Eating for optimal performance requires the right balance of macronutrients from the foods you eat. An easy way to plan your meals is to picture a plate and build from there. Keep in mind, your nutrition needs may change daily depending on your activity, training, and fitness goals. For more specific nutrient needs, visit the Warfighter Nutrition Guide.
Learn more at our “Get into Fighting Weight” guide.
Eat to fuel your performance
Image of round plate divided into sections: ½ plate for Grains + Starchy Veggies, ¼ plate for Veggies, ¼ plate for Lean Protein—plus a small circle in the center of thte plate for Healthy Fats.
Such as whole-grain bread and pasta, brown rice, cereal, and quinoa
Focus on whole grains
Such as corn, peas, and potatoes
Aim for variety—the more color, the better!
Such as fish, poultry, meat, yogurt, cheese. cottage cheese, soy/tofu, beans/lentils, nuts/seeds, and nut and seed butters
Choose high-quality, less-processed options
Small circle in center of plate:
Such as olive oil, Avocado, Nuts/seeds
Text and graphics around the sides of the plate:
Apple icon (top left of plate): Fruit as snack or dessert
Drink cup (top right of plate): WATER OR UNSWEETENED DRINKS: Coffee*, tea*, milk/nondairy milk, 100% juice (limit 4 oz/day); sports drinks as needed. *watch caffeine content
Runner image: BE ACTIVE! For optimal performance, match your portions with your activity level (this can change day to day)
Boxed right of plate: POWER UP: Increase grains & starchy veggies to ½ of your plate for intense training or operations
STAND DOWN: Decrease grains & starchy veggies to ¼ of your plate on easy/rest days or for weight loss
Graphic of fork (left of plate): EAT MINDFULLY
- Slow down
- Take smaller bites
- Chew more
- Focus on flavor
Adapted from: Team USA’s Athlete’s Plates
For more information, visit HPRC-online.org/nutrition
Human Performance Resources by CHAMP, THE CONSORTIUM FOR MILITARY AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE