The Best Military Diet Alternatives You Should Know Of

(Last Updated On: November 16, 2018)

A lot of people around the world are finding it extremely difficult to lose those extra pounds of fat that have rendered them as obese or overweight.

Many individuals have tried various weight loss programs, but these programs have not worked for them, and they are not getting the results they are looking for. If this sounds like you, then there is a good new alternative: the military diet.

The Military Diet is an excellent option for people looking for one of the fastest ways to eliminate excess fat from their bodies. There are also plenty of military diet alternatives out there that can help you achieve your weight loss objectives.

Read on to find out more about the military diet as well as the best military diet alternatives on the market today.

military diet breakfast

Topic Contents

What the Military Diet is All About

The military diet is a unique weight loss program that helps overweight individuals to lose excess weight. No established research backs this claim or guarantees that you will lose excess weight if you follow the plan.

The military diet may, however, make you feel very hungry, tired, and leave you in a bad-tempered mood. This is because the diet strictly follows a low-calorie plan.

It is a low-calorie diet program that incorporates some healthy foods and a few that aren’t healthy. The goal is to help you lose at least 10 lbs within seven days if followed to the T.

There are set foods you must eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The military diet does not permit snacking and leaves no room for junk food choices that are based on your preference or taste.

It is a 3-day program that will not only highlight the type of foods you must eat, but also the specific amounts that you should eat. This unique combination of foods with low-calories is designed to work jointly in the human body so that you can lose weight successfully.

If you follow the military diet strictly, the chances that you will succeed in burning excess weight are pretty much guaranteed.

Three Days on – Four Off

Afterward, you can switch to a healthy and regular diet for a minimum of 4 days. If the weight you shed is not satisfactory and you need to drop more, you can repeat the military diet program.

You can also repeat the military diet as often as you like; however, you must always ensure that you take four-day breaks each time you embark on the program.

Another note of warning: you should never follow the military diet longer than three days consecutively. So, that is three days on, and four days off the military diet plan.

This is important because it gives room for your metabolism to continue running as usual, instead of slowing it down intermittently, a condition that a majority of the other diets do. If you experience slow metabolism, you will lose weight less quickly, and this is risky as you could gain weight back rapidly again, especially if you go back to eating the same foods that allowed you to gain a lot of unnecessary weight.

military diet workout weight loss

When you stick to the military diet and combine it with daily workouts, you will notice a significant improvement in your stamina and weight loss.

The military diet works since it helps to minimize your appetite over time, instead of just providing short-term weight loss.

It is also referred to as the Marine Corps diet, hot dog diet, the Navy diet, and the Mayo clinic diet.

The Military Diet vs. Other Diet Programs

If you’re a weight loss enthusiast, you have probably come across several dietary options that promise to help you lose weight if followed strictly. The list of nutritional programs includes a blend of exercise and diet plans along with weight loss powders and pills. Each one promises to deliver the goods in terms of weight loss, but only very few of them carry their weight in gold.

Obviously, these weight loss plans or programs did not work or live up to their claims, and that is why you’re here. You may also have second thoughts about giving the military diet a try since it is usually listed on the catalog of weight loss dietary options

However, since the military diet helps in the reduction of your appetite after some time, you will enjoy the benefits of weight loss as long as you follow the directions of the program. Without any doubt, the military diet lives up to its claim.

The Military Diet: Is it Legit or a Scam?

Many have argued about the efficacy of this diet plan; but in reality, it depends on the individual that takes on the diet program. If you want to see and enjoy maximum benefits and results after the 3-day diet plan is over, do not return to your bad eating habits that brought on the unnecessary weight in the first place.

Many participants make the mistake of bingeing or eating their favorite snacks and junk food during their 4-day hiatus. You should try really hard to resist the urge to eat junk foods during this period, even if you feel you have earned the right to.

Eat regularly and don’t try to compensate for the time you busted your butt during the 3-day military diet program. If you binge on your pleasure foods, you will regain the weight you lost, and the whole diet will have been a waste of time.

Therefore, during the 4-days off period, experts recommend that you eat foods that provide anywhere from 1,300 to 1,500 calories each day. The meal should be made up of vegetables and lean protein. Try and limit the intake of foods rich in simple carbohydrates. If you indulge in such foods, make sure it is after a workout.

is military diet safe

The Military Diet: Does it Work?

The military diet was created by proficient nutritionists in the United States armed forces and was put in place to help members of the military to remain in tiptop shape. This should be more than enough to assure you that the military diet works exceptionally well for what it is.

The regiment is specifically designed to provide you with low-calorie meals and also entails a detailed eating routine.

When you eat these small meals during the course of the day, it allows the fat in your body the ability to burn very quickly. It is also one of the best and most accessible methods for a large group of people to diet together.

What made the military diet popular and trendy among weight loss enthusiasts is the fact that you can lose up to 10lbs within seven days, i.e., a week. You do not have to participate in strenuous workouts – though regular exercise strongly benefits the body – or take any weight loss drugs or supplements.

When you follow the military diet plan, your metabolism will speed up significantly, thus allowing you to burn off excess fat and consequently lose weight.

There are no false promises or gimmicks involved with the military diet; all you need to do is to follow the eating plan.

Are There Military Diet Food Substitutes?

But what if you do not like the foods proposed in the military diet? Or maybe you don’t want to get so extreme with your dieting regimen. Well, the good news is, there are several military diet alternatives that you can take advantage of. Do your best to locate proper military diet alternatives or substitutes instead of giving up on a diet altogether.

If you’re allergic to some of the foods listed in the military diet, you should find lactose-free or gluten-free products to replace these foods. You can also replace foods if you are vegan or vegetarian.

The key is to ensure that the alternatives or substitutes are just as healthy as what is in the original diet itself. Many replacements can be made in this diet plan throughout the entire process.

Irrespective of your preferences and dietary needs, you can capitalize on this weight loss regime to lose that excess weight and achieve your fitness goals!

The best military diet alternatives will be given shortly.

The Military Diet: How Safe is It?

For the most part, the military diet is completely safe if it is done in short spurts. But then, the diet plan is not designed or intended to serve as a permanent weight loss program anyway.

The military diet is intense and dramatic so that significant results can be obtained within a very short period. It is not possible to live off such a low amount of calories every day, especially when you are often exercising.

When it comes to sustainability, this diet is easy and simple to do as it does not require an extended period with expensive products or elaborate plans. It is short, simple, and cheap.

But bear this in mind; you need to put in additional effort on your part to hold the weight off after completing the program.

So, do not end the military diet and proceed to pick up your bad eating habits again. If you do, the weight will come back.

Therefore, it is vital for you to eat healthier as soon as you complete the military diet and then incorporate an exercise regime that will help you keep the weight off for good.

military diet 3 day plan

The Military Diet: What You Can Eat vs. What You Can’t Eat

Every scrap of food you will eat on the military diet program has been selected for you in advance. To get the best results, you need to follow this plan strictly without deviating at all.

The military diet does not include favorite superfoods like almonds, salmon, and quinoa. Instead, you will come across regular choices such as hard-boiled eggs, cheddar cheese, and canned tuna. A few meals have bread, but it is important to remember to stick with whole grains or naturally fermented sourdough.

One of the meals will include saltine crackers.

The military diet has a 3-day menu that you must follow and has a total of nine different meals.

For instance, one breakfast may require that you eat:

  • 1 slice toast
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ½ grapefruit
  • 1 cup tea or coffee (without sugar or cream)
  • One dinner includes:
  • Two hot dogs (without buns)
  • ½ banana
  • One and a half carrot
  • ½ cup of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup of broccoli

You can drink black coffee, water or tea, but no milk, soda, alcohol or even juice.

You should do your best to stick with the menu as much as possible. You can swap some foods based on your dietary needs or if you have food allergies. But the switch outs must be approved.

For instance, you can eat a tofu dog instead of a hot dog or sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter (Which we recommend). But do not switch grapefruit to oranges or ice cream to cookie dough.

military diet discomfort challenge

The Military Diet: What is the Level of Comfort You Must Subject yourself to?

You don’t need to buy any packaged meals. You can get these foods easily at the grocery store in your area, and there’s very little food prep or cooking required.

But you will get hungry while on the military diet, so you will need every ounce of willpower not to cheat throughout the 3-day period. There is the tendency to feel more sluggish than usual; this is understandable since you’re eating approximately 1,000 calories per day.

You will most likely feel more tired if you engage in rigorous exercises.

Since the food choices are somewhat strict, eating out may not be an option. You may not even find them on the menu anyway.

Although working out at least a little bit every day is an excellent idea, do not overexert yourself by lifting heavy weights or sprinting throughout the 3-day program. Go for light exercises such as jogging or even gentle yoga.

The Military Diet: Dietary Preferences

Most adults can utilize this low-calorie diet, but with a few tweaks here and there:

Vegans and vegetarians – The military diet has easy swaps for meat, tuna, hot dogs, and eggs. Instead of these, you can have lentils, tofu, nuts, or tofu dogs.

Vegans can go for tofu/ nut cheese in place of cheddar along with vegan cottage cheese and soy ice cream.

Gluten-free and low-salt diets – You can opt for gluten-free versions whenever the menu calls for crackers or toast. You can also choose low-salt options for all of the high sodium foods on the menu. Switch out saltines for low-salt, melba toast or rice cakes.

The Military Diet: Benefits

  • If you follow the program to the T, you will obtain the right balance of nutrients your body needs
  • The foods you eat are simple to prepare and cook, thus giving you more time to go about your daily tasks
  • The program is entirely free of pricey supplements and products, unlike other weight-loss programs out there

military diet alternative food

The Best Military Diet Alternatives

#1: The Military Diet Alternative for Coffee

With the military diet plan, it is specified that you can choose between coffee and green tea. But keep in mind that milk or sugar is not allowed in the program. You can also go for sugar-free hot cocoa.

People that love sweets can make use of natural options like maple syrup or raw honey.

#2: The Military Diet: Allergic to Peanut Butter?

If you are allergic to peanuts or merely hate the taste of the oily nut butter, you may want to boycott peanut butter. But it is an integral part of the military diet.

You can, therefore, substitutes with sunflower butter, almond or cashew nut butter. These nut butter varieties are not only nutritious but very delicious as well.

#3: The Military Diet: I Don’t Like Grapefruits…

So, you don’t like grapefruit because of its bitter taste. You’re not alone; grapefruit is rarely on the list of best or favorite fruits of many people. Nevertheless, there are few substitutes for this citrus fruit due to its remarkable nutrition.

Oranges, as well as other citrus fruits, do not possess the same weight loss constituents that grapefruits do. So, they are not viable alternatives. But there is a workaround for people who don’t like grapefruit: put a half tablespoon of baking soda in water and make sure it dissolves. The taste of grapefruit, when you take it with the dissolved baking soda, will be more bearable at mealtime.

#4: The Military Diet: Meat Alternatives

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you’re at liberty to replace meat with an excellent source of protein such as lentils, beans, quinoa or tofu.

Do not be frugal when it comes to protein; eat more foods that are rich sources of protein. Protein is an essential part of the military diet that you must not skimp on. It can help you remain full for a long time, and allows you to get the necessary energy supply that you need for the day.

#5: The Military Diet: Hate Eggs? Do This Instead

Eggs play a significant role in the military diet plan. You’re at liberty to make them any way you want them: fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, etc. If you must replace eggs in the plan, you can either eat a quarter cup of seeds and nuts or drink one cup of milk instead.

#6: The Military Diet: Not A Seafood Lover?

Seafood is not everyone’s favorite, so no one will be surprised if you hate fish with a passion. However, there are several alternatives that you can go to obtain your daily protein.

The only challenge is you have to replace tuna with the exact amount of another viable protein source. You can go for lean protein sources such as turkey, extra-lean beef or chicken.

Going for any of these substitutes will ensure that you don’t take in more calories than is required during the 3-day military diet period.

Are you vegetarian or vegan? You can go for good protein sources like quinoa, cottage cheese, beans, nuts, or tofu.

#7: The Military Diet Alternative for Green Beans

Green beans also take the lead among the most disliked constituents of the military diet. But then, they can be aptly swapped with a variety of leafy green vegetables like lettuce or spinach.

You can also substitute green beans with tomatoes; just make sure that you don’t go beyond your calorie limits.

#8: The Military Diet Alternative for Bananas

Banana is a non-citrus fruit that is delicious and so nutritious that one wonders why anyone would dislike the long groovy yellow fruit. But that is just the way it is; some people cannot stand the taste of banana.

In that case, possible substitutes for banana are two apricots, two kiwis and a cup of papaya.

You can also go for grapes and plums as well as a serving of applesauce. Ensure that you’re sticking to the same amount of calories you would get from bananas – and this ranges from 80–90.

#9: The Military Diet Substitute for Broccoli

You can do away with broccoli and replace it with Brussels sprouts or cauliflower if need be. Asparagus and other leafy greens are also good enough to be alternatives to broccoli.

#10: The Military Diet Alternative for Carrots

You can replace carrots in the military diet with parsnips, bell peppers, beets, or squash. Celery is another excellent option that you can go for if you don’t like carrots.

#11: The Military Diet: Saltine Crackers Alternative

You can boycott saltine crackers and replace them with rice cakes. Rice cakes are not only delicious but also very nutritious. They have more substance, and you may find yourself eating more. I prefer rice cakes of saltines any day.

#12: The Military Diet: Substitute the Cheddar Cheese

You can also swap the cheddar cheese in the military diet plan with any other variety of cheese. But you must watch your calories so that you don’t end up overshooting it. Dairy products in general and cheese, in particular, vary a lot in calories. So you need to pay more attention to not only the calorie count but also your portions.

If you want to stay away from all things dairy, you can go for another form of protein or eat an egg.

#13: The Military Diet: Cottage Cheese Substitute

If you don’t want cottage cheese in your military diet plan, you can substitute it with ham, eggs, or plain Greek-yogurt. You can also set your sights on cheddar cheese or ricotta.

#14: The Military Diet: Apple Substitute

Most people love apples, but then, even if you don’t, there are several alternatives out there. Perfect replacements for an Apple include dried apricots, pears, plums, and peaches. You can spice up the ensemble with vegetables such as carrots or tomatoes.

#15: The Military Diet: The Alternative To Go For Instead Of Ice Cream

Everyone loves dessert, but maybe you don’t. In any case, a cup of apple juice or fruit yogurt will supply the right amount of sugar that your body needs for the day.

#16: The Military Diet: Hot Dogs Substitute

Hot dogs are not the favorite of many people, and if you belong to this category, you can go for turkey dog or tofu instead of hot dogs. You can also go for another source of protein. For vegans and vegetarians, Portobello mushrooms or lentils will do the trick of furnishing your body with the right amount of protein.

#17: The Military Diet: Substitute for Bread

There are several alternatives for bread such as:

  • A half cup of whole grain cereal
  • A quarter cup of sunflower seeds
  • Half of a protein bar

If you don’t want any of these, you can also get hold of half a teaspoon of flaxseed as well as a quarter cup of yogurt. These are excellent substitutes for bread any day, any time, especially in the military diet.

military diet drinks

The Military Diet: Drinks

Water is the best choice for you when you are undergoing a military diet. You can drink as much water as you want since there is no limit to the amount you can take in. The more water you drink, the better you perform, as water helps to flush out toxins and other harmful substances from your body via urine and sweat.

Water also hydrates your body and keeps you relaxed. Avoid drinks like soda, energy drinks and other sugar-loaded drinks that are full of unusable ingredients. You don’t need more sugar in your body as it could affect the number of calories you should ingest throughout your 3-day military diet session.

Anything you drink also affects your calorie count significantly. Most of the calories we consume every day come from the beverages we drink.

Another point you must keep in mind is that you should not drink any alcoholic beverages during the military diet program. Alcohol can affect your weight significantly.

Therefore, if your goal is to lose that 10lbs and maximize the weight loss program, stay away from alcohol.

The Military Diet: Alternative grocery list

  • Beets
  • Greek yogurt
  • Rice cake
  • Turkey hot dogs or tofu
  • Squash
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Pears
  • Parsnips
  • Plumbs
  • Spinach
  • Fruit yogurt
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Dried apricots

Many individuals have tried different versions of the military diet because they were either allergic to or do not like most of the foods in the program. These alternatives or substitutes still achieve the same results.

You need to make sure that you are getting the nutrients you need at the right amounts. Pay attention to the food components to ensure that you don’t overdo it, either.

military diet workout

Performing workouts on the military diet

When it comes to exercises on the military diet, you should take things pretty easy. Go for a jog for about twenty to twenty-five minutes every day. Do not do any strenuous exercise other than light lifting and jogging. If you engage your body in more intense activities or drills, especially during the diet, the number of calories in your body will deplete quickly and will not be sufficient to help you build back properly after the workout.

Therefore, if you love intense workouts, you should save it – and your energy – until after you’re done with the military diet and are enjoying your 4-day rest period.

The military diet: Don’t hold back on fat

We live in a society that has an extreme phobia of fat. This is not a bad thing in itself because some fats can be extremely bad for you. Healthy fats exist, and these are good for you to eat even when you are undergoing a military diet.

However, you should do your best to avoid eating fat-free products like dressings, yogurt as well as other foods in the same category. In most cases, fat-free products are less healthy for you; instead, you should go for foods with healthy fats in them.

When you eat healthy fats, you will feel full for an extended period, thereby helping you to not succumb to the temptation of cheating or snacking while on the military diet program.

Another benefit that you will enjoy when you eat healthy fats is your metabolism will receive a massive boost, and this will, in turn, help you to burn off that excess weight that you are so eager to shed off.

The military diet: Conclusion

The best way to obtain results when you partake in the 3-day military diet plan is to follow it through to the end without cheating.

The average user of the military diet loses some weight in the first session of the 3-day diet program; however, this is not sustainable for extended periods and can cause the individual to crash if the person is not attentive to their body. Be sure to cycle the diet with 3 days of dieting and 4 days of healthy eating.

As soon as you complete the 3-day military diet, you start introducing normal foods slowly and work your way into your newly developed healthy eating habits. Take your time with it, and make sure you don’t return to eating junk food or snacks or you will go right back to the drawing board.

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