Build your plate for performance with 3 simple steps

Build a balanced and nutrient-rich plate to fuel your performance. It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Choose your activity level.

  • If your activity will be longer in duration, higher in intensity, or you’ll have multiple training sessions, you’ll need more carbs and calories to fuel your activity and support your recovery.
  • Your activity might change daily, so adjust your plate as needed.

2. Balance your food groups using the plate as a guide.

  • No matter your activity level, a balanced plate helps provide a variety of nutrients you need for optimal performance and recovery.
  • Aim for fruits and veggies, lean protein, carbs, and healthy fats at all meals. Adapt the size of your portions depending on your activity needs.

3. Check how well your food choices meet your performance needs using Go for Green®.

  • Go for Green® is an initiative to improve the food environment where Service Members live, work, and train and a way to put the “build your plate” concepts into practice.
  • When dining in military facilities, look for the “Green” checkmarks to guide your food and drink choices in each section of your plate. Green means fuel with the highest impact on your performance, readiness, and health.


For easy training or rest days, focus on filling half your plate with fruits and veggies. It’s also a great way to plan your plate if you’re trying to manage your weight.

This is a graphic depicting a plate showing what to eat on an easy training day.  Title: Easy Training Day Build your plate with 1-2-3 1.	Choose your activity level. 2.	Balance your food groups. 3.	Check your performance impact using Go for Green®. [Plate image with foods representing each type and portion of the plate, and “Healthy fats” in a small circle in the center] “Fruits & Vegetables 50%” [around the top half of the plate], “Carbs 25%, Protein 25%” [around the bottom half of the plate]  Fruits & veggies •	Eat a variety of colors •	Choose fresh or frozen •	Enjoy raw and cooked Unsweetened beverages •	Water •	Milk/milk alternatives •	Coffee/tea Healthy fats •	Olive oil •	Nuts/seeds •	Avocado  Carbs (grains & starchy veggies) •	Whole-grain bread and pasta •	Oats •	Brown rice •	Beans/lentils •	Potatoes •	Corn  Lean protein •	Beef/pork •	Chicken/turkey •	Fish •	Dairy •	Eggs •	Soy/tofu •	Beans/lentils •	Nuts/seeds This is a guide on how to balance your plate and fuel your performance. Always tune in to your body’s cues for hunger and fullness.  “GoForGreen” green circular logo with the text, “Eat well, Perform well” Footer: USU logo for Uniformed Services University | CHAMP logo for the Consortium for Health and Military Performance Human Performance Resources by CHAMP |


For moderate training days, fill your plate with slightly more carbs to fuel more intense or longer activity.

“Fruits & Vegetables 40%” [around the top of the plate], “Carbs 35%, Protein 25%” [around the bottom 2/3 of the plate]


For heavy or hard training days, aim for more carbs to support intense activity and full recovery.

“Carbs 50%” [around the top half of the plate], “Fruits & Vegetables 25%, Protein 25%” [around the bottom half of the plate]


Published on: June 15, 2023

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