Appendix C Nutrition Guide to the Weight Control Program

C–1. General

This appendix explains the basic principles of weight loss while maintaining normal nutrition. It does not replace the requirement for Active Army and RC units with Soldiers exceeding the body fat standards to be provided weight reduction counseling by qualified health care personnel. This guide will be used as a supplement to weight reduction counseling and as a guide for commanders in developing an effective weight control program.

C–2. Weight control—it’s time to make the fitness connection

In many cases fitness begins with weight reduction. Aerobic fitness is related to an individual’s body fat. The higher the fat, the less likely the individual is to be aerobically fit and the harder it is to maintain higher levels of physical stamina and endurance. A fit Army is a lean Army. Military readiness demands weight control—the spin-off is less likelihood of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Proper nutrition and regular exercise are necessary to help lose weight and improve a state of fitness.

a. Invest in yourself.

(1) Make a decision to lose weight and shape up.

(2) Get motivated.

(3) Develop a strategy (diet, exercise routine, lifestyle changes, and so on).

(4) Carry out the strategy.

b. Enjoy the payoffs:.

(1) A healthy appearance.

(2) An improved self-image.

(3) A sense of accomplishment.

(4) A feeling of pride.

C–3. Making nutrition work

Improving your nutrition will increase your mileage in many ways. You can even lose weight while improving performance. Your nutrition program will include the right number of calories to cause a steady loss of body fat with no loss of energy. Stay away from food fads—they are usually boring, unhealthy, and too strict and will lead only to temporary weight loss. Compare the benefits of a sound nutrition with the consequences of crash diets, as shown in table C–1.

Table C–1 Nutrition

Sound Nutrition: Provides all required nutrients Crash Diets: Most often lack some nutrients

Sound Nutrition: Gradual loss of body fat (1 to 2 pounds per week) Crash Diets: Rapid loss of body water and muscle mass—not body fat

Sound Nutrition: Reinforces a good mental outlook Crash Diets: Symptoms of grumpiness, headaches, anxiety and fatigue

Sound Nutrition: Improves health Crash Diets: Can cause depression, dehydration, potential serious illness and a slowdown in your body’s metabolism (the rate your body burns calories)

Sound Nutrition: Gives a sense of accomplishment Crash Diets: End in eventual weight loss and failure

Sound Nutrition: Develops permanent good eating habits Crash Diets: Encourage unhealthy eating habits of temporary duration

C–4. Basic strategy checklist—a plan for making the right connection

a. Good attitude. Having a good mental attitude is necessary to succeed in any program. To lose weight, a good mental attitude helps self-discipline—an important ingredient.

b. Sensible nutrition. A diet of adequate essential nutrients is necessary to prevent mental and physical fatigue. Crash diets don’t work in a permanent weight control program.

c. Regular exercise. Exercise promotes physical fitness. It improves flexibility, strength, endurance and weight loss by speeding up the body’s metabolism. It has also been proven to help supress the appetite.

d. Diet and exercise master plan. Create your own daily food intake and exercise plan. Keep a record. Make adjustments. You are in control.

e. Rest. Adequate rest improves attitude, posture, and appearance. Lack of rest and sleep can weaken resistance and will power.

f. A set goal. See a long range objective, then get going by setting easier-to-reach short-term goals. After the first few goals are met, the objective will be in plain view.

C–5. Balance check

If you need to lose weight, it’s time to check your energy balance to see what’s tilting the scale. When your energy input (calories) is greater than your energy output (activity), you store the extra calories as body fat. To stay in balance:

a. Increase exercise (frequency and intensity).

b. Decrease calorie intake.

c. Combine exercise with calorie reduction for best results.

C–6. Obesity risks

Excess body fat is harmful to your health. It increases your risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory infections, gall bladder disease, low-back pain, and some forms of cancer. It has further drawbacks in physical appearance and interferes with physical performance.

C–7. Tailoring a nutrition program

a. The best nutrition program is one that allows you to lose body fat while you eat regular wholesome foods in controlled portion sizes. Does your diet include essential nutrients? An easy way to check is shown in table C–2.

b. Activity factors (see fig C–1) for weight maintenance include—

(1) Weight maintenance.

(2) Activity factors:

(a) Sedentary. Twelve to 14 calories per pound are required if you are not involved in exercise on the job or off duty.

(b) Active. Fifteen calories per pound are required when your job involves physical work and/or you are engaged in a regular exercise program.

(c) Highly active. Sixteen to 18 calories are required per pound when very physically demanding work and/or high level of physical training is done routinely. (Most people do not fit in this category).

(3) Weight loss (see fig C–2).

(a) To lose 1 pound of fat per week, subtract 500 calories per day from your calorie maintenance level.

(b) To lose 2 pounds of fat per week, subtract 1,000 calories per day.

Table C–2 Diet structures

Food group

Recommended servings per day

Your diet

Milk (8 ozs) Meat (3 ozs) Bread or Cereal (1 slice or 1⁄2 cup) Vegetables 1⁄2 cup) Fruits (1 medium or 1/2 cup) Does your diet provide the right amount of calories?

2 2 4 2 2

Figure C–1. Weight maintenance formula

Figure C–2. Weight loss formula

C–8. What about calories

Calories don’t deserve a bad name unless your intake is greater than your requirement. Calories are provided by certain nutrients in the foods and beverages consumed. The nutrients listed in table C–3 provide calories; nutrients that do not provide calories are listed in table C–4.

Table C–3 Nutrient-calories guide

Nutrient: Carbohydrate (provides an efficient fuel source for the body.) Calories: 4 per gram

Nutrient: Protein (provides material to repair and build tissues.) Calories: 4 per gram

Nutrient: Fat (provides essential fatty acids and concentrated energy source for the body.) Calories: 9 per gram

Notes: 1 Alcohol, while not a nutrient, does provide calories (7 per gram).

Table C–4 Vitamins–minerals–water

Nutrient: Vitamins (needed to utilize the food you eat) Calories: 0

Nutrient: Minerals (needed for bones, teeth, and chemical functions) Calories: 0

Nutrient: Water (necessary for life) Calories: 0

C–9. Good nutrition—a personal choice

The amount of calories you consume depends on the type of food you choose, its preparation, and the amount you eat (PORTION SIZE). Some foods are very concentrated in calories (the portion size is small for the amount of calories it contains). Examples are fats, candy, fried foods, most deserts, and alcohol. These foods are also of low nutrient density—they provide few nutrients for the amount of calories provided (see table C–5 for comparison.)

Table C–5

High-calorie, low-nutrient foods



1 piece of pecan pie


1 large apple


One-half fried chicken breast


One-half baked chicken breast


1 potato, French fried


1 baked potato


One-half cup syrup pack peaches


One-half cup unsweetened peaches


C–10. Portion control

a. You’ll need to learn to correctly estimate portion sizes in order to ensure adequate nutrition and to control intake. A guide to estimate portion sizes follows:

(1) 2 ounces=1 slice meat 3 x 4 inches and 1⁄4-inch thick (cooked).

(2) 3 ounces=1 meat pattie or portion (1/5 of a pound); 3-inch diameter, 1⁄2-inch thick (cooked).

(3) 3 ounces=one-half small chicken breast.

(4) 1 ounce=1 small chicken drumstick.

(5) 2 ounces=1 chicken thigh


1 ounce=1⁄4 cup chopped meat (tuna, spagetti meatsauce, chili, ground meat)

b. Some equal measurements are shown in table C–6.

Table C–6

Equal measurements

1 cup


8 ounces

1 tablespoon


3 teaspoons

1/4 cup


4 tablespoons

1 ounce


40 grams

1 liter


34 ounces

.7 liter


24 ounces

.5 liter


17 ounces

.2 liter


7 ounces

c. There is no single food that is so high in calories that a small amount cannot be eaten occasionally. Many people, however, have a particular food obsession that must be recognized. For them trying to eat “just a cookie, piece of candy, or sparerib” is too tempting. The urge to eat “the whole thing” becomes too great. You have to make and follow your own rules according to your ability to control what you eat. Avoidance is one means of control. But if you plan your diet, and diet according to your plan, you can include a favorite high calorie food item as a special occasional treat.

C–11. “Good cookin’ for good lookin”—a memo to the cook for cutting calories during food preparation

a. The milk and cheese group.

(1) Use skim or lowfat milk in recipes when making puddings, sauces, soups, and baked products.

(2) Substitute plain, unsweetened lowfat yogurt or blenderized lowfat cottage cheese in recipes that call for sour cream or mayonnaise.

b. The meat, poultry, fish, and dry beans group.

(1) TRIM fat from meat. Cook meats on rack so that fat can drain off.

(2) Roast, bake, broil, or simmer meat, poultry or fish without adding fat. Braise in covered pan on stove top or pan broil in a nonstick pan; and add spices to enhance flavors.

(3) Remove skin from chicken or turkey.

(4) Chill meat broth until fat turns light and solid on top. With a spoon or knife, skim or peel fat off and discard.

c. The vegetable and fruit group.

(1) Steam, boil, broil, or bake vegetables. Some fruits may be broiled or heated with spices added for flavor.

(2) Go easy on sauces, butter, and margarine. Season with herbs and spices. Crisp-cooked vegetables usually don’t require as much seasoning as overcooked vegetables.

(3) Try lemon juice or vinegar on salads. Cut way back on regular salad dressings. (One-fourth cup creamy dressing is approximately 340 calories!)

(4) Read nutrition information labels on food packages.

d. The bread and cereal group.

(1) Use less fat and sugar than called for in recipes. Substitute lower calorie ingredients.

(2) Avoid recipes for baked products that require large amounts of fat and sugar.

(3) Check ingredient labels for fat and sugar content. Check nutrition information label for total calories in each portion.

(4) Use diet margarine or plain yogurt on baked potatoes instead of margarine, butter, or sour cream.

(5) Have boiled, steamed, or baked rather than fried potatoes.

C–12. Dining tips

a. Avoid gravies, sauces, and deep-fried food. If the meat has been fried (southern style chicken, schnitzel), remove the coating and eat only the meat.

b. Remove all the visible fat from the meat.

c. Request diet salad dressing, vinegar, or lemon juice for your salad; most restaurants have them.

d. Starchy foods are not fattening when consumed in moderate quantities. However, avoid those prepared in cream sauces or deep-fried. For example, baked potatoes with a small amount of sour cream or margarine is a good choice. Also, noodles, rice, macaroni, or spaghetti are good potato substitutes.

e. Avoid rich desserts, ice cream, gelatin, pastry, candy, cookies, pies, cakes, sugar, honey, jam, jelly, regular soda, and other sweets. These are sources of concentrated calories that quickly cause your total intake to skyrocket in just a few bites. USE SPARINGLY, if you must.

f. If you MUST have a snack, have fresh fruits, a few crackers or pretzels, or delicious low-calorie raw vegetables.

g. Low-calorie beverages, black coffee, unsweetened sodas, and mineral water add no calories to your diet. Lowfat

milk is also a nutritious choice. Carry individually packaged sugar substitutes to sweeten beverages. Try a slice of lemon or lime in a glass of ice water.

h. Alcohol does have calories, as shown in table C–7.

Table C–7 Alcohol calories

Food Calories

American beer, 12 oz. 160
European beer, 1⁄2 liter 250
Cocktails, 4–6 oz. (1⁄2 cup) 165
Hard liquor, 11⁄2 oz. jigger 110
Dry wine, .25 litre (8 oz.) 200
Sweet wine, .25 liter (8 oz.) 300

C–13. Educate your appetite

a. Follow these tips to lose weight and body fat.

(1) Eat S-L-O-W-L-Y

(2) Consume less fat.

(3) Take smaller portions

(4) Consume less sugar.

(5) Take smaller bites


Chew food thoroughly

(7) Eat at least three regular meals per day.

(8) Plan snacks.

b. Plan your food intake and abide by your plan. Keep a food diary and monitor your own intake.

c. Always check your intake for balanced nutrition and total calories.

d. Become aware of how many calories you’re consuming- especially in snack foods. Table C–8 shows you why.

Table C–8 Sample calorie chart

Food Calories

Chocolate milkshake ( 8 oz.) 840
Coke, soda, or sugared beverage, 12 ozs. 160
French fries, 20 pieces (2″ x 1⁄2″) 275
Fruit pie (1/6th of 9-inch pie) 410
Pecan pie (1/6th of 9-inch pie) 750
Cheesecake (1/6th of 9-inch pie) 800
Ice cream, 2 scoops 200
Potato or corn chips, 1 ounce package 180
Chocolate candy, 1 ounce 150
Grapefruit or orange juice, 1 cup 100
Big Mac 557 Quarter-pounder with cheese 521
AAFES jumbo cheeseburger 654
Cottage cheese, creamed, 1 cup 223
Beer (European), 1/2 liter 250
Creamy salad dressing, 1/4 cup 340
Salted nuts: Peanuts, 2 tbs Cashews, 25 nuts 170
Mixed, 25 nuts 252 188

C–14. Easy ways to save calories

One sure way to save calories without reducing PORTION SIZE is to choose foods that are:

a. Lower in sugar. Each teaspoon supplies an additional 20 calories.

b. Lower in fat. (Each teaspoon supplies an additional 45 calories).

c. See tables C–9 and C–10 for easy ways to save calories. The Right Image of Me in the Military (TRIMM) sample meals are lower in fat and sugar—thus more”nutrient dense” and lower in calories. See table C–11 for the 1200–calorie daily menu and table C–12 for the 1500-calorie daily menu.

Table C–9 Weight control—a personal choice

Instead of—


Substitute with—


1 cup sweetened applesauce


Unsweetened applesauce


3 oz. beef bologna


Lean ham


1 oz. natural Swiss or cheddar


Part-skim milk mozzarella



1 cup cream-style cottage


Low-fat (1%) cottage cheese



1 oz. cream cheese


1 oz. Neufchatel cheese


1 cup vanilla ice cream


One-half cup vanilla ice cream


1 cup whole milk


Skim milk


3 oz. dry salami


Canned chicken


1 cup sour cream


Low-fat yogurt


One-half cup frozen sweetened


Frozen unsweetened strawber




One-half cup oil-pack tuna


Water-pack tuna


One-half cup syrup-pack


Drained/rinsed canned fruit


canned fruit

2 tablespoons mayonnaise


2 tablespoons mustard


4 tablespoons regular salad


4 tablespoons diet salad dress



1 piece fruit pie


1 piece fresh fruit


Notes: REMEMBER: A calorie saved is a calorie burned…and 3,500 calories is equal to a pound of body fat.

Table C–10 Comparison of regular and TRIMM meals

Food Item

Calories Food Item Calories

Cream of tomato soup (8 oz.)
Meat loaf (4 oz.)
Brown Gravy (3 oz.)
O’Brien potatoes
Club spinach (w/eggs) 1⁄2 cup
Tossed green salad (1 cup)
1000 Island Dressing (2 tbsp. or 1 oz.)
Yellow cake, chocolate frosting (3 inch squares.)
Milk, whole (8 fl. oz.) Totals

173 227 130 236

153 10 165


159 1618

Tomato bouillon (8 oz.) 36 Meat loaf (3 oz.) 170

Parsley potatoes (1 med. 41⁄2 99 oz.) NO BUTTER Spinach (w/lemon) 1⁄2 cup 29 Tossed green salad (1 cup) 10 Diet 1000–island dressing (2 54 tbsp. or 1 oz.) Fresh fruit (1 piece) 80

Milk, skim (8 fl. oz.) 80 558

Notes: 1 TRIMM: The Right Image of Me in the Military. The TRIMM sample meal is lower in fat and sugar, thus more “nutrient dense” and lower in calories.

Table C–11 Sample 1200-calorie menu

Meal Average calories


1 cup fruit or juice (unsweetened)

100 1 ounce meat, cheese or egg (prepared without added fat)

80 1 slice toast (white, whole wheat, rye, or 3⁄4 cup dry cereal)

70 1 cup skim milk

80 Total 330


2-ounce serving lean meat (or 1 oz. meat and 1 oz. cheese)

160 2 slices of bread or 1 bun or roll

140 1 serving cooked vegetables (leaves and stems—25 calories per 1⁄2 cup;

25 starchy vegetables corn, lima beans—70 calories per one-third cup) 1 serving tossed vegetable salad 10 Vinegar or lemon juice — 1 piece of small fresh fruit (or 1⁄4 cup drained canned fruit) 50

Total 385

Supper 3-ounce serving lean meat (no gravy) 225 one-half cup starch (potato, rice, pasta, dry beans or starchy vegetables) 80 1 serving cooked vegetables 25 1 serving tossed vegetable salad 10 Vinegar or lemon juice — 1 piece of small fresh fruit (or 1⁄4 cup drained canned fruit) 50 1 cup skim milk 80

Total 470 Choose Zero Calorie Beverages: Coffee or tea without cream or sugar, club soda, mineral water, iced water with lemon or lime.

Approximate Total for Day 1185

Table C–12 Sample 1500-calorie menu

Meal Average calories

Breakfast 1 cup fruit or juice (unsweetened) 100 1 ounce meat, cheese or egg, prepared without fat 80 1 slice toast (white, whole wheat, rye) 70 One-half cup cooked cereal or 3⁄4 cup dry cereal (unsweetened) 70 1 cup skim milk 80 1 teaspoon margarine 45

Total 445


3 oz. serving lean meat (or 2 oz. meat and 1 slice cheese) 210 2 slices of bread or 1 bun or 1 roll 140 1 serving cooked vegetables 25 (Leaves and stems 25 calories per 1⁄2 cup; starchy vegetables 70 calories per one-third cup) 1 tossed vegetable salad 10 1 tablespoon low-calorie dressing 30 1 piece of fresh fruit (medium to large) 80 1 small or 1⁄4 cup drained fruit, 40 calories

Total 520

Dinner 3 oz. serving lean meat 225 one-half cup starchy vegetable (with small amount added fat) 100 Serving cooked vegetable 25 1 tossed vegetable salad 10 1 tablespoon low-calorie dressing 30 1 piece fresh fruit (medium to large) 80 1 cup skim milk 80

Total 550 Choose Zero Calorie Beverages: Coffee or tea without cream or sugar, club soda, mineral water, ice water with lemon or lime.

Approximate Total for Day 1515

C–15. Some final advice

a. Get motivated. Forget those old excuses: “But I’ve got a large frame—you know, big bones,” or “Everyone in my family is big—it’s hereditary,” or “Gosh, I haven’t weighed 180 pounds since I was 15 years old,” or “I can pass the APFT, so why lose weight?”

b. If you’re serious about losing weight, it will be easy to give up these typical excuses. Dieting is up to you—if you are willing to try. Don’t be angry that you have to lose weight; think of it as something you have chosen to do. You may be a good Soldier now, but you want to strive to be the best.

c. Try not to be food centered. Eating should be a source of enjoyment and satisfaction and not substitute for feelings of boredom, anger, loneliness, or discouragement. Occupy your time with other activities not related to food. This is important if you plan on being successful at losing weight. Make up your mind to control food instead of letting food control you.

d. Construct new habit patterns. Make your meals last longer, slow down, enjoy flavors, pause halfway through meals and don’t stuff yourself. Make meals as pleasant as possible even if you are cutting down on what you eat.

e. Don’t be discouraged by weight plateaus (periods when no weight loss occurs despite your dieting and exercise efforts). Your body is adjusting to your new eating habits and changes are taking place. Stick with it!

f. You are always responsible for what you are eating. Don’t cheat; remember, overeating hurts no one but yourself.

g. If you need extra help with your diet contact the nutrition clinic at your nearest treatment facility. For an exercise plan the physical therapy clinic at your nearest medical treatment facility is an excellent resource; designated unit fitness trainer or training NCOs are also excellent resources to consult for basic nutrition information and exercise program development.

h. Use DA Form 5511 (Personal Weight Loss Progress) to keep track of your progress.

i. Remember all the work it took to get you to your desired weight. Don’t let this be wasted effort.

j. For best results, combine dietary plans with regular exercise to:

k. Your dining facility provides low calorie menu plans to assist in your weight control efforts (see tables C–11 and C–12 for sample menu patterns).