'Fit Plate' gives Airmen healthy option

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Leah Young
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
 Look out, waistlines! There's a new tool for keeping Airmen "Fit to Fight," changing the eating habits of Team McChord each day.

This new tool is called the "Fit Plate", and it can be found everyday during breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Olympic Dining Facility on McChord Field. Prominently displayed near the front entrance, the Fit Plate makes it easier for customers to identify the healthiest possible food options for that particular meal.

"We really wanted to provide a healthy option for our customers," said Tech. Sgt. Sarah Butcher, the 627th Force Support Squadron dining facility manager. "When people come in, they can immediately see the calorie and nutrition content for a specific combination of foods."

The Fit Plate changes at every meal, depending on what is being served in the facility. The measl range between 500 and 600 calories and usually includes a main source of protein, a side option and a vegetable or fruit.

"There are healthy options at every meal," Butcher said. "But this way, it's easier and quicker for people to identify the best options. Instead of looking around, they can just tell the staff they want to order the Fit Plate."

According to the dining facility staff members, customers have noticed and generally approved of the Fit Plate. Senior Airman Michael Calderon, an 8th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, said it's an effective solution to a common problem.

"Nobody wants to spend their lunch break searching for the healthiest food," Calderon said. "Also, the dining facility usually gets congested and it becomes much easier to just go for the easiest food option, which usually ends up being a cheeseburger or french fries. The Fit Plate is a no-brainer. You already know what you're looking for; you can just grab your meal and go."

The formula to weight loss isn't a secret: Burn more calories than you eat, or eat less than you burn. According to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, roughly three out of five Americans carry an unhealthy amount of excess weight.

Choosing the Fit Plate in conjunction with a healthy exercise routine can be the first step in the right direction toward a physical fit and more resilient Airman.

In the four pillars of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness culture, physical fitness is one of those pillars that officials say helps achieve the CAF goal to build a culture of balanced, healthy, self confident Airmen and their families whose resilience and total fitness enables them to thrive in an era of high operational tempo.

"I think the Fit Plate will encourage people to get in shape," said Calderon. "They'll start eating better and realize that weight loss isn't impossible."