Military Diet Day 1: The Crunch Time

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

At this point, you have already decided to start your very first day on the military diet. As you probably know by now, this is a diet that requires strict compliance for three consecutive days and is then followed by a regular four-day cycle. You may still feel excited or even great deal scared, but after the military diet day 1 you will know if this is the diet for you. Still, since you have already decided to try it out, why not go all the way and get the results you want?

In dieting principles, three days is considered as a very short time to be able to observe results that can be seen and felt. But in order to meet or exceed the objectives you have set for yourself, you must start with the first step.

Preparing for the first day

Any activity, no matter how long or short its duration will be, requires careful planning. This is essential when it comes to dieting. Something like “I will try this new diet tomorrow!” often leads to unsuccessful results. Curious on the food list? Check out our list of the food you need for the military diet for more information.

Preparing for the first day

Whenever you plan for your goals, you create a mindset that prepares you, both physically and emotionally to tackle what needs to be done. The success of any diet not only relies on the method itself, but how the individual prepares himself to do what needs to be done in order to accomplish the requirements of the diet and ultimately achieve the desired results.

The day one challenge

The challenge you have to endure for the first day will completely depend on your motivation, commitment, and other pre-existing factors that may hinder you from successfully completing the regimen. Most fitness experts and dieticians say that starting a diet is really the hardest part because it pushes the individual outside his or her comfort zone. This is true in both in terms of physical comfort and mental mindset.

See also: 3 Day Diet: Get Your Groove Back Fast

The first day of this diet will definitely be a huge adjustment for some who eat large portions and crave for a lot of food choices. This means you really need a lot of focus and drive to ace your first day.

The day one meal plan

Regardless of your current daily calorie intake, this diet will reduce your calorie count to within the 1250 to 1700 calorie/day range, with a maximum of 1500 for the ladies and 1700 for the gents. This carefully planned meal set has been proven to suppress hunger effectively without the elevated chances of crashing and depriving the body of the required nourishment.

Military Diet - Day 1 Meal PlanBear in mind that the military diet is one that requires compliance in order to work, so it is very important to follow these suggested meal sets to the letter – no ifs, no substitutes, and no omissions.

Mistakes to avoid

Your goal is to ace the day without tumbling down or being distracted by different factors aside from food. As previously mentioned, you should stick to all of the items listed on each meal. It is considered a big mistake when someone skips one or two parts of the meal, thinking that he or she is overloading on calories. The most skipped food component? Vanilla ice cream.

Health conscious people and overthinkers tend to skip this because it screams sugar rush and skyrocketing calories. These misconceptions are only true if you’ll eat more than what is recommended. If you can stay within the advised serving of just a cup, then you are good to go.

Substitution is another common mistake that happens on the first, or even on the second day. This happens when you replace the recommended food selections with choices that you like better. The result is miscalculated calorie content and increased sugar, with the worst case scenario being a failed dieting attempt. Almost all of the food choices in the given meal plans are often substituted incorrectly. The most common situation is the substitution of grapefruit with orange or another fruit.

Users may think that they are replacing a category, which is the fruit in the meal in this case. However, substitution actually results in the replacement and revamping of the entire calculation, nutritional value, and effectiveness of the diet.

Another bad case of substitution is the use of sweeteners. There is only one sweetener that is recommended to be used in military diet – Stevia. It is safe, and it doesn’t alter the calorie calculation, which is critical in this diet plan.


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it will be your very first meal of this diet. This is why it is important to start well. Here is the most recommended meal set for the Day 1 breakfast.

  • One-Half Slice of Grapefruit
  • One Slice of Toast
  • Two Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
  • One Cup of Coffee or Tea

This breakfast plan is very simple to prepare and even simpler to consume. As a precaution, the only substitutions that can be applied to this meal set is the type of toast that you can eat. The ideal toast is whole wheat, but you can start with the classic toast. Do read on the benefits of coffee during the military diet to give you more insight.

Day 1

One most common mistake for the breakfast meal set is replacing grapefruit with orange or another similar fruit. There is something about the nutritional content and enzymes of the grapefruit that work wonders in this diet program. Combine those effects with the appetite suppressing feature of coffee and you have a very effective starting meal set. The peanut butter is placed in the meal set on purpose to take care of the required carbohydrates and starting calorie source.


Lunch can be challenging to those who prefer their lunch meals big and heavy. The lunch meal set for the military diet is often the lightest, giving you just enough calories to traverse the day without starving. If there is something easy about lunch meal plans, that should be the preparation needed for the entire meal. You can prepare this complete meal without breaking a sweat!

  • Half a cup of Tuna
  • One Slice of Toast
  • One Cup of Coffee of Tea

Tuna is the meat of choice for most of the meal plans under the military diet.

day one lunch

It is light, packed with nutrients, and is flavorful enough to stand on its own. It covers the protein requirement of the day, and when paired with a good carbohydrate source, such as toast, it provides enough fuel to help you through the day.


Finally, you are almost done for the day. Dinner is like a small feast in this meal plan when compared to the first two meals. It involves numerous food choices, as well as a very unlikely dessert that is considered forbidden in other diets.

  • About 3 ounces of Meat
  • One Cup of Green Beans
  • One-half Ripe Banana
  • One small Apple
  • One Cup Vanilla Ice Cream

The dinner meal plan is still a very modest serving of food choices, but it offers enough flavor to stand out compared to blander diets.

Day 1 dinner

If you like tuna, you can have a repeat serving. However, chicken and steak are highly recommended meat options.

Don’t forget to hydrate

Hydration is very important, especially on the first day. Because your body is still in the process of adjusting to this new meal scheme, you should ensure that you are taking more than enough water. Your water intake should be regular and should amount to at least seven to eight glasses throughout the day. This is on top of the amount of coffee that you’ll consume within the day. Aside from an appetite suppressing effect, coffee also has a diuretic effect, which promotes frequent urination. This means that you have to replenish fluids to prevent dehydration.

Don't forget to hydrated

Aside from hydration, drinking a sufficient amount of water also stabilizes digestion while also preventing constipation and improving your circulation. It promotes healthier and clearer skin, and you’ll be surprised at how it also clarifies the mind. If you can’t get enough of your coffee, the maximum recommended daily allowance is five cups, which covers one cup for each of the three meals plus two cups in between meals. However, you are only allowed to consume black coffee sweetened with Stevia.

Day one post-evaluation

If you have successfully completed the first day without frills and inconsistencies, you should congratulate yourself for surviving what is considered to be the toughest day in this 3-day diet scheme. Some may find it easy, but often, there are still others who will encounter a struggle. If your day went a little bit rough and you found yourself deviating a bit, evaluate the points that need to be improved or corrected so you can avoid them on the next days and succeeding cycles.

Woman taking measurements of her body

Your best ally and worst enemy both come from within, so you better check and prepare your game plan for the next two days. Remember that this is not a one-time attempt; you can always continue the cycle and improve each time you start the 3-day diet period to ensure continuous enhancement. At this point, you can now evaluate if you can sustain the military diet for the long term. If there are some misses that take away from the hits, that’s alright as long as you are aware of the areas of improvement.


Day 1 is considered as the hardest day in the military diet. However, if you can go beyond this tough challenge, you are in for a brief yet amazing transformation of losing weight and feeling great at the same time. As long as you will follow the rules and combine this with the perfect attitude, you definitely got this.

About the author
Angie Moore
Angie Moore

Angie brings a mix of knowledge and experience in diet creation and fitness best practices. With Kansas State University‘s bachelor’s degree in dietetics and over 7 years of experience working with thousands of clients to better their life, Angie is passionate about your health and well-being. She is also a well-known foodie, having published a few books about diets that work. For most of the time, you can find her in the gym working out with friends and clients, pushing them for top results and fulfilled life.

  • Jamey Bronn

    I guess I’ll give it a try… it looks super detailed, logical and practical.

    • If you want to make a quick start on your weight loss goals, then this diet will help you a lot. With determination and commitment, you can do it.

  • Albert Dorell

    My motivation is simple: Don’t think of it as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change. Every time I get an urge to eat fast foods, I just tell myself that is it’s the worst possible thing I could eat and is basically a poison.

    • Yes, that’s the spirit! The diet is meant to jumpstart your way to fitness. It’s an excellent way to guide you on the right track to weight loss.

  • Steven Schick

    It is really true. The beginning is the hardest, but you will learn to love it. It will become something you look forward to. Once you see some results, that gives you the motivation you need, but before that is pure discipline, though.

    • You are right! People tend to skip the discipline part and want to see results directly. But you need to be patient and follow the steps if you want to see results

  • Lorna Nars

    What are the benefits of eating bananas?

  • There are a lot of benefits for our bodies, making bananas a favorite among dieters. They are rich in potassium, as well as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Copper, Magnesium and Manganese. They have a lot of nutrients and are great for the heart, digestion and weight loss. It also contains a small amount of protein and almost none of the fat.

  • Josi Lopez

    When I first heard about military diet, I immediately thought about it being so strict and hard to achieve. But then looking at this meal plan, I was encouraged because all the food is tasty and not that hard to prepare. 🙂

  • Alison Lee

    Could I substitute ice cream with other sugar filled foods? Because I know that it has a good amount of sugar in it, but I’m not actually sure with the difference between the carbs from ice cream and from the other sources. I’m wondering if eating ice cream wouldn’t make me crave for more. Any thoughts on this? Thank you. 🙂

  • Savannah Harris

    Thank you so much for this meal plan, Angie. I like how easy it is to prepare the food. I guess, this is really achievable as long as you follow the exact set menu for 3 days. It’s a good way to start on a diet indeed. 🙂

  • Riley Clark

    The struggle is real I should say. Pursuing this kind of a strict diet would cause you to change your mindset, your habits, and even your lifestyle. I agree with you that motivation is really the key. I’ve seen this in so many people. They started dieting but then after just a few days, you will find them going back to their normal routine. Why? Because they didn’t really commit to something that would allow them to go outside of their comfort zones. 🙂

  • Sophie Lewis

    I’m a seafood lover and I just wanted to ask if there are certain seafood that is allowed as substitute for some food in this diet? Thanks, Angie.

  • Kaylee Gonzales

    What’s the difference between Stevia and other sweeteners?

  • Savannah Harris

    I think eliminating all beverages except water, is still the best when dieting even though tea and coffee could still be a part of a diet regimen.

    • Most people do watch what they eat, yet forget to count the calories in their drinks. When trying to lose weight, it’s better to stick with water to hydrate. It will also fill you up. Green tea helps in metabolism and cleansing. The black coffee is a natural appetite suppressant.

  • Stevia is the only sweetener allowed in the military diet because it is derived from the Stevia plant. Hence, it’s natural, no calories and better than other artificial sweeteners. I hope this answers your query Kaylee. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Oh, definitely. The military diet is flexible and gives a list of food that you can replace with food of your preference. Take a look at the list here

  • I’ve always advised people to have a set of goals and write these down before starting on a diet and fitness regimen. Losing weight is difficult. There will be days when you want to give up because change is hard. Having a set of goals will keep you on track and keep your eyes on the prize – a healthier and fit body.

  • The set menus are what makes the military diet doable and easy to follow. This means no more mixing and matching food. It also spares you the ordeal of searching for the right food combination. The meal plans contain the right amounts of calories you need per day to lose weight.

  • Hi Josi! I’m glad you found the selection of food tasty. Most are already inside your fridge, right? These foods are also inexpensive and there’s no need for fancy preparation or cooking.