Hi all, I’m back. It’s been a while and I apologize. We’ve been very busy. You can follow all of my activities at any of the following sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Amazon, and Links of Courage.
Now, for this story. Needless to say, this week was a bit rough. If any of you have tried the so-called “military diet,” then you’ll know that the lack of calories each day leaves you weary by the end.
I set a goal to lose a few pounds by the end of the diet but really I wanted to take a scientific approach to the diet and experiment with details. I know they say that you shouldn’t substitute anything in the diet, but I wanted to answer the question, “why not?”
In order to get a better idea of what my body would go through physiologically, and since I don’t have a robust scale at home, I decided to rely on a higi station at the local pharmacy.
I noticed this particular machine when I was picking up prescriptions for my son. It had electrodes to measure percent body fat and hydration. I didn’t know how accurate this machine was, but all I needed were numbers to compare before and after results, so I created my free account and began.
My plan was to begin the diet Monday morning, so I measured myself on Sunday night. Below is a snapshot of my results.
Here’s where I started experimenting. (By the way, I tracked everything in fitbit. I also discovered that higi and fitbit are compatible. They weren’t a perfect match, but my fitbit activity was uploaded to my higi account daily.)
When you look online for the “military diet” you’ll find a myriad of responses. Most of them are identical and they warn you not to alter the food requirements. I didn’t listen.
My calorie intake and macronutrients content are shown below.
Going into this diet I had no doubt that it operated on the principle of calorie restriction. I could only guess from how adamant everybody was about not modifying the food that there must have been some science involving calorie composition.
It appears from the chart above that the intent for Day 1 was to carboload. This would prove essential by Day 3. You’ll also notice that for breakfast I substituted grapefruit for a coffee flavored yogurt cup.
Day 2 felt pretty much the same as Day 1, but boy was I wrong. Check out the content in the table below.
Calories went up and carbs went down. The macronutrients were fairly equal for Day 2, unlike Day 1. This is where I substituted hot dogs for Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey sausages. They had less calories than hot dogs but a little more fat.
By the end of the day I was beginning to feel lethargic. My body responded to the low caloric intake and was tired. I wasn’t too despondent however because I knew I had only one more day to go.
Day 3 was great. My brain seemed a little sluggish but somehow more focused, and I had enough energy to get me through the day. I didn’t substitute much here except to exchange an ordinary slice of cheddar cheese for a Chipotle Cheddar cheese stick. I also added Louisiana hot sauce to the 2 servings of tuna for flavor. The hot sauce had no calories but a lot of sodium.
See the calorie composition below.
My protein intake remained relatively the same but carbs went up a little which meant that fats went down. Unfortunately, I neglected to add my water consumption on Day 3, but I drank about the same amount of water all three days.
Now for the great reveal. Did this three-day diet do my body any good? The real question, “Does it have to be this particular diet or can any diet that restricts calories help a person lose weight in three days?”
That answer is, “I don’t know.” I need to experiment further. Unfortunately the machine was not connected to the internet the day I measured so my results didn’t get uploaded to higi. Instead, I took a picture of the screen.
You’ll notice that although my BMI went down slightly, my percent body fat rose slightly. Also, note that my blood pressure rose. In any case, I accomplished my goal of losing a few pounds-about a pound a day.
This was just one experiment and the first of many to come from me. Watch my page next week to see what foods I substitute next time.
You can see photos of some of my meals below. Thanks for following.
(I ate the grapefruit for breakfast on Day 4 because I wanted to weigh-in later that day and didn’t want to negate my three days of effort.)