Vegetarian Military Diet: How to Stay Fit Without Meat

Bravo cheddar and crackers
Angie Moore
Written by Angie Moore

If you strictly follow all the steps on the 3 days military diet then you will see some nice results at the end of those 3 days. But what happens if you are a vegetarian or there are foods that you can’t eat? Does that mean you can’t follow the diet and you’re supposed to look for something else? The answer to this question is NO! There is a vegetarian military diet that offers substitutes for foods that you can’t include in your menu.

One thing to remember in here: it’s not the quantity that matters it’s the calories. I’m highlighting this because, if you follow the list on the vegetarian diet, you might have a fuller plate than you would have on the normal military diet. However, the amount of calories on each meal will be the correct amount. At the same time you might find the foods that are on the list not so satisfying because there is less protein to keep you full. You can also check out how eggs are beneficial in the military diet for more information.

For example, if you are a vegetarian or you just don’t like tuna, you can replace it with almonds. But you have to be very careful about this. Let’s say that one can of tuna will give you about 200 calories. Well, if you make the substitution, you will have to give up on an entire can of tuna for about 20 almonds. The trade doesn’t look fair right?

Almonds in the hand

If you let your eyes deceive you and consider 20 almonds to be too little food, you can say goodbye to your diet (and your figure, by the way). Almonds are very high in fats and they will ruin any diet if you go over the limit.

See also: 3 Day Military Diet Substitutes: Learning About Foods, Calories, & Dieting

This is just an example of why you don’t have to underestimate the size of your food. You will have to choose wisely those substitutes otherwise you will just feel hungrier and hungrier and you won’t be able to resist the entire diet.

Vegetarian substitutes for the military diet

Now, let’s talk about the foods that you can eat as a vegetarian during this diet. We will also mention other substitutes for those cases when you’re not a vegetarian, but you’re allergic to a specific type of food (or foods).

Substitutes for Day 1


  • ½ grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter (32 g)
  • 1 slice of toast
  • Coffee


  • ½ grapefruit = 52 calories
  • Baking soda + water = 0 calories
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter = 188 calories
  • 2 tbsp. soy butter = 170 calories
  • 2 tbsp. almond butter = 196 calories
  • 2 tbsp. hummus = 50 calories
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin butter = 80 calories
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter = 198 calories
  • 2 tbsp. bean dip = 35 calories
  • 1 slice of toast (24 g) = 75 calories
  • 2 rice cakes = 70 calories
  • 1 small tortilla = 94 calories
  • ½ cup of whole grain cereal = 57 calories
  • For the protein bar you will have to look on the pack to see how many calories it has
  • 1 cup of coffee = 5 calories
  • 1 cup of green tea = 5 calories
  • 1 250 ml can of sugar free Red Bull = 8 calories

If you are one of those persons who just don’t like the taste of grapefruit then you can substitute it with a ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. I’m sure that thought that an orange would be a better idea but it’s not. The grapefruit and the baking soda will improve your PH level and that will lead to fat burning, a thing that oranges can’t do.

Military diet day 1 for vegetarians

Many people are allergic to peanuts, so you can easily substitute the same amount of the peanut butter with soy butter, almond butter, hummus, pumpkin butter, sunflower seed butter or even 2 tbsp. of sunflower seeds or bean dip.

If you just want to follow a diet where there is no bread involved (even if it’s just 1 slice of toast) you can always chose to replace it with rice cake, tortilla, ½ cup of  whole grain cereal or ½ high protein bar.

If you don’t like coffee, green tea is the best substitute. Don’t use any sugar and especially stay away from artificial sweeteners. Here’s our guide on military diet sweeteners allowed in the diet. If you can’t stay away from energy drinks then you can drink sugar-free Red Bull. A regular cup of coffee has 100 mgs of caffeine while a sugar free Red Bull has 76 mgs of caffeine.


I already mentioned the substitutes for the coffee and toast so all that remains here is tuna.

  • ½ cup of tuna

If you just don’t like tuna then you are free to eat cottage cheese.

Cup of tuna

Or chicken but if you are a vegetarian the substitutes for the tuna are almonds (just like I said in that example at the beginning) or pumpkin seeds.


  • ½ cup of tuna = 89 calories
  • 100 grams cottage cheese = 98 calories
  • 50 gram of chicken = 82 calories
  • 12 almonds = 84 calories
  • 5 tbsp. of pumpkin seeds = 90 calories (1 tbsp. = 4 g)


  • 3 ounces of any meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • ½ banana
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream


  • 3 ounces of meat = 200 calories
  • 1 tbsp. (12 g) beans = 42 calories so you will have to eat approx. 57 grams of beans
  • 100 grams tofu = 76 calories so you will have to eat approx. 250 grams of tofu to reach 190 calories
  • 100 grams Portobello mushrooms = 22 calories so you will have to eat 900 grams to reach 198 calories
  • 100 g green beans = 31 calories
  • 100 g lettuce = 15 calories
  • 100 g spinach = 23 calories
  • 100 g tomatoes = 18 calories
  • ½ banana = 50 calories
  • 1 small papaya = 67 calories
  • 100 grams of kiwi = 61 calories
  • 100 grams of apricots = 48 calories
  • 1 small apple = 53 calories
  • 1 small peaches = 51 calories
  • 80 grams grapes = 54 calories
  • 100 grams plums = 46 calories
  • 1 large zucchini = 54 calories
  • 100 grams pears = 57 calories
  • 21 grams dried apricots = 51 calories
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream = 274 calories
  • 2 cups apple juice = 226 calories
  • 1 cup fruit flavored yogurt = 221 calories

Well here you can chose whatever meat you like but if you are a vegetarian you can chose between beans, tofu, lentils and Portobello mushrooms.

If you were terrorized with green beans when you were a kid and you don’t like them now then you can substitute them with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes or any other green vegetables.

If you are one of those persons who hate bananas then you can replace them with papaya, kiwi or apricots.

Military diet dinner

If the apples are a problem for you then you can eat peaches, grapes, plums, zucchini, pears or dried apricots.

I know that lots of you out there were very skeptical about the ice cream part but also there are many who just love the idea. Well if you want to eat something else then you can try 1 cup of fruit flavored yogurt or apple juice. Another good substitute is the almond milk who has flavors like banana, strawberry or vanilla. But don’t even think about changing it with chocolate almond milk. That’s not for the diet.

Food substitutes for Day 2


  • 1 egg


  • 1 egg = 78 calories
  • 2 slices of bacon = 86 calories
  • 1 chicken wing = 81 calories
  • 10 nuts = 85 calories

I’ve already discussed about substitutes for banana and for that 1 slice of toast. So, the only food that remains to discuss for breakfast on day 2 is the egg.

You can substitute the egg with a cup of milk, 2 slices of bacon, 1 chicken wing or if you are a vegetarian you can try ¼ cup of seeds or nuts.


  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 5 saltine crackers


  • 1 cup of cottage cheese = 222 calories
  • 3 eggs = 234 calories
  • ½ cup of ricotta cheese = 214 calories
  • 2 slices of cheddar cheese = 226 calories
  • 140 grams of ham = 203 calories
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt = 200 calories
  • 300 grams of tofu = 228 calories
  • 1 saltine cracker = 13 calories. 5 * 13 = 65 calories
  • 2 rice cakes = 70 calories

You can substitute this with ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, ham, egg, plain greek yogurt or tofu.

Cottage cheese and crackers

If you want to substitute the saltine crackers then the rice cakes are perfect for this. But if you already thought that any other cracker will do then be careful to calculate the amount of calories.


  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • ½ cup of carrots


  • 1 cup of broccoli = 55 calories
  • 200 grams of spinach = 46 calories
  • 200 grams of cauliflower = 50 calories
  • 250 grams of asparagus = 50 calories
  • 120 grams of Brussel sprouts = 52 calories
  • 100 grams of carrots = 41 calories
  • 100 grams of beets = 43 calories
  • 60 grams of parsnip = 45 calories
  • 100 grams bell pepper = 40 calories
  • 250 grams of celery = 40 calories

If you want to substitute the broccoli then you have to eat another greenish vegetable like spinach, cauliflower, asparagus or Brussel sprouts. Check out our list of fat-busting vegetables you can try, do read our piece on that topic.

Broccoli and carrots

If you are afraid that you will transform into a bunny then you can substitute the carrots with beets, parsnip, bell pepper or celery.

I have already told you about the rest of the food that you are supposed to eat for the rest of the day so let’s see what’s left for day 3.

Food substitutes for Day 3


  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese


  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese (1oz) = 113 calories
  • 1 70 grams egg = 108 calories
  • 120 grams of cottage cheese = 118 calories
  • 80 grams of ham = 116 calories
  • 210 ml of soy milk = 114 calories
  • 45 grams of soy cheese = 112 calories
  • 150 grams of tofu = 114 calories
  • 450 grams of cabbage = 112 calories

Some substitutes for this are eggs, cottage cheese or ham. But if you are a vegetarian the substitutes for you are soy milk, soy cheese, tofu and cabbage.

Slice of cheddar cheese

On the third day there is only the cheddar cheese that is new in the menu so that’s why we’re only discussing one item. Any other food items included in day 3 of the diet can be found on the first or the second day.

Some Final Words

I really hope that this list with substitutes will help you out regardless of the fact that you are vegetarians or not. Every one of us has different preferences on food and if you don’t like something, this diet is flexible enough so you can enjoy it at maximum.

If you have any questions feel free to ask us and if you’ve tried the substitutes list tell us how it worked on you.

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.