods were chosen for it.

​Low-Calorie Count

The 3 Day Military Diet works because it requires low calorie foods since it restricts calories to 1,000 to 1,200 per day. The low caloric intake helps you lose weight because the body naturally burns calories through processes like breathing, pumping blood, and digesting food. Then, when you add everyday activities like doing housework, grocery shopping, or getting ready for work, the calories you burn may lead to weight loss.

Even if you’re sedentary, which means only doing light activities associated with your life, like doing housework or going to the grocery store, you are still burning calories. The average woman, 31 to 50 years of age, burns about 1,800 calories per day if she is sedentary. The average man at the same age burns about 2,200 calories.

Since they are only eating about 1,000 military diet calories per day on the diet, most people should be able to lose weight if they follow the meal plans.

​Intermittent Fasting

At such a low-calorie count, the diet is considered an intermittent fast. You don’t need to refrain from eating in order to fast as intermittent fasting means to eat very little food occasionally. In fact, it may be healthy for you and can help to:

  • ​Lower blood glucose levels.
  • ​Lower insulin resistance.
  • ​Reduce inflammation.
  • ​Reduce cardiovascular risks.

Researchers believe the benefits are due to the slight stress fasting puts on the body’s cells, which helps strengthen them and makes them able to resist diseases. Intermittent fasting also burns stored fat because, after about 12 hours, the body runs out of stored energy from carbohydrates.

​Boosts Metabolism

The foods that are chosen for the 3 Day Military Diet also boosts your metabolism, which helps to burn more calories. The diet consists of foods and drinks that increase the metabolism, like:

  • ​Caffeine
  • ​Grapefruit
  • ​Tuna
  • ​Peanut butter
  • ​Apples
  • ​Cottage cheese
  • ​Ice cream

Foods high in protein, such as tuna, eggs, and peanut butter, take more energy for the body to process, which burns fat. Studies also suggest that low-fat or fat-free dairy can boost weight loss.

Research conducted by a nutrition professor at the University of Tennessee found that the calcium in dairy products accelerated weight loss on low calorie diets in mice. Similar studies on humans also found that three servings of dairy per day on a calorie restricted diet could accelerate both weight and body fat loss.

However, what happens if you’re lactose intolerant or have food allergies, like being allergic to peanuts? Fortunately, you can still use this diet to lose weight by making 3 Day Military Diet substitutions.

​Military Diet Substitutes

There could be some foods on the 3 Day Military Diet that are problematic for some people. Fortunately, many of the foods on the meal plans are used sparingly, so substituting them should be easy to do.

​Protein Substitutes

Protein plays a vital role in the body as a macronutrient, which means your body requires large amounts of it to stay healthy. It is the main building block for muscles, bones, cartilage, blood, and skin. The hair and nails are mostly made up of protein, it also helps to build and repair body tissues, and the formation of hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals also depend on it.

Peanut Butter

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Peanut butter is on the first day of the diet for breakfast, so if you are allergic to nuts or nut butter, you only need to be concerned about it once. When substituting peanut butter, you should look for another food that is high in protein to lose weight and give your body the energy it needs.

If you cannot have peanut butter due to an allergy, or because you don’t like the taste, try alternative military diet substitutions like soy, sunflower, hummus, or almond butter. You can also select a seed or nut butter to which you’re not allergic or that you like better.


Along with being rich in protein, tuna also has a high amount of Omega 3 fatty acids that are good for heart health. Omega 3s may also help to elevate your mood, and it keeps eyes healthy. When you’re on the military diet, you can bake, grill, or spread plain tuna on bread as an open-faced sandwich to avoid additional calories.

Many people avoid a tuna diet due to the high levels of mercury that the fish can sometimes contain. If you decide to eat tuna, buy wild caught tuna as the mercury levels may be lower. However, if you don’t want to eat tuna, you can substitute it for any lean meat, such as chicken. People who are vegetarians can substitute it for tofu, nuts, or cottage cheese.

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Another protein that is prominent on the diet are eggs, which are on the diet two days out of the three. Not only do they contain a high amount of protein, but eggs have amino acids, vitamins, and iron that your body requires.

If you don’t like eggs or cannot eat them due to high cholesterol or an allergy, you can add these substitutes to your military diet shopping list:

  • ​Milk – one cup for one egg.
  • ​Nuts and Seeds – ¼ cup per egg.
  • ​One chicken wing – per egg.
  • ​Two bacon slices – per egg.

If you don’t like boiled eggs, they can be fried, scrambled, poached, or boiled, but avoid using ingredients to cook them that will increase their calorie count.

​Dairy Substitutes

Even though having dairy in your diet may aid in weight loss and it contains calcium, vitamins, and minerals that keep the body healthy, some people cannot have dairy products due to lactose intolerance. For those people, they can try a military diet substitute like fruit juice, eggs, or ham.

For people who don’t have issues with lactose intolerance, they can make some substitutes if they’ve tried the diet before or they don’t like the dairy options. A good substitute for cottage cheese may be:

  • ​Plain Greek yogurt
  • ​Eggs
  • ​Ham
  • ​Cheddar cheese
  • ​Ricotta cheese

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Since there is ice cream on the diet, you can substitute it for:

  • ​Applesauce
  • ​Frozen yogurt
  • ​Fruit yogurt

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While ice cream may not be the type of military food you expect on this diet, vanilla ice cream was put on the menu because it has the least flavoring and sugar of any other flavor. However, if you don’t like it, a good vanilla substitute could be almost any flavor that doesn’t add additional calories or sugar when compared it.

Fruits can add sugar to ice cream because fruit has natural sugar in them. You can try substituting vanilla with an almond flavored ice cream if you’re not allergic to nuts. Read the labels on different flavors of ice cream to find those with the same number of calories and sugar per serving as vanilla. However, try to stay away from your favorite flavor as it can be tempting and you may eat more of it than you should.

​Fruit Substitutes

There are several fruits on the 3 Day Military Diet, including grapefruit, bananas, and apples. If you don’t like any of the fruits, then they can be switched for another that you do like.


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Some people who take certain medications, especially cholesterol medications, may not be able to eat grapefruit because it can interact with their prescriptions. Some good substitutes for grapefruit are oranges or mandarin oranges.


While bananas may not give most people problems, they can cause some people to have constipation. Also, some people with diabetes avoid bananas because they can be high in sugar, especially if they are very ripe. If you need a banana substitute, consider grapes, a kiwi, or an apricot.

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Although an apple a day can supposedly keep the doctor away, some people cannot eat apples. It may be because they don’t like them or they may have issues with their teeth. Substitutes for apples include:

  • ​Apricots
  • ​Peaches
  • ​Grapes
  • ​Nectarines
  • ​Pears
  • ​Plums

If you have a problem with any of the foods on the diet, there are many alternatives you can switch to and eat as 3 Day Military Diet substitutes. Just avoid foods high in natural sugar, do not use creams, gravies, or other condiments that can add calories to the diet. By adhering to the diet as closely as possible, you may be able to lose between five to 10 pounds in only three days.

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