Think about this idea: lose weight while eating ice cream, hot dogs, and cheese. Appealing, isn't it? It's difficult not to be enticed by the Military Diet. In exchange for three days of a hypo-caloric diet, dieters can expect a 10-pound weight loss. But is the Military Diet all it's cracked up to be? We're tackling the truth behind this diet to determine whether or not it's actually safe and effective.

The military diet or the 3 day military diet is a weight loss diet plan that claims it can help you lose up to 10 pounds in a week. The 3 day military diet, also known as the Army diet or Navy diet, is similar to many of the other 3-day fad diet or crash plans that have been introduced in the past. The 3 day military diet involves a 3-day meal plan followed by 4 days off. The weekly cycle can be repeated until the weight goals are reached.


This study included 412 adults who followed either a typical American diet or the DASH diet. The study provided all foods and beverages to participants for one month. Their daily sodium intake levels were either high, at 3,300 mg, which is similar to the current average U.S. daily sodium intake of about 3,600 mg; medium at 2,300 mg; or low at 1,500 mg.
Blood glucose is affected most by carbohydrates. And insulin dosing is typically based on food intake, especially carbohydrates. Knowing what foods contain carbohydrates and the amount of carbohydrates in a meal is helpful for blood glucose control. You should aim to include carbohydrates in each meal. Carbohydrate sources like vegetables, fruits and whole grains (high fiber) are preferred over carbohydrate sources with added fats, sugars and salt.

Limiting your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, means you're likely not getting the amount of fiber, antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium, and phytonutrients you need on a daily basis, she says. Since the diet also includes limited dairy, you'll likely be low on vitamin D, calcium, and potassium too—nutrients that most Americans are already lacking, says Amidor. Since the diet is super low-carb, you're not getting enough whole grains, either—which are a great source of B vitamins and fiber, she says. (See: Why Healthy Carbs Belong In Your Diet.)


The first stage of the diet aims for rapid weight loss (13 lbs in two weeks). According to the UK's National Health Service (NHS), the severity of the first stage of the diet may result in the loss of some vitamins, minerals and fiber. The NHS reports that dietary restrictions during stage one may cause side effects including "bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation."[8] Such symptoms would be rectified once the less extreme phases of the diet then began.[8]

If IMF seems too difficult for you, you might consider trying calorie/carb-cycling diets. Carb cycling is a type of diet plan that involves eating more carbohydrates (and sometimes calories in general) only on certain days of the week, but doing the opposite on the other days. Carb cycling increases your intake of carbohydrates only at the right time and in the right amounts, supporting your metabolism and providing you with energy without leading to excess carb/calorie intake that’s stored as fat. On lower-carb days, foods that are filling and have enough protein are the base of your meals, such as non-starchy veggies, grass-fed meats, eggs and healthy fats like avocado.
The South Beach Diet aims to be a lifelong eating plan that you adapt when you reach the maintenance period, which is phase 3. By this point, you have learned how to eat in a healthy way, meaning you can have occasional treats, like a slice of cake, but by using what you learned in phases 1 and 2, you keep yourself from veering too far off the plan.
Who actually created this diet? I can’t find any data on its development, much less any studies on its effectiveness or healthfulness. All of this supports my initial gut instinct that this diet has zero backing in science and health. Also, this diet appears to masquerade under several different names, the Cardiac Diet being one. Search both Cardiac and Military diets, and you’ll find the exact same three-day menu and protocol, although the Cardiac Diet is suggested to be a diet that physicians prescribe to obese patients for quick weight loss.

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When picked well and eaten in moderation, dairy can be a great choice for people with diabetes. Just keep fat content in mind, as being overweight or obese can reduce insulin sensitivity, causing prediabetes to progress to full-blown diabetes or increasing the risk of complications if you have type 2 diabetes. Whenever possible, opt for fat-free dairy options to keep calories down and unhealthy saturated fats at bay.
The second step lasts much longer. Individuals who do not need to lose much weight can skip the first step and go directly to the second level. Here you can eat everything allowed in the first step and “good” carbohydrates like whole grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes and green beans. It is emphasized that you eat healthy desserts and snacks of all kinds, even dark chocolate.
Check these links for more information on The DASH Diet Action Plan, The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook, DASH diet in the news, DASH diet research, the author Marla Heller, MS, RD, Marla in the media, DASH social media, or to book her for a seminar. We support the American Heart Month (February), the Go Red for Women campaign, and the National Wear Red Day (February 2, 2018), promoting awareness about women's heart health. Check out our blog, and don't forget to join our free online support group on Facebook.
According to registered dietitian Libby Parker, MS, RD, the foods in the military diet plan are not the most healthy or nutrient-dense, as processed foods like hot dogs and ice cream are definitely encouraged for consumption on this crash diet plan. Parker explained to INSIDER that other items like canned tuna, eggs, cottage cheese, and saltine crackers can also be eaten on the diet.

The DASH diet and the control diet at the lower salt levels were both successful in lowering blood pressure, but the largest reductions in blood pressure were obtained by eating a combination of these two (i.e., a lower-salt version of the DASH diet). The effect of this combination at a sodium level of 1,500 mg/day was an average blood pressure reduction of 8.9/4.5 mm Hg (systolic/diastolic). The hypertensive subjects experienced an average reduction of 11.5/5.7 mm Hg.[10] The DASH-sodium results indicate that low sodium levels correlated with the largest reductions in blood pressure for participants at both pre-hypertensive and hypertensive levels, with the hypertensive participants showing the greatest reductions in blood pressure overall.

On the South Beach Diet, there are good carbs and fats, and there are bad carbs and fats. The key to weight loss is choosing the best of each. That means lots of vegetables, fish, eggs, dairy, lean protein like chicken and turkey, whole grains and nuts. South Beach is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and healthy fats than the typical American diet.
The DASH diet is a plant-focused diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, with low-fat and non-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, and poultry, mostly whole grains, and heart healthy fats. You fill up on delicious fruits and vegetables, paired up with protein-rich foods to quench your hunger. This makes a plan that is so easy to follow. The full DASH diet plan is shown here and sample menus are shown here.
As mentioned above, the military diet is really nothing groundbreaking or special, just another low-calorie diet that can promote weight loss due to restricting how much someone eats. If you’re hoping to lose weight in a healthier, more sustainable way then I’d recommend considering a moderate ketogenic diet (a very low-carb diet that helps the body burn fat efficiently), incorporating intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, and perhaps trying other weight loss boosters, such as carb-cycling or high intensity interval training (HIIT). The ketogenic diet in particular can be helpful for lowering appetite and promoting steady weight loss. The keto diet works by severely limiting carbohydrate consumption and reducing the body’s energy supply, which then forces fat to become the primary energy source.
Anne falls for it hook, line and sinker (because, hey, it’s a pretty good plan)... until she jangles the bracelets Sheila gave her and realizes where she has heard that sound before—on the message. That is the one part of the finale I did see coming, as soon as Sheila jangled the bracelets in triumph after Gary recorded the message. But that’s OK because I enjoyed waiting for that particular shoe to drop. This episode was tension-filled from start to finish and that just added to my anxiety.
The American Diabetes Association has released a statement declaring a vegan diet to be a healthful option for all ages.[32] In the ADA's 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, a vegan diet was even included as a treatment option.[33] Diabetes UK agrees, and has stated that diabetes should not prevent people from going vegetarian – in fact, it may be beneficial for people with diabetes to go vegetarian, as this will cut down on saturated fats.[34]
As with other types of extremely low-calorie diets, regaining the weight is almost guaranteed as soon as you stop the diet. “My own advice,” says Rothenberg: “Don't compromise for a big event! That often leads to weight gain and binge eating. If you want to change your diet, change your lifestyle. Studies actually show that ‘safe weight loss’ results in 1 to 2 lbs per week only,” citing recommendations from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.” And that still is hard work,” she adds. Fad diets like the Military Diet put you at risk for regaining weight that is lost from muscle and water in particular.
Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet and Belly Fat Diet For Dummies, feels similarly concerned. "A restrictive diet that does not promote the nutritional value of foods and is only focused on calories, such as the Military Diet, may promote weight loss at the expense of health," she says. "This diet is not sustainable and any weight loss will most likely be regained quickly." She even cautions that the diet may ultimately lead to weight gain down the road. "A drastic reduction in calories will promote weight loss, however restricting calories this low may promote a loss of both lean body mass (muscle mass) as well as fat mass, which makes it easier to regain the weight as soon as you return to normal eating habits."
A 30-year-old Caucasian male without significant past medical history presented with a two day history of nausea, vomiting and diffuse abdominal pain. The patient denied use of any medications (prescription or nonprescription) or any illicit substances. He did admit to occasional ethanol ingestion stating that he consumed four alcoholic beverages (approximately 0.6 ounces ethanol each) the night prior to the onset of symptoms. The patient had a family history of diabetes mellitus type 2 on both the paternal and maternal side.
No shocker here: It turns out that the Military Diet isn’t quite the unique weight loss solution it’s made out to be. “This [diet concept] has been dressed up differently and brought out to dance before,” says Kimberly Gomer, R.D., director of nutrition at Pritikin Longevity Center. In other words, a restrictive three-day plan is nothing new in the health industry.
If you choose to finish dieting after these last 4 days, you should also strive to maintain a healthy diet full of healthy fats, proteins, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains. You can find more information about losing weight through a healthy, 1700 calorie diet here. Other ideas for leading a healthy diet are also discussed in the sections below.

Santa Clarita Diet is an American horror-comedy web television series created by Victor Fresco for the streaming service Netflix, starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant.[1] Fresco serves as the showrunner, and is an executive producer alongside Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Aaron Kaplan, Tracy Katsky, Chris Miller, Ember Truesdell and Ruben Fleischer.[2][3]
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