Military Diet Substitutes

​The 3 Day Military Diet should be strictly followed. The Diet wasn’t invented by military scientists. But it does need to be followed like a soldier follows orders. There are some rare exceptions for those of us that have dietary limitations. There are others that have allergies or simply can’t choke down peanut butter. The recommendation is to follow the diet to as close as you possible can. But if you must, below is a list of all the foods you can use for 3 day military diet substitutes. Some of the foods can be swapped in order to make it vegetarian, lactose free, or gluten free.

It isn’t Just About the Calories in the Foods:

Making military diet substitutes isn’t necessarily about calories or size but about foods that work well together to super-charge fat burning. But we do want to make sure that the military diet substitutes do have close to the same amount of calories as the original food in the 3 Day Military Diet.

Some of the below won’t work for everyone. You can always consult nutrition labels to make sure your military diet substitutes match the carbohydrates, fat, and protein of the foods that you are substituting. For example, if you want the diet to be vegan friendly you can substitute the cheddar cheese for non-dairy cheese. A handful of almonds might work as well. Not to beat a dead horse but, 3 day military diet substitutes are not encouraged. The below list is just for those that absolutely can’t or won’t eat what is on the meal plan.

The Military Diet Plan Without Substitutes:

Once again here is the plan without substitutes:

Day 1

1/2 Grapefruit
1 Slice of Toast
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
1 cup Coffee or Tea (with caffeine)

1/2 Cup of Tuna
1 Slice of Toast
1 cup Coffee or Tea (with caffeine)

3 ounces of any type of meat
1 cup of green beans
1/2 banana
1 small apple
1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2:

1 egg
1 slice of toast
1/2 banana

1 cup of cottage cheese
1 hard boiled egg
5 saltine crackers

2 hot dogs (without bun)
1 cup of broccoli
1/2 cup of carrots
1/2 banana
1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3:

5 saltine crackers
1 slice of cheddar cheese
1 small apple

1 hard boiled egg (or cooked however you like)
1 slice of toast

1 cup of tuna
1/2 banana
1 cup of vanilla ice cream

All Military Diet Substitutes

To Substitute Grapefruit:

There are those out there that say you can substitute an orange for a grapefruit.  Although the orange has more fiber than a typical grapefruit it has a lot more sugar.   A 1/2-cup serving of raspberries or blackberries offers almost four times the fiber of one-half of a grapefruit. Berries also don’t have the sour aftertaste that some hate with eating grapefruits. Choosing raspberries or blackberries also keeps your carbohydrate and sugar grams in check.  They’re not as good as grapefruits but they will work.Have you heard of using Baking Soda to replace grapefruit?: pH levels are either alkaline or acid. And your body will be one or the other. Some believe that fat flourishes in an acidic environment. Foods that make the body more alkaline will help the body’s pH balance. Grapefruit and baking soda happen to be two of the items that make the body more alkaline and burn fat.

To Substitute Peanut Butter:

Nut allergies are some of the most common allergies in the world. There are others that just don’t like the taste of peanut butter.  If that is the case then almond butter is the way to go.  For others, pumpkin butter,  sunflower-seed butter, chickpea hummus, soy butter, or unflavored bean dip are all great alternatives. Two tablespoons of unsalted/unflavored sunflower seeds will work as well.  Almond butter is the most common substitute.  Hummus and sunflower seed butter are popular as well.

To Substitute Bread (Toast):Substitutions for 3 Day Military Diet 3

To make the 3 Day military diet gluten free you will need have a substitute for bread. You can eat 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds, a protein bar of similar carbs, or 1/4 cup of greek yogurt as long as you include 1/2 teaspoon of flax seeds for fiber. Two rice cakes or two small rice tortillas will be an okay glutten-free substitute for bread as well.

To Substitute Coffee:

Substitutions for 3 Day Military Diet 4Green tea is a great coffee substitute and possibly a healthy drink altogether.The important part about the coffee or tea in the morning is the caffeine. A great substitution for this caffeinated drink is green tea. Green Tea smoothie for weight loss contains EGCG.  EGCG is the compound that has been the main ingredient in weight loss powders and pills but you get it naturally (and safely) in Green Tea. Roast cocoa beans will also work in a pinch.  A sugar free energy drink isn’t ideal but it could also work.

Military Diet Substitutions for Tuna or Salmon:Substitutions for 3 Day Military Diet 5

This is the most common question we get.  Apparently there are a lot of fish haters in the world. Salmon and tuna are two very different types of fish.  Most people like one or the other, if not both.  If you are vegetarian, an equal weight (4 oz.) of peanuts, cottage cheese, or tofu will work as alternatives.  It’s not great because fish helps you lose weight and is a big part of this diet.  But if you must, you must.

To Substitute Green Beans:

Lettuce, spinach or tomatoes can replace green beans. Cooked kale or Swiss chard makes a great choice as well.  1 cup of beans weighs about 150 grams.  Your replacement vegetable should weight the same.

To Substitute Meat:

Substitutions for 3 Day Military Diet 8Tofu is a popular choice for vegetarians. The meat portion is important for the protein intake for those on the 3 day military diet.  An equal amount of lentils will work as well.  Substitutions for 3 Day Military Diet 9

To Substitute Banana:

There isn’t a great substitute for a banana. A cup of applesauce is close.

To Substitute Broccoli:

Broccoli is one of the best things you can eat.  You really should eat this one.  It doesn’t substitute well. Spinach, Swiss chard, or Brussels sprouts barely work as alternatives.

To Substitute Cheddar Cheese:

Substitutions for 3 Day Military Diet 12Cheddar cheese can be substituted with eggs, cottage cheese or ham. If you are going the vegan route you can substitute in soy cheese or soy milk. Cabbage and tofu work if you need to stay off dairy.

To Substitute the Hot Dog:

Substitutions for 3 Day Military Diet 13Hot dogs get the most flack of all items on this diet. They’re important for the synergy of the foods you eat on Day 2.  You might not like it but luncheon meat, deli meat or baloney are about the only substitutions.  Some have had success with 4 ounces of salami which is basically the same thing.

To Substitute the Egg:

Day 2 - Three Day Military DietThe eggs are probably the hardest part for military diet substitutes.  Eggs are great. But eggs can be substituted for 2 slices of bacon or 4 ounces of lean ham. They aren’t great substitutions for the 3 Day Military Diet because of the fat mismatch. Peanut butter or almond butter almost work better and will also work for the vegetarians in the group.

To Substitute Apple:

Carrots can work as apple substitutions for the 3 Day Military Diet.  Zucchini is another option.

To Substitute Cottage Cheese:Substitutions for 3 Day Military Diet 13

Cottage cheese can  be substituted with other dairies like ricotta cheese or Greek yogurt. For the vegans you’ll have to go back to almond butter.

To Substitute the Saltine crackers:3 Day Military Diet Substitutes

Rice cakes for saltine crackers are fair substitutions for the 3 Day Military Diet. Cucumber slices are a decent sub as well. I’ve heard some will use baked cheese or even fried zucchini for saltine crackers.  Rice cakes are the preferred substitute.

To Substitute the Ice Cream:Substitute Ice Cream

Some worry about the sugar content in the ice cream. If you are worried (or feel guilty) about the ice cream, Greek yogurt is a fine substitute.

A Word About Military Diet Substitutes:

There are NO substitutes that will give you all the nutrients from the military diet that you need. The best you can do in that area is help fill in some of what you are missing if you absolutely must sub out an item or two.

There are several healthy options available for single items. But matching the marcos is hard.  Macros nutrients are the fat, protein and carbohydrate content of each military diet option.

Remember the best time to start making aggressive efforts towards good nutrition, is when you are young and healthy, so that you can stay that way for as long as possible. The price of not doing so is very high.

The biggest step you can make is getting your mind made up to actually do what you can to help yourself. The military diet and military diet substitutes will only get you so far. Every diet has crazy claims and ardent opponents.  If you look for the supporting studies, you will wind up with relatively few options. But as I said earlier, follow the diet as closely as you can.  It’s made up this way for a reason.  Good luck!