The Military Diet vs. My Pelican Pouch, Round One

Charlie Riedel

Dough Boy

I’m a fairly thin guy but when I gain weight it only goes two places: my gut and my throat. Which means I have the body of Buddha and the gullet of a pelican. #Sexy

My girlfriend, who is 100% Puerto Rican and 1000% pro-Trump (and for God’s sake DON’T refer to her as “Latinx!”), and I decided we wanted to lose a few pounds and lose them fast. She mentioned something called the “Military Diet” and assured me we would lose 10 lbs. in three days, without exercising or drinking stinky bile potions. We also wouldn’t have to watch Adderall-soaked gym rats prance about in weight loss videos while telling me “You can DO IT!”

Sign me up.

FACT-O-RAMA! The military diet wasn’t invented by, or for, the military.

One rule: drink LOTS of water. I did this AND threw in six diuretic water pills per day.

Day One

Day One breakfast consists of:

-1/2 a grapefruit

-one slice of wheat toast with two tablespoons of peanut butter

-either one cup of coffee or tea, with no sugar, half-and-half, or anything that makes coffee taste like something other than coffee.

I decided to eat breakfast at 1:00 p.m. There isn’t a lot of food allowed so I’m eating only when I have to. First, I’m not allowed to use half-and-half in my coffee, so that’s is annoying. I hate drinking my coffee black. Can we still refer to it as black, or am I now drinking my coffee oppressed?

My grandfather, who lived through the Great Depression, used to eat the ENTIRE apple, leaving only a stem and a handful of seeds. Taking the hint, I scraped every morsel of my half a grapefruit. I squeezed the juice in my mouth and got some in my eye. Fortunately, irrigating your eyes is allowed on the Military diet.


-one cup of tuna

-one slice of wheat toast, (no peanut butter this time)

-one cup of coffee or tea

I wanted to skip lunch to lose more weight, but by 4:45 p.m., I was ready to eat sparrows.

Jessica doesn’t like tuna, so I packed her lunchbox with a can of sockeye salmon. Turns out, she doesn’t like that either, so she substituted the fish with some cheese she had at work.

I screwed up dinner. We were supposed to eat 3 ounces of meat but the steaks I bought were 6 ounces. We COULD split one. We didn’t. We ate the green beans. We mixed our apple and 1/2 a banana into our vanilla ice cream. I actually cut a few of the apples because I was full.

I drank 100 ounces of water.

Day Two

Day of RAGE


-one egg

-one slice of wheat toast, NO PEANUT BUTTER

-1/2 of a banana


I woke up to find I’d lost two pounds. I felt great about that. But I was famished. Then I saw I couldn’t have a coffee. Argh. Yesterday, I complained I couldn’t use half-and-half in my coffee; now I’d kill Bambi for a cup of Joe and some venison. I am strong. I will not cave.

I decided to eat my breakfast at 10:00 a.m., 3 hours earlier than day one. Bad move. I was starving by lunch time. I ate pieces of lunch early.


-one hard-boiled egg

-one cup of cottage cheese

-five saltine crackers

Who over the age of five eats plain saltine crackers? Kind of offensive.

Jessica doesn’t like cottage cheese, so I brought some cheddar slices to her office.

I ate lunch but was still ravenous. I remembered I saw a rabbit in the backyard last week and wondered if I could eat Bambi AND Thumper. Then I realized I lost all my guns in a boating accident and would have to kill the delicious rabbit by hand. I’m fine with that.

Ninety minutes after lunch, I was eating the other 1/2 of banana I was supposed to save for dinner.


– two hot dogs (sans buns, mustard, relish, my favorite sauerkraut, etc.)

-one cup of broccoli

-1/2 cup of carrots

-1/2 banana (I already ate it)

-1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

I had no energy and took an hour nap around 3:00 p.m.

Jessica made dinner. Hot dogs! I LOVE hot dogs. The two dogs went down easy, but I was starving and I wanted to do my impression of Joey Chestnut.

I then did a podcast with Stephen Kruiser. Jessica made me a vodka on the rocks with a little lime and lemon juice. How do you do a podcast with Kruiser and not have a drink? I had 3 more. I made amends by skipping my 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream. Jessica had a hunger headache and skipped the ice cream and the half of a banana.

I drank 120 ounces of water.

Day Three

I woke up feeling not too hungry. I had one more day to go. I can do this. I haven’t eaten a house cat yet, so this last day will be a piece of cake.

Note to self: don’t think about cake.

I am now down 6 pounds. I can lose four more today. Victory will be MINE.


-five saltine crackers

-one slice of cheddar cheese

-one small apple

I’ve seen bigger meals in Sally Struthers ads. And seriously, what’s with crackers as part of a meal? The last time I ate saltines I washed them down with a crayon.

This is my second day without coffee and I feel beaten. I started this three-day diet feeling like Bobby Sands. Now I want cave and fall into the same meal plan as Precious.

Lunch is even smaller.

-one hard-boiled egg (or cooked however you like)

-one slice of wheat toast (plain)

I can smell someone BBQing. Let my people go! I don’t have the energy to write. Please kill me. I’m beginning to think this diet was invented for Somalia’s military.


-one cup of tuna

-1/2 banana

-one cup of vanilla ice cream

As mentioned, Jessica doesn’t like tuna, so I bought a sizable piece of salmon to bake. It was delicious. We skipped the banana and ice cream because those things don’t go well with fish. We went to a comedy club and I had a few vodkas. I earned them.

I drank 140 ounces of water.

Day of Infamy

I woke up and went in to weigh myself. I was down six pounds thus far and was feeling cocky. I stepped on our vintage Detecto scale and….I gained a pound. Appalling.

I’m glad to have lost five pounds in three days, but this diet was not worth the hunger strike. This was likely mostly water weight. I lost more pounds by simply cutting sugar and carbs and not eating after 6:00 p.m., and I never wanted to redrum a nursing home out of anger.