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Military Rapid Weight Loss Diet

author image Stephanie Crumley Hill
Stephanie Crumley Hill is a childbirth educator who for more than 20 years has written professionally about pregnancy, family and a variety of health and medical topics. A former print magazine editor, her insurance articles for “Resource” magazine garnered numerous awards. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia.
Military Rapid Weight Loss Diet
A skillet full of chicken and broccoli. Photo Credit: Elena_Danileiko/iStock/Getty Images

When new military recruits finish basic training, they have often lost weight. There is no secret military rapid weight loss diet that produces these results: weight loss during basic training is usually the result of a healthy diet paired with a lot of exercise. Military service members maintain their health through attention to diet and regular activity so that they can perform at their best. Still, people in the military sometimes gain weight just like anyone else. When that happens, they adopt a sensible diet and exercise program for healthy weight loss.

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The U.S. military is not a single entity and does not promote a rapid weight loss diet. The U.S. Army promotes a balanced, nutritious diet that will allow you to lose weight at a healthy rate of 1 to 2 pounds each week.


When an Army solider is determined to be overweight according to screening charts, the Army then measures that solider to determine his or her percentage of body fat. If the percentage of body fat is found to be excessive, the solider is then referred for a medical examination. If there are no medical impediments to weight loss, the solider is counseled by properly qualified personnel in a healthy diet and exercise program of increased activity and decreased caloric intake.


The U.S. Army recommends a daily diet composed of two 8-ounce servings of milk, two servings of fruit, two servings of vegetables, four servings of bread or cereal and two 3-ounce servings of meat, plus additional servings of fruit and vegetables to provide the required number of calories. To determine the number of total calories needed each day for maintenance, multiply your ideal body weight by 12 to 14 if you are sedentary, by 15 if you are active or engage in regular exercise, or by 16 to 18 if you are involved in extremely rigorous daily activity. To lose an average of one pound each week, subtract 500 calories from the maintenance amount; to lose an average two pounds each week, subtract 1000 calories from the maintenance amount. Do not, however, drop below 1200-1500 calories daily except under the supervision of qualified medical personnel.


Military personnel need to be fit to perform at their best. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is the first step in developing optimal fitness. One advantage of the U.S. Army plan is that it takes muscle development into consideration: if you are overweight according to the screening charts, but not over fat, no changes in your diet or exercise plan are counseled.


Following the U.S. Army Weight Control plan will allow you to lose weight at a healthy rate of one to two pounds weekly. The diet takes activity level into consideration; as you increase your activity level from sedentary to regularly exercising, you can consume more calories and still lose weight. If you must slow your exercise program for some reason, you can also easily adapt your calorie intake to avoid gaining weight.

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