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Although you are not encouraged to get your meals from fast food establishments, fast foods are a way of life. If you learn to select the foods with the most nutritional value then fast foods can be OK. Most restaurants have a listing of the nutritional content of their foods and are available on request. More information on the nutritional content of fast foods is available at the USDA's web site at: Information may also be found on web sites for various fast food restaurants.


Many people think snacking is unhealthy and leads to L^^^^S weight gain because many people don't eat healthy snacks! If you enjoy snacking and you want to maintain your body weight and perform well, then selecting healthy snacks is critical. Think through a typical day. How often and where do you usually snack? Are your snacks healthy or loaded with extra kcals? Many people snack on foods when they are bored and often don't realize how much food they have eaten. Snacks should not replace a meal. Avoid these situations by being aware of your behaviors, food selection, and kcal consumption. Follow these tips to help promote healthy snacking!

  • Stock foods such as plain popcorn, dried fruits, whole grain crackers, pretzels, unsweetened fruit juices, fresh produce, and low-fat yogurt.
  • Snack on fresh fruits or vegetables with low-fat peanut butter or low-fat cheese spreads. (Fruits and vegetables provide dietary fiber.)
  • Make a snack mix with wheat, rice, and corn ready-to-eat cereals.

There can be times when you just don't want to be healthy, you just want to satisfy a sweet tooth or craving. When this happens, be selective of the sweets you eat. If you must have a candy bar or other sweets, choose one that is high in CHO and as low in fat as possible. Eating one now and then will certainly not hurt you!

Many people replace high-fat snacks with the low-fat alternatives in an attempt to lower their total fat intake. Be cautious, however, because even low-fat snacks can lead to weight gain and increases in body fat when too many kcals are consumed. Remember: low-fat does not mean low kcals, so do not over eat!

Nutrition Throughout Life

The guidelines put forth in this chapter can be applied to everyone throughout their lifetime. Identify the times in your life when your energy needs are changing and adjust your diet appropriately to maintain your health and fitness. Examples of when energy requirements may be reduced are decreases in physical activity either from a change in job description or

a change in your exercise habits. Examples of when energy requirements may rise are increases in physical activity or during pregnancy and breast feeding. Each individual should eat the appropriate number of servings from each food group based on their EER. Refer to Chapter 1 and Table 3-2 for the recommended daily kcals and the number of servings from each food group to meet various kcal requirements. Seek the help of a Registered Dietitian if you have any concerns about your diet or the diet of a family member. Even if you do not cook your meals or if you eat in the galley, you can make healthy food choices (see Appendix A). When eating in the galley, ask for the Healthy Navy Options menu items (available in the larger galleys and ships). Make high-fat foods the exception rather than the rule in your diet.

In this chapter you will learn:

  • The definition of physical fitness.
  • The benefits of being physically fit and its relation to military readiness.
  • The FITT Principle.
  • The Physical Fitness Pyramid.
  • Fuel used during exercise.
  • Exercise Sequence.
  • Training and Detraining.

In the military, physical fitness is emphasized because of its role in military readiness and force health protection. Many jobs in the Navy require that personnel handle heavy equipment, adapt quickly to harsh environments, and are able to work in limited quarters. Training for these situations ensures that you are physically able to perform these tasks repeatedly, without fail, whenever the need arises. In short, this is the rationale for optimizing your physical fitness levels and the reason you are required to perform PRT tests every six months! (See OPNAV6110.1E at http:// under "New Navy PRT Program" for the PRT standards).

"Fitness, which has been defined as the matching of an individual to his physical and social environment, has two basic goals: health and performance [which lie on a continuum]. Physical fitness requirements in the military consist of a basic level of overall fitness required for health of all individuals and a higher level of fitness that is required for the performance of occupational activities...In addition to this, the military must address the need for ongoing, job-specific performance training." IOM (1998) Physical Fitness Policies and Programs, in Assessing Readiness in Military Women, p. 64

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