The new year is almost upon us, which means that you may have a resolution or two. One of the most common includes losing weight, or at least eating healthier and exercising more. But since there aren’t enough hours in the day, sometimes those goals don’t pan out. That’s one of the reasons why crash diets always seem tempting to try. Even though we all know they’re unhealthy and not sustainable, they often promise quick results. The Military Diet is the latest craze, but judging by the rules, it actually seems kind of dangerous for little payoff.
It’s called the Military Diet since there was a rumor that nutritionists in the military created it — but that’s proven to be false. The diet also goes by the “navy diet,” the “army diet,” and the “3-day diet,” the latter being because it only requires three days per week. But those three days are pretty intense. According to Healthline, you can only eat between 1,100–1,400 calories per day when the diet first starts. Just for the record, you need around 1,200 calories daily just to properly function.
For the remaining four days, you’re encouraged to practice healthy eating. Some diet plans even include a scoop of vanilla ice cream with your dinner.
Toast, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, and grapefruit are some of the foods required for the diet. The food itself seems not so bad, but the portions aren’t all that generous.
So, why is this diet particularly unhealthy? Insider interviewed registered dietitian Libby Parker, who gave plenty of reasons why this diet is too good to be true. For one, you can get terrible side effects like dizziness and headaches. Secondly, a lot of the weight you do lose at the start of the diet is water weight, meaning it’s very easy to gain right back.
“Diets that contain fewer calories than our basal metabolism requires are dangerous,” Parker said. Plus, let’s be honest — when you need to restrict, you might go overboard the second you’re off the diet.
If you’re looking to lose weight, forget about all of the diets that seem to offer fast results right off the bat. You’ll want to make sure you eat right, stay active, and stay informed about what’s in your food. You may not drop weight immediately, but it’s the surefire course for a lifelong change.