Lose 10lbs/5kgs in 3 days With this Military Diet Shopping List

Atten-SHUN! Do you want to lose 10lbs/5kgs in just 3 days, soldier? Then why not try the military diet (also known as the 3 day diet), and get a head start with this military diet shopping list?

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Losing weight in 3 days sounds like some super secret military technology, but it’s actually the proclaimed benefits of this diet. The concept of the military diet is a simple 3 day diet plan: significantly and strictly limit your calorie intake for 72 hours, and eat normally and healthily for the rest of the week. And we mean “strict”. There is absolutely no snacking allowed! Rinse and repeat until you reach your desired mass.

But, before we get into the actual meal-plan and military diet shopping list, let’s go over some queries. However, you can skip the FAQs and download a free printable version of your military diet shopping list.

Military Diet FAQs

military diet shopping list - lose weightWill I lose weight?

Yes. Some people following the diet lose weight in 3 days. 

The idea behind most diets is creating a calorie deficit. If you eat more calories than your body burns, you’ll put on weight. If you eat less than your body requires, you’ll lose it. Therefore, the rather extreme method of vastly restricting your total calories with this 3 day diet plan will certainly have an impact on your weight.

Whether you’ll lose the much touted military diet results of shedding 10lbs/5kg will be down to your pre-diet status. Unless you’re very overweight or obese will probably lose less than the full 10lbs/5kgs. This is because you simply don’t have as much to lose.

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military diet shopping list - militaryDoes this have anything to do with the military?

No. Not at all.

The story attached to this diet is that the military would put recruits on it so they’d experience rapid weight loss to get them to a target weight. However, there is absolutely no evidence to show that such a diet was ever implemented by US military forces. They have even claimed that it has nothing to do with them.

military diet shopping list - sustainableIs the weight loss sustainable?


The weight you’re losing whilst on the military diet is mostly water. But why is this?

Elaine Magee, a registered dietitian, has this to say about the weight being lost being water rather than actual fat.

“With this type of low-calorie, lower-carbohydrate diet, you are losing mostly water and potentially some muscle. Water weight drops quickly as the body’s glycogen stores decline, which happens when you restrict carbs and calories. Weight will come back when you begin to eat normally again.”
This means that when you reach your target weight and start eating regularly again, you’re going to put that water weight back on.

The military diet is merely a quick-fix rapid weight loss program. It won’t make you get into the habit of good healthy eating and lifestyle which is the bedrock of sustainable weight loss. Unless you’re knowledgeable of healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, chances are that the weight loss you make during the military diet isn’t going to stay off.

military diet shopping list - healthyIs the military diet shopping list healthy?

In the long term, it isn’t. Whilst you’re encouraged to eat healthily for the other 4 days, what you are eating in those 3 days isn’t very nutritionally beneficial. Your meals will be made up of processed meat (hot dogs), high-sugar (ice cream) and high-salt food (saltine/cream crackers), and a low variety and quantity of fruit and vegetables. This means you’re not getting enough fiber or vital vitamins for your body to function properly.

There are some claims that this combination enhances weight loss, but there is absolutely no scientific proof of this. Indeed, high sugar is linked to diabetes, salt and sodium can cause hypertension and high blood pressure, and processed meat is considered to increase the risk of cancer.

It’s possible that doing the military diet on only a short-term basis carries much lower health risks than keeping up for a prolonged period. However, as no official scientific or dedicated study has ever been done into this diet yet, it’s hard to be sure. It’s up to you if this is a risk you’re willing to take.

military diet shopping list - exerciseShould I exercise whilst on the Military Diet?

Not during the 3 days you’re keeping to the restricted calorie meal-plan.

This is because you’re already on a massive calorie deficit. If you exercise you’re going to be burning a lot of the very few calories you’re already eating. This is going to make you very tired and hungry.

military diet shopping list - substitute

Can I eat to a different meal plan?

Essentially, yes.

The only main requirement is to stick to the designated calorie intake for each day:

  • 1,400 calories on day 1
  • 1,200 calories on day 2
  • 1,100 calories on day 3

If you’re concerned about whether what’s in the original meal plan is not as healthy as it should be, you can certainly substitute food, as long as you stay within the set calorie limits.

[Picture source: My Fit Station]

military diet shopping list - recommendWould you recommend the Military Diet?

This is down to your personal goals. If you want rapid short-term weight-loss, then this will work. In essence, this is a very simple, easy to follow diet that doesn’t require any special supplements or expensive and difficult to source food.
If you have existing health problems then you absolutely should consult your doctor first. Although, we would always recommend consulting your doctor, whatever your health status, before starting any diet.

If you’re looking for sustained and healthy weight loss, then we would not recommend this. We would recommend changing your eating and grocery shopping habits to make lifelong sustainable adjustments, such as using a healthy grocery list. Other diets, like the flexitarian diet, are highly ranked by organizations such as USA News (the military diet/3-day diet isn’t ranked at all) and is much healthier in terms of the nutrients you’ll be consuming doing these.  Also, you should increase your physical activity to help you lose weight more sustainably and healthily.

military diet shopping list - planMilitary Diet Plan

The following military diet shopping list is the same one that is found in many places around the internet. The fact that the military diet is so straightforward and well-defined is one of the reasons it’s become so popular, as it’s easy to follow.

Day 1


  • ½ grapefruit
  • 1 slice of bread or toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of tea or coffee (without milk or sugar)


  • 1 slice of bread or toast
  • ½ can of tuna
  • 1 cup of tea or coffee (without milk or sugar)


  • 3oz/85g of any meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1 small apple
  • ½ a banana
  • 1 cup of ice cream

Day 2


  • 1 egg (cooked to your preference)
  • 1 slice of bread or toast
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup of tea or coffee (without milk or sugar)


  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 5 saltine/cream crackers
  • 1 cup of tea or coffee (without milk or sugar)


  • 2 hot dogs (no bun)
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • ½ cup of carrots
  • ½  banana
  • 1 cup of ice cream

Day 3


  • 1 slice of cheese
  • 1 small apple
  • 5 saltine/cream crackers
  • 1 cup of tea or coffee (without milk or sugar)


  • 1 egg (cooked to your preference)
  • 1 slice of bread or toast
  • 1 cup of tea or coffee (without milk or sugar)


  • 1 cup of tuna
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup of ice cream

3 Day Military Diet Shopping List

Now that you know the score and the diet plan, here you can find and download a printable version of your military diet shopping list. For the other 4 days a week, we highly recommend eating healthy. To assist with this, you can use our healthy grocery list template for pointers and inspiration.

Once more, we highly recommend consulting a doctor before undertaking any sort of diet.

Meat & Fish

  • 3oz/85g meat
  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 1 jar/pack of hot dogs

Dairy & Eggs

  • 3 eggs
  • Sliced cheese
  • 1 tub cottage cheese


  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 cup/150g green beans
  • 1 cup/175g broccoli
  • ½ cup/75g carrots
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 small apples

Bread & Dry Goods

  • 1 loaf bread
  • 1 pack saltine/cream crackers
  • 1 jar peanut butter
  • Tea
  • Coffee


  • 1 tub vanilla ice cream






Have you been on the military diet or a similar 3 day diet plan? Do you think you’ll be making healthier substitutions to your military diet shopping list? Would you recommend any other diets instead of this one? Let us know in the comments.military diet shopping list

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