Fad diets come and go, as do the accompanying promises to fix weight issues or gym struggles that, in nearly every case, could be addressed simply by combining frequent exercise with a diet that avoids caloric counts more suitable for a woolly mammoth.
The “Military Diet” is another such fad, except this groundbreaking eating regimen is largely built around the concept of not eating.
The stunted calorie plan — dieters are instructed to eat only 1,000 to 1,300 calories per day despite putting participants at risk for malnutrition — promises to shave off 10 pounds in just three days.
With results like that, you too can achieve the skeletal, prisoner of war beach bod you’ve always dreamed of.
In contrast, those in the special operations community are instructed to consume anywhere from 2,200 to 3,400 calories each day.
“Certainly any time you restrict calories that heavily and deprive the body of needed nutrients, you’re going to have rapid loss of weight,” dietitian Rachael Hartley told Insider. “A thousand calories is under the daily amount recommended for a 2 year old.”
The Military Diet, which has nothing to do with the military, has been endorsed by exactly zero individuals with credibility. The site, as noted by Insider’s Gabby Landsverk, lists Wikipedia as its primary source of foundational science.
“Nutrition science is for nerds anyways,” a dieter says as he gnaws on a 3-inch sliver of tree bark for dinner.
Sign up for the Early Bird Brief
Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning
Sign up for the Early Bird Brief – a daily roundup of military and defense news stories from around the globe.
By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief.
The diet’s website lays out extensive restrictions participants are expected to adhere to.
On Day 3, for example, dieters are to enjoy a heaping breakfast of “5 saltine crackers, 1 slice of cheddar cheese, 1 small apple.” For lunch on the same day, gorge yourself on “1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 hard boiled egg, 5 saltine crackers.”
Participants are then encouraged to stand in front of a mirror for approximately 15 to 30 minutes and hurl insults at the disgusting reflection confronting them.
“But what about coffee?” you might be asking. The “Military Diet” can accommodate you! From the diet’s site:
“For coffee addicts: We really love (need) coffee too, so we understand why everyone has questions about coffee on the Military Diet! Caffeine withdrawal is no fun, especially when you’re already on a low calorie diet. So here’s some good news… Black coffee has less than 5 calories per cup, so if you need to sneak in a cup here and there, just cut out the equivalent calories elsewhere. Do not add cream and sugar. You can add Stevia if you like. You’re welcome…”
“Just cut out the equivalent calories elsewhere,” like scaling back that heaping dinner serving of individual cashews from three to two.
Sacrifices must be made to get that six pack you’ve always wanted, which will arrive by default due to your malnourished skin simply not having anywhere else to go.
So, what are you waiting for?
If getting rid of energy, adding surging headaches, fatigue and irritability, and enduring an existence of pure misery is your goal, the Military Diet is right for you.