THE BASICS

THE BASICS

Category: health nutrition
INTRODUCTION
Proper nutrition is an important component of your physical preparation towards joining the Army. Eating the right foods will assist you in enhancing your performance at either the AC or AOSB. There is no direct diet that will increase your strength, power or your speed. However, an adequate diet allows you to train and perform at your best. 
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD MADE UP OF?
The food we eat is composed of nutrients, water and dietary fibre. These can be broken into the following 7 essential components: • Carbohydrate – for energy • Fat – for energy (has more functions) • Protein – growth and repair of tissue • Vitamins – helps metabolism • Minerals – chemical balance of body • Water – 60% of the body is water • Dietary Fibre – helps the movement of food and waste
POOR NUTRITION
Not eating enough, eating too much, or eating an unbalanced diet, can have a number of negative impacts on your body: • Impaired basic functions (heart activity, breathing, temperature control and movement). • Increases the likelihood of injury or illness. • Slows recovery from exercise, illness or injury. • Reduces cognitive skills. BMF Army Prep will help you make better food choices. Remember, ‘a balanced diet will assist you in performing at your best on assessment day.
 
ENERGY
The human body NEEDS energy to grow, stay alive, to regulate temperature, and for physical activity. This energy comes from the foods you eat and beverages you drink each day. The primary sources of energy from your diet are carbohydrate and fat. Protein can also supply energy; however, you should be able to consume enough calories from other sources and not need to use protein for energy production. Energy intake is measured in kilocalories (kcal), or kilojoules (kJ). • One gram of carbohydrates equates to 3.75 kcal of energy. • One gram of fat equates to 9 kcal of energy. • One gram of protein equates to 4 kcal of energy. In general, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2000 kcal for women and 2500 kcal for men. However, the amount of energy (kcal) your body requires, depends on your age, gender, body size and your level of activity.
ENERGY REQUIREMENTS
For the general population in a sedentary role (e.g. office based), the percentage daily intake of each of the three energy sources is: CARBOHYDRATE: 50% FAT: 35% PROTEIN: 15% However, in order for military personnel (who are training) to be able to sustain the physical demands of their roles, their recommended percentage daily intake of each of the three energy sources is: CARBOHYDRATE: 60% FAT: 25-30% PROTEIN: 10-15%.
HEALTHY EATING GUIDELINES
To help you make more informed decisions when selecting your food choices and to guide you towards a healthy, balanced diet, the government have produced an ‘Eatwell Guide’ that shows the different types of foods and drinks we should consume, and in what proportions.
They recommend:
• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
• Meals should be based on starchy carbohydrates, such as; potatoes, bread, rice or pasta, and where possible, to choose wholegrain versions.
• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives – choose lower fat and lower sugar options.
• Eat protein enriched foods like fish, eggs, beans and pulses. Include 2 portions of fish each week.
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts. • Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar have these less often and in small amounts.
Why don’t you try out some of our recipes. They are quick, simple, tasty and cost effective. All our recipes include a breakdown of their nutritional content to help you consume a healthy, balanced diet.