(Diet Review) The Military Diet – Tough Love, or Dumb Diet?
Look. We all want things quickly. We want our internet to be quick. We want our meals to be made quickly. We want hacks (I hate that word) for every aspect of our lives…to make them quicker! So it’s not a huge surprise that quick weight loss is on a lot of peoples’ wish lists this New Year. And that’s where diets like The Military Diet come in.
The Military Diet is a fairly new scheme that seems to be loosely based on intermittent fasting, which I reviewed here. But this diet has no actual fasting, so, not so much.
As with most diets that I review, this one is based on some truth – like, intermittent fasting has been positively associated with sustainable weight loss (although again, 1100-1400 calories generally isn’t considered fasting) – and a lot of bullshit. And just so you know, that bullshit part is what sucks people in and makes them think that the diet is something special. Which it isn’t, but why not?
The Military Diet Review – let’s go!
What It Is
The Military Diet is a 3-day diet which contains food combinations ‘designed to burn fat, kick start your metabolism, and lose weight fast. In fact, the Military Diet is one of the best natural diets for rapid weight loss without a prescription.’ (in case you didn’t get the quotes, those are their words, not mine)
The diet claims that its foods are ‘chemically compatible’ and ‘designed to work together to jump start your weight loss’.
You can lose 10 pounds in a week with this diet, or so the story goes.
The diet claims to have been invented by ‘top secret nutritionists in the US Army’, of which there are NONE, and actually, the diet isn’t affiliated with the US Army at all.
The Military Diet’s education materials are totally free, so there’s no need to pay for the actual plan. It’s pretty simple: For three days, you starve yourself eating mostly crap eat very little – 1100-1400 calories’ worth, and then you have four days off – and by ‘off’, The Military Diet means ‘1500 calories a day plus 100 calories for men’ which is still lower than most active people can handle. But you’re not WEAK, are you? Because failure is NOT an option with The Military Diet!
You should be able to be successful on the Military Diet, because if you’re not, you go into the ‘people who fail’ category, and the Military Diet is very specific about THOSE people:
The people that fail on the Military Diet simply don’t have the drive and determination that you do. They complain about hunger or low energy because they are used to eating way more calories in a day. That’s how they gained weight in the first place, by eating more calories than they burned off.
Most importantly, some people aren’t committed to weight loss. What’s a three day diet in exchange for losing up to 10 pounds a week?
Whoa, Military Diet!! You sure don’t mince words, do you? Just like a real drill sergeant, except you have terrible grammar! And, you should know that making people feel bad about themselves is usually a really terrible motivator! What about the numerous people who are going to gain all the weight back from this diet, are they just undriven and undetermined too? Is it them? Or maybe…it’s YOU!
The Military Diet site states that this is the perfect diet in order to fit into your wedding dress (and then not into your bikini, I assume, once you regain all the weight drinking pina coladas on your honeymoon) or to make your ex ‘drool’ over you.
Gross. Come on, seriously? Like we give a crap about how our exes feel about our bodies? What is this, 1950?
As I previously stated, The Military Diet is free, so you can access all of their diet information on their website. This is how I know that the diet forbids cream in your coffee, but allows ice cream. It’s how I know that the diet claims that it’s ‘all natural’ but includes HOT DOGS. What? Oh Military Diet, we all know that hotdogs are made from lips and bums, which are certainly ‘all natural’ parts of cows and pigs but not what people would think of when they hear ‘all natural’. Especially taking into account the shitty preservatives and crap that hotdogs are also full of.
And why would a diet allow white crackers? I’ll let that question just hang there.
A typical day on The Military Diet is:
Breakfast: 1 cup black coffee or tea, ½ grapefruit, 1 slice toast with 2T peanut butter
Lunch: 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 hardboiled egg, 5 saltine crackers
Dinner: 2 hot dogs, 1 cup broccoli, ½ banana, ½ cup carrots, ½ cup vanilla ice cream
I actually had to get up and breathe deeply to prepare myself to write this section because some of the claims this diet makes are just so darn stupid and aggravating. Oh – they’re also total baloney. This is exactly what I meant above when I wrote that the diet is based on a bit of truth and a lot of crap.
Here are the claims (*takes deep breath*):
“Most food in the Military Diet kick start your metabolism and promote fat burning:” I just had to include their title because GRAMMAR!!
Caffeine raises the metabolism slightly, helping the body burn fat and lose weight. Your morning cup of joe gives your metabolism a boost for up to two hours after drinking it. – Maybe, but not enough to burn anything significant. Next!
Grapefruit kick starts the liver into fat burning mode – Ahhahahahahaha! Oh Military Diet, the 70s called, they want their Grapefruit Diet back! Leave the poor liver out of this, and FYI: it has no ‘fat burning mode’. it’s an organ, not a kitchen appliance.
High protein foods like peanut butter, eggs, tuna and other protein require more energy from the body to process, so they burn more fat to digest – Wait. Is this a sort of ‘negative calorie foods’ claim? You don’t burn fat digesting food. Physiology, Military Diet! You might want to take a course in it sometime! It’s real interesting!
Studies have shown that the more calcium there is stored in fat cells, the more fat the cells will burn – The Military Diet includes two sources of calcium with cottage cheese and ice cream. – Ice cream for calcium? Is this like ordering a Diet Coke with your Big Mac or eating maple syrup for the ‘nutrients’? Plus, the calcium studies they’re referring to were mostly done with supplements (with the exception of the animal studies, just in case you’re a rodent reading this), not ice cream and cottage cheese, which is notoriously LOW in calcium. Also, the recommendation for calcium and weight loss is three to four servings a day, not two. #FAIL, Military Diet.
Apples are high in pectin, an ingredient that limits the amount of fat your cells can absorb – I’m tired. This is making me tired. These are all rat studies and although eating a higher fiber (read: pectin included) diet may inhibit some fat absorption, you’re going to be constipated far quicker eating enough pectin to make a difference than you will lose any weight. One or two apples a day are NOT going to cut it. The rest of this wacky diet is decidedly low in fiber, too.
You know from reading my blog – no food burns fat or kick starts metabolism to the point that you’re going to lose any weight from it. Throwing the words ‘chemically compatible’ in to describe food combinations is just meant to mislead you into thinking that there’s some science behind what they’re saying, but there really isn’t.
No food combinations are magical sparkle rainbow unicorn solutions to your weight issues, no matter what The Military Diet and others tell you.
To lose 10 pounds in a week, you’ll need to have quite a bit of weight to actually lose, and as with most diets, it will be mostly water, not actual FAT. The diet says otherwise, but for the average person, it’s physiologically impossible to lose TEN POUNDS OF FAT in a week.
As far as sustainability, this one’s a loser for most people. Sure, some people on the planet could do this diet long-term and be successful, but chances are you’re not one of them. Unless you don’t really care about food all that much.
- Intermittent fasting is one thing. This diet is another: It has no actual fasting. 1100+ calories a day on the ‘on days’ isn’t fasting.
- No healthy diet has hotdogs anywhere near it. What the eff is the rationale behind those, anyhow? The diet is actually rich in carbohydrates – and not all healthy ones – which is the opposite of what most of us qualified professionals would recommend for weight loss.
- This diet isn’t affilitated with any military, the US or otherwise. And there aren’t any secret nutritionists in the Army, although that sounds really sort of cool and covert-like.
- The Military Diet makes crazy, outlandish claims that not only don’t make sense, they’re just plain wrong. Wouldn’t you rather follow a plan that’s based in science rather than one that includes hot dogs and tells you that grapefruit burns fat? We debunked that one decades ago, along with the cabbage soup and Scarsdale diets.
- Sustaining this diet will be really difficult for the average person. And the weight will come right back when you’re finished with it, which is not exactly what you’ll want after suffering though this plan.
This diet is free, but who cares? It’s a stinker. Pass.