3-Day Military Diet Results: To the Boot Camp

Military diet for 3 days
Angie Moore
Written by Angie Moore

In the pursuit of finding the most effective way to lose weight, people have applied various approaches. However, diets have their own advantages and disadvantages, as well as user compatibility. This means that what can work for some may not work on you, and it is very important to evaluate the diet you’re about to try and make sure all sides and considerations are covered. The military diet is one of the most popular diets around and today we are going to discuss about the 3 day military diet results.

Is it that efficient?

The strongest selling point of this diet is its very enticing promise to enable you to lose 10 pounds in one week, and that is without supplementary exercise routines or medications. This claim has been proven to be very achievable according to a lot of individuals who have tried the diet and who were able to sustain the process of actually applying it.

All-in-all, this diet is a 3-day meal plan, which is labeled “ON,” followed by a 4-day freestyle meal plan, labeled as “OFF.” This means you have the freedom to eat whatever you like during the off cycle, as long as you follow the guidelines during the on cycle. Some might think that this is some kind of a crash diet, but this is not true.

Crash diets are those that only provide for less than 1000 calories per day while military diet plans ensure that the body receives 1500 calories per day for women and about 1600 to 1700 calories per day for men. This diet decreases caloric intake but does not completely deprive the body of nourishment.

Military diet menu for 3 days

In fact, it is not the calorie reduction that makes this diet successful; rather, it is the correct combination of foods and how they interact upon digestion that makes the diet a success. Aside from all these amazing features, this is actually a free diet because all you have to do is to adjust to the food choices that are almost always available in any home.

How long does it take?

The duration varies. Some use the diet as an emergency plan to lose weight with the safest possible route in the shortest amount of time. Given that this diet works on a 3-day/4-day routine, this can be sustained as a long-term diet regimen. The duration and configuration will actually depend on the requirements of the person who needs to lose weight.

The advertised 10-pound loss per week is achievable, but in general, a person can lose 25 to 30 pounds in a month under the military diet. Should a person want to amplify the results, adding a light exercise routine can further increase the total value of lost weight.

The fine print

The good thing about this diet is that is not extremely strict with food choices. In fact, it is one of the few diets that allow you to eat sweets, such as vanilla ice cream. The calculated serving size and food selections complete the effectiveness of this diet. What is considered as one of the most recommended key ingredients is something you might be drinking everyday – coffee.

Woman losing weight

Coffee has been widely known to be a mild metabolic stimulant, and it has the ability to suppress appetite. This is why the majority of the meal plans for the military diet includes a cup of black coffee that is sweetened with Stevia. You have the autonomy to consume up to four cups of coffee per day, which can be broken down into one for each meal and another one anytime within the day. Always remember that your coffee should not have sugar or creamer; it should just be black coffee. See our piece on how coffee benefits the body in the military diet.

For individuals who happen to have weak caffeine tolerance or who don’t drink coffee at all, that doesn’t mean you have to move on to the next diet. Teas can be a good substitute, and there’s plain water as the safest option. Hydration is very important, whether you are on your on or off days, because it promotes proper circulation and elimination. It cleanses the body, too, without building up too much through artificial sweetening or flavoring.

Food options

There are those who have been wondering what food choices there are in this diet that causes others to say it is “too good to be true.” But the reality is that the food selections are actually basic yet diverse. It is not monotonous, and it does not require complicated contraptions or secret ingredients to work. Most of the highly recommended food choices are readily available, and they are very easy on the pocket in general.

The most important thing to remember is that the calorie margin should be attained from protein instead of carbohydrates. That way, you don’t store as much sugar, which leads to more effective diet management.

A diet plan can be very easy to follow and quick to prepare. You don’t need to prepare a particular sauce or deal with overly complicated meal scheme just to make sure that the diet plan works. Simplicity is one of the main reasons why more and more people try the military diet, and most of them stick with the meal plan in the long run.

Military diet breakfast

How simple is simple when it comes to this diet? The most common and highly recommended food choices in the diet plan include apples and bananas, eggs that can be prepared whether boiled or poached or scrambled, toast with peanut butter or light jam, saltine crackers, steamed vegetables, meat sources such as tuna and beef, and desserts such as vanilla ice cream, and even hotdogs in regulated servings. Read our article on eggs and its place in the military diet for more information.

Military diet plans are quite basic, with simple serving sizes to follow, and allows you to eat on schedule and not starve yourself to weight loss. There is a huge difference between starvation and calorie reduction because there former often lead to metabolic crashes that is harmful for your body. It is a lot safer and has a higher weight loss success rate without complications compared to other diet.

What’s more, it does not completely wean you off your favorite food choices because you can go back and eat them again during your off days. You can, however, regulate them to sustain the effectiveness of this diet plan.

Breakfast variation in Military diet

One might think that this diet is without flaws, but of course there are still disadvantages and risks. One of the most prominent risks and disadvantage is the possibility of overeating, which often happens during the first “on” schedule and when the person is used to a routine of eating heavy meals. During this stage the body is still in the process of adjusting to what the person consumes, so if he consumes as much as 3500 calories per day, the body will definitely adjust given that the higher limit of the military diet is just half of his normal calorie intake. Do find out in our article how the military diet fared compared to others.

Another one is the potential overconsumption of caffeinated drinks, especially for those who are already drinking coffee on top of the proposed diet plan, and those who are not really taking coffee or tea. On these cases, you may want to have a consultation with your primary care doctor first, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could have an adverse interaction with the meal plan. For individuals who are advised to lose weight and are interested to try it, expressing your concerns to your physician to avoid possible complications is still important.

The importance of hydration

As previously mentioned, increased water intake does wonders to our body. It improves circulation, clarifies the mind, improved digestion, better thermoregulation, stabilized metabolism, and improved bodily function to eliminate waste.

On average, the body can approximately 6 to 7 lbs of weight coming from water. The primary reason why our body retains water is because we are not consuming enough. In military diet, hydration is extremely important, especially for those who will incorporate consistent coffee intake per day because they are more susceptible to fluid loss. We always hear about the average water intake requirement of at least 8 glasses of water each day, but this requirement varies depending on the food that you eat and the activity that you do on a daily basis.

Importance of hydration

When a person is not consuming enough water, it often leads to indigestion and other metabolic problems. It has been highlighted that it should be increased water intake and not increased fluid intake, because water is the purest form of hydration without the added artificial colors, flavors, and not to mention sugar and other preservatives. Check out our piece on the best drink for the military diet to keep you hydrated.

Inadequate water intake can actually lead to weight gain, because your body is craving for hydration and finds this in other unhealthier sources such as increased soda or artificial juice servings. When you drink more water, it can actually help you lose weight faster.

The results you have to see

One might think that this diet is all praises through word of mouth or just plain bluff. The good thing is that there have been numerous testimonials and real results coming from real people that might have shared the same weight struggle as you have. These individuals vary in final results, physique, objectives, and reasons behind their struggles and successes.

Military diet results

The message they are trying to convey in the following testimonies is how this diet affected them in either positive or not-so-positive ways.

Kassia and Grandma

Our first result is about a grandmother and granddaughter tandem that tried the military diet to help them lose weight. Usually, having another family member undergo the same diet as you are helps boost consistency and commitment to following the regimen. It also shows that this diet is generally safe across all ages, from late teens to seniors.

Kassia and her grandmother explained that the diet will make you hungry because of the controlled and limited servings, but if you can stick to it, it will definitely work.

The best part of their tag team is that Kassia lost 7 pounds, and her equally competitive grandma lost 10 pounds. If you are planning to try this with another member of the family, make sure that you both understand the objectives and the process of this diet.

Mia Bella

On Mia’s case, the diet plan did not work well, and she ended up losing just 2 pounds.

It is very important, in any kind of diet, to follow the meal plan and admittedly, she missed the point of following it. She still did lose some weight, but a little more commitment might have helped her lose a lot more.

From an expert’s point of view, the effectiveness of this diet comes from its core, which is being “military” on its essence. It should be followed to the dot because the meal plans are prepared to work on the weight loss when consumed properly. If you will stray from the planned meals the possibility of not getting the results you want, increases.

According to those who have been following this diet for quite some time, one of the biggest errors is skipping the “sweets” in the meals because of the fear of gaining weight from them. One most skipped food in the diet plan is ice cream, but it has been incorporated in the diet because it has the right amount of nutrients and calorie content to stabilize the meal plan.


YouTube subscriber Kats was able to lose about 9 pounds in one week. She was able to follow the basic meal plan and augmented it with light exercise done twice a week. She said that she wants to make sure that this diet works for her, which is why she supplemented it with added activity.

It also allowed a more even weight loss and made her body more toned. She also feels a lot greater than she did weeks before she engaged into this diet.

Christina QC

Christina QC managed to lose 3 pounds in one “ON” cycle of four days. While the value is not so promising for others, Christina feels good about the amount of weight she lost. She explained that it really helps to stick with the diet plan to make sure that you are in the process of losing weight.

Her best advice is to stick to a healthy diet even during the “OFF” days or even after you stopped the cycle. This promotes proper nutrition and a healthier body. According to her, the results really vary, even if you are consuming a similar meal as other people trying the diet. Individual metabolism plays an important role as well, which is why some people lose more weight compared to others.

Natural Fit Nurse

As a healthcare practitioner, she managed to lose 7 pounds after following the meal plan and incorporating it with her weekly routine of going to the gym 5 days a week. She explained that she got interested in this diet because it seems easy to follow, and you don’t have to commit to it for the long term.

You can quit as soon as you’ve reached your goal. On her video blog, she explained that following the meal plan is very important, and after losing the first 7 pounds, she scheduled it on a once-a-month basis for three months until her intended international trip. She also explained how you can switch some parts of the meals depending on your preference, as long as the overall calorie count remains within range.

As you may have observed, the results vary depending on the surrounding factors behind them. However, there is a common denominator among these testimonials and why this diet works – commitment to the meal plan. This is the heart of the diet, and not being able to follow the prescribed food preparations does affect the final result.

The primary goal is weight loss, and you can see that some are going to implement this for the long term, whereas others will stop as soon as they have reached their target weight. Another very important tip that has been raised by other users is to never switch grapefruit with any other fruit outside the meal plan.

Grapefruit and apple

This is a common mistake among those who try it the first time, and they replace grapefruit with orange, which contains increased levels of sugar and has a different nutritional composition compared to the grapefruit. Only three fruits are generally accepted in this diet – grapefruit, apple, and banana.

Does it really work?

This is your no-nonsense diet that is achievable, realistic, and significantly easy to follow. Like those meals served in the army, there is nothing fabulous about the proposed diet plans, and it makes perfect sense because one of the goals of this diet is to help you lose weight without suffering because of starvation or because of all the meal preparations needed.

There is a high success rate associated with this diet, but like any other diet choices out there, this requires discipline, commitment, and the right attitude towards a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight.

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

    What if you see results after the first three days, but then you start gaining pounds again?

    • The diet is meant to start you off to be committed to a healthy weight range goal. If you find yourself gaining pounds again, check your portions and calorie intake. You gain your weight back when you eat more calories than what you can burn off.

  • Chynna Lambert

    Hi! I have my weekly aerobics class so I always make sure to drink plenty of water, but recently I feel light-headed. So I did some research and found out that too much water throw off hydration levels. You can balance your water intake with a bit of power-aided drinks when doing anything that’s pulling water from your body. How true is that?

    • There is a term called water intoxication. This is caused by drinking too much water. For this to occur, however, you had to be drinking gallons. Water intoxication causes your sodium to dip, which can cause dizziness.

  • Steven Schick

    Hi, Miss Angie! I would like to try this, but I really don’t like to count my calories since it is kinda hard to keep track. Can I still have the same result if I’ll just keep my portions fair?

    • Calorie counting is important, but as long as you know (approximately) how many calories are in a meal, you should be fine with portion control too.

  • Olivia Johnson

    Low caffeine and low salt make a huge difference. Also, keeping hydrated is a big one. So, drink tons of water.

  • Steven Garcia

    One good thing to add in preparation for this diet, is to assess your true motivation. What makes you do it in the first place? Do you do it to inspire? Do you do it to feel good and boost your confidence? You might be needing all these so that when you’re feeling down and disappointed, you’ll find the strength to get back up and continue doing it again.

  • Nicole Rodriguez

    Is mayo good when dieting? I really love adding mayo on my sandwiches and other meals but I’m quite unsure of its benefits.

  • Victoria Jackson

    Talking about food options, I created this breakfast meal plan but I want to consult if this still fits the recommended calorie count. For breakfast I do three eggs and oatmeal with some peanut butter, honey, and fresh fruit.

  • Jenna White

    I’ve read about this article about low calorie foods that are too good to be true. They say that any sauce that comes from a Tabasco-like bottle will be zero calories, as most of them are just peppers and vinegar. Since I’m a hot sauce addict, I find this very interesting.

  • Kaylee Gonzales

    There are actually a lot of large volume low calorie food or snacks out there. You might also want to try spinach with tuna mixed with mustard. Another good one is greek yogurt.

  • Aubrey Moore

    One thing that we can learn from Mia’s experience is the importance of commitment. We all know that dieting is not an easy thing, but in the end, it will be worth it.

  • Drinking black coffee is actually beneficial for you, especially when you’re on the military diet. Caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant and it can also give you the boost of energy you need. Avoiding high sodium food is a must and so is drinking lots of sparkling water for hydration.

  • Having a set of goals to motivate you prior to any projects -including weight loss is necessary. I tell my clients to always write down their goals in a notebook that will also serve as their food diary. You’ll be amazed that goal setting works and makes you more determined to finish any task or fitness “race”.
    Make sure to set SMART goals – make it (S)specific (M)measurable (A)attainable (R)realistic (T)time bound

  • During the military diet, mayonnaise is not allowed. There are fat-free variety in the market but you can try those after you’ve done with the diet. :o)

  • Hi Victoria! Before I can answer that, I must have information on your current weight and height to determine your recommended daily calories. You can even try the military diet! It has a set of meal plans per day that takes the guesswork out of dieting. You don’t even have to mix or match food to come up with the exact calories you need. Think about it!

  • Hot sauce is ok as long as there’s no added sugar and is not high on sodium. Hot peppers boosts metabolism that’s why it’s one of the few condiments permitted in the military diet along with mustard, salsa, pesto, avocado and hummus.

  • Hi Kaylee! You’re correct, these are nutritious and low calorie food. If you’re trying the military diet, there’s a complete list of low carb and low cal to choose from.

  • How true. If you are not committed to anything, you’ll fail at almost everything. At the start of any endeavor, including weight loss – make sure you have a set of goals and is fully committed to it.