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The Military Diet: Miracle or Hogwash?

By Genevieve Cunningham

If you keep up with diet and fitness trends, you may have run across the military diet. This seemingly magical food plan promises to help you lose up to 10 pounds in just a week. Sounds too good to be true, right? While this has proven effective for many, does it really work long-term, and more importantly, is it even safe? Before diving head first into this controversial diet plan, take a look at these quick facts to determine whether it’s right for you.

Don’t Be Fooled by the Name

Some people think that because it has the word “military” in the title, it must be legitimate. But the truth is that this diet does not have a link to any branch of the military. Perhaps it’s simply named thusly because of the strenuous schedule or self-discipline required. However it got its name, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is somehow government approved or used by any person in the armed forces.

How Does It Work?

While it actually has an easily found and very specific food plan, the gist is that you eat far fewer calories than normal over a seven-day period. For the first three days, the caloric intake hovers around 1000. For the following four days, the dieter is encouraged to continue healthy eating (though no specific guide is given), but to still keep the calorie count fairly low (under 1500). So does it work? Considering 1000 calories is far less than what the average adult needs to function, the answer is probably yes. You will likely lose weight because you’re not getting the calories or nutrients that you need. Will it stay off? Only as long as you stick to this super restricted calorie number. As soon as a normal diet is back on the table, the dieter will likely put on every pound previously lost.

Should You Give It a Try?

This is not a diet for the weak, and in all honesty, it’s probably not a diet that can be sustained long-term without damaging side effects. If you’re looking for long-term success, there are probably much better ways to attack weight loss. Though the promise of losing a quick 10 pounds is certainly inviting, it may not be good for the body or mind in the long run. If you still have any questions, just bring them up to your doctor at the next visit.

If you’re really looking to lose weight and keep it off, it’s best to stick to tried and true methods such as eating well and exercising regularly. These are the only ways to truly impact health long-term. Though it can be tempting, try to avoid any promises for quick fixes or diets that are super restricted. Instead, be like the tortoise and go at it slowly. This will more likely lead to success and leave you in some of the best shape of your life.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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