Red – Yellow – Green

The United States Army instituted a new “Eating and Fitness Program” for the first time in their history for incoming recruits after a study reflected a cost of $365 Million for rehabilitation and lost time associated with blown-out hips and knees of new recruits. The study pointed out the serious lack of physical strength and conditioning of new recruits. The study also pointed out the need for the Army to address the issues with new ideas and programs for Eating and Fitness. The Army has since instituted a Fitness Assessment Testing and Functional Movement Training /Core Strengthening programs for all new recruits. After many adolescent years of watching TV, X-Box, use of computers and smart phones has had a negative and devastating affect on the ability to stabilize.

The Army also discovered the lack of understanding and knowledge of eating—the recruits had no idea what a Protein or Carbohydrate was. Their idea of eating was McDonald’s, Wendy’s and KFC. Matter of fact recruits associate this as “home cooking”–so much so that the United States Government (in all their wisdom) in wanting to make the recruits feel more at home has made special contracts with these fast food junk makers to agree to build near all US Army Training Facilities (Fort Leonard Wood, Mo as an example).

With the lack of understanding of eating concepts as Protein and Carbs the Army has instituted a simple eating program called Red – Yellow – Green. Red for- Protein, Yellow for- Carbohydrate and Green- for Vegetables/Fruits. Pretty simple but effective. As a matter of fact I have used this with my Athletes and they seem to get it–obviously simple but effective. Every meal has to have at least one of each color—Red – Yellow – Green.

The Red – Yellow – Green Eating Plan

Choose a serving (a serving is defined as a portion the size of your fist) of protein and carbohydrates from each section below to make a meal. Add a serving of vegetables to at least two of your daily meals. These sections are not complete but serve as examples of the kinds of food to purchase at the grocery store – purchase the pure food, no processed foods. Processed foods add unnecessary fat and calories. Become a label reader and take note of amounts of servings per container, amounts of fat, calories, protein, etc. per serving.

Eat six small meals a day to increase insulin production and maximize metabolic function (fat burning). Insulin is a natural anabolic (muscle grower) and now scientists have found out that eating six small nutritious meals a day will increase the metabolism by 42%. Eat this way six days of the week. On the seventh day, take a break and eat whatever you want.

Proteins: (RED) 

Chicken breast
Turkey breast
Lean ground turkey
Orange roughy
Top round steak
Top sirloin steak
Lean ground beef
Lean ham
Egg whites or substitutes
Low-fat cottage cheese

Carbohydrates: (YELLOW)

Baked potato
Sweat Potato
Steamed Brown Rice
Steamed Wild Rice
Fat-free yogurt
Whole wheat bread

Veg’s & Fruit: (GREEN)

Green Beans
Brussel Sprouts


Water is vital. This cannot be stressed enough. Muscle is 60-70% water and needs to be kept hydrated. In addition, it is necessary for the transportation of nutrients, flushing out of toxins, and a well hydrated body will be better coordinated and less fatigued.

Everybody needs at least a half to three quarters of a gallon of water a day. That sounds like a lot but it’s easy to get. One way is to purchase a 12-ounce bottle water a day, keep the bottle and keep filling it up throughout the day. A half gallon is 64 ounces. So,s drinking six of these bottles a day will be sufficient amount. To get into the habit of drinking water, take about five or six gulps every 15 minutes. If going to the bathroom a lot is a concern, a person may increase trips to the bathroom at first but the body will adjust to additional water intake in a short amount of time.

Nutrients: Daily Intake

Protein= 20% of food intake
Carbohydrate= 50% of food intake
Fat= 30% of food intake

Servings of Food a Day

-2 to 3 servings of: (One Serving = 2 to 3 ounces of meat)
– Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nut Group

-2 to 3 servings of: (One Serving = 1 cup)
-Milk, Yogurt & Cheese Group

-2 to 4 servings of: (One Serving = 1 whole fruit, 3/4 cup of juice)
-Fruit Group

-3 to 5 servings of: (One Serving = 1 cup)
-Vegetable Group

-6-11 Servings of: (One Serving= 1 slice of bread, 1/2 – 1/3 cup)
-Bread, Cereal, Rice, or Pasta

Suggested Foods

  • Cereal (Oatmeal or Cheerios)
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Juice
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Roast beef
  • Chicken-baked
  • Pasta
  • Pork Chops
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Steak – red meat limit to once a week
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Fish
  • Drink 1/2 of body weight in ounces of water

Stay away from Chips and Candy – Snack on Fruit!! Cut back on Soda and Sport Drinks!!!! No Fast Food or limit yourself to once every two weeks

Why Sports Drinks are a Bad Idea

Most people believe that sports drinks are the best alternative to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes when exercising, but that’s simply not true. Many sports drinks contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas. They also typically contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial flavors and food coloring, none of which contribute to optimal health.

Sugar After Exercise

Furthermore, consuming sugar after exercise will negatively affect both your insulin sensitivity and your human growth hormone (HGH) production. Ironically, while these drinks are often referred to as “energy” drinks, in the long run the sugar they contain does just the opposite. After causing a quick explosion of energy, your energy plummets as your pancreas and other glands do all they can to balance out the toxic stimulation to your blood sugar.

Too Much Sodium

Most also contain high amounts of sodium (processed salt), which is meant to replenish the electrolytes you lose while sweating. However, a far better option is to simply add a small amount of natural, unprocessed sea salt to your water. Contrary to processed salt, this natural salt contains 84 different minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for optimal function.

Coconut Water as an Alternative

Another excellent option when you’re sweating profusely is pure coconut water. It’s one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man. Some remote areas of the world even use coconut juice intravenously, short-term, to help hydrate critically ill patients and in emergency situations.

And, if your sports drink is low-calorie and sugar-free, be warned that it likely contains an artificial sweetener, which is even worse for you than fructose.

Weekly Meal Plan Form

NFL Gain Weight Plan

How Athletes Lose Weight