The 'Military Diet' Claims You Can Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Days, But Is It Legit?

Everything you need to know about the controversial "Military Diet" that promises to drop pounds fast.
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Navy SEALs in training

The military knows how to mold young men and women into warriors, and it knows you can't do that if they're carrying 50 extra pounds of flab onto the battlefield. So all branches have measures in place to knock off the pounds when a soldier balloons. 

Someone apparently took note and realized those measures could work for anyone and created the Military Diet, a free plan that claims you can lose up to 10 pounds in just three days. That sounds great, of course, but is it even good for you, in the end? And what else can you do to drop those lbs?

The Military Diet has been around for a while—the video above was made in 2016. It has endured in part because it's dirt simple. An example from the website for the plan:

Breakfast

1/2 Grapefruit
1 Slice of Toast
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
1 cup Coffee or Tea (with caffeine)

Lunch

1/2 Cup of Tuna
1 Slice of Toast
1 cup Coffee or Tea (with caffeine)

Dinner

3 ounces of any type of meat
1 cup of green beans
1/2 banana
1 small apple
1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Aside from the fact that grapefruit is gross, sounds doable, right? Here's what the website claims it will do for you:

The special food combinations on the 3 day Military Diet are designed to burn fat, kick start your metabolism and make you lose weight quickly. The Military Diet is one of the best diets out there for fast weight loss without supplements or pills.

The diet is a combination of low calorie, chemically compatible foods designed to work together and jump start your weight loss. And because the diet is 3 days on and 4 days off, the Military Diet doesn’t slow down your metabolism like other diets. The foods on the Military Diet provide energy and control sugar swings so you keep burning fat for all three days.

Just how healthy is it, really? While it doesn't eliminate a full food group like the Keto diet does with carbs and outwardly seems pretty balanced, Men's Health reached out to dietary specialists to get some opinions.

Kristen Kizer, a registered dietitian at Houston Methodist Hospital, says that while the Military Diet website claims that the specific foods you eat on the diet can help you "burn fat," that's just not the case.

"The Military Diet has 'fad diet' written all over it, claiming special food combinations can help you lose weight and allowing for unhealthy fake foods, like hot dogs and one cup of ice cream," she says.

Most health professionals advise only losing one to two pounds per week, and "even this can be challenging" for some people, says Kizer. Weight loss depends on such a wide range of factors, from genetics to body weight, that it's impossible to make the claim that one diet will help everyone lose a certain amount of weight in a given time frame.

Kizer goes on to add the rapid weight loss might just be water weight, anyway.

The upshot, according to Men's Health, is that "low-calorie diets like the Military Diet may help you shed a pound or two in the short-term, but they'll never give you long-lasting results."

Some might think that whatever works, works—and over time the combination of calorie cutting and exercise has been proven to shrink that gut. 

That's what the Rock likes to cook.

That's what the Rock likes to cook.

If a new study covered by Runner's World is correct, then the best thing to do is find some kind of meal plan that works for you and really start building a fitness routine that incorporates interval training, which Runner's World describes as "4 minutes of high-intensity work followed by 3 minutes of recovery. 

As for sprints, most used 30 seconds of 'all-out' effort alternated with 4 minutes of recovery, or 8 seconds of work with 12 seconds of recovery."

In the end, everyone has to find whatever fits. If you're panicked about that upcoming 20th high school reunion, maybe go with the Military Diet and some serious interval training (provided your doctor approves). The internet is filled with answers to questions about this stuff; do your research first.

Specialists can wring hands and fret however they want, but sometimes you just have to get the job done.