Yes, it’s that time again: time for me to head to the field for some more Army training. That means a challenge to me: keep myself fueled and energized for high-intensity work and long hours while eating healthy. That means my usual: RXBars, Epic Bars, protein bars, and nuts. Fortunately, the last time we were in the field, there were actually some food options that were Keto-friendly, but typically just one a day. That means I will plan for at least two meals on my own each day.
MRE’s are available and always there as a last resort, but the carb count in the average MRE is astounding. Take a look at the individual serving data below of some popular MRE’s from the Combat Ration Database:
Those are individual servings within the MRE’s themselves. The calorie count isn’t severe, but the total carbs are. When my goal is 20-30g of carbs for an entire day, you can see that these servings are very high indeed. When you look at the entire MRE package calorie/carb count, it’s even more frightening.
That’s for a single package of MRE’s!!! I see people eating just about everything inside of an MRE at a single sitting, although to be fair, most just eat some or half of an MRE and throw away the rest. MRE’s are meant to have enough calories for a full day, if necessary, but when you’re in a combat environment where you are burning 3,000+ calories a day, you can see how these MRE’s become necessary.
To be honest, if I was in a combat situation, I wouldn’t be as strict with Paleo/Keto as I’d be looking to replace the lost calories as quickly as possible, and MRE’s are a good way to do that. However, field exercises, while meant to mimic combat and field problems, isn’t combat, and if I can limit my exposure to carbs, I will do it.
I will keep track of the food I eat and I’ll do my best to eat well out there. I have a vacation coming up within the month where I’ll be eating lots of different foods and many will likely not be compliant with my diet, but I’ll do my best to mitigate their impact on my weight and health by limiting portion sizes and making the best decisions I can given the options. That’s the best I can hope for, and it’s also how I operate when I’m in the field.