Cheryl A. Major

CHERYL A. MAJOR: Why the Military Fad Diet is Bound to Fail

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I was reading an article about a new fad diet called “The Military Diet.” I’m not sure why it’s called that as it has nothing to do with the military or anything to do with how they encourage military members to eat.  It’s probably just a name designed to catch your attention as it did mine.

I was curious what a “military diet” would look like and read about it, so from a marketing perspective, it works. That’s where it stops working though as it is a very odd approach to weight loss, and from my perspective and based on my experience, it’s designed to fail for the following three reasons:

First, you are supposed to eat a very limited number of calories for three days.  Then you can eat whatever you’d like for the following four days.  The rational is that you will lose so much weight in the three days you can afford to eat whatever you wish and not gain weight.  My fear would be that people would be so starving on such a limited number of calories they wouldn’t feel well or have any energy. You really couldn’t blame people if they decided to just throw in the towel because they’re so starving and have a Big Mac and fries or something similarly not designed for weight control.

Second, I looked at a sample menu, and any diet that includes hot dogs, saltines and ice cream on a regular basis just doesn’t make sense.  Shouldn’t the food, even if it’s only for three days a week, be of high quality and nutrition, especially if the caloric intake is so low? By the way, this diet keeps the calories to only 1,100 to 1,400 per day.

Third, the diet proponents say people can lose up to 10 pounds per week.  That’s not a healthy way to lose weight if your goal is to lose weight and keep it off.  You should aim for a slow gradual weight drop of 1 to 2 pounds per week. In addition, the weight you lose in the beginning of any diet is water weight, so you’re not losing fat in the beginning.  That’s why people are so excited the first week of a diet and then get frustrated when the weight loss plateaus. The slow down or plateau happens when the excess water has been shed and your body gets down to the business of losing fat.

I’m afraid the military diet is a fad and will result in more yo-yoing for its participants. Losing and gaining weight repeatedly makes your body think it is starving, and your body will hold onto the weight to try to protect you. This makes it harder and harder to lose weight the more diets you try. A simple transition from your current food choices to healthier ones along with portion control will ensure you enjoy gradual consistent weight loss and that you have a better chance of keeping the weight off long term.

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!

Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog   Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier.  Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor.  She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.

Questions?  Email Cheryl at [email protected] and be sure to put Health Question in the subject line.  Your question and its answer will be included in a future article

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