Training Network: Wilderness Survival | Orienteering

Diet and Exercise

A combination of exercise and diet is the best way to lose excessive body fat. Losing one to two pounds a week is a realistic goal which is best accomplished by reducing caloric intake and increasing energy expenditure. In other words, one should eat less and exercise more. Dieting alone can cause the body to believe it is being starved. In response, it tries to conserve its fat reserves by slowing down its metabolic rate and, as a result, it loses fat at a slower rate.

A combination of exercise and diet is the best way to lose unwanted body fat.

One must consume a minimum number of calories from all the major food groups, with the calories distributed over all the daily meals including snacks. This ensures an adequate consumption of necessary vitamins and minerals. A male who is not under medical supervision when dieting requires a caloric intake of at least 1,500; women require at least 1,200 calories. One should avoid diets that fail to meet these criteria.

Trying to lose weight with fad diets and devices or by skipping meals does not work for long-term fat loss, since weight lost through these practices is mostly water and lean muscle tissue, not fat. Losing fat safely takes time and patience. There is no quick and easy way to improve body composition.

The soldier who diets and does not exercise loses not only fat but muscle tissue as well. This can negatively affect his physical readiness. Not only does exercise burn calories, it helps the body maintain its useful muscle mass, and it may also help keep the body's metabolic rate high during dieting.

Fat can only be burned during exercise if oxygen is used. Aerobic exercise, which uses lots of oxygen, is the best type of activity for burning fat. Aerobic exercises include jogging, walking, swimming, bicycling, cross-country skiing, rowing, stair climbing, exercise to music, and jumping rope. Anaerobic activities, such as sprinting or lifting heavy weights, burn little, if any, fat.

Aerobic exercise is best for burning fat. Examples include jogging, walking, swimming, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and rowing.

Exercise alone is not the best way to lose body fat, especially in large amounts. For an average-sized person, running or walking one mile burns about 100 calories. Because there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat, he needs to run or walk 35 miles if pure fat were being burned. In reality, fat is seldom the only source of energy used during aerobic exercise. Instead, a mixture of both fats and carbohydrates is used. As a result, most people would need to run or walk over 50 miles to burn one pound of fat.

Dietary Guidelines
  • Eat of variety of foods.

  • Maintain a healthy body weight.

  • Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

  • Choose a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grain products.

  • Use sugars only in moderation.

  • Use salt and sodium only in moderation.

  • If you drink alchoholic beverages, do so in moderation.

Proper nutrition plays a major role in attaining and maintaining total fitness.

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Buy The Book This Site Is Based On
U.S. Army Field Manual 21-20 is the source material for this website. A soldier's level of physical fitness has a direct impact on his combat readiness. The many battles in which American troops have fought under-score the important role physical fitness plays on the battlefield. The renewed nationwide interest in fitness has been accompanied by many research studies on the effects of regular participation in sound physical fitness programs. The overwhelming conclusion is that such programs enhance a person's quality of life, improve productivity, and bring about positive physical and mental changes. Not only are physically fit soldiers essential to the Army, they are also more likely to have enjoyable, productive lives, and you can too.

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