Best substitute for military diet Best substitute for military diet

What Is The Best Substitute For Military Diet

A diet plays a significant role in every overweight people’s weight loss journey. Although diet is ineffective without exercise, diet is still the key factor.

A healthy diet is crucial for good health, but an organized and well-planned diet is essential. A military diet is short-term for quick weight loss with a well-arranged food list or items.

It is impossible to follow a military diet exactly in the same way. Therefore, choosing the best substitute for the military diet is the alternate way to stick to this diet without skipping it.

If you want to know about some military diet substitutions, then this is the right place. Here you see 12 options, of which you can select any Best Substitute For Military Diet1.

But before that, get some idea about military diet or 3-day military diet.

What is Military Diet

military diet
Image by Dan Gold on Unsplash

The military diet doesn’t have any connection with the military or the army. It is a fad diet that many people follow for quick weight loss. This 3-day diet plan allows you to eat certain food that has few calories. As a result, you take a low-calorie diet. Reducing calorie intake by the normal requirement will help to lose weight quickly.

The military diet calls for three days on and the remaining four days off. Out of seven days a week, 3 days for restricted calorie intake and 4 days for normal eating. This way, you can quickly lose 10 pounds in a week. It is not the same for everyone; it can vary from person to person.

Only certain foods are allowed to eat during the 3-day military diet. And some foods need to be avoided. That’s why following a military diet is not an easy task. It is just like intermittent fasting, in which eating is restricted during an eating period only.

Before jumping into this kind of diet plan, first, get complete knowledge about it. The main objective of this diet plan is to take low-calorie food and avoid certain foods for weight loss.

Allowed Foods in Military Diet Plan

This kind of diet pays more attention to food intake. It involves all the low-calorie food to reduce extra calories from the body. For this diet plan’s effectiveness, you should stick to this food list.

Here is the list of necessary food items included in this diet plan:

  • Hot dogs
  • Tuna
  • Lean meat
  • Bread
  • Cottage cheese
  • Boiled eggs
  • Banana
  • Broccoli
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Grapefruit
  • Apple
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Saltine crackers
food not to eat
Image by nito103 on Depositphotos

Foods Neglected in Military Diet Plan

Just like what you have to add to your military diet, you have to be aware of what you don’t need to eat in this diet. So, here is the list of food items that you should have to avoid during the 3-day military diet.

  • Dairy products- Milk, Creame.
  • Processed foods
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Wine
  • Beer

It is recommended not to eat these foods even on the “off day” of this diet.

Best Substitute for Military Diet: 12 Food Substitution Options

It is not always possible to follow a military diet plan accurately. Sometimes, it needs to make changes like in the diet pattern or the food list. Therefore, Various factors can contribute to food substitution. That’s why a substitute for the military diet is essential.

Check out this list of substitutes for the military diet. Here you get all the options to use as military diet substitutes.

1. Substitute for Canned Tuna

Canned tuna in the military diet is for the intake of 132 calories and 29 grams of protein, which you can consume from other alternate sources. There are various options for substituting canned tuna.

For non-vegetarians:

The alternate options are fish, eggs, lean meat, or chicken breast.

For vegetarians:

Cottage cheese is the best option to consume a similar amount of calories and proteins from 165 grams.

For vegan:

Around 23 almonds, tofu, or half an avocado with 2 tbs hummus.

2. Substitute for Eggs

An egg is an essential food item in the military diet. For vegetarian or vegan alternate options works well to intake the same amount of protein as one boiled egg gives 6-gram protein.

For non-vegetarians:

If they can’t eat eggs, cooked bacon will be a good alternative for them.

For vegetarians:

One cup of milk works equally to one hard-boiled egg. It is a good military diet substitute for vegetarians.

For vegan:

Half an avocado or 84 grams of baked beans. Another good military diet substitute for vegans.

3. Substitute for Meat

These military diet substitutes are good for vegetarian and vegan people.

For vegetarians/vegan:

Half cup lentils, half cup pinto beans, one cup mushrooms, or half cup tofu. Select any one of these food substitutions.

4. Substitute for Hot Dogs

For non-vegetarians:

Well, for non-vegetarians eating hot dogs is not an issue, but some don’t like to eat hot dogs every time. That’s why they want some alternate options to replace hot dogs.

Some of the meat-based substitutes for hot dogs:

  • Chicken sausages
  • Turkey sausages
  • Deli meat

For vegetarians:

  • 1/2 cup beans
  • 1/2 cup lentils

For vegan:

  • 3/4 cup cooked black beans
  • Beyond Sausage
  • 1 vegan sausage
  • 1/3 cup lentils

Vegan sausage is a processed food, so check it before adding it to your bucket list.

5. Substitute for Vanilla Ice Cream

There are two options that you can use as vanilla ice cream substitutes.

Dairy-Based Options:

  • 1/2 cup of low-fat greek yogurt (prefer strawberry flavored)

This vanilla ice cream substitute provides more protein.

DAiry-Free Options:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup apple juice

6. Substitute for Cheddar/Cottage Cheese

With the consumption of cheddar cheese, you will take 180 calories and 24 grams of protein in your body daily during the 3-day military diet. You can use some alternatives for cottage cheese2.

cheese types
Image by Goir on Depositphotos

Here are some options to replace cottage cheese;

For non-vegetarians:

2-3 large boiled eggs or ham steak would be the best alternatives to swap with cottage cheese.

For vegetarians:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

For vegan:

Vegans can substitute it with soy milk or almond milk.

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 cup almond milk without sweetener

7. Substitute for Saltine Crackers or Toast

Around 5 pieces of saltine crackers are added to your military diet, providing up to 63 calories and 11 grams of carbs. You can alternate the same amount with the following options.

Grain Based Substitutes:

  • 2 pieces of wheat crackers
  • 1/2 cup couscous

Gluten-Free Substitutes:

  • Quinoa – 62 grams
  • Gluten-free crackers
  • 2 pieces of rice cakes

Overall you can swap toast or saltine crackers with any grain products. This is the best alternative to use as a substitute for the military diet.

8. Substitute for Peanut Butter

In a 3-day military diet, peanut butter intake is around 2 tbs. You can substitute it with the following alternative options.

  • Soy cheese
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Pumpkin butter
  • Bean dip
  • Sunflower seeds

9. Substitute for Tea and Coffee

In the military diet, there is no limitation on the intake of coffee or tea. If you don’t prefer to drink coffee or tea, you could swap it with green or herbal tea. Green tea is a healthy and best substitute for the military diet.

Some other military diet substitutes for tea or coffee are such as;

Caffeinated Options:

1 cup green tea or red bull (sugar-free)

Caffeine Free Options:

1 cup hot chocolate or herbal tea

Besides, green coffee beans or guarana beverages are good military diet substitutes.

10. Substitute for Grapefruit

For grapefruit substitution, baking soda with water is good. It is because it helps in burning fat due to its alkaline nature. There is no evidence to claim that alkalinity has a role in fat burning.

But it is not recommended to use oranges as a substitute for military diet because of their acidity. According to dieticians, this alteration in diet will help burn fats.

11. Substitute for Green Beans

  • Green vegetables
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce

12. Substitute for Green Vegetable

You can use the following substitute foods for the military diet:

  • Bell pepper – 1 cup
  • Tomato – 1 small
  • Squash – 1/2 cup

Hope you find these substitute for the military diet works well for you and your diet plan. Now, it’s up to you what you find the best substitute for the military diet; go ahead with that. You can also use other options to use as a substitute for the military diet.

Reasons For Military Diet Substitutions

There might be various reasons to search for the best substitute for military diet. Due to these reasons, it will be necessary to go with substitute foods.

3-day military diet gives effective results in the weight loss journey, and as a result, many people get attracted to it. But before opting for this kind of diet, check out whether you need to make changes in your military diet plan or not.

food aversion
Image by tonodiaz on Depositphotos

Food Aversion

In this diet pattern, you can eat only those foods mentioned in it, and as a result, you start disliking that food. Food aversion is a feeling of dislike food and doesn’t eat it.

Due to the development of this kind of feeling during the 3-day military diet, you want some alternative food options.

Dietary Restriction

Every religion has rules for its diet, under which certain foods are not allowed to eat. Due to that religion-based dietary restriction, it is good to follow military diet substitutions instead of a general military diet pattern.

Dietary restrictions as per the religious faith are such as;


Not allowed to eat meat and eggs. They are lacto-vegetarians3. Hence, they can consume dairy products.


Like Hindus, they are lacto-vegetarians even though some people don’t eat root vegetables like garlic, onion, or potatoes.


The pattern of vegetarianism varies with sects in Buddhism. Some sects follow strict vegetarianism, while others follow Lacto-vegetarianism. Even some Buddhist monks are non-vegetarian. For example, Dalai Lama.


The Jewish community consumes only kosher4. Food that is pure and suitable for consumption according to traditional Jewish law dietary standards.


They only believe that consuming permitted food means halal is good in their religion. They do not eat forbidden food because that is haram for them.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are another reason for military diet substitution. It can happen due to eating something that your body can’t accept. Usually, these allergic reactions are immune-sensitive.

The most common food items responsible for food allergies are such as;

  • Wheat
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Lobster
  • Crab
  • Pecans

Some of these allergic products are included in the military diet. So, avoiding such foods that cause an allergic reaction to you is good. Choosing a substitute for military diet is the best way to prevent the chance of food allergy and to continue with the military diet.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance is another biggest reason to choose a substitute for military diet. Usually, two types of intolerance have been observed in most people.

Lactose Intolerance

In this case, people have lactose malabsorption problems, and as a result, they can’t be able to digest sugar or lactose properly. It causes diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and nausea.

To prevent it, avoid milk and dairy products. That’s why people having lactose intolerance are recommended to limit milk products.

Gluten Intolerance

Some people show sensitivity towards wheat, barley, and rye eating. A very common kind of intolerance occurs due to a protein called gluten.

Gluten intolerance5 causes severe digestive diseases, including celiac disease6, wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. But not all people have gluten intolerance.

If you have any kind of food intolerance, you should have to go with such food substitutes for a military diet that doesn’t cause any allergy to you.

Diet Habit

It varies from person to person. Not every person likes to eat vegetables. Similarly, not everyone likes eggs or meat at all. Due to this variation in diet pattern, choosing a substitute for military diet is a good way to maintain this 3-day military diet.

Here are some diet habits followed by people.

  • Vegetarian diet: It says no to eating meat and eggs but yes to dairy foods.
  • Vegan diet: It eliminates meat, eggs, dairy items, or food obtained from animals. Only green vegetables and fruits are eaten in this diet.
  • Paleo diet: It is all about eating vegetables, fruits, lean meat, walnut oil, tuna, or salmon fish. This diet does not include processed foods, dairy products, grains, and legumes.
  • Ketogenic diet: This diet consists of high fat and low carbs.

3-Day Military Diet Plan

This diet plan is designed in such a manner that your calorie intake is restricted. Through this military diet plan, you can get only that much energy that you can utilize for 3 days. If you follow it for more than 3 days, your body will not be able to work effectively. That’s why this diet plan follows three days strict diet.

Day 1


  • Toast – one slice
  • Caffeinated beverage (Tea/Coffee) – one cup
  • Peanut butter – 2 tbsps
  • Half grapefruit


  • Half cup tuna
  • One cup of coffee or tea
  • One slice of toast


  • Chicken, beef, or fish
  • One cup of green beans
  • One small apple
  • One cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2


  • One slice of toast
  • One egg
  • Half banana


  • One cup of cottage cheese
  • Saltine crackers
  • One boiled egg


  • Two hot dogs
  • Half cup carrots
  • One cup broccoli
  • Half cup vanilla ice cream

Day 3


  • One slice of cheddar cheese
  • Five saltine crackers
  • One apple


  • One slice toast
  • One hard-boiled egg
  • One cup of vanilla ice cream


  • One cup tuna
  • Half banana

This diet’s calorie intake is around 1,000 calories, making it a very low-calorie diet.

Low calorie diet
Image by konejota on Depositphotos

Off Days of Military Diet

After following a 3 days strict diet, you get four days off. But that doesn’t mean you can eat anything, specifically unhealthy food. If you truly want to lose weight, you must eat only healthy foods during the off day.

These days, you don’t need to follow any particular diet pattern. You can eat anything, even a snack. But you have to be careful about your calorie intake. It would be best to focus on an intake of around 1500 calories daily. Not more than that. Otherwise, you will be lagging in your weight loss journey.

During these four days, you are not on calorie restriction. Hence, you can increase your calorie intake as well. It could be a suggestion for those who live an active lifestyle as they need lots of energy to do work. More energy requirements are ultimately associated with more calorie uptake.

Military Diet Meal Plan For Vegan/Vegetarian

For vegan people, it is essential to use a substitute for military diet. In the vegan version of the military diet, vegan foods are included. Vegetarian people can also try this meal plan.

Day 1


  • Coffee or tea – 1 cup
  • Peanut butter – 2tbs
  • Grapefruit – 1/2 piece
  • Toast – 1 slice


  • Whole wheat toast – 1 slice
  • Hummus – 2 tbs
  • Caffeinated coffee/tea – 1 cup
  • Avocado


  • Tofu – up to 300 calories
  • Green beans – 1 cup
  • Apple – one
  • Banana – half
  • Vanilla ice cream/dairy-free ice cream for vegan – 1 cup

Day 2


  • Baked beans – half cup
  • Whole wheat toast – one slice
  • Banana


  • Unsweetened soy milk or almond milk – one cup
  • half piece avocado
  • Humus – 2tbs
  • Saltine crackers – 5


  • Vegan hot dogs with no buns – 2
  • Carrots – half cup
  • Banana – half piece
  • Dairy-free ice cream – half cup
  • Broccoli – one cup

Day 3


  • Cheddar cheese – one slice
  • Saltine crackers – five-piece
  • Small size apple


  • Hummus – 1 tbsp
  • Whole-wheat bread – one slice
  • Half piece of avocado


  • Canned chickpea – half cup
  • Half piece of banana
  • Vanilla ice cream – one cup

Advantages of Military Diet

The most important advantage of this diet is to lose weight quickly. Besides this, it also gives you a maintained and structured diet routine. If you also want to reduce weight in less time, switch to this diet plan.

In this diet plan, you will follow a structured diet plan. As a result, you learn to maintain a healthy eating habit.

This plan is easy to follow. During the day off, you can include a variety of healthy foods in your diet.

It mainly includes protein-rich food items, and as a result, you will get enough energy.

Disadvantages of Military Diet

Following this diet for a month will give relevant results of weight loss. But then, excessive weight loss due to calorie restriction leads to health consequences. However, it is good to lose weight but not from a health perspective.

• Too Low-Calorie Intake

3A -day military diet focuses on the intake of fewer calories on diet days and even on normal eating days. Calorie restriction results in less energy generation; as a result, you can’t exercise during diet days.

• Lack of Dietary Fiber

For good health, taking high levels of dietary fiber is always recommended. And it is going to be important for low-calorie diet people to consume a fiber-rich diet. It is because a 3-day military diet has a limited variety of foods.

• Nutrient Deficiency

As you eat only particular foods during this diet, that might cause nutrition deficiency. Like non-starchy vegetables are not included in this diet but are good for heart health. Similarly, other nutritious foods are also eliminated from this diet; as a result, it causes malnutrition.

• Muscle Loss

In this diet, you lose weight rapidly, increasing the risk of muscle wasting or loss. Even studies also prove that quick weight loss is associated with muscle atrophy.

• Risk of Gallstones

Ideally, 1 to 2 pounds loss of weight is good. But according to the military diet, 10 lb weight is loose in a week, which is not good for health. It may lead to gallstones.

It is a stone formed in the gallbladder due to the accumulation of cholesterol 7inside it. It all happens because of excess weight loss in a short period. That’s why paying attention to your health while following this diet is very important.

Final Note

Hope now you get a clear understanding of the best substitute for the military diet and the reasons for the need for such substitution.

  1. Farina, Emily K., et al. “Diet quality is associated with physical performance and special forces selection.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise 52.1 (2020): 178. ↩︎
  2. Eugeniya, Agarkova, et al. “Processing cottage cheese whey components for functional food production.” Foods and Raw Materials 8.1 (2020): 52-59. ↩︎
  3. Lee, Yi-Pang, et al. “Vitamin B12 deficiency and anemia in 140 Taiwanese female lacto-vegetarians.” Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 120.11 (2021): 2003-2009. ↩︎
  4. Kosher, Hanita, and Asher Ben-Arieh. “Children’s participation: A new role for children in the field of child maltreatment.” Child abuse & neglect 110 (2020): 104429. ↩︎
  5. Lundin, Knut EA, Margit Brottveit, and Gry Skodje. “Noncoeliac gluten sensitivity.” Coeliac Disease and Gluten-Related Disorders (2022): 177-195. ↩︎
  6. Lebwohl, Benjamin, and Alberto Rubio-Tapia. “Epidemiology, presentation, and diagnosis of celiac disease.” Gastroenterology 160.1 (2021): 63-75. ↩︎
  7. Luo, Jie, Hongyuan Yang, and Bao-Liang Song. “Mechanisms and regulation of cholesterol homeostasis.” Nature reviews Molecular cell biology 21.4 (2020): 225-245. ↩︎


Laveleena Sharma

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *