- You feel better when you eat right.
The important point of the weekend scenario is to try to limit these indulgences to (rare) special occasions and most of the time, eat meals that consist of lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies, and limit the amount of alcohol, sweets, and high fat foods. Meals that are high in fruits and vegetables deliver more then just the benefit of being low calorie. They are packed with tons of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and essential vitamins and minerals that all help the body feel better and work more efficiently.
- You lessen the possibility of sickness and disease
Think of the body as a car. When a car is well-tuned and maintained it runs very well but when a car is not taken for scheduled maintenance, it runs poorly or even breaks down. The body is similar to a car in the sense that the better you take care of it (i.e. regular exercise, meeting calorie needs, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, challenging the brain to higher level thinking, etc.), the better it works and the healthier it stays. But when a body is consistently neglected, it starts to break down. This can be apparent in daily activities like walking up stairs and being out of breath or experiencing pain in joints or muscles for under use, or just being sick all of the time. What is put into the body is the fuel the body uses to function at a high level. Fuel the body with healthy foods through balanced meals as consistently as possible and your body will function better.
- Creating healthy meals is so easy, why would you not do it!
Making a balanced meal is fairly simple. Start with a lean protein, add a few servings of fruits/vegetables, a complex carbohydrate, and a low calorie drink and the result is a healthy meal that will fuel your body to its highest potential. Be as consistent as possible with eating balanced meals throughout the day, the week, or the month to see the best results from the nutrient rich foods being used by the body for fuel. The body can to some extent store nutrients for times when they are lacking in the diet but this is only for a short time. Every time your body uses nutrients that have been stored it tries to replace them for use on other occasions. When the nutrient stores are used up and not restored the body can become run down and weak. This is why after long periods of poor nutrition intake the body consistently feels run down. To fix this feeling start adding at least one balanced meal a day and work towards maintaining a lifestyle that includes a balanced meal for every meal.
Grete R. Hornstrom is a Clinical Dietitian who is currently specializing in pediatric care. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education with a concentration in Exercise Science from Kent State University, a Master of Arts in Wellness Management from Ball State University, and a Master of Science in Dietetics from Ball State University. She has worked with overweight children and adults, recreational and elite athletes, chronically ill children, and every day people on developing nutrition plans and healthy lifestyle changes. In addition she has worked with recreational teams, high school teams, and college teams educating them on the importance of nutrition and performance. She has completed one marathon and three half marathons in the last two years. Her newest sport of choice is cycling.