It may come as a surprise that meal replacement shakes, tummy tea and the keto diet haven’t always been around. Instead, our dieting ancestors snacked on grapefruit, boiled eggs and good old celery to lose weight. Today we return to those humble beginnings with the Military Diet.
In case you’re not familiar, the Military Diet is the latest diet to follow, promising to help you lose up to 4.5kg in just three days of dieting.
The diet involves a strict three-day meal plan of appetising dishes including raw tuna on saltine biscuits and hard boiled eggs with cottage cheese. For those three days, you consume between 1,100 and 1,400 calories each day, well below the recommended daily intake for adults.
It is recommended that three-day plan is followed by four days of healthy eating. If you haven’t lost all the weight in one week, then proponents also claim you can keep following the diet until you reach your goal.
Also in case you were wondering, the Military Diet has no official affiliation with the military but if picturing shirtless soldiers helps with the hunger pangs then I’m not going to stop you.
So does it work?
Losing such a huge amount of weight in such a short time sounds too good to be true, so we asked sports dietitian Chloe McLeod if the Military Diet is something people should be following.
Chloe said that if you can deal with the side effects (including headaches, nausea, constipation and fatigue) then anyone consuming so few calories will end up losing weight. Just don’t expect the results to last.
“Losing this amount of weight in such a small time is not fat loss,” she told bodyandsoul.com.au, “the person is losing water from their glycogen stores, and due to the fibre restriction, there will also be much less fibre in the bowel as well, so less weight from this.”
In saying that, the sports dietician said that there is some research that suggests fasting and calorie reduction could work in the short term. However, she recommended that “this be done under the supervision of your health care provider (such as a GP or dietitian) to ensure nutrition remains as balanced as possible and risk of damage (both physiologically and psychologically) is limited during calorie restriction.”
What I get from that is that is that the Military Diet might be one diet craze to pass on. But if you are considering anything drastic, always consult a medical professional first.
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