The 7 Day Military Diet: How To, Meal Plan, + Results

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The 7 day military diet is one of the more popular fad diets that promises rapid weight loss.

But, is the 7 day military diet plan good for weight loss? Are the claims that the “7 day flat stomach military diet” legitimate?

In this guide, we will discuss what the 7 day military weight loss entails, what foods you can eat on the 7 day military diet plan for weight loss, and whether the 7 day flat stomach military diet is safe.

We will cover: 

  • What Is the 7 Day Military Diet Program?
  • How Do You Follow the 7 Day Military Diet Plan?
  • The 7 Day Military Diet Meal Plan

Let’s dive in!

A person eating a green apple.

What Is the 7 Day Military Diet Program?

The 7 day military diet plan, also referred to as the 3 day military diet, the army diet, the navy diet, and the ice cream diet, is a fad diet or popular weight loss diet that involves severe caloric restrictions and a very strict military diet food list and meal plan.

The term “military diet“ is somewhat of a misnomer because although some proponents of the 7 day military diet plan suggest that it was designed by a US military nutritionist as a way to help soldiers get in peak physical form rapidly, this is reported to be just a myth.

In fact, the military diet is not affiliated with any government agency or armed services; it is simply a fad diet that borrows the term “military,” likely to denote how rigorous and restrictive the diet is such that the 7 day military diet menu plan is militant.

Although it is called the 7 day military diet plan, proponents of this weight loss approach suggest continuing the 7 day military diet cycle as many times as necessary to reach your goal weight or for at least one month.

One of the biggest red flags about this weight loss diet is the claims surrounding the 7 day military diet weight loss results.

Vanilla ice cream.

The reason that searches trend for keywords like “7 day military diet weight loss results“ and “7 day military diet flat stomach results“ is that proponents of the military diet weight loss plan suggest that you can lose up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in one week and 30 pounds in one month.

As many people are looking for a rapid weight loss diet that delivers results, turning to the 7 day military diet weight loss meal plan becomes all the more appealing with such impressive claims.

However, this rapid weight loss is not safe nor true fat loss, but largely due to water weight from the low-carb meal plan.

How Do You Follow the 7 Day Military Diet Plan?

The 7 days component of this military diet refers to the fact that it runs in a 7 day cycle, which is split into two phases.

It involves following a calorie-restricted diet for 3 days followed by four days of “free eating.”

The first portion of the 3 day military diet plan is extremely restrictive and is classified as a low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, high-protein diet plan.

Grapefruit.

There are specific foods and food pairings on the military diet menu plan that are said to induce a “metabolic boost“to aid weight loss further.

During the 3-day military diet restrictive phase, the meal plan consists only of 3 square meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with no snacks

During the first 3-day military diet phase, restriction, the total daily calorie intake works out to approximately 1,100–1,400 calories (1,400 calories on day 1, 1,200 calories on day 2, and 1,100 calories on day 3).

This classifies as a low-calorie diet (defined as any dietary pattern that limits daily caloric intake to 800–1,200 calories per day).

The recommended meal plan for the “off days” still only provides a maximum of 1,500 calories per day.

There are only 16 potential foods on the standard military diet food list for the 3-day restrictive phase. Therefore, there are substitutions and a vegan military diet option for those who do not consume animal products.

The Military Diet includes highly-processed foods like hot dogs and foods with very low nutritional value, like saltines and vanilla ice cream, and contains very little fiber, so it is not a very healthy meal plan.

You can drink water or herbal tea as much as you want and caffeinated tea or coffee up to twice per day. However, you cannot add creamers, sugars, or other sweeteners to your drinks.

Whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

The 7 Day Military Diet Meal Plan

Below is the military diet meal plan for the first 3 days during the restrictive phase:

Day 1

Breakfast

  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 2 tablespoons of unsalted peanut butter with no added sugars
  • 1/2 grapefruit plain
  • 1 cup of caffeinated black coffee or tea

Lunch

  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • 1/2 cup of canned tuna in water
  • 1 cup of caffeinated black coffee or tea

Dinner

  • 3 ounces (85 grams) of meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1 small apple
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Total Calories: Approximately 1,400

A can of tuna fish.

Day 2

Breakfast

  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • 1 egg, poached, hard-boiled, or scrambled with nothing added
  • 1/2 banana

Lunch

  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 5 saltine crackers

Dinner

  • 2 hot dogs plain and without the buns
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Total Calories: Approximately 1,200

Saltine crackers.

Day 3

Breakfast

  • 1-ounce slice of cheddar cheese
  • 5 saltine crackers
  • 1 small apple

Lunch

  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • 1 hard-boiled egg

Dinner

  • 1 cup of canned tuna in water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Total Calories: Approximately 1,100

Green beans.

3-Day Vegan Military Diet Meal Plan

The modified vegan 3-day military diet meal plan is as follows:

Day 1

Breakfast

  • 1/2 plain grapefruit
  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 2 tbsp of unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 cup of caffeinated black coffee or tea

Lunch

  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast spread with 2 tbsp hummus and 1/2 an avocado sliced on top
  • 1 cup of caffeinated black coffee or tea

Dinner

  • 1 cup tofu (up to 300 calories)
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup of vegan vanilla ice cream
A sliced banana.

Day 2

Breakfast

  • 1/2 cup baked beans
  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • 1/2 banana

Lunch

  • 1 cup of unsweetened soy, hemp, or almond milk
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • 5 saltine crackers

Dinner

  • 2 vegan hot dogs without the buns
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup of vegan vanilla ice cream
Almonds.

Day 3

Breakfast

  • 15–20 almonds
  • 5 saltine crackers
  • 1 small apple

Lunch

  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of hummus and 1/2 avocado sliced on top 

Dinner

  • 1/2 cup of canned chickpeas rinsed and drained 
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup of vegan vanilla ice cream
Bacon on a cutting board.

Second Phase: Days 4 To 7

The second phase of the military diet plan shifts from the very restrictive 3-day military diet plan to a looser phase.

Days 4 to 7 on the 7-day military diet plan don’t actually have strict stipulations about what you can and cannot eat nor a defined military diet meal plan in the way that the first 3-day military diet plan is rigidly laid out.

However, you are supposed to keep your total intake less than 1500 calories per day on these “free eating days,” and proponents of the military diet recommend still following a healthy low-carb, high-protein meal plan with no snacks and no sugar or artificial sweeteners.

You also cannot eat oranges, butter or creamers, cream, or any dairy except for Greek yogurt, fruit juice, alcohol, or any sugar except if it is ice cream, which is why the 7 day military diet is sometimes called the ice cream diet.

Here is an example military diet meal plan for days 4 to 7 after the initial restrictive 3-day military diet meal plan. This military diet weight loss plan provides about 1400 calories per day:

Hard boiled eggs.

Breakfast

  • 1 cup of plain green tea
  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast plain 
  • Egg scramble with 1 whole egg, 4 egg whites, 1/2 avocado, 3 button mushrooms, and 1 medium plum tomato
  • 1/2 cup raspberries 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries 

Lunch

  • 6 ounces of nonfat plain Greek yogurt or low-sodium cottage cheese, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon of walnuts, 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds 
  • Mixed greens salad with 1/2 cup of chickpeas, 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds, and lemon juice dressing
  • 1 nectarine

Dinner

  • 6 ounces of grilled salmon
  • 1.5 cups steamed non-starchy veggies
  • 1/2 cup quinoa 
  • Dessert of medium apple with 2 tablespoons of unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter 

You can read more about the pros and cons of the Military Diet in our full Military Diet guide here.

Hot dogs on a grill.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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