Eat the rainbow. Greens, oranges, reds, purples, yellows...you get the picture. Eating the rainbow will supply your body with a range of disease-fighting phytonutrients and will naturally fill you up to help you cut back on unhealthy foods. Plus, most adults struggle with getting the recommended five servings a day (though some say seven servings). A world wide study in 2014 found 58 to 88% of adults don't hit that mark. Aiming for a diverse intake of produce from all colors of the rainbow will help you boost your intake.
If shopping at the commissary, pay attention to the Nutrition Guide Program - Dietitian Approved Labeling through the store. The new program catch phrase is "Dietitian Approved! We Did the Work For You!" Through color-coded shelf tags, customers will find it easy to spot products featuring one or more of five popular nutritional attributes such as low sodium, no-added sugar and high fiber. The labels also highlight organic products. Some NGP labels will have a "Thumbs Up" icon, which means the products align closely with the green category (high nutrition quality/high performance foods) of the Department of Defense's Go for Green program and the USMC Fueled to Fight program. For more information on the NGP, including the color code guide and frequently asked questions, visit the Nutrition Guide Program webpage.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports
Medicine both recommend that athletes eat 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per
kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound person, that boosts the 55-gram RDA
to between 82 and 136 grams. Think about your goals when you consider
potential sources of protein. For example, complete proteins, which contain
all nine essential amino acids, are an optimal choice for tactical athletes.
Most complete proteins are animal-based, however, so they aren't an option
for vegan and vegetarian tactical athletes. Fortunately, plenty of
plant-based foods are high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals as
well, including beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Dairy foods are also great
sources of protein, especially lean options like eggs, cottage cheese and
The American Heart Association recommends replacing bad (saturated) fats
with good (unsaturated) fats as a part of a healthy eating pattern. Keep in
mind that ALL fats contain 9 kcals/gram.
Love It: Unsaturated (Poly & Mono)
- Lowers rates of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality
- Lowers bad cholesterol & triglyceride level
- Provides essential fats your body needs but can't produce itself
Limit It: Saturated
- Increases risk of cardiovascular disease
- Raises bad cholesterol levels
Lose It: Artificial Trans Fat, Hydrogenated Oils & Tropical Oils
- Increases risk of heart disease
- Raises bad cholesterol levels
Outdoor activity is another domain to conduct fitness activities during the
warmer months -- but it requires paying special attention to hydration.
When it's warm, your body perspires more to help you cool down. And
depending on the temperature, humidity, and the nature of your activity, you
might not even realize how much you are perspiring. Don't rely on thirst
alone to tell you how much you need to drink. To keep those muscles working
and avoid fatigue; it's extremely important to drink plenty of liquids
before, during, and after the activity.
Drink Up -- Before, During and After
A good guideline to use when preparing for an outdoor workout, whether it's walking, running, biking, or tennis, is to drink about two cups of fluid two hours before the activity. That helps make sure you are well-hydrated before you ever go outdoors. Then, during the activity, try to drink 4-6 ounces every 15-20 minutes to keep your muscles well-hydrated. If you are planning an hour-long walk or gym workout, fill a water bottle with about 16 ounces (2 cups) and take it with you. It is recommended that tactical athletes drink half their body weight (pounds) in ounces of water at a minimum, not counting exercise. (Ex. 150 pounds/2 = 75 ounces water per day).
Physical activity, including formal exercise, requires fuel for energy. Your body stores energy in the form of glycogen, a readily available fuel. The amount of glycogen in your body plays a major role in determining your level of endurance. Without adequate glycogen, prolonged exercise can lead to fatigue and loss of stamina.
Carbohydrates provide the major source of fuel for physical activities. Your body naturally separates glucose from consumed carbohydrates, depositing this form of sugar into your bloodstream, while storing the excess amount of glucose in the form of glycogen.
Your liver and your muscle cells are the main storage tissues for glycogen. To store glycogen, your body produces an enzyme known as glycogenin. This enzyme enables the attachment of glucose molecules to muscle and liver cells, where they remain until your body requires them for fuel.