Maxwell Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Feature - HAWC classes improve Airmen’s health, lives
HAWC classes improve Airmen’s health, lives

Posted 9/6/2013   Updated 9/6/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs


9/6/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- Helping Airmen make healthier choices, the Better Body Better Life classes at Maxwell's Health and Wellness Center are aiding Airmen in losing unwanted weight after the program's initial launch in March.

Designed by the Air Force Medical Operations Agency, the discussion-based, three-part class focuses on food portions, meal plans, calorie counting, nutrition and hydration, as well as the dangers of fat, sugar and dining-out.

Roshanda Gaddis, the health education dietitian at the HAWC, says, on average, female Airmen will gain 26 pounds and male Airmen will gain 29 pounds over a 20-year period.

"If you consistently go over your calorie needs per day, that's when the weight slowly creeps up," Gaddis explained. "At first, it's just a pound or five pounds, but before you know it, it can turn into 30 pounds."

Airmen who attended the August classes said eating healthy can be challenging because planning and preparing meals is time-consuming.

During last month's class, Gaddis covered several tips and smarter food substitutions to help Airmen make over their meals when eating out.

"Say you eat out, what can you do to get your meal under 700 calories and under 23 grams of fat total?" Gaddis asked the class. "Think about substitutions, because this is the real world and you do eat out occasionally with family or friends."

During the class, Gaddis reviewed essentials of healthy eating.

Cutting out mayonnaise on a sandwich or substituting a side salad instead of fries at common fast food chains can greatly decrease the number of fat calories, Gaddis said.

Other suggestions for avoiding hydrogenated oils with healthier fat substitutes are plant-based fats from nuts and avocados, leaner meats like chicken and Omega-3 fats found in fish like wild Alaskan salmon, tuna and mackerel, she said.

Carefully reading food product labels for portion sizes, total calories, fat calories, sodium levels and sugary ingredients will help determine whether or not a food product is a nutrient dense food or simply empty calories, she said.

Finally, she mentioned that empty calorie foods provide no nutritional value; whereas, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, provide a higher quantity of vitamins and minerals with fewer calories.

After Senior Airman Frederick Quarles from Gunter discovered his favorite fast food meal totaled about 1,370 empty calories and 58 grams of fat, he was disgusted.

"That was a large amount of fat," Quarles said. "This class gave me more reason to work on staying on my diet, sleeping more regularly, eating better and avoiding fast food and going out."

Gaddis also suggested having an eating plan before going out to a fast-food chain or a sit-down restaurant, keeping a food log and using a smaller plate size to avoid gorging.

"A lot of times it's an illusion in our minds. Eat off smaller plates or square plates and use more lower calorie veggies like dark greens, tomatoes or carrots that fill you up," Gaddis said. "And if you do slip up, just keep going on the right track next time."



tabComments
No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Maxwell AFB

ima cornerSearch

tabSocial Media Dashboard
Facebook

Facebook

Twitter

Twitter

YouTube

YouTube

tabTop StoriesRSS feed 
Maxwell Child Development Center teams up with Montgomery Humane Society for Month of Military Child

42nd ABW to open resiliency center

AWC international culture event celebrates diversity, strengthens bonds

IFOP seeks volunteers, donations

National Drug Take-Back Day

Acting Deputy SecDef talks budget, urges innovation

Defenders set to defend softball title

Maxwell events aim to end child abuse

Base leaders recognize ‘Hometown Heroes’

Maxwell key spouses complete crisis intervention training

  arrow More Stories

tabAETC NewsRSS feed 
Altus, McConnell AFBs selected to receive KC-46A Pegasus aircraft

Plane crash, coma doesn't deter pilot

Heroes walk amongst us every day

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders: Anniversary event draws crowd to honor heroes

Flying squadron honors, remembers instructor pilot's ultimate sacrifice

JBSA-Randolph to host commemorative toast for Doolittle Raider

AETC award winner says it's not about him


Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act