This hot-dog based diet claims it can turn you into one hot dog.
The military diet is a two-week-long regimen that claims it can help you drop 10 pounds, according to its website, and though the name may be striking, this diet is not followed by any branch of the armed forces.
“The name comes from the discipline and willpower it takes to stay on the diet and follow it, just like the willpower and discipline it takes to stay in the military,” the site creators say.
Along with other fads, the eating plan has been growing in popularity this month, thanks to the New Years’ resolution dieting craze that comes every January. Google Trends shows that online searches for the “military diet plan” peaked in the last few days of 2019 as dieters gear up for their goals.
While most diets require eschewing processed foods for all-natural ingredients, the cornerstone dish of the military diet is heavily processed.
The meal plan is comprised of three meals and snacks consumed in a three days on, four days off pattern. Breakfasts include half a grapefruit, one egg and a slice of toast and five saltine crackers. For lunches, dieters can munch on half a cup of tuna, one cup of cottage cheese and one egg. Dinners are based around three ounces of meat, two hot dogs without buns and one cup of tuna. Followers can have extras, like pieces of broccoli, carrots and vanilla ice cream, as a treat.
After three days on the plan, dieters take four days off, then repeat the process again.
Though you may be able to drop pounds on this diet, many of the allowed foods are heavily processed and high in fat. This is cause for concern for Deena Adimoolam, M.D., an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s.
“I don’t think it’s that nutritious,” she tells The Post of the hot dogs, because they often include “many other ingredients than meat,” and the ice cream, because of the high sugar content.
Adimoolam explains that since the diet requires eating less than 1,500 calories a day, followers will drop pounds. However, if they’re not making permanent lifestyle changes to maintain that lower weight, they’re going to put those pounds back on.
For those looking for similar results but who want to make sure they’re getting the nutrients their body needs, Amidoolam recommends downloading a calorie counting app to get to know their body. Start by decreasing caloric intake, which would mimic this fad diet without dangerous foods, Adimoolam says, but never decrease intake to under 1,000 calories a day.
“It’s good to work with a nutritionist or a doctor,” she says, to find the right plan for your body that is “sustainable.”
Amidoolam also warns eager dieters to be wary of the promises they might read online. A good diet “will be balanced between carbohydrates, protein and fat,” she says. Diets that restrict one type of food, like the Keto diet, may be difficult to sustain.