A healthy diet is a must for Soldiers to make sure they have enough energy to perform their duties at the highest level possible. Proper nutrition and exercise are extremely important for Soldiers to maintain total fitness. The basic guidelines for a healthy diet include eating a variety of foods and maintaining an acceptable energy balance.
Soldiers eat three meals a day in order to make sure they consume the variety of foods needed for nutritional balance and proper energy levels. If needed to maintain the proper energy levels, Soldiers can eat snacks between meals as long as they are healthy snacks.
The main thing Soldiers need to make sure they do is consume enough calories to maintain the proper energy level. When the Soldiers calories used equals the number of calories consumed, the body is in “energy balance”. When the body is in “energy balance” the Soldiers will be able to maintain the proper weight at a high energy level.
Here is a list of guidelines that may help build lean muscle mass and create more energy.
- Eat high protein, low fat items such as: fish, beans, whole wheat pasta, egg whites, skim or 1 percent milk, and low fat yogurt. Avoid items such as: fried items, high fat meats, egg yolks, and whole milk.
- For a good source of vitamins eat a diet rich in raw or steamed vegetables, green leafy romaine, whole grain breads, and fruits with skin. Avoid fried vegetables, iceberg lettuce (no nutrients), white bread, and canned fruits in syrup.
- Good fats versus bad fats: Try to choose non-trans fat bread spreads and heart healthy margarine. Cook with olive oil or sunflower oil, omit or use less lard and meat fat. Limit or omit creamy salad dressings high in fat content, cookies, cakes, pies, and pastry goods. Furthermore, avoiding fast food is always a good way to help cut down on your fat intake.
One of the best things you can do to help maintain “energy balance” is to control the portions of the foods you eat. It is recommended to use measuring utensils and a small weight scale to make sure your calorie intake matches your calories burned. Another helpful tip is to maintain a daily journal of the foods you eat and your physical activity, so you can balance your caloric intake versus your physical output.
Always remember to eat less fatty foods to maintain better overall health. A high intake of fats, especially saturated fats and cholesterol, has been associate with higher levels of blood cholesterol. So, make sure you eat right and exercise to maintain the highest energy levels possible.