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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Aug. 31, 2022

A healthy diet leads to a healthy lifestyle throughout the year

By Keisha Reynolds, MyCG Writer

As our bi-annual body composition approaches, it is important that you maintain your active, healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet. 

Maria McConville, a registered dietician from the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP), offers some tips and resources that will help you keep your healthy diet on track. 

Quick tips to keep in mind during food purchasing, preparation, and eating:

  • Shop the perimeter of the store; consider online grocery shopping for pick-up or delivery to minimize impulsive shopping.
  • Stock your pantry and refrigerator with foods that will help you meet your health goals. 
  • Ensure your eating plan contains these three components: a balance of foods, quality foods, and the most effective timing to consume foods. Refer to this infographic for information, called “3 Keys to Optimal Nutrition.”
  • Practice mindful eating for weight loss. 

The top three resources to help you plan your healthiest meals: 

  1. “Get into Fighting Weight: a Total Force Fitness Guide.” This guide provides five challenge areas we all need for optimal health, and offers a holistic look at your wellness picture. It includes an assessment of your habits, sleep management, and meal planning strategies. 
  2. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2022 - 2025.” This guide covers everything from healthy dietary patterns and calorie levels at every stage of life, the intake of fiber, sugar and other supplements, supportive healthy eating for pregnant and lactating women, and charts with types of foods and calorie intakes based on your healthy dietary pattern. Check out the Consumer Resources page here.
  3. Lastly, CHAMP created a “Power Plate” depiction that helps you understand when to best fuel your body and with what depending on the activities you take part in. For example, the power plate shows what to eat when “standing down” or when not in high activity situations. This includes eating fewer carbohydrates, especially those from grains.

“Having optimal health to ensure Coast Guard members can complete our missions in the most effective ways is important,” said Tim Merrell Health Promotion Program manager who also manages Wellness Wednesdays. “Ensuring that our members have the tools they need to achieve their fittest states and in the healthiest ways is my goal, especially as they prepare for [body composition]. If you develop a habit of fueling your body with nutritious foods, you will get immediate and long lasting benefits.”

Join us today as Maria McConville presents at upcoming Wellness Wednesday. McConville is a Henry M. Jackson Foundation (HJF) contractor supporting CHAMP/ Uniformed Services University, a registered dietitian and senior nutrition health educator. She will present "5 steps for meal planning and prepping for weight management” at 3 p.m., Eastern, on CG Teams. Specifically, she will be talking about knowing what you really want from yourself, assessing where you are currently, the power of your vision statement, SMART goal setting, and tips for meal planning and prepping.