The 7-Day Military Diet promises jaw-dropping weight loss without needing to slave away at the gym or deprive yourself of all your favorite foods. But can this seemingly too-good-to-be-true regimen really melt off 10 pounds in just a week? Is this a sustainable slim-down solution or another sketchy fad diet destined for the trash?
Learn how this short-term, calorie-slashing plan claims to whip your body into weight loss shape through food combinations designed to torch through fat.
- 1 What Is the 7-Day Military Diet?
- 2 How Does The 7-Day Military Diet Work? The Science Behind it
- 3 Why is vanilla ice cream part of the military diet?
- 4 army diet 7 day plan
- 5 Vegan 7-Day Military Diet Plan
- 6 How Much Weight Can I Lose On A 7-Day Military Diet Plan?
- 7 Benefits Of A 7-Day Military Diet
- 8 What are the risks of the military diet?
- 9 Military Diet Results Before And After
- 10 Who Can And Who Cannot Do The 7-Day Military Diet Plan?
- 11 Author
What Is the 7-Day Military Diet?
Don’t let the name fool you – this diet isn’t actually affiliated with any military or government group, despite the militant moniker. You may have heard it called the Navy diet, Army diet, or even the ice cream diet (more on that later!).
The big claim of the 7-day military diet plan is that it can melt 10 pounds in just one week. Apparently, this fast weight loss can be repeated with each round of the diet. There are two phases: three days of super strict eating followed by four days of…well, less restrictive but still not exactly normal eating.
So how does the military diet whip your body into fat-burning shape? Let’s break down exactly what this phase-based diet entails and how it supposedly sparks rapid shrinking. The military precision of the strict rules aims to get your body shedding pounds immediately.
How Does The 7-Day Military Diet Work? The Science Behind it
How does the 7-day military diet deliver rapid weight loss, and what chemicals or processes are involved? Buckle up; we’re about to demystify it.
1. Caloric Deficit
The 7-Day Military Diet relies on the fundamental principle of weight loss: creating a calorie deficit. The diet’s first phase, spanning three days, is characterized by strict caloric limitations. It aims to keep your daily calorie intake between 1,100 to 1,400 calories, a significant reduction compared to the daily intake recommended for the average adult (usually ranging from 1,600 to 3,000 calories).
2. Rapid Glycogen Depletion
During these initial days, the body’s glycogen stores are rapidly depleted. This is a type of glucose mainly stored in the liver. As you follow the diet’s low-calorie regimen and limit carbohydrate intake, your body starts breaking down glycogen for energy.
For every gram of glycogen, your body holds onto about three grams of water. So, as glycogen is used up, excess water is expelled, leading to a noticeable drop in water weight.
3. Fat Loss vs. Water Weight
Here’s where the magic happens—or rather, where the confusion arises. The 7-Day Military Diet claims to help you lose up to 10 pounds in a week. However, the majority of this weight loss is attributed to water weight, not fat loss. Only a small fraction, typically 1-2 pounds, accounts for actual fat loss.
4. Chemical reaction
The diet plays around with some chemical reactions and sub-swaps to meet its goals. For instance, on Day 1 you can trade half a grapefruit for half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed into water. The baking soda makes your stomach more alkaline, which may influence how you digest and metabolize foods.
Coffee and tea: These are allowed in moderation as part of the plan. These caffeinated buddies can curb your appetite a bit, which helps you stick to the strict calorie limits.
High-Protein Content: Another thing that stands out about this 7-day military diet is its extra high protein content. Loading up on protein-packed foods helps you feel full and content, which can keep overeating in check.
Alkaline vs. Acidic Foods: The diet’s substitution of grapefruit with baking soda raises questions about the concept of alkaline and acidic foods. The idea is that altering the pH level in your stomach influences how your body processes nutrients and burns calories. However, the scientific basis for this remains debatable.
Low-Fiber Foods: One criticism of the diet is its emphasis on low-fiber foods. Many of the recommended items lack the fiber content necessary for healthy digestion and satiety. Fiber-rich foods, according to the American Heart Association, can help you feel full without excess calories and aid in avoiding constipation.
Why is vanilla ice cream part of the military diet?
The inclusion of vanilla ice cream in the diet is intriguing. While it’s a source of sugar and calories, its purpose might be Threefold. First, it can satisfy sweet cravings that often derail diets. Second, it contributes to the calorie count, helping you stay within the prescribed range.
Third the high calcium content in vanilla ice cream may also help shed those pounds. Calcium aids in the regulation of your body’s fat-burning process, and increases metabolism. But the benefits lie in only having enough to quench those sweet cravings without overdoing it.
army diet 7 day plan
The 7-Day Military Diet is a structured meal plan divided into two phases over a week. During the first phase (the initial three days), you adhere to a highly restrictive calorie intake, consuming specific foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacking between meals is not allowed during this phase. Let’s break it down further:
Phase 1: The First 3 Days
Here’s what you can expect on these days:
Breakfast: 1 slice of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, half a grapefruit, and optional coffee or tea.
Lunch: A slice of toast, half a cup of tuna, and optional coffee or tea.
Dinner: 3 ounces of any meat, 1 cup of green beans, 1 small apple, half a banana, and 1 cup of vanilla ice cream.
Total: About 1,400 calories
Breakfast: 1 slice of toast, 1 hard-boiled egg, half a banana, and optional coffee or tea.
Lunch: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cup of cottage cheese, 5 saltine crackers, and optional coffee or tea.
Dinner: 2 hot dogs (no bun), half a cup of carrots, half a cup of broccoli, half a banana, and half a cup of vanilla ice cream.
Total: About 1,200 calories
Breakfast: 1 1-ounce slice of cheddar cheese, 5 saltine crackers, 1 small apple, and optional coffee or tea.
Lunch: 1 slice of toast, 1 egg (prepared as you like), and optional coffee or tea.
Dinner: 1 cup of tuna, half a banana, and 1 cup of vanilla ice cream.
Total: About 1,100 calories
Replacements For The 7-Day Military Diet
If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, here are some alternative foods you can substitute:
- 1 slice of toast can be replaced with options like a high-protein bar, sunflower seeds, or whole-grain cereal.
- Half a grapefruit can be replaced with half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water.
- 1 cup of black coffee or tea can be substituted with green tea or sugar-free energy drinks.
- Half a cup of tuna can be swapped with options like sushi-grade tuna, almonds, tofu, cottage cheese, or canned chicken.
- 3 ounces of meat can be replaced with beans, lentils, tofu, or Portobello mushrooms.
- 1 cup of green beans can be substituted with options like asparagus, baby kale, broccoli, or tomatoes.
Remember to maintain similar calorie counts when making substitutions. Staying hydrated with plenty of water is essential, and hot lemon water is recommended. You can enjoy tea or coffee, but without sugar or cream to keep calorie counts in check.
Phase 2: Days 4 To 7
The second phase of the 7-Day Military Diet introduces more flexibility. Snacking is allowed, and there are no strict food restrictions. However, it’s advisable to keep your daily calorie intake below 1,500 calories. Throughout the 7 days, avoid artificially sweetened beverages.
Here’s a sample 1,200-calorie diet plan for phase 2:
Breakfast: 1 cup of green tea, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened Greek yogurt, and 5 almonds.
Morning snack: Oatmeal and 1 cup of lemonade (without sweeteners).
Lunch: Baked or grilled chicken breast, half a cup of cooked brown rice, and 1 cup of steamed veggies (excluding potatoes).
Afternoon snack: Celery sticks with low-fat hummus.
Supper: Grilled salmon, 1 cup of steamed veggies (excluding potatoes), 1 cup of lemonade (without sweeteners), and half a cup of quinoa.
Dessert: Banana and raspberry smoothie made with half a cup of raspberries and the same amount of bananas.
Vegan 7-Day Military Diet Plan
For vegans, the menu varies slightly, but it’s still feasible:
Breakfast: Half a grapefruit, 1 slice of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea.
Lunch: Half an avocado, 1 slice of whole-wheat toast, 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea, and 2 tablespoons of hummus.
Dinner: Half a banana, 1 small apple, tofu (up to 300 calories), 1 cup of green beans, and 1 cup of dairy-free ice cream.
Breakfast: Half a cup of baked beans, 1 slice of whole-wheat toast, half a banana, and 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea.
Lunch: 1 cup of unsweetened soy, hemp, or almond milk, half an avocado, 2 tablespoons of hummus, and 5 saltine crackers.
Dinner: 2 veggie hot dogs (no buns), 1 cup of broccoli, half a cup of dairy-free ice cream, and half a cup of carrots.
Breakfast: 15–20 almonds, 5 saltine crackers (or half a cup of quinoa or couscous), 1 small apple.
Lunch: Half an avocado, 1 tablespoon of hummus, and 1 slice of whole-wheat bread.
Dinner: Half a cup of canned chickpeas, half a banana, and 1 cup of dairy-free ice cream.
Foods to avoid while on the 7-Day Military Diet:
- Artificial sweeteners (except for Stevia)
- Butter and creamers
- Fruit juices
- Milk and sugar (except in ice cream)
- Yogurt (unless it’s Greek yogurt)
How Much Weight Can I Lose On A 7-Day Military Diet Plan?
The 7-Day Military Diet claims to help you shed up to 10 pounds in a single week. While this is achievable, especially for those with excess weight to lose, it’s essential to understand the nature of the weight loss.
The majority of the weight lost during this diet is water weight, not fat. In fact, only 1-2 pounds of the total weight loss can be attributed to fat loss. Rapid loss of water weight occurs when glycogen stores in the body decrease, which happens when calorie and carbohydrate intake is restricted. However, once you resume your regular eating habits, this lost water weight can quickly return.
To put it into perspective, losing 1 pound of fat typically requires a calorie deficit of around 3,500 calories. So, to lose 10 pounds, you’d need to create a calorie deficit of approximately 35,000 calories. Achieving such a calorie deficit in just one week requires extreme and potentially unhealthy calorie deprivation.
Benefits Of A 7-Day Military Diet
- Quick weight loss due to a highly restrictive calorie intake.
- Simplicity – the diet is straightforward, with a predefined meal plan.
- Cost-effectiveness – no need for expensive foods or supplements.
- High protein content keeps you feeling full and preserves muscle mass while providing energy.
Cons And Associated Risks
While the 7-Day Military Diet promises rapid results, it comes with its share of drawbacks:
- Limited Menu: The diet restricts your food choices to a set menu, potentially leading to nutrient deficiencies.
- Low Fiber: Many recommended foods lack fiber, which is important for healthy weight loss and digestion.
- Water Weight Loss: Most of the initial weight loss is water, not fat.
- Highly Processed Foods: The diet includes processed foods rich in salt, which can lead to excessive sodium intake, potentially harmful to your health.
What are the risks of the military diet?
Is it safe to follow the 7-Day Military Diet? It can be relatively harmless for short-term use, as the duration is too brief to pose a lasting health risk. However, consistently following this diet can lead to malnourishment due to its limited calorie intake. Regular consumption of junk foods like ice cream and hot dogs can also result in metabolic issues.
These highly processed foods are typically low in essential nutrients like protein and fiber but high in empty calories and unhealthy fats. Overconsumption of such foods can trigger a surge in dopamine, the brain’s reward and pleasure center, potentially leading to unhealthy food addiction.
Military Diet Results Before And After
Here are some men and women who tried this diet and their results. You’ll notice some people did a few rounds of this diet to lose significant amounts of weight, while others used it more as a short-term weight loss tool. While all are impressive, the true success of this diet is how you choose to eat afterward. It’s this that will lead to sustained weight loss. Anywho, let’s take a look at the results below
Who Can And Who Cannot Do The 7-Day Military Diet Plan?
The 7-Day Military Diet may be suitable for healthy adults seeking rapid weight loss for a specific event, such as a wedding. It’s important to note that this diet is not recommended for long-term weight loss.
While quick fixes are tempting, remember that sustainable weight loss requires more than short-term solutions. Consider adopting a balanced, long-term approach, such as the Mediterranean diet, for lasting results.
People above the age of 50 should avoid extremely low-calorie diets like the 7-Day Military Diet, as per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.