This diet, which is gain­ing more and more pop­u­lar­i­ty, requires a sol­dier’s endurance and dis­ci­pline. But does it deserve atten­tion?

The mil­i­tary diet is a fan­cy food sys­tem that actu­al­ly has noth­ing to do with the mil­i­tary. But nev­er­the­less, recent­ly it has been increas­ing­ly adver­tised on social net­works, promis­ing amaz­ing weight loss results — up to five kilo­grams in a week.

What is the military diet?

The mil­i­tary diet does not involve exclud­ing cer­tain food groups. The whole point comes down to reduc­ing the total dai­ly caloric intake. The first three days you eat from 1200 to 1500 kilo­calo­ries per day, dis­trib­ut­ing them for break­fast, lunch and din­ner. For the next four days, you eat 1,600 calo­ries from the health­i­est foods pos­si­ble.

What can’t you eat on a military diet?

Any snacks and alco­hol are exclud­ed to reduce caloric intake. Arti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers are also out of the ques­tion, because, accord­ing to the cre­ators of the diet, they affect blood sug­ar lev­els and lead to weight gain (it is worth not­ing that such state­ments have no sci­en­tif­ic basis).

Is it possible to lose weight on a military diet?

It is pos­si­ble, and this is not sur­pris­ing. After all, as you know, weight loss is achieved by cre­at­ing an ener­gy deficit. And the dai­ly caloric intake rec­om­mend­ed by the authors of the diet is low enough to eas­i­ly ensure this con­di­tion.

Are there any downsides to the military diet?

Yes, and there are many of them. First, the sci­ence behind this diet is pret­ty flim­sy. Of course, a calo­rie deficit will lead to weight loss, but with such an aggres­sive approach, the body will like­ly lose water (and mus­cle) rather than fat, which is what will result in weight loss.

Addi­tion­al­ly, eat­ing too lit­tle (a healthy adult male needs sig­nif­i­cant­ly more ener­gy) can lead to poor con­cen­tra­tion and low mood. In the end, it can even end in a break­down and overeat­ing. And arti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers caus­ing weight gain are non­sense. We pre­vi­ous­ly wrote about how choos­ing foods with sug­ar sub­sti­tutes can help you lose weight.

What’s the verdict?

Just because you’re los­ing weight does­n’t mean you’re doing it right. Espe­cial­ly if you’re on a low-calo­rie eat­ing plan like this one. And although it is good that this diet does not pro­hib­it any of the main food cat­e­gories, this approach can­not be called healthy and ratio­nal.

(Read also: Why is los­ing 15 kilo­grams in 30 days a bad idea?)

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