Do not add any cream, sugar or sweetener to your coffee or tea. You don’t have to drink these beverages if you want to stick to just water, but they are a great way to help keep you full. If you have a peanut allergy, you can substitute the peanut butter with almond butter, soy butter, sunflower seed butter, hummus, pumpkin butter, or bean dip.
If it helps you to spread the food out differently in order to feel fuller throughout the day, go for it. If you need to season your foods, use only no-calorie or low-calorie seasonings. Some examples of no-calorie seasonings are salt, pepper, lemon juice, and Mrs. Dash. Try not to overdo it with the salt
You should stick to this diet for three days and then take four days off. When you take the four days off, you shouldn’t go crazy and should still eat less than 1,500 calories a day. The military diet works week by week and you can follow it for as long as you want or until you hit your ideal goal weight.
You cannot just rely on the diet alone. You should also exercise while following the diet. Because you are eating very few calories you should walk 30 minutes a day, seven days a week rather than doing any intense and/or longer workouts.
The vegetables can be boiled, steamed or you can eat them raw. Meat should only be grilled and baked. If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute meat with tofu, lentils, beans and/or portobello mushrooms.
If you are not into the Saltine crackers, they can be replaced with rice cakes. Cheddar cheese can also be replaced with ham, eggs, cabbage or soy cheese. And remember, if you are still hungry, you can drink as much plain black coffee and tea as you want to help keep you full.
If you are egged out, you can substitute the egg for one cup of milk, two slices of bacon or one chicken wing. Only one chicken wing? That is rough. You are on day three; therefore, you will be eating even less calories than the two days before. The military diet is a form of intermittent fasting, so maybe you should feel lucky that you are even getting to eat anything at all?
There is that ice cream again. While it may be the only redeemable part of this diet, you may not love vanilla ice cream. If that is the case, you are insane, but you can substitute it with one cup of apple juice or one cup of vanilla, strawberry or banana flavored almond milk.
[Editor's note: Take the vanilla ice cream! What's wrong with you?!]
This three-day meal plan is all you can eat for three days straight and then you’ll get a four-day break. I repeat, you are not allowed to snack on this diet and are only allowed to eat what is listed. Still want to try it?
You may have noticed that the only allowed vice in this diet is vanilla ice cream. If you have plans to go out, you’ll have to skip it, unless you can practice self control. Even on the four days that you are off the diet, drinking is not encouraged, especially beer or anything fruity. If you must drink, a glass of wine is the only acceptable option.
So, look: If you are not in the military, is this really the diet for you? Before you try anything as strict as this regimen, make sure you talk to a doctor to see if your body is ready for it and to determine if it is a safe option for you. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water!