March 26, 2013

The Military Diet - Should you try it?

Another day another diet: a friend asked me today about what I thought of the Military Diet that all her co-workers are doing.  The premise?  I couldn't describe it better myself:

“The Military Diet lets you lose up to 10 pounds per week without strenuous exercise or
prescriptions. And best of all, the Military Diet is free! The 3 day military diet plan is probably less expensive than what you’re already eating. The chemically formulated food combination is designed to burn fat, kick start your metabolism and lose weight fast. In fact, the Military Diet is one of the best natural diets known for rapid weight loss without a prescription.

The Military Diet works in an emergency situation; say you have to fit into a wedding dress, take a cruise, or your ex is coming to town and you want to make him drool. The Military Diet is for people who need to lose weight fast or lose more weight over the long term. If you follow the Military diet for a month, you can expect to lose at least 30 pounds.”

They are up-front about this not being a long-term diet (thank God) and recommend a Mediterranean diet for long-term healthy living.  Ironically, the Military diet is low carb and low calorie while the Mediterranean diet is founded on carbohydrates and fat in the form of whole grains and olive oil.  It is not classified as low calorie.  The Military diet suggests the Mediterranean diet because “Europeans have it right”, though they fail to mention that obesity has reached global proportions even in Europe.  It’s just not that simple…..

But the Military diet is!  With limited food choices that are desirable to some people (hot dogs, ice cream), I’m really not surprised that you can lose weight on this diet.  After all, it is low-calorie and low carb.  When you lose this amount of weight fast, it is mostly water anyhow. 

Based on my calculations, the Military diet provides roughly 1000 calories/50 g carbs the first day, 1500 calories/80 g carbs the second day, 900 calories/90 g carbs the third day.  For reference, I would say the average person (especially someone who struggles with their weight, based on my professional experience), eats around 2000+ calories per day and 200+ grams of carbs per day.  Given the difference, it is not shocking that you will drop weight by eating this way.  Other aspects of this diet that I have a problem with include the very obvious lack of fruits and veggies.  A healthy diet includes a variety of colorful fresh fruits and veg.  The Military diet has bananas and apples, broccoli and carrots in limited amounts but that’s about it.  The emphasis on processed, high-fat foods such as hot dogs, ice cream and red meat is similar to where we started: SAD (Standard American Diet). 

If diets like this continue to surface and gain popularity with American public, we will continue taking steps in the wrong direction when it comes to health and obesity.  Our relationship with food will continue to suffer.  Quick, easy fixes, too good to be true magic bullets and no-effort needed promises fuel an unhealthy relationship with food.  After your ex is done “drooling” over your beautiful Military bod, you will probably end up bingeing on carbohydrates, gaining even more weight back and begin searching for the next easy fix.


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  2. Sure you will lose weight on the military diet but the same goes for starving yourself and that sure isn't healthy. This diet should definitely be restricted to the 3 days suggested by the name or it can be detrimental.