Military Diet Shopping List

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Military Diet Shopping List

The military diet promises at least 6lbs. of weight loss in a matter of 3 days.

It is a quick and easy diet that gives hopefuls (like you and me) a military diet shopping list, enumerating all the food items you’ll need in their 3-day weight loss journey.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, it’s no joke. The military diet shopping list does exist!

In this post:

I’ll share a list of what you’ll need to get started on the military diet.

I will also impart to you some tips that can make your crash diet so much easier and more effective.

But of course, before all that, let’s get to know the military diet and why so much people are riding the bandwagon.

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What is the Military Diet?

The military diet is a fad diet that actually doesn’t have anything to do with the military.

In fact, this diet didn’t come from or is used by the Armed Forces.

There’s no clear reason as to why this weight loss tactic is called the military diet but I can only assume that it could be partly due to the diet’s pretty restrictive 1,000-calorie intake all throughout the 3 days.

You are allowed to consume 1,500 calories for the other 4 days.

If you’ve been trying to lose weight for quite some time, you may find this weight loss technique familiar. And right you are!

The military diet is actually:

The Kaiser Diet

The Birmingham Hospital Diet

The Cleveland Clinic 3-Day Diet

The American Heart Association Diet

And God knows how many more names it’s been known as.

The 3-day diet plan of all the above diets are pretty much the same.

But it seems that the military diet became more popular recently due to all the chatter among Hollywood celebrities on social media.

The 3-Day Military Diet Shopping List

What makes the military diet a wonderful starter weight loss strategy is that it’s convenient and very easy to follow.

The military diet shopping list contains everything you need for the 3 days you’ll be on strict caloric intake.

And so, without further ado, here is your military diet shopping list:

  • Tuna (approximately 3 cans)


  • Hot Dogs
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coffee


  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Bananas

Yep. That’s pretty much all you’ll be eating the 3 days you’ll be on the diet.

Whoever came up with this diet made sure all the food items are easy to get and readily available wherever you are in the world.

If there’s anything on the military diet shopping list that you can’t eat or get, it is okay to substitute it with other food items, so long as you don’t go overboard 1,000 calories a day.

I know 1,000 calories a day sounds pretty intensive but you usually get a little bit more for your evening meal.

You can even get some vanilla ice cream!

Day 1 on a military diet looks like this:

Breakfast:

  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (toast or as is)
  • 2 tbsp. of peanut butter
  • ½ a grapefruit
  • 1 cup of coffee (or tea)

Lunch:

  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (toast or as is)
  • ½ cup of tuna
  • 1 cup of coffee (or tea)

Dinner:

  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 3lbs of meat (your meat of choice, cooked any way you want it)
  • 1 small-sized apple
  • ½ a banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Your Day 2 meals are like these:

Breakfast:

  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (toast or as is)
  • 1 egg (cooked however way you like it)
  • ½ a banana

Lunch:

  • 5 pcs. of saltine crackers
  • 1 egg (hard boiled)
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese

Dinner:

  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 2 hot dogs
  • ½ cup of carrots
  • ½ a banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

And finally, you get to eat all these on Day 3:

Breakfast:

  • 5 pcs. of saltine crackers
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1 small-sized apple

Lunch:

  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (toast or as is)
  • 1 egg (cooked however way you want)

Dinner:

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

Thoughts on the Military Diet

As you can see, you really don’t get much during your 3 days on the military diet.

I mean if the military diet shopping list is anything to go by, you pretty much have everything you’ll be eating from Day 1 to Day 3 laid out for you.

And honestly speaking, it is quite restrictive, especially if you’re a big-breakfast-person.

But other than there’s not that much food, I also think:

There are some items in the military diet shopping list that are not completely “healthy.”

For example, hot dogs aren’t really a good source of nutrition and I am sure there’s something else out there that can give you the same calories but healthier.

Seeing ice cream on the military diet shopping list was also a surprise.

Yes, it can be a treat to end your diet with something sweet and delicious but it’s not really healthy at all.

I assume you can always swap other food items on the military diet shopping list for other things that are much healthier.

But that’s one of the good things about this diet…

You don’t have to prepare anything “special” or weigh and calculate the calories.

Yes, you can totally substitute hot dogs and ice cream, for example, with something much healthier but you’ll have to do the math!

Some of the items on the military diet shopping list are also not as filling or should I say fibrous? 

Having tried a lot of diet plans and weight loss techniques, I’ve found out that eating fiber-rich food is a good way to combat and/or delay hunger pangs while on a diet.

Drinking lots of water and keeping yourself hydrated is also usually recommended, which is why I was surprised to see coffee and tea on the military diet shopping list.

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Helpful Tips While on the Military Diet

Surviving on 1,000 calories a day is no easy feat.

You can probably survive Day 1 excited and unscathed but Day 2 will be a whole different challenge.

You’ll start feeling a bit queasy (if it’s your first time) and also start questioning why you started the diet in the first place.

During those dire times, you need a little more than just happy thoughts to finish the 3-day military diet with flying colors.

And so far, I was able to manage with:

Drinking lots of water. Water has zero calories but can fill you up, or at least make you think you had “something” once the hunger pangs set in.

Eating smaller meals. Instead of having 3 big meals, you can actually divide the meals so you have more than 3 mini meals. That way, you have something to eat every 2-3 hours or so and will therefore be less likely to feel extremely hungry.

Keeping the pantry and fridge clean. When you’re on a diet, it really helps to keep only healthy and nutrient-dense food in the house.

If for any reason you do go overboard 1,000 calories, at least you’ll snack on something healthy instead of chowing down high-salt or sugary junk food.

Final Thoughts

The military diet can be very effective if you strictly follow it for 3 days and do so consistently every week.

But I also advocate clean and healthy eating so if it was up to me, I’d swap some of the questionable items in the military diet shopping list for healthier food with the same calorie count.

Of course, you can always try it as is since the main goal of the military diet is to restrict your caloric intake a few days a week (much like intermittent fasting) to help you lose weight.

It also pays to do it every week without fail in order to keep the weight off.

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About the Author

Hey! I'm Emma part of the FoodyWhale team. It is my mission to help people in their weight loss journey succeed. On FoodyWhale you can find my tips, tricks and secrets that I've used in my own weight loss journey.