We’ve all come across fad diets on the internet – inviting diet plans with flashing bright letters that promise to transform your body in no time.
As much as they might not be 100% honest, there are a lot of people who give them a try. After all, who wants to spend endless hours at the gym?
But there is one diet plan that is changing the way people lose weight – the military diet. Also known as the Coffee Diet or the Grapefruit Diet, this meal plan promises to help you lose up to 10 pounds in less than a week while indulging in delicacies like ice cream and hotdogs! No wonder there has been so much fuss about it.
The principle guiding the military diet is pretty simple – stick to a strict diet plan for three days and eat whatever you want for the rest of the week. Sounds like a weight loss dream come true, right? Well, not until we find out whether it works.
What is the Military Diet and How Does it Work?
The military diet — has nothing to do with the military — combines chemically compatible foods with low-calorie meals to kick-start the fat burning process.
This program features “on” and “off” days. “On” days are the three days of the week in which you have to follow a strict menu of low-calorie foods, while “off” days are the remaining days of the week where you can revert back to your normal diet.
The complete diet routine looks something like this:
Day 1 (1400 calories)
- Breakfast: One slice of bread or toast with black coffee/tea, half grapefruit, and two spoons of peanut butter.
- Lunch: Half a cup of tuna, a slice of toast or bread, and tea or black coffee.
- Dinner: 3-ounce meat, a cupful of green beans, one apple (small), half a banana, and one cup of vanilla ice cream.
Day 2 (1200 calories)
- Breakfast: One slice of bread or toast, one egg, and half a banana.
- Lunch: One boiled egg, one cup of cottage cheese, and five saltine crackers.
- Dinner: One cup of broccoli, two bunless hot dogs, half a banana, and one cup of vanilla ice cream.
Day 3 (1100 calories)
- Breakfast: One apple (small), five saltine crackers, and one slice of cheddar.
- Lunch: One egg and one slice of toast or bread.
- Dinner: Half a banana, one cupful of tuna, and one cup of vanilla ice cream.
You are allowed to make limited food substitutions as long as you don’t exceed the specified calorie count for each day. On your off days, you can eat anything you want, provided you keep the calorie count at about 1500 per day.
Military Diet Reviews
The Military Diet: Is It Effective?
There has been a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of the military diet. While some dieters think that the plan is just another diet fad, military diet reviews testify that the plan has worked wonders for those seeking to lose weight.
To find out whether the military diet works, let’s take a closer look at its core guiding principles.
1. Low Calories
One of the core principles of the military diet routine is consuming fewer calories than what your body needs.
If you consume less than your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) – but enough to sustain your body’s energy needs – there is a chance that you will lose weight. That is unless you have a pre-existing case of untreated hormonal imbalance.
Judging by the principle of consuming low-calorie foods, the military diet plan seems effective. But there are a few hitches.
First, the claim that it can make you lose ten pounds in just one week seems unrealistic. According to a weight loss calculator, a 5ft 25-years old female weighing 140 pounds and consuming 1200 calories daily should take about six weeks to lose ten pounds.
A second counter-argument can be made on the grounds that the military diet plan fails to consider different body sizes when prescribing the number of calories to be consumed during “on” days.
People with smaller bodies may have to eat less than 1200 calories to attain a significant weight loss. For a 4ft female weighing 130 pounds, the TDEE is roughly 1300 calories. Therefore, if she consumes 1200 calories per day, she will be short by just 100 calories, which is quite insignificant when weight loss is concerned.
Generally, the program works best on bigger people.
Moreover, if you are slimmer, it will be hard to lose weight with this diet plan. This is because slim people require fewer calories to sustain their body functions, and the 1200 calories they’ll consume daily under this diet plan will be more than enough.
From various military diet reviews, one of the most common complaints has been starvation. Consumers complain that to program starves them. While you may feel hungry most of the time when you start this diet plan, it does not starve you. A daily intake of 1200 is enough for your metabolic processes, regardless of your size.
You can only starve if your daily calorie intake falls below 800.
2. Intermittent Fasting
Fasting speeds up the weight loss process by increasing metabolism and ensuring that your body doesn’t get used to a certain amount of calories.
It also helps your body regulate hormones and keep your insulin levels on the check, accelerating the weight loss process.
However, the fasting strategy employed by the military diet is somewhat ineffective as it does not embrace alternate fasting. This type of fasting involves alternating a low-calorie day with a normal-calorie day. This will make the body uncertain of the amount of food it needs and, as a result, accelerate the rate of metabolism.
It is not quite clear why the military diet does not utilize alternate fasting and instead condenses all the low calories days together. Probably, it’s because the diet’s effectiveness hinges on combining chemically compatible foods to increase metabolism.
3. Low in Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates that are notorious for triggering weight gains, therefore, they should be administered in low quantities.
Foods rich in carbohydrates include pasta, rice, and bread. In the military diet, you can substitute these foods with low carb fruits, vegetables, saltine crackers, and toast.
4. High in Proteins
A military diet should include protein-rich foods like chicken, eggs, fish, and cheese.
High protein intake promotes weight loss in two ways. First, the proteins burn a lot of calories during digestion and this reduces the number of calories absorbed by the body. Apparently, 30% of calories found in proteins are used up in the process.
Secondly, since proteins take longer to metabolize, they may make you feel full quickly. The prolonged feeling of satiety reduces your appetite, and this translates to less calorie consumption.
Moreover, combining protein-rich foods with low-dense energy foods accelerates the weight loss process. That is why the military diet prescribes a combination of fruit, proteins, and vegetables. The protein helps your body retain muscle mass, while the fruits and vegetables are used for energy.
5. Foods Rich in Calcium
Calcium-rich foods like dairy products accelerate the weight loss process. Calcium is a key ingredient in lipolysis, the digestive process that breaks down fats. It also stimulates thermogenesis, a process that oxidizes fats to produce heat in the body.
If you take a closer look at the military diet, you will notice that it prescribes calcium in large amounts. Unlike other diet plans in which calcium is provided through supplements, the calcium in the military diet comes from natural food.
Adding grapefruit to the diet is one of the smartest things the creators of the military diet did. The fruit assists in weight loss by increasing the PH levels in the body. Generally, the digestive system burns fats faster in alkaline conditions.
That is why it is never recommended to substitute the grapefruit with any other fruit – very few fruits have the alkaline properties. However, you can replace the grapefruit with a mixture of water and baking soda or fresh grape juice with few Stevia drops.
7. No Sugar
You don’t need to be a diet expert to know that too much sugar is harmful to your health.
A lot of sugar not only harms your body but also increases its weight. This explains the absence of low-fat foods in the military diet. Low-fat foods usually have high sugar content.
Healthy fats are preferred instead – despite having a considerable amount of digestible fat, they are low on sugar.
8. High Consumption Water
The military diet encourages users to drink a lot of water between meals for two main reasons.
First, consuming large amounts of water makes you feel full and reduces your appetite. If you drink water before a meal, you are likely to eat less food. This is also a healthy way to fight cravings.
Another reason for high water intake is accelerated metabolism. A study supports this claim, arguing that consuming 17 ounces of water increases the rate of metabolism by about 30% in just a few hours. According to this estimation, if you drink eight glasses of water per day, it will help you burn an extra 400kj of energy.
9. Alcohol Prohibited
The military diet prohibits the consumption of alcohol during the dieting period.
One of the reasons for this is the high-calorie count found in alcohol. According to the NHS, a standard glass of wine contains 126 calories, while one pint of beer contains up to 215 calories.
The high-calorie count aside, alcohol also triggers unhealthy eating habits. After a wild night out, you are likely to stop for a burger and other unhealthy snacks. Even if you go for a healthier snack, you will most certainly consume more than you normally do. The last thing a dieter wants is an appetite that’s out of control.
Another possible reason for the exclusion of alcohol in the military diet is the fact that it dehydrates the body, reversing the benefits of the meal plan.
10. Black Coffee
Ever noticed that your body temperature and heart rate increase after a cup of coffee?
This is because the caffeine in the coffee increases the rate of metabolism, and this helps your body burn more fats. Considering that the effect of coffee on your metabolism lasts up to two hours after consumption, it is a strategy worth trying especially if you combine it with healthy eating habits.
What are the Benefits of the Military Diet?
Most diets are usually complicated, long, and tedious. You also have to spend a lot of money on your groceries and supplements.
What’s more, the slow, steady-type weight loss programs require a heap of dedication and willpower. If you are looking for quick results, this long process can make you frustrated and you can easily give up.
However, the military diet is short and easy to follow. Not to mention, has rapid results on your body. If you want to get slim quickly for vacation, this is the meal plan for you. All the meals are very easy to prepare, you don’t have to be a chef or get a chef for this.
Cons of the Military Diet
The military diet lacks food substitution for people with allergies and sensitivities. If you want to follow the program but cannot take certain foods for one reason or another, you can attempt to make your own substitutes by selecting other foods with a similar calorie count.
The only downside for this is that it may negatively affect your overall results.
The military diet employs logical scientific reasoning and principles. Although it has its fair share of shortcomings, it is effective and can help you attain your weight loss goals. If you are still skeptical about its effectiveness, you can check out online military diet reviews for more information.
However, you should bear in mind that this diet plan will only work if you exercise and be committed.