After the 3 Days of the Military Diet – the 4 Days Off
We get lots of questions about what should someone eat after they have completed the 3 days of the three day military diet. It isn’t healthy to start the diet over every 3 days. And starting the diet over can slow the bodies metabolism because it is a low calorie diet. Being on a low calorie diet can also cause Dieter’s Fatigue. So what to Eat After the 3 Days of the Military Diet?
The overexertion of willpower used on a diet that causes the dieter to break the diet. Normally the diet is broken in a big way that can involve unhealthy eating, binge eating, and/or the “yo-yo” effect.
Many like the military diet because of its simplicity. It tells you exactly what to eat and for what meal. The diet really is a weekly diet but it has a strict diet for only the first 3 days of the cycle. The 4 days off are a little more ambiguous. If we look at the language of the diet it tells us that the 4 days after the strict eating regimen should be accompanied by “maintenance eating” or that we should “eat normally”. Well if we were gaining weight to begin with maybe “eating normally” isn’t the answer.
How to Keep the Weight Off after the 3 Days of Strict Regimen
Walk 5 Miles a Day
The 3 days of the military diet are very low calorie. For that reason strenuous exercise is not recommended. We do however recommend light exercise. We are big fans of walking. Walking is great on the diet and is great when you aren’t on the low calories of the 3 day plan. When not on the 3 day plan try walking 5 miles a day.
Walking 5 miles a day is much easier than it sounds and is one of the easiest ways to lose weight simply because of the fat that is burned while walking. Most fat is burned during low strenuous exercise. If you are inclined to go out and do short distance sprints or high intensity/heart rate workouts like stairs or rowing then by all means you should do it. But is isn’t necessary for weight loss. Simple good ol’ walking will work just fine.
Continue To Drink Lots of Water for Weight Loss
We talk a lot about water. If you get enough sleep and only drink water instead of juice, sports drinks, or soda (yes even diet soda) you are already ahead of the game. Lack of sleep and calories through beverages are the biggest obstacles to losing weight and keeping weight off.
When are most people likely to overeat? During a meal right? That is because our brain and stomach aren’t linked up too great. The stomach is slow to tell the brain that is full. The average time your brain needs to realize the stomach is full is 20 minutes. Try drinking a glass of water before each meal. This gives you the stomach a head start on sending those signals to the brain that it is full. Also try not to eat to fast. Give your stomach time to tell your brain that food is in your belly. If you really are hungry you can come back and finish the job.
Water is the universal solvent and without it there would be no life on this planet. Water is what your body needs to flush out toxins. Water aids the digestive process. Lack of water in the body is even linked to brain deficiencies and memory loss. There is even some science behind only increasing your water intake to lose weight and doing nothing else.
Get Enough Sleep for Weight Loss
Studies have shown that lack of sleep increases weight gain. The opposite also appears to be true. Getting enough sleep can aid you in weight loss.
When you don’t get enough sleep at night it sets your brain up to make bad decisions. Lack of sleep can dull activity in the brain’s frontal lobe, the locus of decision-making and impulse control. Basically it can be a little like being drunk. You simply don’t have the mental clarity to make good decisions.[adinserter block=”1″]
When you’re overtired the brain makes bad decisions. We’re not entirely sure why we need sleep. One theory is that sleeping helps replace the chemicals in your brain that is needed for it to function. When you don’t sleep and replace these “brain chemicals” it can affect everything you do throughout the day, normally not in a positive way.With lack of sleep the brain’s reward centers are looking for something to help it feel good. We may have no problem resisting craving when we have enough sleep. But a brain low on sleep can make impulse and rash decisions. The delicious chocolate cake at the neighbor bakery might be the only thing a tired brain can think about.
A tired brain uses a lot more willpower than a well-rested brain. A tired brain doesn’t ask what to eat after the 3 days of the military diet. When you are tired you aren’t thinking about your long-term goals and how important it is for you to lose weight. A tired brain wants pleasure now.
Ideas of What to Eat After the 3 Days of the Military Diet
So we’ve established the we should drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, and do some light exercise. What should we eat? We believe that diets can help you shed some extra pounds but you can’t be on a diet perpetually. The ideal weight loss program isn’t a diet. And that is why we need to change our lifestyles if we are going to be fit forever.
The rules says we should eat normally. If you are on a slight calorie deficit each day then you are golden. There is nothing more that you need to do. If you don’t even know how many calories you burn each day or haven’t figured out your basal metabolic rate or don’t want to count calories then here are some ideas for meals. If you eat these and only these meals you are guaranteed to keep the weight off that you worked so hard to get off on your 3 days of the strict regimen.
Breakfast Ideas for What to Eat After the 3 Days of the Military Diet
• 3/4 cup bran flakes, 1 banana, 1 cup fat-free milk
• Smoothie: Blend 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 banana, and 8 ounces fat-free milk.
• 1/2 English muffin spread with 1 teaspoon light margarine
• Oatmeal: In the microwave, cook 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats with 3/4 cup fat-free milk; 1/2 apple, chopped; 1 teaspoon honey; and a pinch of cinnamon
Lunch Ideas for What to Eat After the 3 Days of the Military Diet
• Sandwich: 1 mini whole wheat pita, 3 ounces turkey breast, 1/2 roasted pepper, 1 teaspoon light mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce
• 1 stick part-skim mozzarella string cheese
• 2 kiwifruits
• 1 cup vegetarian vegetable soup
• 1 veggie burger in a mini whole wheat pita with lettuce and salsa
• 6 ounces light yogurt
• 15 grapes
• Chicken salad: Toss 4 ounces shredded skinless roast chicken breast with 1/4 cup sliced red grapes, 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream. Serve over lettuce.
• 1 banana
Dinner Ideas for What to Eat After the 3 Days of the Military Diet
• 4 ounces broiled flounder or sole
• 2 sliced plum tomatoes sprinkled with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, broiled until just golden
• 1 cup cooked couscous
• 1 cup steamed broccoli
• 1 fat-free pudding cup
• BBQ chicken: Brush 4 ounces boneless, skinless breast with barbecue sauce and grill.
• 1/2 cup vegetarian baked beans
• 3 small boiled red potatoes topped with 1 teaspoon light margarine and a pinch of dill
• 4 ounces steamed shrimp
• 1 baked potato topped with 3 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream
• 3 cups spinach, steamed
• 1 low-fat frozen fudge bar
The above food ideas came from an article online about healthy meals. You really should experiment and do what works for you.
The best advice we have is to drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, and do a light exercise. Also the single biggest life altering thing you can do is only eat when you are hungry.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts on writing this all out. I guess I didn’t realize that the 4 days off were so important. I had never heard of dieter’s fatigue. I defintely know what it is, I just didn’t know there was a term for it.