BEST Ways Good Nutrition Helps Busy People Over 30
Back in college and your first decade as a professional, being able to eat whatever you wanted without gaining a pound nor feeling any negative side effects might have seemed like it would last forever…then you enter your 30s, and you realize that is not so. Going out for Taco Tuesday with your buddies and girlfriends is fun, but you may have noticed that you’re always feeling bloated the next day. Not only does indulging with street food start to negatively affect your gut when you get to your 30s, but it even starts affecting your focus and concentration, which is not a good thing because you’re at a stage in your career where you’re starting to be assigned more responsibilities with promotions to higher positions.
Good nutrition is rarely thought of as an important piece towards your wellbeing in your 20s, but as you enter your 30s and move into your 40s, you will begin to notice that there is a lot more to it than previously thought.
The food that goes into your body matters, especially as you enter you 30s. There are three critical reasons why you need to begin prioritizing good eating habits, such as improving energy and concentration, better physical health, and improving mood and reducing stress.
Improved Energy and Concentration
As a busy professional in your 30s, you are now beginning to be assigned to leadership roles and trusted with critical projects for your company. This often means having a demanding schedule, which requires a lot of energy and focus to keep up with their workload. It is at this point in your career where you need to do all of the necessary things to optimize your performance at work, which means that it is time to grow up, and yeah, that means you have to start eating more healthy.
Ever since elementary school, you were taught about the importance of eating your fruits and vegetables, but never really thought much of it because: 1) eating produce is boring and 2) you have been able to get away with eating whatever you wanted in your first 30 years of life without many consequences. As a busy professional in your 30s, the competition is fierce if you want to advance your career, and your body is beginning to react negatively to junk food. The great thing about good nutrition is that it provides the body with the necessary nutrients and energy to sustain long hours of work and concentration. You don’t believe me? Try this experiment: for one week, have all the donuts and Cinnabons you want for your snacks while at work, then only eat pieces of fresh fruit as your snacks for your snacks in the following week. Tell me how it worked out for you.
Eating a balanced diet can also help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes, which can negatively affect productivity and focus. As a professional in your 30s, you are always having to meet deadlines for crucial projects, your inbox is endlessly being filled, and you vaguely remember what it was like to have less than 500 unread emails. By substituting the not so healthy snacks you typically reach for with fruit slices, you will notice that you can keep your focus and concentration far more.
One of the most common reasons busy professionals in their 30s struggle with good eating habits has much to due with the snacks they eat in the office. Try scheduling times for you to have a snack and add it to your calendar; doing this can help regulate how often you snack. The next step is to pick one snacking period at a time where you substitute it with a healthier option. In other words, instead of eating cookies, candy, or chocolate, substitute it with a handful of almonds. This help you avoid the dreaded crash that often comes with sugary snacks, which translates to better productivity.
Better Physical Health
As you move up the corporate ladder, your company is beginning to trust you with more advanced projects and assigning to lead teams. As busy professionals, you may have less time to exercise or engage in physical activity, so maintaining a healthy diet is important for overall physical health. While having Uber eats deliver your lunch from your favorite deli might save you time, doing this on a consistent basis is not the most healthy choice. Instead, start bringing your own lunch, which can save even more time and be the more nutritious option.
A great way that a busy professional over 30 can start eating more healthy and save time is to meal prep by cooking food in bulk and dividing it into meals to eat for the upcoming week. For example, let’s say that Sunday afternoon is usually when you have the most free time available. Simply plan the meals you want to eat for the upcoming week and pick up the items to make enough to create anywhere from 2-5 servings. After cooking the meals, split them up into meal prep trays and put them in the fridge. Most of these meals would typically be good until that Friday.
One of the things that every busy professional has to do before they start getting serious about eating healthy is to admit that mom was right — you really do have to eat your fruits and vegetables. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Most carry the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that our bodies require to function properly, and, you can’t deny this, they are a total bargain when you consider the health benefits that they provide!
Improved Mood and Reduced Stress
As you advance in your career as a busy professional over 30, you are having to juggle more projects with tight deadlines because your bosses have more trust in your ability to handle the workload than they did when you started as a professional freshly out of college. With the heavier workload and elevated level of trust in you by the higher ups, this also creates a more stressful environment. Eating a healthy diet can improve mood and reduce stress levels, which is important for busy professionals who may experience high levels of stress on a daily basis.
The busy professional has to be able to handle the increased stress at work, especially if they want to progress their career and get the promotions they seek. Good nutrition can provide the body with essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, which have been shown to improve mood and reduce stress. Foods that are rich in these nutrients include salmon, walnuts and chia seeds.
Since most busy professionals have to spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer, being this sedentary for an extended time usually means that not too many calories are being burned, which may lead towards weight gain. One of the side effects to becoming overweight or obese, especially in the high-stress environment that busy professionals are thrust in, is inflammation. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, a “chronic state of inflammation can lead to numerous health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer's disease, and even cancer.” Not only that, but inflammation has been linked to a number of mood disorders. The good news is that eating a balanced diet can help reduce inflammation in the body.
Country music singer, Tim McGraw, has a great song called “My Next 30 Years”, in which he talks about the fun times he had while living his first 30 years, but as he ages into his next 30 years, he is going to try his best to cherish spending time with loved ones, let go of petty disagreements, and, of course what stood out to me, watching his weight and “drink a little lemonade and not so many beers”. In my opinion, McGraw has it right; when you’re young and still learning your way as you navigate through life, it’s totally okay to do dumb things from time to time and make mistakes, as long as nobody is getting hurt and you are learning a valuable lesson.
Every busy professional over 30, if they haven’t done so already, should start to prioritize healthy eating habits because these are the years in your life that sets the course for the rest of your life. If you choose to be more health conscious about your eating and increase physical activity, you have a better chance of living a long, independent life. On the other hand, being over 30 and still eating the way you did while in high school and college, there is a greater chance that you might develop healthy problems caused by your poor diet. The decision to choose which path to follow is yours to make.
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