I am SO thankful that healthy lifestyle alternatives are adamantly mentioned in this article. I feel that the military diet is more of a tagline or “attention getter” and does not full give the the results that people are assuming they’ll receive. I feel that this method would get rid of bloat and excess water weight far before it would get rid of body fat, and the amount of fat lost will be gained back immediately upon return to a “normal diet”. While this may help a dieter become more familiar with portion control, I feel like the military diet grabs the attention of new/crash dieters more than experienced dieters that are looking for a healthy lifestyle.
The South Beach Diet, while mainly directed at weight loss, may promote certain healthy changes. Research shows that following a long-term eating plan that's rich in healthy carbohydrates and dietary fats, such as whole grains, unsaturated fats, vegetables and fruits, can improve your health. For example, lower carbohydrate diets with healthy fats may improve your blood cholesterol levels.
The food prescribed in the three-day menu are unusual and not nutrient-dense choices. Foods associated with disease prevention and overall health—such as produce, beans, whole grains, and healthy oils—are greatly lacking or missing completely, yet foods that are associated with increased health risks—like processed meats (hot dogs) and added sugars (a cup of ice cream every night)—are included.
Many people claim success with this diet, but nutrition experts caution against following the plan for a long-term period. Starvation or fasting diets have been debated often, and support is still anecdotal. While this diet may meet your initial weight loss goals, it's not a long-term, sustainable lifestyle (the website itself says that it's about quick fixes and providing support in a weight loss emergency).
While the diet as a whole may not be as varied as your regular diet, it does include enough rich and nutritious foods that it should meet your body’s basic needs. The diet only lasts three days, which means you’ll soon be able to eat a greater variety of foods that will fill in the gaps you’ve missed while dieting. If you were to keep following the diet, repeating the 3-day cycle over and over, you’d run into serious nutritional deficiencies.
As Michael Dansingel, MD from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said: "First, if a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Second, if you can’t see yourself following the diet for the rest of your life, it’s not for you." This basically holds true to the 3 day Military Diet: it sounds magical, yet when you take a closer look, you realize its pitfalls.
She’s right. Before South Beach, my go-to afternoon snack was a pear or a banana. A medium pear contains around 100 calories, according to the USDA, and a medium banana has about the same. Since those were off-limits, my new snack became a low-fat cheese stick, which contains about 50 calories, and fourteen almonds, which come to about 85, per the USDA.
The first book describing the diet, The South Beach Diet, was written by Agatston and was released in April 2003. By 2004 there about 8 million copies in print, a trade paperback South Beach Diet Good Fats/Good Carbs Guide had 3 million copies in print, and The South Beach Diet Cookbook went on sale with a printing of 1.75 million copies.
Though this diet will help you drop weight and quickly, all while eating ice cream and sticking to a cheap budget, the fact that you're taking in fewer calories than you're burning in a day means that, eventually, you'll burn out. A healthy lifestyle requires eating nutritious foods and exercising. A diet with this low caloric intake doesn't provide your body with enough energy to burn if you're looking to make working out or simply getting more active a part of your daily routine.
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And, of course, the low-cal nature of the military diet can dangerous, says Amidor. This is especially true if you plan to exercise: Attempting to do high-intensity workouts on such a low-calorie diet could potentially cause you to become weak, light-headed, and fatigued—so low-intensity cardio or walking is your safest option during this diet, says Allen.
More modern history of the diabetic diet may begin with Frederick Madison Allen and Elliott Joslin, who, in the early 20th century, before insulin was discovered, recommended that people with diabetes eat only a low-calorie and nearly zero-carbohydrate diet to prevent ketoacidosis from killing them. While this approach could extend life by a limited period, patients developed a variety of other medical problems.
Adherence to the DASH-style pattern may also help prevent the development of diabetes, as analyzed in a recent meta-analysis, and kidney disease as found in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort that followed more than 3700 people who developed kidney disease. [8, 9] Dietary components of DASH that were protective in the ARIC cohort included a high intake of nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. A high intake of red meat and processed meats increased kidney disease risk.
Most recently, researchers looked at the DASH diets effect on cholesterol values as well. It turns out, those looking to control blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels have even more reason to try the DASH; the DASH diet significantly lowered total and LDL-cholesterol (referred to as the "bad" cholesterol) levels in subjects with borderline-high and high cholesterol.
Scroll through the #militarydietresults hashtag on Instagram and you can see plenty of people trying the meal plan out. Most report being down at least a couple of pounds and reducing their body fat percentage as well. And checking out their pictures, it's pretty crazy the progess they can make with just a few meals and a few days. Want to see what we mean? We asked Instagram users @healthyhappydays_ and @sweatherly816 to share their results with us. Check out their military diet results in the video below.