Weight Loss Tips for Army Soldiers and Military Personnel

Today, I want to share some weight loss tips for Army Soldiers.  This article is really designed for National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers who do not do Army stuff 24/7.  This is for the folks who have a civilian job, a long commute, a family, hobbies, and countless other responsibilities IN ADDITION to their Army job.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had to work harder than most people to maintain my weight.  I don’t know if it’s because of my metabolism, genetics, age, or eating habits, but from the time I hit the age of 25, gaining weight became an issue! And keeping the extra weight off was always a challenge.

As a kid, I was skinny.  Even as a teenager and young adult, I was REALLY skinny.  Through the years I’ve added on some weight and have done my best to keep off the excess weight and stay healthy.  Yes, I exercise regularly, but it’s still a battle for me.  I know that countless people have the same issues.

As a Soldier, I always got taped.  My allowed weight was 179 pounds and I weighed 188 pounds.  I never failed the tape test, but I was always near the UPPER allowance for body fat.  In fact, I kept the same body weight for almost TEN YEARS.  Maybe my body just got comfortable with that number?

What I want to do in this post is share some weight loss tips for Soldiers.  These are some valuable tips I’ve learned through the years from talking to doctors, personal trainers and physically fit people.  No, I’m not a doctor or medical professional myself, but I hope these tips can still help you out.

# 1 Drink More Water – I’ve read that the average person needs to drink 64 ounces of water per day!  Soda and coffee don’t count toward that total either.  Most folks have so much sugar and caffeine in them, and not enough water, and they are seriously dehydrated.  Make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day.  Keep a water bottle with you at work and try to drink a glass of water before every meal.   Drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning and one glass before you go to bed at night. Water will help with digestion, weight loss, and hydration.

# 2 Graze Throughout the Day – Most of us, especially in the military, have been programmed to eat three big meals a day.  However, I’ve heard countless times that it’s better to graze throughout the day, rather than eat big meals, so your body never goes into starvation mode, and so you never pig out.  I know that when I go long periods of time without eating I binge eat.  Maybe you do, too.  Try to get some healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, to bring with you to work every day, so when you get hungry you have something healthy to eat.  And when you graze, make sure you stay away from the vending machines.

# 3 Sweat Every Day – One simple thing you can do every day is sweat every day.  You should be doing PT and exercise anyway, but I know that sometimes life gets in the way.  Make sure that you set aside at least 30 minutes a day to exercise.  Go for a jog, a hike, a brisk walk, do some circuit training, lift weights, walk the stairs, or anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat. This is good for cardiovascular health and weight loss.

# 4 Eat More Fiber – Most Americans don’t get enough fiber!  You are supposed to get your fiber through whole grains; nuts, fruits and vegetables, but most Americans don’t consume enough of these things every single day!  As a result, many folks are constipated, gassy and bloated.  Consider eating more fiber or supplementing your diet with some fiber.

# 5 Diets Don’t Work – I’ve tried every diet I can think of.  And you know what?  They work temporarily.  You lose a few pounds and make good progress, but eventually you stop the diet.  And when you do that, you gain back all the weight and then some.  That’s happened to me countless times.  Rather than do a diet, what you need to do is form new habits!  Eating is a habit for many people, including myself.  What you need to do is form GOOD eating habits.  It takes some time, a game plan and discipline, but it can make a big difference.

# 6 Keep Track of What You Eat –You would be amazed at how much food we eat on a daily basis.  I never realized it until I kept a food journal for a week and wrote down everything I ate.  I was eating almost TWICE the calories that I should have been doing.  And most of the food I consumed I ate while I was bored or when I was in snacking mood.  Consider getting a notebook and writing down what you eat every day, just for a week.  See how many calories you consume in a day and come up with a game plan to correct it.  I know that when I write down what I eat, I eat less, and I eat healthier.  Maybe you will too!

Final Thoughts

For some Soldiers, weight is not an issue.  But for many Soldiers and Americans keeping a healthy weight is a big challenge.  I hope the tips and advice in this article will give you some ideas on what you can do to shed those extra pounds.

If you have any secret tips to lose weight, I would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and tips by leaving a comment below. Thank you.

As a quick disclaimer, I am NOT a doctor.  Please consult with a doctor before starting any type of diet or exercise

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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4 thoughts on “Weight Loss Tips for Army Soldiers and Military Personnel”

  1. I've had many battles with weight, and it's the war that never ends. The top thing for me on this list is: Diets don't work! You have to change habits, not make a temporary drastic change in your eating. I once stopped drinking soda and lost about 12 pounds in 5 weeks with no change in exercise.

    Write down what you eat for a week. At the end of the week add up the calories (honestly). Man, that is a high number. Also, portion control is important. I know that most of my meals were double what the calorie count considered a portion.

    1. What’s helped me more than anything else is writing down what I eat. Now I have to hold myself accountable every day! I used to eat at least 3k to 4k calories per day. Now, I eat about half of that and am just as full!

  2. Oh, the frustration. Weight is such a never ending battle for so many of us, even, surprisingly, an active soldier! I do like the tip to write down everything that you eat in a day. Weight Watchers uses this tip (or at least they did when I was on the program). It really is quite a surprise to many of us to realize how much we really eat in a day: a chip here, a pretzel there, etc. It really adds up.

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