If you know me well, you know that I am intrigued by the science of weight loss. Calories in vs. calories out seems so simple, yet I can’t seem to master it. Week after week I step on the scale with no results, seemingly stuck at a plateau for over a year and ending up at a point where I have lost faith in ever reaching my goal weight.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine mentioned the Military Diet to me in casual conversation. I am not one to hear of a fad diet and automatically decide to try it, but I will admit that this one interested me. At the time of our conversation, I was curious but shortly after had forgotten about our discussion until I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and saw a blog post shared by one of my friends regarding the diet.
According to my friend and this blog post, the Military diet helped to boost your metabolism and get your weight loss efforts back on track. The idea is to eat certain foods for three days, each food chemically working together to help burn fat and restore your metabolism, then eat your regularly balanced meals for four days after that. My friend claims that while he was in the navy, he tried it and it worked for him.
First and foremost, let me preface this post with some backstory and *critical* information:
1. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or weight loss expert. I am simply someone with an unhealthy BMI and a blog.
2. I do not support fad diets.
I am that girl who has tried every fad diet known to man, failed at said fad diet and learned that the only proven way to lose weight and keep it off is with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
However (and this is a BIG however), I have been stuck teetering between a specific weight range for quite some time now (as in over a year) and I simply can’t figure out why. When a friend of mine told me about this diet, I decided to give it a try (a) out of pure curiosity and (b) in an attempt to mule-kick my metabolism into acting right.
3. There are a majority of factors that will have an effect on each individual’s results, such as: lifestyle, medication, stress level, food allergies, etc.
Starting Weight: 193.2 lbs
Day 2 Morning: 188.8 lbs
Day 3 Morning: 188.0 lbs
Day 3 Afternoon: 186.6 lbs
Final Weight: 186.6 lbs
Total Weight Lost:6.6 lbs
|Day 1 Breakfast:– 1/2 grapefruit
– 1 piece of whole wheat toast
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
|How do I feel?I had never eaten a grapefruit before now. The only word I could use to describe it was “#vomitworthy”. Thank GOD I had some toast and peanut butter to fall back on, otherwise I would have ralphed all over my bed.|
|Day 1 Lunch:– 1 piece whole wheat toast
– 1/2 cup tuna
|How do I feel?By the time lunch rolled around at 12:00 PM, I felt like I was becoming slightly delusional. Rational thought was gone at this point. I just kept telling myself, “It’s only three days…” over and over and over and over and over again.|
|Day 1 Dinner:
– 3 oz any type meat- 1 cup green beans- 1/2 banana (not pictured)- 1 small apple (not pictured)- 1 cup vanilla ice cream (not pictured)
|How do I feel?When dinner rolled around, I was ready to end this 3 day “fast” for sure. Lunch definitely didn’t hold me over. The good news was that I savored every single bite of vanilla ice cream and I am normally not an ice cream eater.|
|Day 2 Breakfast:– 1 egg
– 1 slice of toast
– 1/2 banana
|How do I feel?Breakfast wasn’t too bad, but I enjoyed Day 1’s breakfast better due to the peanut butter. PB normally keeps me pretty full for a while, so I was craving it. Plus, I knew lunch was going to suck.|
|Day 2 Lunch:– 1 cup of cottage cheese (substituted for 1 cup of plain greek yogurt)
– 1 hard boiled egg (not pictured)
– 5 saltine crackers (not pictured)
|How do I feel?Ugh, by far the worst lunch EVER. I had never had plain greek yogurt before, so I decided to add in a few slivers of a banana (which is all I had) in an attempt to get the yogurt down. It worked, but I’m sure it added a few more calories in. What you see missing in the photo is what I ate.|
|Day 2 Dinner:– 2 hot dogs (without buns)
– 1 cup of broccoli
– 1/2 cup of carrots
|How do I feel?Dinner wasn’t too bad, but I’m not a hot dog eater. I can’t really claim to be a “super clean eater”, but something about hot dogs makes me quiver. It took everything I had to get the franks down. I went to bed STARVING.|
|Day 3 Breakfast:– 5 saltine crackers
– 1 slice of cheddar cheese
– 1 small apple
|How do I feel?I’m not sure if breakfast could have gotten any more pathetic than this. Also, I considered “a slice of cheddar” as 1 oz. of cheddar. The apple is a gala apple.|
|Day 3 Lunch:– 1 hard boiled egg
– 1 slice of toast
|Whoopsie! I forgot to take a photo! Trust me, you didn’t miss anything. Today’s lunch was just as pathetic as breakfast.||How do I feel?I snuck in 1 oz. of cheddar and a mini Butterfinger bar. I couldn’t help it.|
|Day 3 Dinner:– 1 cup tuna (not pictured)
– 1/2 banana (not pictured)
– 1 cup of vanilla ice cream (not pictured)
|How do I feel?Ok, I admit- I am a pansy. I simply couldn’t make it through three days of the diet, so I had to have me something different for the last day’s dinner. Even with this beautiful salad, I only managed to get in less than 900 total calories for the day!|
I came, I conquered and I have determined this diet did the following for me:
1. It showed me what it is like to significantly restrict my calorie intake.
I have been counting calories for a very long time. I can normally “eye” a food and tell you how many calories is in that food. But after a while, a food that was once “eyed” as 1 cup will eventually be “eyed” as 1/2 a cup. During this diet, I started using measuring cups again, which showed me that I had been consuming way too much food.
2. It showed me the only way I am going to lose weight is by restricting my calorie intake.
Let’s face it, there’s no magic pill. The secret is calories in, calories out. Exercise is only 10% while what you put in your body is the other 90%. You would think I would have learned this by now.
3. It showed me this will not “reset” my metabolism.
I’m not really sure what I was thinking here, and there’s really no explanation needed.
4. It showed me I was being ridiculous for thinking this was going to be my “quick fix”.
Yes, I lost weight…but how successful was I? Unless I continued to eat this way, the weight would simply come back. The biggest conclusion I have come to is that I will simply have to keep a balanced diet (restricting calories) while throwing in daily exercise. It’s as simple as that.
Were you successful long term using the Military Diet? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below with your story.