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Week 9: Must Read Healthy Advice!

Young Professionals Connection Eating Healthy

August 6, 2013

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just want to live a more healthful lifestyle, it all starts with healthy eating. Healthy eating isn’t about going on a diet and giving up the foods you like. A healthy diet is a daily choice and one that may require you to think about the decisions you make throughout your day, depending on your habits.

Healthy Eating Tips

  1. Timing is particularly important when it comes to eating, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or increase your energy levels. It takes thirty minutes for your brain to recognize that your stomach is full, so eat slowly. It’s likely that by doing this you’ll be able to feel satisfied on a smaller amount of food.
  2. Eating at approximately the same time every day will help your body digest food more properly because of the way it will sync with the body’s natural daily cycle.
  3. Smaller, more frequent meals make the body’s digestive system stay active for a longer period of time and actually burn more calories in the process. Eating about every three hours is a good way to stay satisfied while maintaining your energy levels and preventing hunger, but obviously, don’t overeat.
  4. One way to avoid overeating later in the day is by eating what’s said to be the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Not only is it a good way to get your metabolism going in the morning, but those who eat a healthy breakfast often consume fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip. Also, calories consumed shortly before long sedentary periods of time often get stored as fat, so it is important not to eat at night right before going to bed.
  5. If you need to snack in between meals or between your last meal and bedtime, snacks should be limited to 200 calories or less.
  6. Skipping meals can be just as bad for you as overeating. A diet too low in calories causes your body to go into starvation mode by slowing your metabolism and storing energy in the form of fat. If you’re trying to raise your metabolism, eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains help to keep insulin levels steady so the body is able to metabolize food more efficiently.

Processed Foods

Eating foods that have not been overly processed or artificially enhanced may strengthen your immune system and increase your energy levels. Eating at home is not only one way to control what you eat, but it’s also great on your bank account. This might even be the best time of year to eat at home. With produce in season, you can support the local economy by heading to a nearby farmer’s market. Grocery stores are also stocked with produce at very reasonable prices and grilling is not only a healthy way to cook, but it also provides an opportunity to take advantage of the summer weather and offers a quick and easy cleanup.

Portion Sizes

If you do go out, remember, restaurant portion sizes are far larger than one serving. It’s often best to cut your entrée in half as soon as you get it and take at least that half home for another meal. If the restaurant offers some sort of bread before your meal, remember that each biscuit or bread stick is around 150 calories and has little nutritional value.

By eating healthy meals that provide your body with the proper amounts of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, you can raise your metabolism and gain more energy, but an improper diet will decrease your metabolic rate and reduce your energy levels. If you are unable to eat balanced meals because of time or other restrictions, you may want to consider adding a nutritional supplement to your diet, such as a multivitamin. It is important to remember that no nutritional supplement should take the place of paying attention to what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat. 

For more tips on getting active and living healthy, check out the Greater Des Moines Partnership's GetActive Workplace Wellness Toolkit.

Kristie Chipera
YPC Marketing Committee Member