Eating Well at Basic Training

Secrets to Eating Well at Basic Training
By Michael Volkin

Many of my readers contact me after they graduated basic training and tell me the food tips in my book (The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook) was the most helpful. As you may or may not know, there is no snacking at basic training, recruits get three square meals a day. In addition, recruits only get a short time to eat (3 minutes if your lucky), so maximizing the time it takes to eat your meals is crucial. Below are some great tips to prepare for basic training and get the most out of your meals once you’re there:

  • Stop your snacking. Snacking is a habit, like smoking. In the civilian world you can snack all day and not think twice about it, but once you stop it seems to be all you think about. Take time to stop your snacking habit before you leave for basic training, its best you do so on your terms rather than the drill sergeants terms.
  • Think strategy not pleasure. At basic training you only get a few minutes to eat your food, so give your body what it wants. Do not fill your stomach with carbonated beverages and other empty calories (i.e. ketchup). Your goal is eat as many nutrients as possible. Always grab a meat, brown rice and bread to give you a full feeling. Going to bed hungry is not fun, especially when your body is craving food from a hard day of work.
  • No chit-chat. As mentioned above, time is crucial. When it’s time to eat, keep your face close to your food and begin shoveling. If you talk or look around you are wasting time and going to get in trouble.
  • Make a sandwich out of every piece of food you can. Since time is a precious commodity for every meal, you want to put everything you can in between two pieces of bread. Every time you raise your fork or spoon to your mouth you are wasting precious seconds. Making a sandwich is a faster way to eat.

For more strategic tips on mastering basic training meals as well as MRE tips, visit The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook