Candidate Corner

How to Eat Healthy On the Go

Posted by Anonymous at 11/28/2017 10:16:59 AM

Nutrition for Busy Physicians

How to Eat Healthy On the Go

By Doug Bennett, Contributor

Just because you’re traveling or feeling rushed doesn’t mean you need to eat foods that leave you feeling sluggish or bloated. Trading junk food for healthier options can transform how you feel while at work and at play. As any physically active physician knows, drinking plenty of fresh water and eating wholesome foods throughout the day really helps sustain energy levels. These good habits also enable your body to better handle the daily stressors that life inevitably throws your way.

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy, fit and energetic while busy:

Prepare your own meals

Avoiding the convenience of fast food joints, with their menus emphasizing high levels of sodium, sugar and fat, is one of the key ways you can turn your diet around. Sure, we all like to indulge ourselves once in a while, and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is when eating fast food becomes the norm, instead of the exception. It’s much easier—not to mention much less expensive—to go grocery shopping and prepare healthy meal options at home. Once you factor in the value of your time and the cost of wear and tear on your vehicle and fuel spent on a few extra trips each week to the local drive-thru, preparing your own meals wins, hands down. Healthy and inexpensive vs. damaging and costly? It’s really a no brainer.

Eat smaller portions, more often

Consuming too many calories in a single meal sends the wrong signal to our brains. Even if they’re healthy calories, when we consume more than we need in a single sitting, our brains believe that leaner times are around the corner. We then store those surplus calories as fat. Keep in mind that the human stomach is, on average, about the size of a human fist. So, eating more than the volume of your own fist at one time is essentially overkill. Doing so can cause insulin levels to spike, leading to increased fat and other complications. It’s much healthier to eat 5-6 smaller meals spaced evenly throughout each day.

Eat a good balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and fat

It’s important to ensure that your meals (most of them) are composed of a blend of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. The much-lauded Mediterranean diet is a good rule of thumb to follow. You can’t go wrong with a diet consisting of things like fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt, and olive oil. Stay away from refined carbohydrates, which means most anything made from white flour, such as white bread and most types of pasta or pizza dough. If you simply cannot resist, be certain to eat only minimal amounts of refined carbohydrates combined with lean protein—like a skinless chicken breast—and a small amount of healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado.

Drink lots of fresh clean/filtered water

The human body is mostly water and it needs water to function well. Consuming plenty of water each and every day helps flush toxins from your body, helps you feel full so you eat less, and keeps your skin looking fresh and invigorated. Getting plenty of water also helps you think clearly and avoid energy lags throughout the day. Many unhealthy cravings can be sated with a glass of purified water.

Avoid bad foods

Let’s face it, certain foods are comforting—at least when you’re eating them! But, think about how those same foods make you feel afterward. Excess alcohol is the classic example. Nobody likes to suffer through a hangover after a night of drinking too much. Sugary snacks like cookies, cake and candy, soda products, fruit juice, ice cream, or anything partially hydrogenated (which includes most packaged baked goodies) can all have a similar effect on how we feel after we satisfy our cravings. These foods cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike, putting you on a hamster wheel while your body tries to recover. Each spike and trough in your blood sugar triggers another craving.

This doesn’t mean you can never reward yourself and enjoy something tasty. Just be sure to limit the amount of these types of foods you eat on a regular basis. Good news: the longer you avoid highly processed sugar- and fat-laden foods, the better that alternatives like fresh fruit will taste to you. Don’t believe it? Try avoiding all of the items listed above for three weeks and then see how a nice crisp apple tastes. You won’t regret making the switch!

Let Merritt Hawkins’ professional recruiters help you find the perfect physician job today. Simply take a moment to apply, and we’ll take it from there. One of our highly experienced recruiters will be in touch to help you find exciting physician job opportunities around the nation.


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