Written by: Jennifer Espinosa-Goswami
The savvy CEO knows that the right fuel can help them master their daily routine. Are you eating the right foods to be a healthy and successful CEO?
Before we jump into healthy eating habits, let’s identify what is NOT helpful when it comes to your diet. Drafting extensive lists of foods you cannot eat, or avoiding entire food groups does not lead to a healthy eating routine. These types of practices lead to yo-yo dieting, which could increase your chance of heart disease or even death.
One more thing that is not terribly helpful for the busy CEO is collecting fancy or complicated recipes that take them away from building their business. Meal planning should take no more than 30-60 minutes per week (and can often be done in less than 30 minutes).
One skill that will be necessary for any healthy CEO is learning to cook. You don’t have to become a Master Chef in the kitchen in order to eat healthy or whip up every meal from scratch, but you must master at least a few meals that you can eat and rotate from week to week. Even if you have a partner or family member who does most of the cooking in your household, a savvy CEO knows the basics of healthy cooking.
Now, let’s jump into the 5 healthy eating habits!
- Eat breakfast
- Drink lots of unsweetened beverages
- Snack smart
- Set consistent meal timing
- Don’t eat distracted
The CEO story profiled 5 CEOs on their eating habits, including Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bezos. The majority of them prioritize eating a healthy breakfast every day. What they tended to eat for breakfast varies, but often includes plant-based foods with a source of protein.
→ To create your own healthy breakfast in minutes, download the Breakfast Blueprint, which incorporates protein, fat, and carbs in an easy-to-use template.
Sugar has been linked to numerous health concerns, including increased risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and possibly even cancer. Unfortunately, the average American consumes most of their daily sugar in beverages, from mocha frappuccinos to Coke to fruit juice and smoothies. The successful CEO is more likely to drink water or tea with lemon, green smoothies with no added sugar, or even black coffee or espresso.
→ If you find yourself drinking sugary beverages, try reducing by one serving size per day.
Snacking does not have to mean processed foods like candy or chips. Instead, a smarter snack would include a balance of protein, fat, and/or carbs. ClassPass founder and executive chairman Payal Kadakia reaches for Kashi bars, peanut butter and carrots for her midafternoon munchies.
→ If you find yourself reaching for simple carb-based snacks, add a small serving of protein such as hummus or cheese. That will ensure your body has the right jolt of energy without feeling the carb crash.
Why does meal consistency matter? As a business owner, you might go all day without eating or only grazing on snacks. “Coordinating meals with circadian rhythms, or your body’s internal clock, may be a powerful strategy for reducing appetite and improving metabolic health,” said Eric Ravussin, PhD, associate executive director for clinical science at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge (full study here)
→ Your circadian rhythm is unique. Whether you choose intermittent fasting or eating 3 squares a day, stick to a consistent meal schedule. Personally, I always eat 3 meals a day and often incorporate a mid-day snack.
Distracted eating means you are multitasking while chomping, whether that is in front of your computer, your TV, or even a book. Up to 60% of professionals eat at their workdesk.This is a problem because the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition identified that being distracted at meal time causes people to eat more. This “sad desk lunch” need not be the fate of the savvy and successful CEO. Oprah Winfrey told Harper’s Bazaar that she typically eats lunch in the garden with her longtime partner Stedman Graham, but even on days when he’s not around, the former talk show host still makes the meal a social one.
→ Give yourself permission to close your computer and put down your phone while you eat. When you focus on your food, you can enjoy the experience more.
About the author:
Jenn Espinosa-Goswami is a human potential expert and holistic coach at Weightless LLC. A long-time member of the 100 pound club, she is also a marathon runner who has been featured on Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Prevention, Spry Living and many national media. When not presenting powerful health seminars in her hometown of Minneapolis (or online), you can connect with her at www.weightlesschronicles.com. She is mom to two beautiful daughters, and will do anything for a tasty taco.