The Military Diet: Food Item Substitutes
Substitute Chicken for Tuna
Substitute Lettuce for Green Beans
Substitute Tofu for Meat
Substitute Squash for Carrots
Substitute Egg for Cheese
Substitute Sausage for Hot Dog
Substitute Milk for Egg
Substitute Plums for Apples
Substitute Apple Juice for Ice Cream
Substitute Oatmeal for Saltines
Substitute Kiwi for Banana
Substitute Asparagus for Broccoli
Substitute Almond Butter for Peanut Butter
Substitute Sunflower Seeds for Bread
Substitute Green Tea for Coffee
Substitute Baking Soda Water for Grapefruit
The Military Diet is highly popular among weight-conscious people who want to quickly shed pounds and are willing to lower their daily food consumption. Its strong appeal lies in its effectiveness and simplicity. One can lose as much as ten pounds in a week, and the food items included in the diet are all simple, easily found in groceries, and require minimal time and effort to prepare.
The plan involves strict dietary restrictions and the consumption of particular food items chosen for their ability to maintain the body's optimal functioning while increasing its metabolism. This addresses the problem faced by many people on calorie-restriction diets--that of low energy and decreased nutrients. On this diet, one feels energetic despite the lowered food (and caloric) intake, and burns fat more readily. But for the diet to work as designed, it must be strictly and consistently followed throughout its two phases lasting a total of seven days.
After you have followed the first three days of the plan, the next four days will give you more freedom. While you still will not be allowed to eat whatever you desire, the restrictions will be less stringent and give you a few choices while keeping the calorie count below 1500.
The list of allowed food substitutions is provided in the military diet plan. A small amount of sweetener in tea or coffee is allowed, and there is no restriction on water intake. In fact, drinking a lot of water is recommended, because it lowers the appetite and fills up your stomach, helping you feel fuller even as you eat less food than you are accustomed to.
Understand the Plan Well
Something one should understand is that fasting lowers levels of insulin-like growth factors, or IGF-1. Having lower levels of IGF-1 is actually healthy. Apart from an increase in metabolism and weight loss, low levels of IGF-1 also reduce the risk of diabetes and slow the aging process, which increases longevity. During this type of fasting, the body switches itself from growth mode to repair mode, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine.
A key reason why the Military Diet works is that it kick-starts the metabolism, which may have slowed down due to various medical factors, and also promotes a quicker fat-burning process. Caffeine is known to raise the metabolism slightly, which in turn helps the body burn fat and lose weight. Grapefruit is also known to be beneficial, since it kick-starts the liver into fat-burning mode. Certain high-protein foods, such as tuna, eggs, and peanut butter, require more energy from the body to process, so digesting them can burn more fat.
Before you start the diet, go through the list of foods you will need. If you are under any dietary restrictions for medical reasons, such as an allergy to a certain food item or ingredient, take note of the items in the Military Diet that will need substitutes. If there is a food item that you do not like, you may also choose to substitute it with something more to your liking. The main rule to observe in terms of substitutions is that any replacement should give you the same number of calories, and the same nutrients.
It would be good to consult a nutritionist or dietitians who can approve your list or suggest simple ways to adapt the plan to your needs and taste. And if you have any serious or chronic ailment, or are under medication, consulting your doctor before proceeding is a must.
Substituting Items, but not Calories and Nutrients
When choosing an item, you should think in terms of calories, not portion size.
The Military Diet plan is dependent on calories. The advantage of the military diet is it can easily turn into a proper, well-balanced, vegetarian version. You can replace the defined military diet with preferred substitutes instead of foods you do not want. When replacing items, one should maintain the same amount of calories. If the items of your choice match the calories of the items to be replaced, it becomes a most ideal diet.
For example, if you want to replace a can of fish that is 150 calories, you could have fifteen almonds, which have a similar calorie count, but eating fifteen almonds for breakfast may not be wise. To replace four ounces of cheese, you have to choose a substitute that is not four ounces, but is 100 calories. When substituting the items in the diet plan, one has to be very careful.
Military Diet Substitutes
While the list that follows is not exhaustive, it addresses most of the common dietary concerns that may prevent one from forging ahead with the Military Diet. For instance, the list of substitutes will allow you to customize the diet and create a vegetarian version, or a gluten- or lactose-free version. A good number of substitutes for each Military Diet food item will allow you more variety throughout the seven days of the diet.
Despite the reputation of grapefruit as an effective aid in burning fat, many people have to replace the grapefruit in the Military Diet, because of its adverse interaction with certain medications. Some others would prefer to replace the fruit simply because of its bitter taste. But you should not replace the grapefruit with oranges, although the two fruits bear some resemblance with each other. This is because the orange will cause a completely opposite effect from that of the grapefruit and undermine your efforts at losing weight.
Instead of having an orange, mix half a tablespoon of baking soda in water and drink it; this will be as effective in burning fat as eating the grapefruit. The baking soda will induce a similar effect as the grapefruit would have, which is, improve the pH balance of your body and make it more alkaline. An acidic environment is more hospitable to fat, so alkaline conditions in the body will help rid it of fat.
Other than baking soda dissolved in water, there is no other recommended substitute for grapefruit. If you would rather stick to grapefruit, you can squeeze it and stir in some non-sugar sweetener like stevia.
You can have plums, grapes, zucchini, or pears, or even dried apricot in place of an apple in the Military Diet.
You can replace the banana with plums or grape and applesauce mixed together, depending on your taste. Or you can have two kiwis along with one cup of papaya.
To substitute bread, you can replace it with two rice cakes, or mix half a cup of whole grain cereal with half a cup of a protein bar, then add two tablespoons of yogurt with half a tablespoon of flax seeds and mix it all with one spoonful of sunflower seeds. This will have the same number of calories as the bread.
In the Military Diet, you can replace broccoli with other green vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower, or spinach.
Make use of bell pepper of any color, squash, parsnip, beets, or celery as a replacement for carrots. These will offer a similar number of calories for the same amount.
A cup of coffee has approximately 100 milligrams of caffeine. Instead of coffee, you can have green tea, and instead of sweetener, you can add sugar-free hot chocolate, which contains some caffeine.
The Military Diet includes eggs in some meals. If you wish to replace an egg, consume one cup of milk, a chicken wing, or two tablespoons of seeds or nuts.
To make a vegetarian diet, meat can be avoided altogether by consuming lentils, beans, portobello mushrooms, or tofu instead. These are perfect alternatives for meat and offer an equal number of calories for roughly the same amount.
Expert Opinion on the Military Diet
Most dietitians agree that the Military Diet is an easy-to-follow, straightforward diet that has more benefits than anyone had ever imagined something so simple, so low-cost, and so easy to prepare could be. Most people who want to shed pounds, but find other diets difficult to begin or stick with, will find the Military Diet encouraging. It is quick, easy, and very effective. One of the best features of the plan is the possibility of substituting food items.
The Military Diet is effective in reducing weight and fat on a weekly basis, as long as you follow it closely. While staying on it continuously for many cycles is not recommended because of the low calories and possible deficiencies in the long run, it will help you jump-start your weight loss to give you that extra boost of confidence in pursuing your weight loss goals. Nothing is so motivating as seeing quick results, and the Military Diet can give it.