Go for Green® is a nutrition program designed to help service members identify foods and beverages that help boost warrior performance. Go for Green® helps to create an environment where healthy Green-labeled foods are available and easy to spot.
G4G Basics for Warriors
Perform Like a Champion!
Go for Green® is a nutrition program that labels food and recipes with color codes and sodium levels on the dining-facility serving lines to help you find the best fuel to improve your performance, recovery, and health. Look for these labels and know what they mean!
High in fiber
Low in added sugar
Foods with some processing
Lower in fiber
Added sugars or artificial sweeteners
Excess fats and/or trans fats
Choose these most often
Especially for those who have been told to follow a "low-sodium diet"
Eat these sometimes
Appropriate for most warriors who are moderately active
Eat these rarely or in small amounts
Warrior who are active multiple hours per day and /or in extreme environments need some high-sodium foods daily
How can "Going for the Green" help you perform?
- Enhance mental performance
- Optimize physical performance
- Accelerate recovery
- Improve overall warrior readiness
- Promote good health
- Boost resilience
The G4G Guides
The Go for Green® Guides are intended to support the G4G color and sodium labels at the DFAC by providing a quick-and-easy overview of how to choose the best foods for performance, readiness, and health. You also can use them when grocery shopping, cooking at home, and eating at restaurants.
G4G categorizes foods and beverages by food group and then color-codes them Green, Yellow, or Red according to their overall nutritional quality.
Go for Green® also labels foods and recipes based on their sodium content. Sodium needs vary based on calorie intake, exercise/activity level, environment (heat, humidity, cold), and health status of service members.
How you can support Go for Green®?
Are you on top of your game? The person your peers look up to? Maybe you just “get it” and have seen first-hand that it matters what you put in your body.
If that is you, then we need your help! You can be a role model and help show service members and leaders the performance-enhancing effects of Go For Green®.
Making the proper fueling choices helps promote the Go for Green® program and encourages leaders, peers, and your family to do the same. Share with members of your unit the performance-optimizing benefits of choosing more Green-labeled foods and beverages, which:
- optimize mental and physical performance;
- accelerate recovery;
- boost resilience; and
- encourage good health now and in the future.
You know the importance of teamwork, where each member plays an important role in accomplishing the mission. Together, a well-fueled team can accomplish almost anything!
Peer to Peer
- Set an example by choosing Green-labeled foods and beverages when eating at the DFAC.
- Support team members by highlighting Green-labeled foods as the preferred performance fuel.
- Use social media and talk to your peers, friends, and family about how G4G can help them become a well-fueled warrior.
Advocating for G4G (through Chain of Command)
- Talk with your unit leaders about Go for Green® in the dining facility on your installation.
- Talk with your dining-facility director about Go for Green®.
- Request education from a nutritionist or dietitian on your installation about how to incorporate more Green-labeled foods.
Beyond the DFAC
The Go for Green® Guide can be used to make healthy choices when reading food labels while grocery shopping at the commissary, choosing ingredients for a home-cooked meal, and looking over the menu at fast-food and sit-down restaurants.
How to build a performance-powered plate
Fruits/Vegetables: Aim to fill ½ your plate with fruits and vegetables. The more color, the better!
Protein: Fill ¼ of your plate with lean sources of protein: chicken, seafood/fish, beef, and pork; dairy such as low-fat cheese, milk, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese; and beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
Grains/Starchy Vegetables: Fill ¼ of your plate with grains (preferably whole grains) or starchy vegetables such as corn, peas, and potatoes.
Healthy fats: One or two servings per day should include plant-based fats such as nuts, seeds, olive or canola oil, or avocado.
Remember that whole foods are your best bet for getting all the nutrients you need to perform well at work, at home, and in the gym.
Most snack foods and desserts provide few nutrients for your body. Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, lean protein, and dairy make perfect mini-meals to maintain energy levels and fuel for performance throughout the day.
How much is enough?
Between job duties and exercise, service members who are especially active can burn more than 4,000 calories a day. So if you burn a lot of calories, you need to fuel your body with more calories. Doubling some portions, eating two platefuls per meal, and/or adding snacks between meals can help you achieve optimal fueling. You may need to shift to a plate that is 1/3 grains/starchy vegetables, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 fruits and vegetables to get enough nutrients.
Use this nutrition tool to get an idea about how much fuel you need to perform based on your current weight, age, gender, activity level, and any environmental factors.
Warrior Scenarios (coming soon!)
Learn more about eating well to perform by viewing our Warrior Scenarios, and choose the one that matches your current lifestyle.
You may be familiar with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate program and the plate icon, but how does the Go for Green® program compare? MyPlate helps you choose healthy foods and beverages in the appropriate portions. The Go for Green® program complements MyPlate by identifying the best choices within each MyPlate food group. Both programs encourage plates that are colorful and balanced.
For more information on building a healthful plate, visit MyPlate.